The problem is this: my girlfriend’s best friend is also in California, and as soon as I told her about the wedding, she immediately said, “Oh sweet, I get to visit so-n-so!” Well, I feel there won’t be enough time. I am a person who believes a wedding, especially with friends I see once every year if I’m lucky, is a weekend-long celebration. But she has her heart set on visiting her friend whom she rarely gets to see. I told her how important it is that we celebrate the wedding all weekend with my friends, and she is very set on seeing her friends, too. She thinks that the wedding and the reception are the only important activities.
So, when situations like this come up, and I tell her to go hang out with her friend, which I am not 100% happy with, I feel like I’m caving…but what am I to do? She isn’t making me ditch out on my friend’s activities, and I wouldn’t want her to resent me by keeping her from doing what she wants to do. But what do I tell my friends, with fear that they think their wedding events are not as important to her? (Let me clarify that wedding events are things like going out on the town and drinking or breakfast the day after the wedding with everyone). I also do not want to invite a stranger to my friend’s wedding activities (aka trying the whole combine both friends to stay together).
Is my lack of seeing her ability to compromise clouded by my selfishness? - Weddings are Weekend Events!
Well, first of all, when your girlfriend says that her friend “is in California, too,” what exactly does that mean? Because California is HUGE. Unless her friend lives in the same town or within an hour or two of where you’re staying, I don’t see how it would even be feasible for her to attend your friend’s wedding AND see her friend even if you were totally on board with the whole thing.
For argument’s sake, let’s say her friend lives in the very town you’ll be staying. In that case, you ARE being selfish by asking her to spend the entire weekend hanging out solely with your friends (even if you’re paying for her ticket, but ESPECIALLY if she’s paying her own way). Let’s be honest, the couple getting married isn’t going to find two shits to give that their out-of-town friend’s out-of-town girlfriend they hardly know isn’t at every single event throughout the weekend. Surrounded by all their other friends and family — whom they do know well and love — they’re not going to care if your girlfriend misses the morning-after brunch or doesn’t make it to one of the nights out on the town. I mean, really.
But if your concern is that you just want your group of friends to get to know your girlfriend (and vice versa), then you really are being incredibly selfish seeing as how she probably would like her local friend(s) to get to know you and yet she’s not asking you to give up time with your friends to make that happen.
So many of us live far away from friends and family, and, if we spend good money and use some of our precious vacation time, which all of us have too little of, to visit some of those out-of-town loved ones, we’d be foolish not to try to see as many of them in one trip as we can (within reason) especially if we have the opportunity to do so. I know that, for example, when I go to Chicago, where I have one or two dozen people I love seeing, I can’t devote an entire trip to just one or two people even if I’m there for a wedding (which I was on my last trip in September).
There was one day on our last trip to Chicago where we skipped the post-wedding brunch and parked ourselves at a local park for several hours while various groups of friends stopped by to say “hi.” One couple brought their dog for an hour before they had to rush off somewhere. Another couple brought their new baby for 45 minutes before we had to rush Jackson home for his nap. And in between that, an old friend of Drew’s whom he hadn’t seen in a few years, stopped by for an hour while we played with Jack in the playground. We tried to squeeze in as many people as we could and, luckily, they all accommodated us, too, so we got to see their faces and hug them and just connect in a way we can’t from several states away. We couldn’t have done that had we stuck to only wedding events while we were there. In fact, it didn’t even cross our minds to stick to only wedding events. Weekend-long wedding events are for people who either live locally and happen to be available for 48 hours, or for out-of-town guests who don’t have anyone or anything else they need or want to see.
Your girlfriend has a friend she could see while she’s there. Give her your blessing to do that. Don’t be a dick. She’ll still get to mix and mingle with your friends. She’ll still be at the wedding, of course. But she’ll also be able to take advantage of a rare opportunity to see someone — her best friend! — who lives on the other side of the country and to make that face-to-face connection that is so important in this age of constant screen communication.
Then again, if the wedding is in L.A. and the best friend lives in, like, San Diego, then, no. It’s not gonna happen.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.