the couple friend game

I have probably said this before, but I'm not so good at making friends. The ones I have, I hang onto, and treasure dearly. But the small talk, getting-to-know-you part is hard. Even harder, though, is finding suitable subjects for such a small talk experiment. Even more challenging has been the project of finding some couples for GF and I to be couple-friends with. Usually, one of us knows half of a couple, and it pretty much stays that way. We have tried hanging out with a few other couples, but haven't really clicked with any. To be fair, GF and I are socially awkward introverts with semi-geekish interests and fairly clear ideas about what we do and do not want to do while socializing. (Do: eat at non-pretentious restaurants, play cards/board games, watch movies. Don'ts: drink beer at smoky bars, attend crowded sporting events/outdoor festivals, watch the other couple fight passive-aggressively.)

So it was quite exciting today to serendipitously meet a couple who've just moved to our neighborhood who we might actually want to hang out with. I just happened to be walking by when a guy I am sort of friendly with was going to their house and so I was introduced as a friend-of-a-friend. They are academics at another university (a plus), they have dogs and no children (a definite plus), and they seem smart and kind of interesting (super plus). And they just moved to our city so are actively interested in meeting people.

Now, however, comes the hard part. The part that feels too much like dating. Figuring out whether we email them, or wait for them to email us. If we get together, what place/time/activity do we suggest. Etc. Junior high all over again.