Bill asked me if I could do readings for couples. I can, but as I've gotten more experience with readings, I usually don't.
When a couple calls for a reading - and it's a planned thing- they're usually on the same page in their relationship. I've done readings for anniversaries and birthdays, and the couples for whom I've read have been looking in the same direction. I can do one reading for both people, or a reading for each and they are generally in sync and oftentimes have some of the same cards. Those readings are super. Some of my favorites, actually.
I see these couples reflected in the Two of Cups. This is the card for emotional balance, trust, and partnership. In the Rider Waite deck, the couple is looking at each other from the same position. My friend, Ryan, pointed out that the 'male' figure is wearing female clothing, and vice versa. They can carry each other's burdens, share each other's joys equally.
If I'm doing readings at an event, though, I've learned not to do couple readings at all. Luckily, I can tell within a few minutes if a relationship is solid or not. The energy between the two people is noticeably misaligned. Having their readings together would just be uncomfortable for everyone. I usually tell the first person that privacy is helpful during readings and then read them individually. This has come in handy, when the first thing one partner says is, "My question is, does he know I'm cheating?" or "Can I end this without going broke?" (yes, I've had both of those questions).
These couples remind me of the Lovers card. That is a powerfully intense love. It's represented in a lot of decks with one person higher than the other. They are wrapped around each other or using the other to balance themselves. What happens if one of them looks away? What if they lose their balance? The card gets so heavy that it starts going inverted. That intensity has to go somewhere, and most often it goes down a dark path. One partner is looking in another direction, and the other starts staring with that creepy-ass ferocity that leads to hatefulness and spite. Yikes. Excellent for the short term. It's easy to resign yourself to what is comfortable and stable instead of waiting for what you deserve.
People generally get readings when they're worried, or unsure, or afraid. The greatest disservice any reader can offer a client is dishonesty. Even when a couple is having problems, if they've made the decision to get a reading together, you can honestly point out trouble spots and advise them. I've had readings in which I've seen that divorce or separation was the best decision for the couple. It's hard to hear, but sometimes a relief and what they were looking for.
If the readings are separate, you have the opportunity to freely speak about heartbreak, deceit, or even just a drifting apart.
For the beginning reader, I would suggest starting with one at a time. Giving bad news in readings is tricky and takes some getting used to. When I first started out, I would throw down the cards and get out my little book. Sometimes I couldn't help blurting out "Oh, shit". Luckily, I was practicing with friends. :D Practice makes perfect with the cards. Letting clients know ahead of time that you're going to be honest is helpful (I've had a few clients change their mind about readings after hearing this).
After a while, you learn how to deliver your truth in the most authentic way, with the simplest terms. Your clients will thank you for it.