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Relationship expert Louanne Ward
A leading Australian relationship expert has deciphered six tips for couples to follow to ensure they aren’t making any etiquette mistakes around their single friends.
Louanne Ward is most commonly asked about her best dating advice but she has plenty to say when it comes to those who have been fortunate enough to find their lifelong partner.
‘Being single has its challenges and dating etiquette is always a hot topic amongst singles and couples alike,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘But there are plenty of clueless things couples do in front of their single friends which are just as questionable… the blind lack of social awareness can be next level awkward.’
MISTAKE ONE: THE PUT DOWN
There is a fine line between sarcastic banter and blind belittling, Louanne insists.
Making a joke at your partner’s expense or putting them down with backhanded sarcasm is not only demeaning and disrespectful, it is also compromising your friendships.
‘Publicly humiliating your partner might seem like a harmless joke to you but it’s a well known red flag for toxic behaviour,’ she said.
‘Doing it in front of witnesses compromises your relationship and places the innocent bystander in an awkward position because they ultimately need to choose whether to laugh with you or defend the victim.;
Her tip is to not make derogatory comments in front of others.
‘It may be funny to you and even your partner but the spectator doesn’t have access to the rules of your relationship so don’t include them in the game,’ she said.
MISTAKE TWO: BRAG-FESTING
As much as everyone is happy that you’ve found a partner not everyone wants to hear you constantly bragging about how perfect your relationship is, how amazing the sex is and how wonderful life is now that you’ve found each other.
‘The confessions of love and adoration on social media are touching and have deep sentiment which your single friends are supportive of, but over the top recounts of every bunch of flowers, love note, romantic dinner, the occasions coming up and what you are planning is almost no different to bragging about the new bike you got for your eighth birthday knowing your friends’ parents couldn’t afford to buy them one,’ Louanne said.
Enjoy being in love and inspire your single friends to stay on the journey to finding their soulmate but exercise empathy and be mindful of how others feel.
As much as everyone is happy that you’ve found a partner not everyone wants to hear you constantly bragging about how perfect your relationship is (stock image)
MISTAKE THREE: TOO MANY PDA’S
We have all been there, witnessing a scene akin to National Geographic’s ‘mating in the wild’.
‘We know birds do it, bees do it, and we do it… But PLEASE don’t do it in front of a single friend. Affection is a beautiful expression of love but there is a line in the sand,’ she said.
‘Sticking your tongue in the ear of your partner while they are engaging in conversation, touching erogenous zones in a not so discreet way or passionate kissing in between sentences are better practiced on date night when it’s just the two of you.’
Ultimately be aware of your surroundings. if you are with a single friend and spend the night lip locked with your partner you have just invited an unsuspecting spectator into a ‘three’s a crowd’ moment they never signed up for.
MISTAKE FOUR: PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF ANGER
It may be true we all love a little bit of rivalry on the sports field, in the boardroom and with our siblings but when it comes to spending time with coupled up friends nobody wants to be the referee.
‘Arguments are a part of life… but they have a time and a place. Going below the belt and getting into a full blown argument in front of others is awkward enough but in front of a single friend, it places them uncomfortably in the battlefield without a weapon, Louanne said.
‘There is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide especially if the argument escalates and you hit the low ground of including the single friend asking them to give their opinion on who is in the wrong.’
It may be true we all love a little bit of rivalry on the sports field, in the boardroom and with our siblings but when it comes to spending time with coupled up friends nobody wants to be the referee
MISTAKE FIVE: INNAPPROPRIATE FLIRTING
Spending time in social settings is inevitable in a relationship, just as finding yourself single in social situations is highly probable. So what happens when your partner starts to flirt with your single friend?
‘The seer and beholder are both equally disadvantaged. The compliments and attention might not seem OTT to others but if you have ever been on the receiving end of unwanted attention the uncomfortable spotlight can be embarrassing at very least and leave you exiled at worst,’ she said.
‘You may not have noticed the inappropriate flirting as a single in social settings but if you have ever wondered why you suddenly stopped getting invited to certain social events here lies your answer.’
Flirting, according to Louanne, is a form of micro cheating. It might seem innocent to you but it is real to the spectators.
‘Never put someone else above your partner when it comes to compliments or affection,’ she said.
MISTAKE SIX: MARKING YOUR TERRITORY
Security and possessiveness drive the instinct to keep your property to yourself.
‘A threat to something or someone can drive an intense urge to claim things you don’t own,’ she said.
‘Jealousy affects the brain and can trigger the release of stress hormones that cause a flight or fight response. It can also cause “social pain” and fear of being rejected.
‘It might be a natural response but being possessive and jealous can be the most excruciatingly awkward situation for everyone involved.’
Intercepting a conversation, planting yourself in the middle, redirecting attention to yourself, dismissing the third party, being overly hands on and affectionate are all forms of marking your territory.