The global dynamic response of a deep water floating production system needs to be predicted with coupled analysis methods to ensure accuracy and reliability. Two types of coupling can be identified: one is between the floating platform and the mooring lines/risers, while the other is between the mean offset, the wave frequency, and the low frequency motions of the system. At present, it is unfeasible to employ fully coupled time domain analysis on a routine basis due to the prohibitive computational time. This has spurred the development of more efficient methods, including frequency domain approaches. A good understanding of the intricate coupling mechanisms is paramount for making appropriate approximations in an efficient method. To this end, a simplified two degree-of-freedom system representing the surge motion of a vessel and the fundamental vibration mode of the lines is studied for physical insight. Within this framework, the frequency domain equations are rigorously formulated, and the nonlinearities in the restoring forces and drag are statistically linearized. The model allows key coupling effects to be understood; among other things, the equations demonstrate how the wave frequency dynamics of the mooring lines are coupled to the low frequency motions of the vessel. Subsequently, the effects of making certain simplifications are investigated through a series of frequency domain analyses, and comparisons are made to simulations in the time domain. The work highlights the effect of some common approximations, and recommendations are made regarding the development of efficient modeling techniques.