The Propinquity Effect: A Third Wheel In Your Own Home Is You Being Stupid

You always need to be very cautious about having friends living with you as a married couple for an extended length of time. When your buddy visits and stays as a guest, there’s usually a lot of close interaction between you and your friend as you make the best use of your time together. But what you call “hanging out and having a beer” also doubles up with what evolutionary psychologists call “mate guarding behavior”. Or in plain English, you’re having fun with your friend, but you’re also cockblocking your friend getting to your wife.
But if you let your buddy actually start living with you, there’s no way to maintain the cockblock. You can’t just hang out and have a beer every single day when there’s real life and working late heading up your personal chore list. So at some point your buddy and your wife are going to be left together minus you. Now it’s unlikely that as your car pulls out of the driveway leaving them alone for the very first time, that they will lock eyes across the cornflakes and head back to your bedroom for five hours. But if you give it a couple of months just about anything can happen.
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  1. Badger Nation says:


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  2. Anonymous says:

    This post is dead on. I have never thought of it as the propinquity effect, but I have banged some of my friends sisters and girlfriends just through frequent exposure (yeah, I'm an asshole. I won't fuck another man's wife, but I will fuck a girlfriend). It wasn't a live-in situation – it was just frequent interactions with a new woman.

    It's also true that she might not even like you and might even think you're a jerk. It doesn't matter, I knew that and didn't care, but it has happened several times that at some point, she starts giving me 'that look' and I know I got under her skin and I'm in. A that point it's just a matter of opportunity.

    Guard your mate, mates.

  3. I can name 4 times in my immediate circle of friends that "helping out a friend" has ended in "friend taking house, wife and family". My wife and I agreed 20 years ago that nobody, not even our brothers and sisters stays more than 30 days. We're willing to help anybody out but on day 31 "your stuff is in the snow". Nobody has ever taken us up on the offer.

  4. Thanks Anon Jan 24 for the confirmation.

  5. Augustine DeCarthage says:

    There's an old Army saying about buddies: "You can trust me with your life, but not your money or your wife." And yet some unfortunate guys have to learn it the hard way.

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