In some ways, a double date is the perfect way to spend an evening: Hanging out with your favorite people all at the same time! But it’s possible to misjudge your plans, creating unease within the group or having a generally subpar evening out. So let’s explore 5 great ways to ensure your double date goes swimmingly!

1. Steer clear of the movie theater

Heading to the movie theater is an easy way to score 10/10 on date night—if it’s just you and your partner. But if you plan a double date for movie night, you’re scoring 5/10 at best. Not only are you doubling the number of people who have to agree on the movie, but you’re also spending two hours in an environment that allows zero talking. You end up sitting as two separate pairs whispering to your respective partners, while painfully aware you’re meant to be on a “double” date.

2. Don’t overdo the drinks

Make sure to moderate your alcohol on a double date. Have a couple of martinis by all means, but don’t drink to the point you’re getting loud or inarticulate. You won’t just embarrass yourself, but also your partner—and your friends.

3. Don’t expose your friends to conflict

Arguing with your partner is a surefire way to make your friends uneasy. This is so massively not the time to be raking up grievances. Not only is this unfair to everyone present, but it also conveys a seriously negative image of your relationship to the other couple. Worse, the other couple may feel compelled to take sides when all they want is a great evening out with their friends.

4. Make sure everyone feels welcome

If the four of you go way back, the conversation flows as smoothly as any other time you hang out with old friends. But if not everyone knows each other, stick to subjects everyone can contribute to. If you and your friend share a career, or come from the same place, or have been friends since you were little, beware derailing the entire conversation with esoteric references to your work, or extensive anecdotes about your hometown, or the hijinks you got up to as kids. You risk alienating your respective partners—and this is even more true if three of you share a past while the fourth partner is new to the group.

5. Keep the PDAs to a minimum

You probably want to moderate your behavior on a double date when it comes to public displays of affection. Of course you want to get nice and cozy with your partner, but on a double date you need to be considerate of your friends, especially if the two couples are at different stages of the relationship. Making your friends uncomfortable as you and your partner turn up the heat is a guaranteed way to throw a pail of cold water over the night.

With a little planning, your double date can be a special night for everyone

There’s no need to be militant with your scheduling, but set aside some time to review your plans and highlight any potential hindrances to a great night for all. Will the environment be conducive to conversation? Will the activity (if any) leave enough time and space for everyone to get to know each other? Will transportation be easy and available if you’re not driving? By identifying any issues that could crop up beforehand, when it comes to double date night itself you can have fun, look fabulous, and show the world the depth and strength of your relationship.

Maclynn is a boutique, multi-award-winning introductions agency with offices in New York, New Jersey, California, and London. We’re world-renowned for bringing together highly compatible singles within our vast network of attractive, intelligent professionals, and our matchmakers are relationship experts in their own right. Get in touch today, and prepare for genuinely meaningful dating—just like you deserve.