Forge a Fantastic Foursome
How making friends with other couples can help your marriage
UCY AND RICKY were
close pals with Fred
and Ethel on the TV
show I Love Lucy.
Now we know they
were on to something:
Being friends with
other couples can
improve your relationship, report the
authors of the new book Two Plus Two:
Couples and Their Couple Friendships.
unlike an angst-ridden teen, you’ll be
less stressed by friends’ foibles.
But before you start bonding with
new buddies, make sure you and
your partner want the same things.
For instance, many couples prefer to
limit their interactions to light enter-
tainment, like movie outings, while
others want emotional support, the
authors say. Adds Greif: “Both styles
can work for couples in helping to
build a better marriage.” —Tina Adler
It’s natural to make assumptions, but don’t overdo it. Harboring preconceived ideas about people—whether due to their occupation, their clothing, or even their (young) age— can cause you to miss opportunities, according to a new study in the journal PLoS ONE. Researchers from ETH Zurich, a science and technology university in Switzerland, used game theory to test simulated characters’ willingness to cooperate with others, creat- ing various computer scenarios and playing them 15 million times. In long-lasting games, prejudiced characters missed more chances for cooperation, while those who took time to understand other characters found more collaborative opportunities. People who are prejudiced “perform poorly in complex situations because they fail to incorporate nuances or changes,” explains researcher Thomas Chadefaux, Ph. D. That means they can misinterpret behaviors. So whether you’re meeting your new neighbors or recruiting volunteers, take time to learn more. That rough-looking guy with the Mohawk may actually be a nurturing caregiver. —Leslie Quander Wooldridge THE PROBLEM WITH PREJUDICE