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How to find couple friends with kids

Lisa Steinke, with Liz Fenton, is the co-author of the debut chick lit novel l'll Have Who She's Having and the popular Chick Lit blog chicklitisnotdead.com.

On the hunt for couple friends

Let's face it -- it's hard to find time to socialize without the kids. And sometimes it's just a lot easier if you can kill two birds with one stone -- get some adult time in while the kids play together.

But finding those couple friends can be a challenge. Where do you start? Where do you look? And most importantly, how do you find parents you actually like? Read on for ways you can find new friendships with couples with children.

The same dating rules apply

From the type of friends you're seeking to the places you're seeking them out, you need to have a similar mindset to when you were dating. Remember those days? You need to ask yourself everything from the type of people you're looking for to how picky you're going to be when it comes to your deal breakers.

Where should you look?

  • Church
  • The park
  • The gym
  • Your city's recreational center
  • Family activities in your town: concerts in the park, the farmers market, a carnival

Who are you looking for?

When you were dating, if you didn't want to marry a bar fly, you didn't look for your husband at a bar. So when trying to find your new pals, ask yourself first what type of people do you want to meet? Athletic people? Social people? People who like to travel? Now think about where you can find them.

And don't forget the obvious places

Your child's school and his sporting events are the perfect places to meet your new couple friends. Obviously, you already know the people there have children and that their kids are of a similar age. So next time you're attending an open house night, a band performance or a soccer game, chat up the people around you. You never know, you might make a new friend (or hopefully two!).

How to make new friends through your kids >>

Don't rule out the Internet

The Internet is becoming a much more common place to meet your husband. So why not look for friends there, too? A lot of organizations like Meetup.com pair up people looking for friends. Just type a topic and your zip code and see what pops up! Don't find a group you're looking for? You can even start your own.

Get to know your neighbors

Organize a block party. Start hanging out in your front yard more often. Introduce yourself to that couple who just moved in down the street. Being more social in your neighborhood will open a lot of doors (literally and figuratively) and hopefully lead to the type of friendships you're looking for. At the very least, at least you'll be able to get that cup of sugar next time you run out.

Finding other moms online >>

Don't be too picky

Get set up

Ask your friends and family (and don't forget your Facebook friends) to introduce you to people with similar aged kids. What better way to meet people who already have the seal of approval from someone you know and trust?

You can certainly have (and should have) a list of deal breakers. Maybe smoking is non-negotiable for you and your husband. It's important to rule out things that will make you uncomfortable. But if you're looking for an exact age, look or socioeconomic status, you could be fighting an uphill battle. Decide what qualities are most important, and go from there. Don't lose sight of your end goal because you're trying to find the perfect people.

Don't get discouraged

Sure, you could be one of those lucky couples who find their new couple BFFs in the first place they look. But for most, the process is going to take longer -- especially because you want to find a friendship that will last. Just like dating, you might have to "kiss" a few frogs before you meet people you (and your kids!) click with.

More on making friends as an adult

How to expand your circle of girlfriends
Making new friends as an adult
Making mom friends at the school yard

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