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Social events full of couples...

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Something I've been finding for a while now is that I feel extra anxious at social events where the majority of those there are in couples.
Not sure I can explain exactly why, some combination of romance repulsion and couple privilege envy, maybe.
Anyone have similar experiences?

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I get this too. In my case it's because I'm the "odd one out" and because there's always the chance that people are going to ask where my "other person" is, and why I don't have one, and who I live with, and I just don't really know how to explain all these things. I don't know who to mingle with. I don't know if it's okay to approach someone or if their "other person" is going to worry about this single person talking to their person. Everybody else already has someone else to talk to by default, and it's like I have to work extra hard to not just be standing there alone.

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43 minutes ago, SoulWolf said:

I don't know if it's okay to approach someone or if their "other person" is going to worry about this single person talking to their person. Everybody else already has someone else to talk to by default, and it's like I have to work extra hard to not just be standing there alone.

Social interaction is something I often struggle with anyway. Generally I could do with something to make it easier, rather than harder.
Maybe there's also a "which person do you talk to first?" issue.

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I have this same problem too. I often think it would be nice to go to an event but also that it would be awkward to go alone. Weddings are the perfect example but other things too like a county fair or a music festival.

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I just avoid these places, because I tend to find that people become very boring around their special one compared to when you meet them alone or with their friends. And I really don't want to have to bring a friend in case the others would think we're a couple too which would just be too awkward for me to handle.

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6 hours ago, Ugh... said:

I just avoid these places, because I tend to find that people become very boring around their special one compared to when you meet them alone or with their friends.

Tricky thing is that if I tried that I wouldn't have much I could do. Very often the latter option dosn't exist.
So I can find myself with a "rock and a hard place" kind of choice.
Even my single friends tend to really want to be "coupled". Even if they don't wind up that way that's what they seek and talk about. Not like I know other aros in the "real world" :(

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

Even my single friends tend to really want to be "coupled". Even if they don't wind up that way that's what they seek and talk about.

It's the same for my friends, but those who know I'm aro usually try to avoid the subject of romance and those who know me since my childhood just know me enough to not care about these things around me.

 

But even with them, other factors repulse me from these events anyway such as the amount of sounds, people laughing super loud for no reasons, also just the general hypocrisy going on (because put a bunch of couples in a room and they will just try to show each other how much of a better love story they have).

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There are some weird social taboos about going to some places alone.  Like restaurants, especially nicer ones.  If you go alone, you're going to get stared at and whispered over.  Diners and fast food places, those are fine to go in and eat alone in.  But nicer restaurants are really intimidating, as a single person.  Any black-tie event has the same taboo.  If you show up alone, you will be the unwitting topic of whispered conversations and awkward questions.  I scrupulously avoid those now... and not just for that reason - I loathe dressy events... dressy clothing is always so highly gendered, and fancy clothing for females is absolutely uncomfortable!  Really horrible for someone who has major sensory issues.

 

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I wish I could say I don't have a problem with this but amatonormativity is so deeply rooted in our culture that it's very tricky to dodge. I hate the concept of couple coded activities. Not the activities but the fact they are meant to be for couples. If people in a relationship decide they are doing X thing because they both enjoy and therefore they bond over the shared interest...hell yeah. But doing something because it is considered a romantic pair activity? I don't get it. I haven't been to a wedding or a black tie event as an adult yet, and I try to avoid these situations in general. I technically could attend with a friend or go solo but it is just so cringe worthy for several reasons. I don't want to be mistaken for a couple. I don't feel comfortable with couples being all over each other. I don't like to be interrogated by strangers about my personal life. I often feel like I'm invading a space not meant for me...

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11 minutes ago, Cassiopeia said:

I haven't been to a wedding or a black tie event as an adult yet, and I try to avoid these situations in general. I technically could attend with a friend or go solo but it is just so cringe worthy for several reasons

I went to a wedding as a single man a couple of years ago (though I was mum's wedding), and nobody cared.

 

I hate the idea that certain things are meant for romantic couples, specifically, as opposed to being for pairs of friends. I'd be perfectly happy with doing X with a friend, but it's seen as odd because we're not romantically inclined.

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2 hours ago, Pufflehugs04 said:

I hate the idea that certain things are meant for romantic couples, specifically, as opposed to being for pairs of friends. I'd be perfectly happy with doing X with a friend, but it's seen as odd because we're not romantically inclined.

Very often there isn't any sane reason why X has to be done by a two person group.
Many aros are perfectly fine doing all sorts of "romantic coded" things with QP friends. Assuming mutual interest, enjoyment and consent.

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Interacting with couples in general, or even just single people who are looking for a relationship, has always made me feel weird. It makes me feel like an outsider, like they're talking in a language I don't speak and I'm stepping into a foreign world where I'm the annoying oblivious one. Some couples are okay, maybe if they've been together for a while and are pretty lowkey about it and not all over each other and I'm used to them, but as a general whole couples just kind of squick me out. They make me... almost anxious? I don't really know how else to describe it.

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11 hours ago, techno-trashcan said:

Interacting with couples in general, or even just single people who are looking for a relationship, has always made me feel weird. It makes me feel like an outsider, like they're talking in a language I don't speak and I'm stepping into a foreign world where I'm the annoying oblivious one. Some couples are okay, maybe if they've been together for a while and are pretty lowkey about it and not all over each other and I'm used to them, but as a general whole couples just kind of squick me out. They make me... almost anxious? I don't really know how else to describe it.

The only couple I've ever really interacted with is my sister and her boyfriend. They make me feel super awkward. I can't really talk to them about romantically coded things because they both have very opposing strong opinions to me (not surprising, really) and they're also super couply which is super awkward but also surprising since my sister still thinks I'm 12 haha

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16 hours ago, techno-trashcan said:

Interacting with couples in general, or even just single people who are looking for a relationship, has always made me feel weird. It makes me feel like an outsider, like they're talking in a language I don't speak and I'm stepping into a foreign world where I'm the annoying oblivious one. Some couples are okay, maybe if they've been together for a while and are pretty lowkey about it and not all over each other and I'm used to them, but as a general whole couples just kind of squick me out. They make me... almost anxious? I don't really know how else to describe it.

I also find that couples who are not "joined at the hip" the easiest to deal with...
Squick appears to be exactly the right term.

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I find it difficult to interact with couples because I'm afraid of being too friendly or too standoffish to one of them. That maybe one of them will get jelaous.

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2 hours ago, Holmbo said:

I find it difficult to interact with couples because I'm afraid of being too friendly or too standoffish to one of them. That maybe one of them will get jelaous.

I always feel like my actions will be misinterpreted and one of them will take my friendliness for something else. :P

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1 hour ago, techno-trashcan said:

I always feel like my actions will be misinterpreted and one of them will take my friendliness for something else. :P

Weirdly that's never happened to me, though mum tends to misinterpret being nice as being romantic/ potentially romantic. 

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Had one of these situations today at a party. The vast majority of people there were couples, and there were others who weren't part of a couple but didn't find it weird because they're also in relationships (the other person just wasn't there). It was ew.

 

Thankfully I had my two friends there who are also squicked out by the whole room-full-of-couples thing so we hung out in the kitchen for a while when it got weird. :P

 

Question, though: What are all of your methods for coping with events full of couples if you can't escape?

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Hide in the bathroom. :)

 

Seriously, this can be really tough. If I have a close friend at the party, it helps a lot to hover around them, but if they are there with their partner then I start to feel like a third wheel. If I'm just not having fun, I try to find a good reason to leave early. :)

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I second "Leave Early". 

 

Second option, locate the other singles who were roped into the event (there will be at least a few and they're apt to group up together) and party with them!

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When I go to events with couples it's only family parties at my gran's house and on top of being one of three children there isn't any attention drawn to couples. I tend to avoid parties that go to town with romance themes anyway as to not bump into this. Still there are second cousins on the horizon with my extended family so that will be something to look forward to.

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It's a mixture of @Holmbo and @techno-trashcan for me. It's been pretty ingrained in me that couples can be territorial and I don't want to be the cause of arguments or the object of romanctic interest. Most of the time when people hit on me, I'm completely oblivious or willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they're sociable. But couples? That makes it hard to get away from seeing them as romantically inclined, and that's what I find so uncomfortable about it. Besides, when they get affectionate with each other I have no social script for how to react, and that's not a comfortable feeling either.

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Me too! I feel awkward because i just can't help thinking i could be the only single out there. Just sitting between couples would make me feel very uncomfortable because i wouldn't even have a clue what to say to them. And then i'm worried they might ask me about my other half wich i don't have and the questions why i'm still a single. People being affectionate would make me feel very uncomfortable so i try to avoid those events as best as i can unless i would have some company to go with.

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3 hours ago, Jayce said:

Me too! I feel awkward because i just can't help thinking i could be the only single out there. Just sitting between couples would make me feel very uncomfortable because i wouldn't even have a clue what to say to them. And then i'm worried they might ask me about my other half wich i don't have

Fractional people, what a strange concept. The only other place I've encountered it is in "The Phantom Tollbooth".

 

3 hours ago, Jayce said:

and the questions why i'm still a single.

Would probably cause too much upset to ask them why they are "still coupled".

 

3 hours ago, Jayce said:

People being affectionate would make me feel very uncomfortable so i try to avoid those events as best as i can unless i would have some company to go with.

With "company" not just meaning one other person. It's quite easy to hug with a group of three people and not too difficult with four.

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