Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend is Going to Two Weddings with Other Women!”

My boyfriend recently got invited to two different weddings. The thing is, he got invited as a ‘plus one’ so he is not able to take me. The girls who invited him are supposedly really good friends with him and have known him longer than I have. I want to wig out on him about it but I don’t want to be overreacting. I want to be a cool understanding girlfriend but I can’t help that this makes me jealous. We’ve been going out for five months and things are pretty great. He didn’t ask permission or anything about the weddings but as soon as he was invited he told me. I’m not sure what to think. I’ve asked my friends but they just want to be mad at him for accepting to go to the weddings. I feel like I need a more level headed person to assess this situation. — Un-Plus One

If you and your boyfriend are exclusive — i.e., not dating anyone else but each other — he shouldn’t have accepted an invitation to be someone’s date to a wedding without making sure you were OK with it first. I can appreciate that people bring “dates” to weddings all the time that aren’t real dates. I was at a wedding a couple weeks ago where a woman brought her brother as a date, for example. And I can think of some circumstances where it might make sense for a woman to ask her platonic male friend to accompany her to a wedding, even if that friend has a new girlfriend — like, if the wedding is in the male friend’s town and the female friend is flying in from somewhere else and the wedding gives them a chance to catch up. But still. You are the girlfriend now — a girlfriend of five months — and you deserve some respect. The right thing to do would be for your boyfriend to give a good explanation for why he wants to be another woman’s date to a wedding in a way that makes it clear you have no reason to feel jealous or threatened (and he should also be showing appreciation to you for being so accommodating).

Also, is it just a coincidence that your boyfriend was invited to two weddings as a “plus one” or does he have tons of female friends? Is he, like, a super good-looking guy whom women would be proud to take to a wedding a show off as if he’s their date-date? Is there any chance these women like him and he’s either unaware of their feelings or, worse, likes that they’re into him? These are all just questions to consider and discuss with your boyfriend if you have concerns about the intentions of these women in his life. It’s entirely possible everything is strictly platonic and there’s no reason to worry beyond a basic concern that your boyfriend show a little more respect for your role as his girlfriend. But it’s also always good not to be naive.

Trust your boyfriend, but more importantly, trust your gut; if you feel like you have reason to worry, talk to your boyfriend about your concerns. If you don’t feel right about your boyfriend attending these weddings as other women’s dates, tell him why you feel that way and let him explain why it’s so important to him to go. If he doesn’t have a good explanation beyond, “My friends asked me!”, you need to let him know that’s not enough. If you’ve agreed to be exclusive, that means you don’t go on dates with other people unless there’s a very good reason to and that the platonic nature of the date is understood by all parties.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter and ‘like’ me on Facebook.

94 comments… add one
  • avatar

    kerrycontrary May 15, 2012, 9:12 am

    This is super uncool of your boyfriend. He should’ve asked you first without automatically accepting! One time I was dating someone for two months when my roomate asked if I would be her boyfriend’s roomate’s date to an event. I had never met this guy but I figured why not, he knows I have a boyfriend. I asked my boyfriend who was totally fine with it because he knew it was nothing romantic. Well….I’ve now been dating that blind date I went to the event with for almost 3 years. While the story doesn’t put me in a very flattering light you need to realize that your boyfriend is someone’s DATE to a wedding. He’s playing with fire.

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey May 15, 2012, 9:17 am

    Totally agree with Wendy on this. While I don’t think it’s *wrong* of your boyfriend to have accepted these invitations, he definitely should have had the decency to at least discuss it with you first. Either he’s completely clueless, or he purposefully didn’t run it by you because he knew you wouldn’t have wanted him to go. I think when you sit down and discuss this with him, you should be able to gather really quickly whether it was a clueless mistake, or something more premeditated. It kind of reminds me of the letter a while back where the boyfriend purposefully “forgot” to mention to his girlfriend that he had been hanging out with an old flame…and it seemed obvious that the reason was so his girlfriend couldn’t forbid him from doing it.

    Just be cautious, LW, and like Wendy said, trust your gut.

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    • avatar

      ktfran May 15, 2012, 9:25 am

      From the information given, I think the difference with this letter is that the boyfriend told her right away about the weddings. He didn’t try to keep it from her. He just didn’t ask before saying yes to the other girls. I’m leaning toward him being clueless.

      That doesn’t give him a pass, but I would give him the benefit of the doubt.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey May 15, 2012, 9:32 am

        Yeah, I don’t see the same purposeful deception that was definitely present in the other letter, but I was still reminded of it when reading this letter. Mostly because I still want the LW to pay attention and be aware, like Wendy mentioned, of signs that maybe the boyfriend enjoys the attention a little too much, or lacks a certain respect of their relationship.

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 15, 2012, 9:38 am

        Yeah. I see your point. His reaction when she talks to him will be very telling. As long as she doesn’t come at him angry so he doesn’t react and become defensive.

        As necessary as good communication is, it’s also really hard.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 15, 2012, 10:05 am

        Totally agree on the clueless part. I’m kinda surprised people think this is so wrong, especially since they’ve only been together a few months. I’d go to a wedding with a male friend and I don’t think I’d do more than mention that I was going. I don’t think I’d ask permission and I really, really don’t think I would if I were only with a guy for a few months. Maybe I’m clueless though, but if a girl-friend asked my SO of several years to go to a wedding with him as a friend, I really wouldn’t mind.
        Maybe I’m just cranky this morning, but if he thought nothing of it (which I think is the case) and she goes all detective on him questioning his motives, etc., I wouldn’t be surprised if that turned out quite badly for her.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow May 15, 2012, 10:38 am

        I don’t see the big deal either.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 15, 2012, 1:32 pm

        I don’t either. Frankly the responses to this letter surprise me. Women may not be the weaker sex. But increasingly, they do seem to be the more desperate and absurdly insecure sex. Happy to see that there are at least a few of you on here that are infinitely more rational about this…

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      • rainbow

        rainbow May 15, 2012, 11:18 am

        Exactly what I thought.

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      • avatar

        rachel May 15, 2012, 12:53 pm

        Yeah, I was thinking I wouldn’t ask permission to go to a wedding with a male friend. And I wouldn’t expect my boyfriend to ask me permission either. I mean, of course I’d want him to tell me, but I would trust that a wedding “date” isn’t like a real date.

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      • avatar

        GTR May 15, 2012, 10:07 pm

        I don’t think it’s quite the same, Rachel. As a general rule, girls like weddings. They get to wear a great dress, critique bridal gowns and flower arrangements, and get swept up in Romance.

        Whereas the boys get shoehorned into some uncomfortable suit, have to listen to speeches about love, and basically sit still for hours… or, worse, dance.

        Therefore it’s easy to see how a woman might be delighted to be the Plus 1 of someone other than her boyfriend at the wedding of people she doesn’t know very well.

        The question is, what sane heterosexual man actually WANTS to go to a wedding of someone he doesn’t know well enough to receive his own invitation, with someone other than his girlfriend? And not once, but twice?

        I’m going to be generous and assume that he simply hasn’t thought this through. My advice is to tell him, “Hey, if you want to spend your entire Saturday in a suit at the wedding of someone you don’t really know, knock yourself out. It may not be enough to stop him going, but he’ll be very unlikely to do it again.

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      • avatar

        Rachel May 16, 2012, 12:28 am

        1. I said that I wouldn’t expect my boyfriend to ask me permission either.

        2. Weddings are fun, but I wouldn’t necessarily be excited to go to the wedding of people I didn’t know. The weddings I’ve been to where I didn’t know the bride and groom very well were just awkward.

        3. My assumption is that these weddings are of mutual friends (of the bf and the girls asking him to come). Maybe this is the case, maybe your assumption is correct. I just really have a hard time seeing something shady in this.

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      • theattack

        theattack May 15, 2012, 1:45 pm

        When my fiance and I had been together for five months, we definitely were NOT asking each other permission for things. Heck, we don’t even do that now. A notification is definitely all that is necessary here. At 5 months in, he’s probably still assessing if he wants to be with the LW, and he’ll use things like jealousy over very innocent things as a way to make that decision.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 15, 2012, 1:57 pm

        Yea, I didn’t want to say it, but if I were the dude here, her telling me she wants to meet my friend to approve first, and that she’s uncomfortable with the fact that I have friends who I go places with, would be confirming this is not someone Iw ant to be with.

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      • theattack

        theattack May 15, 2012, 2:36 pm

        Especially in a friends vs. jealous new girlfriend scenario. Most of the time, dudes choose their friends.

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      • avatar

        Amanda May 15, 2012, 1:54 pm

        I absolutely agree. If you have been dating someone for five months and things are pretty great as the LW describes, really what’s the problem here? Her boyfriend told her right away about the weddings once he was invited and certainly no one in a secure and committed relationship needs to “ask permission” to hang out with their friends, even at a wedding. Frankly, if he or his lady friends wanted to date each other they would have by now. The LW should cut her BF some slack and not make this a bigger issue than it is.

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      • avatar

        CG May 15, 2012, 1:32 pm

        ITA!

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    • avatar

      DMR May 16, 2012, 10:12 am

      It’s the perfect crime. From his perspective, he CANNOT be busted for cheating, because he told her about the date up front! The LW knew about these dates from the get-go and even gave them the green light. It’s perfect!

      If he wanted to go to these weddings with another woman, this is EXACTLY the way to go about it. Cheating men, take note. This guy’s a master.

      This boyfriend isn’t clueless. He’s smart. And he’s a cheater.

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  • avatar

    ktfran May 15, 2012, 9:21 am

    I really like Wendy’s advice. I didn’t know who to feel about the situation while reading the letter, but I think Wendy hit on all major points. I like that she brought up different viewpoints on this one because there is just no way of knowing from the letter what everyone’s thought process was while making these decisions.

    I do think that you were disrespected, LW, in the fact that he didn’t discuss this with you first.

    My first reaction would probably be to blow up, or realistically, let it sit and fester until I blow up. But I think your best course of action is to have a rational and calm conversation with your boyfriend. Figure out where his thoughts lie and work together for the best solution to make you both happy.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar May 15, 2012, 9:21 am

    I think he should have checked in with you to make sure you were okay with it but unless there is a reason to be concerned about these particular women he is taking then I wouldn’t stress too much. To him it might just be no big deal – he is helping a friend out. Tell him that going forward no more plus ones if they make you uncomfortable. When I got together with my now husband he was invited as a plus one by a friend of his and I ended up ironing his shirt for him the night he went – and told him no more dates with other women. He had an alright time and brought me a cupcake at the end of the night – so win win!
    Maybe getting to know the girls he is taking before the weddings might alleviate some of your jealousy? I didn’t know the girl that invited my husband – turns out she had her own agenda – but before he went he knew to not do anything that would jeopardize the relationship he had with me. Ultimately it comes down to trust – if you trust him and he is worthy of that trust – it will be fine.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle May 15, 2012, 9:22 am

    This is kind of a weird situation– most women I know would ask a gay buddy, or even a female friend, to a wedding if they weren’t dating anyone.

    However, there ARE certain dudes that just make great dates? For example, I took the same guy to my junior and senior prom, just because he was a low-maintenance (free of drama), good-looking, platonic friend who liked to dance. Maybe your boyfriend is this kind of guy?

    I do think Wendy’s right though, & he should have brought it up to you before he accepted. Just a “oh hey, would you be comfortable with this?” Maybe meet these female friends (or “friends”) before the weddings, just to see the vibe? Personally, this would only make me very uncomfortable if everyone from the party was planning to stay over at a hotel afterwards.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary May 15, 2012, 9:31 am

      Yeh, I have awesome guy friends I would invite to a wedding if I weren’t currently dating someone. But I would never ever invite them if they had a girlfriend at the time. I think that’s the difference here.

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 15, 2012, 9:46 am

        You’re right. I don’t think I would either. I’m trying to imagine a scenario where I would ask someone’s boyfriend to be a date to a wedding. I wouldn’t.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest May 15, 2012, 10:10 am

      Ok, I’m clearly the minority here. But I think you are right that some guys are just fun date friends. I’ve gone to weddings with male friends who had girlfriends (granted they knew and liked me, but I don’t think they’ve asked permission).

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    • buttoned

      buttoned May 15, 2012, 10:16 am

      Agreed.. I was just thinking how weird it would be (for me) to ask a guy who had a new-ish girlfriend who’s still getting established in their relationship to be my date.. Knowing my own insecurities, I’d feel bad that she might get the wrong idea.

      Maybe he is a great man date. But still… I’d try to find someone else.. Unless the guys I asked all had other obligations, I guess I could see why they asked!

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    • avatar

      Lindsay May 15, 2012, 11:48 am

      I agee. I wouldn’t invite a guy friend to a wedding if he weren’t single. That being said, I also tend not to bring dates to weddings unless it’s my significant other. It just seems like added coats and hassles for the couple otherwise.

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 15, 2012, 12:35 pm

        I’m actually with you on that too. Plus, you could always meet someone there. It’s harder if you have a date. Also . . . if he or she doesn’t know anyone, you have to keep your date entertained. I would much rather catch up with old friends and congratulate the happy couple.

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  • avatar

    Leah May 15, 2012, 9:27 am

    Giving him the benefit of the doubt, that these are strictly platonic non-dates with friends and nothing more, I think it’s understandable that you’re feeling left out. Since your boyfriend is the plus-one for both weddings and not an actual invited guest, he really has two options: go or not go. It sounds like there are no circumstances where you could attend these weddings with him. What he could have done, though, was be more sensitive to your feelings and I think you should definitely tell him directly how you feel.

    I would say that if he’s close friends with the couples that are actually getting married (maybe the bride and groom, the female invited guests and your boyfriend are all in a big group of friends?) than he should go. But if he doesn’t know the bride and groom and is just going to give his female friends someone to hang out with, well, that’s sort of crossing a line. It may be strictly platonic and it’s easy to rely on friends of the opposite sex as a surrogate boyfriend for weddings and other events, but that should stop now that he has an actual girlfriend. It’s a question of roles and priorities. Now that he’s the main man in your life, he should also be acting as the main man in his female friends’ lives as well. Of course these girls can still be good friends with your boyfriend, but they both need to find another man to step in for date-like situations in respect for your new, genuinely romantic relationship.

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    • avatar

      Leah May 15, 2012, 9:32 am

      I should also add that I tend to be on the conservative side when it comes to the kind of platonic relationships that are appropriate for men and women in relationships. You may ultimately decide that once you’ve discussed your feelings with your boyfriend and he (hopefully) acknowledges them and apologizes for making you feel uncomfortable, that you have no problem with him being someone’s non-date. I just know that I’d have to know the girl pretty darn well to not be weirded out by that. Not because I thought anything romantic or sexual would happen, but because being someone’s date can be intimate and I wouldn’t want someone taking that place instead of me.

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  • avatar

    amy May 15, 2012, 9:37 am

    Hmmmm… I don’t like the fact that he didn’t say to you “hey, I have these wedding invites, how do you feel about me accepting them?” I think he should have discussed it with you.

    One thing that I’ve learned is that if you feel hurt, that’s ok. Even if it’s over something simple, it’s still ok to be hurt as long as you maintain a level head.

    I would approach this as “Hey, I wish you would have talked to me about the weddings before accepting the invites, I feel disrespected because weddings can be important. I understand that you have other friends, but at the same time, I’m hurt that I wasn’t involved in this.”

    I don’t think you feeling uncomfortable is unreasonable, but even if it was, it’s important to address with your boyfriend.

    I also agree with Wendy. Are these long time friends of his that are getting married? Or is it just two random girls that are friends with him that invited him to a wedding?

    If they were all mutual friends, he probably would have gotten his own invitation. I would look into the friendships to make sure he doesn’t have a wandering eye I guess.

    Just stay calm when you address it. Conversations about things that upset you always have to stay calm, otherwise everyone gets on the defensive, arguments ensue, and nothing gets accomplished.

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    • theattack

      theattack May 15, 2012, 1:30 pm

      I disagree that he would have gotten his own invitation if they were his friends. I just started wedding planning, and the guest list fills up way faster than you would think. We’re having a larger wedding, but still, some people in our groups of friends are having to be left out. I assumed that the LW’s bf knew the bride or groom, but that he wasn’t close enough friends to make it onto the guest list, so the girls invited him as a date. That’s probably not that uncommon.

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  • ScrambledMegss

    ScrambledMegss May 15, 2012, 9:41 am

    Agreed that he should have cleared it with you before saying yes and Wendy’s advice is spot on.

    I’m actually in your boyfriend’s position right now. I’m friends with a group of guys and one of them is getting married this summer. I’m not close with him (not enough that I’d expected to be invited to the wedding) but 2 of the guys in the group are very good friends of mine. Neither of them are dating anyone at the moment so they invited my best friend and I as their plus ones, since we’re friends with the bride and groom and they know we’ll all have a really good time.

    The difference here is that once my friends suggested it to us, I discussed it with my boyfriend and over the course of the 2 years that we’ve been together – he’s met these friends many many times, knows what kind of friendship we have and is comfortable with me going. He doesn’t really see it being much different than when I go out with this group on weekends sometimes without him.

    I think you should bring up your concerns with your boyfriend and explain that while you trust him and don’t want to overreact, it made you feel a bit off that he wouldn’t think to discuss that with you. If the girls live nearby, maybe he can organize a meet-up so you can get to know them and put your mind at ease.

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  • Kristina

    Kristina May 15, 2012, 9:49 am

    Yeah he should have discussed the invites with the LW (especially since there are two of them, which is odd) but I know my boyfriend can be clueless enough that maybe the LW’s boyfriend didn’t think it was a big deal to bring it up, since he might see nothing wrong with his relationship with the other women. But it’s entirely possible that there is something off in his relationship with these women that he may not even see.

    But I also don’t see it as being very different from going to a bar alone with the opposite sex. I think that the boyfriend should have brought it up on his own, but it’s not being an over protective girlfriend to discuss it so both of you are comfortable about the situation.

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  • avatar

    evanscr05 May 15, 2012, 9:49 am

    I consider myself a pretty un-jealous person. My husband has MANY female friends (that are far hotter than myself, and are more numerous than his male friends) that he spends time with in large groups, and sometimes in small groups or one on one without me. BUT, he ALWAYS gives me a heads up. Neither one of us would ever make plans with anyone unless we ran it by the other person first. Mostly, this is just to confirm that we don’t have other things going on at that time, but it’s mainly because neither one of us want the other to feel disrespected in any way. I personally wouldn’t care one lick if he went to a couple of weddings with some female friends, whether they like him or not. Frankly, I trust him to know what my boundaries are and not to overstep them, and should anyone try to get him to overstep them, I know he’d stop them and pretty much end that friendship. I don’t see any use being jealous, especially when there’s been no reason to distrust him OR his girl friend. But, that’s me.

    LW, I look at your siutation pretty much like this – you absolutely cannot help that you feel jealous, but the crux of the issue, as Wendy has mentioned, is a lack of respect on your boyfriend’s part. As the girlfriend, you have a right to be included in decisions like this, and to remove that right from you is absolutely disrespectful. You should definitely address this with him in order to prevent future instances, but don’t approach it in the jealous girlfriend way – make sure to approach it as now that you are his girlfriend, you would appreciate more communication when it comes to how you both spend your time apart from one another. It’s certainly not wrong for him to have female friends and to spend one-on-one time with them, but it’s absolutely wrong to make plans and blindside you with them. Respect and trust are essential to keep a relationship solid.

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  • katie

    katie May 15, 2012, 10:00 am

    hm… i kind of disagree with everyone that he should be somehow asking for “permission” (the word the LW used) to go somewhere with a friend. I think that maybe you, LW, and everyone here is freaking out a little bit because its a wedding, where there is love and champagne and hooking up with bridesmaids everywhere (amiright?), and that he is considered their “date”, which implies romance as well.

    without details about the relationships he has with these women, its hard to really say either way.

    one senario is that he is shady, and actually going to be the romanic date at the wedding of these women.

    the other is that he has had some friends invite him to a wedding, and he wants to go have a good time with his friends… i mean who doesnt love a wedding? i would always say yes to go to a wedding.

    your upset about this, obviously, and you need to address it. you need to tell your boyfriend that you are uncomfortable about him going out with other girls. you need to work it out with him. although, i guess, working it out will only happen if its senario #2. if he is honestly trying to get with these women, you should obviously MOA.

    and one last thing, there was a forum topic about getting jealous when your boyfriend goes out without you a few days ago, and someone in there had a fantastic quote- acknowleding your head and your emotions are sometimes seperate- “we like him. we trust him. we are not a manatee” I used it last night, and it helped. Maybe all you need is some trust in your guy.

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    • FireStar

      FireStar May 15, 2012, 10:13 am

      Oh sad – why are the manatees getting a bad rap? They’re so cute and friendly….

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      • katie

        katie May 15, 2012, 10:21 am

        i think its just a boost to your self esteem. i mean, manatees are pretty huge, although i agree that there pretty cute… just floatin around, being manatees… haha

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest May 15, 2012, 10:15 am

      I like this!

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  • avatar

    Sunshine Brite May 15, 2012, 10:11 am

    What is this about “supposedly” good friends? LW, haven’t you met them yet?

    See, I would get it if the weddings had tight guest lists so not all the friends could be invited while respecting plus ones so they invited each other. This situation could be super sketchy or just how one group of friends does things. He’s not keeping them from you but he needs to acknowledge your feelings of the situation.

    Where is the jealousy stemming from? You don’t have to be the cool girlfriend if jealousy is called for and you think he’s trying to pull one over on you.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest May 15, 2012, 10:16 am

      They’ve only been together a few months, so its not that surprising he has good friends she hasn’t met yet.

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  • caitie_didnt

    caitie_didnt May 15, 2012, 10:14 am

    I’m trying to think of a scenario in which I, as a single female, would feel that it was appropriate to ask a coupled-up male friend to be my date to a wedding. I can’t think of a single one. It was definitely uncool of these girls to ask BF to be their dates (unless they didn’t know he’s dating somebody, which is shady by itself) or they asked him >5 or 6 months ago before he started dating the LW. And it was way uncool of the BF to accept without considering how it would make the LW feel. If I was in the LW’s place, it wouldn’t be an issue of jealousy necessarily, more an issue of “why did my boyfriend not consider how I might feel about this and tell me about it”?

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    • avatar

      evanscr05 May 15, 2012, 10:29 am

      I don’t think it’s shady that they asked him. I have had several guy friends through out my life that I have been incredibly close to. If I was single, and I wanted to bring a date, and my best friend was a guy, I don’t see the harm. Men and women can absolutely be friends without anything fishy going on. This is just a matter of the guy not making sure his girlfriend was cool with it first. Communication fail, but could be completely harmless.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't May 15, 2012, 10:50 am

        I just really don’t see it as being a respectful thing to do. I don’t really believe in asking permission, and I don’t believe in walking on eggshells around a friend’s relationship, but I do think that as a female friend you need to consider that what you perceive as appropriate behaviour may not be perceived that way by your friend’s girlfriend and act accordingly. And I say this as someone who has many male friends, attached and not, and has previously had to adjust behaviour that was not well-received by serious girlfriends. I did it out of respect for their relationship and to send a message that I was not in any way trying to get in between my friends and their girlfriends, not because I needed to get a jealous girl off my back.

        I totally agree that this could absolutely be harmless, but I still don’t think it was cool of the female friends to not stop and think of how the LW might feel in this case (if that is in fact what occured).

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle May 15, 2012, 10:38 am

      I definitely agree that the boyfriend wasn’t being the most considerate, but I think there’s a few scenarios where it’d be okay to ask a coupled-up dude to a wedding. Like…maybe these girls feel “safer” bringing a guy who has a girlfriend?

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      • katie

        katie May 15, 2012, 11:55 am

        you know, this could be a very valid thing… imagine if these weddings are the older sister/brother or cousins or something of the girls … bringing an attached guy would completely get rid of all of the “now your next in line, girl!” questions and statements. all she would have to say is, on no, aunt helga, this is my friend. he is actually in a committed, wonderful relationship with the LW. were not dating.

        i know i got a ton of those statements thrown at me at my boyfriends older brothers wedding. i could totally understand wanting to deflect those, and bringing a committed guy would be a great tactic.

        also, like i said above, there is a certain amount of “romance” expected at weddings, and bringing a committed guy could also cut down on that…

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    • avatar

      rachel May 15, 2012, 1:04 pm

      What if it’s a really small wedding, and she’s in the wedding party, and he’s friends with everyone involved but just didn’t get an invite because of the size of the wedding? I mean, it does seem weird that this would happen twice at once, but it just doesn’t seem that shady to me.

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  • BriarRose

    BriarRose May 15, 2012, 10:33 am

    This sounds like something that would have happened with my ex-boyfriend. He has a ton of good friends who are girls, and he’s a fun, outgoing guy who would be a great date to a wedding. I could imagine any number of his friends asking him to go with them to a wedding, and him agreeing and seeing no issue with it. And really, the actual going to a wedding with a friend isn’t an issue at all. It’s respecting the relationship, which seems to be lacking from both the boyfriend and his friends, in this situation. I realize some people are quick to say it’s “only” been five months, but that’s not super-short in a grown up relationship (seeing as plenty of people get married within a year or two of meeting). And in my particular situation, my boyfriend never completely respected our relationship, and therefore never required his girl friends to respect it, and things like this kept happening over and over and over. I became jealous, like the LW, and not because I thought his friends were trying to steal him away, but because HE didn’t seem to hold me in any higher esteem than he held his friends.

    If this is an isolated incident for the LW, then I think the best bet would be to have a discussion about why she was hurt, and move on, which means not bringing it back up at a later time. But if this is something that happens frequently, the LW needs to realize that her boyfriend may never give her and their relationship the respect she wants.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B May 15, 2012, 10:40 am

    I had a boyfriend do this once. He was planning to go to a sci-fi convention to which I was not going. I didn’t mind that, but he told me that he was planning to share a hotel room with a female friend who was also going. I would’ve liked to have been told about that. What really miffed me was that he didn’t think to mention it until SHE asked him if I was okay with it. He was just clueless. But that taught me a basic rule: I like to be asked ahead of time and I like to meet the other person. It works pretty well.

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  • avatar

    Dude speaking May 15, 2012, 10:43 am

    As a guy, I would not have taken an invite to be another woman’s plus one date to a wedding if I had a girlfriend/SO I cared about. I am part of a couple, and I don’t attend social functions coupled with someone else. It is about respect and social acknowledgement of couple status. A key aspect of pairing up is that when your partner is going to get very dressed up, drink, dance, eat, laugh, and generally have a great time as a couple at a social event, YOU get to be part of the couple, not some other potential partner.

    Similarly, if girlfriend of mine had agreed to go to a wedding with another man as his date, she would not be my girlfriend after that. If she did not consult me on the matter beforehand, and just announced that she was going, her stuff would be on the curb when she got back. There is in that case a lack of respect and disinterest in the social acknowledgement of me and our couple status that shows she simply does not give a rat’s….

    And as I would not go to a wedding with another woman under those terms, and I expect the same treatment. But everyone has to determine their own boundaries I guess.

    As for me, at five months, if I was willing to spend my weekends with some other gal at weddings, rather than with my girlfriend, I should let my girlfriend find a man crazier about her who wants to spend time with her. (Heck, at five months, the guy should still be insisting on spending nearly all weekend time in bed, if he is really into the woman. Just sayin’…)

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      Calle May 15, 2012, 12:20 pm

      I agree. Unless someone really needed the moral support (i.e. an ex fiancee getting married), I just don’t get going to a wedding of all things with someone who is in an exclusive relationship. This dude isn’t going to dinner to catch up with an old friend, or even going with an old friend to meet some other old friends for dinner. It’s a wedding.

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    • katie

      katie May 15, 2012, 12:55 pm

      but you are taking the word “date” too literally here… i mean, yes, its called bringing a “date” to a wedding… but as people said above, your date can be such a wide range -all the way from your husband being your “date” to your brother or even your mom. heck, my own mother was going to take me as her date to my cousins wedding… would you say we were in some sort of weird mother daughter relationship in that way?

      seriously, if my boyfriend’s female friend invited him to a wedding, why is that weird? just because i dont get to partake in the festivities its wrong? just because we are not out together socially being seen as a couple, its wrong? and similarly, if I got invited to a wedding by a male friend, just because im his “date” im cheating?

      i just dont understand that line of thinking. you are assuming that no male and female can have fun together at a wedding without there being romance/sex, and your also assuming that once you are a couple, you expected to be everywhere together… both things which i definitely dont believe.

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      • avatar

        june May 15, 2012, 1:26 pm

        “you are assuming that no male and female can have fun together…without there being romance/sex”

        I think men and women tend to feel differently about this issue:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_lh5fR4DMA

        Joking, kinda …but kinda not.

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        evanscr05 May 15, 2012, 1:28 pm

        I wish I could agree more than once!

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        Calle May 15, 2012, 1:32 pm

        I think you are assuming a lot of things about me that I never said…I never said you have you have to be attached at the hip to your so. As for your example, it can be turned around…Why did one of these girls not invite their mother, as you pointed out, or a sibling or a single friend. A date can be non romantic, but to me there is a difference between asking someone of the opposite sex who is in a committed relationship as a date to a romantic place/situation versus a single person…I have male friends I grab dinner with…I would not invite them to a restaurant with flickering candles and a romantic atmosphere no matter how platonic our relationship is…I do think there are certain boundaries

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        lets_be_honest May 15, 2012, 1:35 pm

        I was kinda under the impression that weddings are certainly romantic…for the two people getting married! Not to every single person there.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar May 15, 2012, 1:38 pm

        If you are in a group of friends I’d say it isn’t – but just as a couple? A wedding counts as a date in my house…where else do you get to slow dance all dressed up while someone plies you with cake?

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        lets_be_honest May 15, 2012, 1:55 pm

        Yes, its romantic for the actual couples there. It certainly is far from it for everyone else who goes, imo.

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      • katie

        katie May 15, 2012, 4:58 pm

        yep i gotta totally agree with you here too… like i said above in my comment, there is a certain degree of “romance” that is expected at a wedding, but i dont buy it either! the last wedding i went to, i think i danced with my boyfriend once. i danced much much more with the male members of the family of the bride, who i havent seen in a long time! and i was sneaking drinks for my sister and the younger brother of the bride… i mean, no. not romantic.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 15, 2012, 1:53 pm

        Omigod! You are slowly turning into me… 😉

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        lets_be_honest May 15, 2012, 1:55 pm

        I gotta say, it has really been freaking me out how often we’ve been in agreement lately.

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      • JK

        JK May 15, 2012, 1:57 pm

        I think the fact that you 2 are turning into DW BFFs is a sure sign that the mayans were right.

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        lets_be_honest May 15, 2012, 1:58 pm

        HA!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 15, 2012, 2:02 pm

        It certainly IS the most compelling evidence I’ve seen of the pending Mayan apocalypse yet…

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      • katie

        katie May 15, 2012, 5:01 pm

        im sorry, but as a guest, weddings dont count as a romantic date. i just dont buy that…

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    SpaceySteph May 15, 2012, 9:45 am

    “If they were all mutual friends, he probably would have gotten his own invitation.”

    This is what gets me too. If it’s that his friends are getting married and he wants to attend the wedding, then why wasn’t he invited? But if it’s not his friends getting married and he’s just going as a plus one, then he’s maybe acting shady. Or maybe he’s just a nice guy helping out a friend. Its impossible to tell.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph May 15, 2012, 9:45 am

      Whoops, supposed to be reply to amy.

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  • avatar

    Calle May 15, 2012, 11:37 am

    This is just weird, in my opinion. If I was single and had a male friend in a relationship, there are very few circumstances in which I would ask said friend to accompany me to a wedding. Basically, I would only do it if I really needed the moral support for some reason. It just seems incredibly disrespectful to the friend’s girlfriend…Also, don’t these women have any single male friends, friends in non-exclusive relationship, or gay friends? Does this guy’s friends know he has a girlfriend? I think the guy is clueless and a bit of a moron for not even asking his girlfriend and the women are not respecting his relationship with his girlfriend. Or, one or both of these women have a crush on the LW’s boyfriend. This is coming from a woman who has several close male friends…I can’t imagine if I was single and one of my friends was in a serious relationship that I would ask one of my friends to accompany me to a wedding.

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    • avatar

      Iris May 15, 2012, 2:18 pm

      Maybe some people do not have that many friends

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny May 15, 2012, 12:28 pm

    My first thought when I read this was, oh, this guy just doesn’t get it that he shouldn’t do something like this! But then, it seems pretty strange to me why two different girls would invite a guy who is in a relationship to a wedding. If it were me, he’d definitely be off limits, even if we were friends. It would be a matter of respect for his relationship.

    I think the LW is handling this pretty calmly, and really, she needs to just TALK to him, and explain how it’s making her feel. Maybe he just didn’t realize she’d be bothered by this. (I certainly would be bothered by it!) Maybe there is some other motive involved, who knows. She’ll never know until she clears the air and talks to him. And by talking to him, she is NOT the “uncool” girlfriend. (The uncool girlfriend would have come unglued by now, I think!) And further, she should not just let things like this slide because she wants to be the “cool” and “understanding” girlfriend. She needs to be honest and let it be known when things bug her, even if it means making waves- easier said than done sometimes, but it’s all part of communicating!

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      lets_be_honest May 15, 2012, 12:38 pm

      Don’t you think, even a little, that when you say “he’d be off limits” to other girls, even his own friends, sounds a little like “I own him now and he must ask permission to go/do/see friends.”

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      • katie

        katie May 15, 2012, 12:48 pm

        i gotta agree with you… off limits means that you cannot date him, and you cannot set him up on dates with your single friends. inviting a friend to a wedding with you is not a date, atleast not necessarily. just like you can have lunch as a date, you can have lunch as friends.

        but, i agree with the rest of moneypenny’s thoughts. clearing the air, and getting rid of these issues does not make you uncool or not understanding. it makes you mature and a good partner to be with!

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      • Moneypenny

        Moneypenny May 15, 2012, 4:28 pm

        When I said he’d be off limits, I actually meant that I would not ask him to go to a wedding with me as a date if I knew he had a girlfriend, not that if he was my boyfriend, he’d be off limits to other girls, even just as a date to a wedding. Sorry if that was confusing, I just re-read it and can see how it could be misconstrued.
        I do agree that being a plus one to go to a wedding as a friend is not wrong at all, as long as it is clearly platonic to everyone involved. (I personally wouldn’t have asked, but I have no problem going solo to a wedding anyway.) In this case, my first reaction was that he just didn’t realize that he should have talked to his girlfriend about how he was invited to 2 weddings before agreeing to go, and that it may just be an oversight on his part. (Just to clear up my first sentence there.) There could be something more behind it, but maybe not, and she’ll never know if she doesn’t talk to him about it.

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    YouGoGirl May 15, 2012, 12:34 pm

    The LW and her boyfriend seem to have a different understanding of their relationship. She thinks their relationship is serious and exclusive while the boyfriend thinks he is still free to date other girls. His actions seem to show that he is not serious. I agree with other commentators that she needs to have a calm discussion with her boyfriend about their relationship. The boyfriend seems rather shady and the LW may need to MOA.

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  • avatar

    AndreaMarie May 15, 2012, 12:55 pm

    I can agree with being alittle miffed that he didn’t atleast talk to you about accepting the invites. Understandable. But I don’t think its wrong that he accepted them or that he didn’t “ask permission”. You have only been dating 5 months, and though you might have discussed being exclusive, you are still just building the founndation fo your relationship and getting to know each other’s family, friends, lives, etc. It would be weird of these girls to ask your boyfriend to be their +1 is, lets say, you guys had been in a relationship for over a year, but 5 months is not that big of a deal.

    Just a few month ago a very close male friend of mine (we’ve known each other over 10 years) asked me to be his +1 to a wedding of people we had went to HS with. He knows Id be fun and it would like to see some people from back in the day. At the time my boyfriend and I had been together for 6 months. I told him about the wedding/invite but didn’t “ask” him if I could go.

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  • avatar

    Samantha May 15, 2012, 12:08 pm

    Good advice, Wendy.
    There’s nothing wrong with your boyfriend being someone’s date, as long as everyone is aware that it’s platonic. And I think it’s really important that you meet these two friends of his, LW. The key to making this work is talking about it without becoming accusatory/defensive/angry, and that goes for all parties involved.
    I have been several guy friends dates to big events, and I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost two years. Every time I’m asked, I double check with my dude to make sure all is copacetic. He knows most my friends at this point, so it’s pretty easy for everyone to feel comfortable.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark May 15, 2012, 1:22 pm

    As always, insecurity makes one so damn attractive…

    You know what? Five mere months into a relationship is simply NOT the time to act or think like you are married. Why women so often FAIL to grasp this remains a huge, huge mystery to me.

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    • theattack

      theattack May 15, 2012, 1:42 pm

      BGM, I think you’re being pretty unfair to married people here. Come on now, not ALL married people are jealous and insecure…

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 15, 2012, 1:47 pm

        Hah! No, but if you are MARRIED it is much more inappropriate to go to weddings with other people… After dating a mere five months? Not so much.

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    KP May 15, 2012, 1:28 pm

    I had a good guy friend in college and he was single for most of our twenties while I was always coupled up. I went to maybe 3 or 4 weddings with him as his plus 1, and I never thought anything of it. My boyfriends all knew him or at least knew of him and it was just understood that I was doing it as a favor and it was not at all an affront to our relationship. This is where trust and communication comes into play. Perhaps the newness of the LW’s relationship (read: uncertainty) makes the difference, but I honestly don’t see anything wrong with accepting an invitation to a wedding as a friend’s guest, while being in a different relationship.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh May 15, 2012, 2:02 pm

    I can see where both of you are coming from. I’d like to know more about the weddings like are they for random people he doesn’t know or are they mutual friends. Will others from his friend group be there. I would find it kind of weird that he agreed to go to two weddings of completely random people. Unless he really loves weddings.

    At the end of the day though he brought this to your attention as soon as he was invited. If he had not done that (and you’ve had the we’re exclusive it’s just us, no other dates talk) then I probably would have been upset. Considering that he felt comfortable enough to share that information with you, you should feel comfortable enough to ask him a few questions about the weddings. And neither of you should have to ask permission to do something, but you can both talk about it and make the other comfortable with your decision.

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  • avatar

    Marie May 15, 2012, 2:13 pm

    Couple of thoughts…..

    1. LW is assuming they’re exclusive, BF is not, perhaps?

    2. BF is not mentally into that ‘couple’ mode yet (sheesh, it’s only been 5 months), and it just didn’t occur to him that he needs to ask LW’s permission before accepting an invitation to a social occasion with a platonic friend.

    3. LW needs to chill, and have a CALM discussion with BF. NO crying fits and accusations, please, or BF will (rightly) be history. Just say that she’s still getting used to the whole ‘couple’ thing, and she’s feeling a little funny about him going on dates with other women, and wondering what he things about that. Just get the conversation started. You’ll learn a lot about each other.

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ May 15, 2012, 1:23 pm

    I can see both sides to this. I have been the 9 months pregnant, non-school prom date for a close friend. I’ve been the “plus-one” to a few weddings. I’ve brought my adopted brother (who is not even legally my brother, just a very, very close friend) to my grandpa’s funeral (I had neck surgery 6 days earlier and was having another one in 8 days and had 3 kids to wrangle and trust me, my family wasn’t going to help).
    This guy and I have been each other’s “psuedo-dates” for years until he got with his wife.

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  • avatar

    applescruffs May 15, 2012, 3:02 pm

    FWIW, LW, I am going to my cousin’s wedding in August. The wedding is in a different state, I am attached, and my male friend D, who lives in said other state, is not. D and I were good friends in grad school, we’re totally platonic, and since my boyfriend is unable to make this particular wedding, I asked D to be my plus one. Boyfriend doesn’t care – and although we did talk about it, it basically went “I’m taking D to my cousin’s wedding.” “cool, have fun.” It’s totally innocent, and if D were the one in the relationship it still would be. Your situation probably is, too. If I were you, I would tell him that although I don’t mind him going, I would have felt more respected if he had mentioned it to me prior to accepting the invites.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark May 15, 2012, 5:35 pm

      And yet, yourself did NOT do what you suggest here, did you? You didn’t say to your BF: “Hey, I’m thinking of asking D to go to my cousin’s wedding…” No, instead you said: “I’m taking D to my cousin’s wedding…” Maybe I am splitting hairs here, but you wording really sorta cracked me up here in that it seems to imply a double standard… The LW’s BF appears to have done precisely what you have done, only you would respect him more had he behaved differently than you yourself did…

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        applescruffs May 15, 2012, 6:19 pm

        You’re right, I didn’t! My wording was unclear, allow me to elaborate. In my situation, I knew he wouldn’t mind that I was taking D to the wedding. And if the situation was reversed, I wouldn’t mind either. But since the LW DOES mind, perhaps it would be helpful to approach her boyfriend and clarify why (my guess is that it’s an issue of her feeling disrespected).

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 16, 2012, 5:20 pm

        Random aside: People feeling “disrespected” is seriously the most ridiculous term ever invented as NINETY NINE percent of the time it is all pull bull shit.

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    Dan in Philly May 15, 2012, 3:47 pm

    I wouldn’t go to a social event with a woman who wasn’t my wife or blood relative. It’s not that I don’t trust myself, but why put my wife in a position where she would worry? Why allow yourself to be subject to gossip even if it’s untrue?

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  • avatar

    lauren May 15, 2012, 9:21 pm

    Wait am I the only one who thinks it is shady that these girls are bringing someone they aren’t dating to a wedding as a plus one? It was my wedding etiquette understanding that a plus one is intended for a significant other…not “whoever you please guest.” I think that if you get a plus one to a wedding, you either bring a date or you suck it up and go alone or you decline. Weddings are not cheap.

    What if your potential plus one still knows the bride/groom/other guests and wants to catch up? Well…if they know the bride and groom in any capacity, then there is a reason they weren’t invited to begin with. How uncomfortable for the couple to see people there who they know but clearly choose not to invite!

    If I was LW, I would want to understand more about why these girls want to bring her boyfriend as a date in the first place. Is that they will literally know no other person at the wedding if he don’t go with them? Is there no single friend they have that they would rather bring? The whole thing just is suspect to me.

    Am I just totally off base here!?

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    • katie

      katie May 15, 2012, 11:00 pm

      No, a plus one is anyone. You have a seat next to you at the wedding, it’s yours to fill with whoever you want. If the bride and groom only give plus ones to committed people, then it’s obvious that they meant it as you are describing it. A lot of people are doing away with the plus ones for this exact reason- they don’t want half of their guest list to be people they potentially don’t know.

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      applescruffs May 16, 2012, 11:00 am

      I think it depends on how the invitation was addressed. I’ve gotten invitations addressed to Apple + name of person I’m currently dating, and invitations addressed to Apple + Guest. One time, in the first scenario, the relationship ended after we had RSVP’d yes to my friend’s wedding. After checking with her, I ended up bringing my cousin as my “date.” If the invite is addressed to Apple + Guest, I figure that’s open to me bringing whoever as my date. Or no one.

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  • avatar

    lauren May 15, 2012, 9:36 pm

    doesn’t go with them….. lol. Didn’t mean to ruin my credibility with a funny typo. 🙂

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  • Budj

    Budj May 16, 2012, 11:45 am

    If I were dating someone I would probably decline a “friend’s” invitation unless I accepted prior to dating my s/o and it was strictly platonic. If it was a romantic chance I would politely rescind…hopefully with plenty of time to spare before the wedding for her to find another date.

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  • avatar

    selgnirp May 16, 2012, 4:59 pm

    The main question here is whether or not the LW has met/knows the “friends.” If she doesn’t, she should just ask to meet him. If he makes a big deal about it or makes promises of introducing them but it never happens, I say MOA.
    My ex went to events and even trips with one of his “friends.” At first I was fine with it because plans had been made before I had even met him. After a few months I let him know I had no problem with him having girl-friends but that I wanted to meet them, particularly this one “friend” he hung out with the most. Every time I brought it up he would make promises to plan something to introduce us, but it never happened. Long story short, I found out (from his brother) on our anniversary that his “friend” was actually his other girlfriend.
    This obviously isn’t always the case, and I really hope it’s not the case here. But if your gut tells you something’s up, you have to listen to it.

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  • avatar

    beamup November 1, 2012, 2:34 pm

    This is old… oh well…. I usually decline invitations to things that aren’t for me, and my girlfriend. If they don’t know me well enough to know I’m in a committed relationship, than they don’t know me well enough for me to grace them with my presence.

    As far as being invited as a +1 why would anyone in a committed relationship accept being invited somewhere as a +1? Obviously if you’re a +1, and not the actual person being invited you must not know the person throwing the part, having the wedding, etc. very well, and if you were the person named on the invitation you’d be bringing the person you’re in a committed relationship with.

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