My friend’s new wife is loud and obnoxious. What can we do to make double dates less painful?

Dear Wayne and Wanda,

“Jeff” is one of my oldest friends. He was married a long time and my wife and I double-dated with them a lot, even took some vacations together. They divorced about a year ago, and Jeff recently and very suddenly remarried “Jess.” They only dated for a few months and it was long distance. Jess was out of state and eager to join Jeff here. Jeff acknowledges it “seems fast” but says they are truly in love.

We’ve tried hanging out with them a few times now, and the problem is Jess. She is just a lot. She is loud, and drinks more than we do, and shows her intoxication pretty quickly. She’s impolite to bartenders and waiters, snapping her fingers and shouting at them before they have a chance to approach. She talks over all of us. And while we’ve asked lots of questions about her, I swear she’s never asked us anything about ourselves. The night typically ends with Jess loud and picking fights with Jeff, while we are drained and annoyed.

Jeff is obviously very anxious for us to like her — after we hang out, he always texts follow-up questions, like if we had fun, or don’t we think she’s so great. And he goes on and on about how passionate and exciting she is. The thing is, it just isn’t fun for us. It’s barely even tolerable. We go home feeling exhausted and drained. I don’t know how many more times I can convince my poor wife to suck it up and spend an evening with Jess just so I can try to hang on to my friendship with Jeff. Any thoughts or advice?

Wanda says:

Well it’s certainly not unusual for a midlife divorcee to rebound in dramatic fashion and even remarry quickly, and it’s also fairly common that said rebound would involve a partner quite the opposite of the prior one. But while Jeff is living his best stereotype, he’s dragging you and your wife along for the noisy, irritating ride.

Jess definitely sounds like a lot, but it could be that her aggressive energy and poor conversation skills are actually her over-compensating and covering up nerves. After all, she surely knows you both were buddies with Jeff’s ex-wife, and it can be super intimidating to be the new face in a well-established friend circle. Her volume and energy could be her attempt to act confident when in fact she’s nervous. She may also be trying to calm said nerves with alcohol, which isn’t helping matters.


So go somewhere without alcohol, and don’t go out late at night. Do something earlier in the day that has a more mellow vibe — a picnic at a park, a meet-up for a farmer’s market, group coffee, or even a non-boozy brunch. Perhaps a more mellow setting with less pressure (and fewer beverages) will dial back the energy a bit and show you a more relaxed side of Jess.

Wayne says:

Love Jeff or not, Jess is a hot mess. So why “suck it up” to go out with them anymore? Hanging with friends is, ideally, fun. If not, what’s the point? You shouldn’t have to drag yourselves on double dates that include someone who is rude and makes your skin crawl as they fill the night with stress and embarrassment.

Maybe you’re seeing the best of Jess or maybe she’s trying way too hard. You’ve had enough nights out with her to get a good sense of that. I don’t know Jeff like you know Jeff, but it seems like your old pal really wants you to embrace his new life and new wife, and validate his decisions to get her up here and get hitched. To me, it reads like a series of really rushed choices made by someone who is a little lost and a lot lonely, which will eventually lead to a mega-meltdown (or very tumultuous relationship, if Jeff hangs on).

Until then, you can dial back the frequency of hangouts or just stop going out with them. This is about your happiness and well-being, not theirs. You’ve given her a fair chance. And on the real — going out is expensive! Feel like spending upward of $250 on food, drinks, show tickets, and transportation (and childcare, too?) only to end the night experiencing upset and regret?

When Jeff asks what’s up, be honest, brutally (“We just don’t like Jess or the way she treats people, including you.”) or subtly (“We just can’t spend our entertainment budget on this kind of entertainment.”). But ultimately, he’s chosen a new path in his personal and social life. You and your wife can, too.

[Ask Amy: How do I gracefully pull away from my new friend and her tornado of drama?]

[After a bad breakup and years of being single, I’m dating again — but only attracted to unavailable types]

[My partner’s ex hangs with his family and meddles in our relationship. How do I handle this?]

Wayne and Wanda

Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at