There鈥檚 nothing quite like a good friend鈥 unless it鈥檚 two good friends who you and bae can enjoy together. The idea of 鈥渃ouple friends鈥 is a gift to hopeless romantics and serial monogamists everywhere. Only within this very specific arrangement can you so easily 鈥 and equitably! 鈥 socialize alongside your significant other. There are no worries about leaving your S.O. at home or leaving them out of an inside joke. There are no anxieties about damaging your social life in favor of a romantic relationship that has your head feeling a little fuzzy. Among couple pals, your friendships can coexist with your partnerships. You can simultaneously play the roles of amazing friend and one-in-a-million significant other. Here, at least, you can have it all. Up with couple friends!

While forming these friendships can be a saving grace in your relationship with your S.O. (say goodbye to the constant tension between bae and BFF), they aren鈥檛 without their challenges. In some ways, couple friendships are kind of like the two-headed monsters of the friend world 鈥 fight with your friends and create tension with bae, hit a stumbling block at home and struggle to get back on track with your pals. What鈥檚 a girl (and her partner) to do? We feel pretty strongly that couple friends are a healthy and important part of your love life, so we鈥檝e put together a few tips to help keep you on track as you build and maintain these relationships.

Two couples take a walk on the beach

1. Seek friendships with other couples from a place of equal footing. Ideally, bae will hit it off easily with your BFF鈥檚 partner 鈥 but bringing your significant other into a preexisting friendship of yours and hoping for the best isn鈥檛 exactly what we鈥檙e talking about when we talk about real couple friends. Your best chances for success come with befriending couples who are new-ish to both of you. You and your significant other will be able to connect more naturally to the other couple in this situation, and it will minimize any unnecessary tensions or weird power dynamics.

2. If you are bringing your partner into a friendship with one of your friends and their S.O., be patient and have reasonable expectations. You and your BFF may have everything in common, but that doesn鈥檛 mean that your significant others will share a similar connection. Resist the urge to play matchmaker between your bae and your bestie鈥檚. If the bond doesn鈥檛 happen naturally, that鈥檚 okay! A stronger friendship may build over time 鈥 and even if it doesn鈥檛, you and your other half (we mean your best friend, natch) will still have each other. If anything, all of the relationships involved will be healthier because no one was forced into best friend status.

3. Be consistent. Like all friendships, couple friendships require regular TLC. Coordinating schedules may be more challenging with four people than two, but don鈥檛 give up at the first sign of (calendar) conflict. You鈥檒l likely 鈥済rab drinks鈥 with dozens of couples, but it鈥檚 the pairs you consistently meet for movie nights, takeout feasts, and board game marathons that will move firmly into the 鈥渃ouple friend鈥 zone 鈥 and that鈥榮 a friend zone we鈥檇 like to be in.

4. Keep the drama to the barest minimum. There鈥檚 room for stress and tension in any relationship, but introduce two more people to the mix, and you鈥檙e potentially doubling the drama. Set ground rules within the friendship to steer clear of these problems. You and your S.O. shouldn鈥檛 be talking smack about your shared friends, and you shouldn鈥檛 air your dirty relationship laundry to the parties involved in your joint friendship. Find other outlets for any frustrations you may experience within this arrangement specifically. Things will be a lot less messy that way!

Two couples spend time together at home

5. Don鈥檛 get caught up in the other couple鈥檚 business. Your friends are fighting on the reg about when they鈥檒l get engaged, and suddenly you鈥檙e wondering why you haven鈥檛 turned up the pressure on your partner popping the question. Your friends are getting a dog, and suddenly you think it鈥檚 time to start researching pups in spite of your significant other鈥檚 anti-pet stance. As your couple friendship grows (dare we say you鈥檙e becoming best couple friends?), it may feel natural for you and your S.O. to get more involved with what your friends are experiencing, but we urge you to be mindful of this. Don鈥檛 allow your pals to accidentally project their challenges or tensions onto your relationship, and do not, do not, DO NOT get competitive with your friends.

6. Prioritize the one-on-one relationship. Double dates with your couple friends shouldn鈥檛 be the only time you and your S.O. dress up and hit the town. We鈥檙e super happy to hear that you鈥檙e loving your new pals, but if you don鈥檛 tend to your primary partnership, the whole point of having couple friends is basically moot. It鈥檚 also important to continue prioritizing friendships with your single pals, as well as the friends whose partners didn鈥檛 quite click with yours. Keep all of your friendship muscles working for the happiest, healthiest you.

7. Don鈥檛 be afraid to learn from your couple friends. One of the greatest benefits to befriending other couples is the opportunity to learn from the strengths and weaknesses of their relationship. Be open to adapting elements of their routine and rapport into your own life. It may even bring you all closer together!

8. Know when it鈥檚 time to grow apart. If your couple friends are working through a long bout of drama that鈥檚 damaging your own relationship, or if they鈥檝e moved into a stage of life that鈥檚 entirely different from where you and your partner are, it鈥檚 perfectly acceptable to make some room for all parties to get some emotional air. You can continue to support each other and be friendly without being CBFF (couple best friends forever, duh).

How do you maintain your 鈥渃ouple friendships?鈥 Tweet us suggestions @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)