“Do I have to Invite My Best Friend’s Boyfriend to My Party?”

A new one from the forums:

Among my larger social group/community there’s a select 15-20 really good friends that I’d like to invite to my home for a private summer party. I know I could go to most of them and say, “This is invite-only, keep this hush hush” and I trust I will only have said respectable, responsible people on my property.

My concern is one individual in particular. He’s a roommate of two of the people I want to invite, a work colleague of another, and probably most importantly my best friend’s boyfriend. I simply don’t like him how he and my friend alienate themselves as a couple and avoid any sort of social interaction (which, as she’s my best friend bailing out on events, has become stressful). He’s never wronged me so I don’t have a legit reason to distrust him, but after almost six months of him dating my best friend, I don’t even know the guy and have no interest in starting now. I don’t like that I never see her without him in toe…aka I never see her, it feels like.

I’ve heard everything from “It’s your home, your party, you have the right to invite who you wish” to “Not inviting him is a big mistake and you’re just going to make your strained friendship worse,” but at the end of the day I really can not stand the thought of them making out on my couch or blowing off the event just to do “whatever.” Hell, even the idea of him simply knowing where I live I don’t find appealing.

I’m known for having a hard time articulating myself, and really wanna find either a new solution or a way to express the only solution I see: don’t invite him. — It’s My Party and I’ll Diss Them If I Want To

Well, you get the award for one of the more childish letters I’ve read recently (with the exception of all the people getting knocked up in hopes of getting their FWB to commit). You don’t want the party to be a secret; you want very much for news of the party to get back to your BFF, whom you don’t plan to invite, and are seeking validation here that that’s a good plan. You hope that when she finds out that you had a private party with 20 of your closest friends but didn’t invite her, she will be hurt, just like you’ve been hurt the last six months since she started dating her boyfriend and fell off the face of the earth.

If you want to ruin your friendship possibly forever, this is a good plan. If you want to communicate with her that you’re sad, that you miss her, that you wish she’d carve out a little time for you, there are much, much better ways to do that than alienating her the way you plan to.

I guarantee that if you throw this party and don’t extend an invite to your BFF and her boyfriend, she will find out. I can guarantee that she won’t be like, “Oh, no biggie! We probably wouldn’t have gone anyway, so it’s all good.” No, she’s going to be hurt. And pissed. Because she’ll know, as well as everyone else, that this is a passive-aggressive move to exclude her. It’s a really sucky thing to do and not something a friend does.

I’m not saying she’s been a model friend to you lately, but, look, sometimes when people start new relationships, they disappear for a while. They “alienate” themselves, as you say she’s done. It’s not cool and it sucks. But not as much as you throwing a party and not inviting her. That sucks worse.

If you’re truly looking for a way to articulate your feelings, here’s an idea: talk to your friend. Call her up. Tell her, “I’m throwing this party this summer and I’d love to have you there, but I have to be honest, I actually thought of not inviting you because the thought of you blowing me off like you have been lately was really hurtful. I hope you don’t do that. I hope you come. And I hope we can start seeing more of each other. I miss you. I miss our friendship.”

And then, for God’s sake, make an effort to get to know her boyfriend (and that means inviting him to the party, too, which should go without saying). Maybe he has redeeming qualities. Maybe, just maybe, he makes your friend really happy, which should be reason enough to at least tolerate him if not fully embrace him in your social circle. Wouldn’t you want your best friend to be happy for you if you found someone who made you really happy? Wouldn’t you want her to extend an olive branch and make an effort to get to know your new partner? And wouldn’t you want her to be understanding, as best friends should be, if for a few months you got a little lost in a couple bubble and weren’t as available as usual? Wouldn’t you want her, instead of throwing a party and not inviting you because she’s jealous and hurt, to call you up and say, “Hey girl, where you been? I know you’re in love and that’s great, but I miss you and want to catch up! Coffee soon? Drinks?”

Yeah, sure, it’s your home, your party, your right to exclude the person you call your best friend. It would also be her right to say, “Eff you” and never talk to you again. Just because something is your right doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. FossilChick says:

    LW writes: I’ve heard everything from “It’s your home, your party, you have the right to invite who you wish” to “Not inviting him is a big mistake and you’re just going to make your strained friendship worse”.

    Can I just point out that these things aren’t mutually exclusive? OF COURSE you have every right to decide who you invite to a party in your home that you’re paying for. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, and it doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for making that decision. Your friend is not going to feel better or magically become an awesome BFF when you explain you were “within your rights” to not invite her boyfriend.

    IF the boyfriend was disruptive, prone to angry outbursts, a mean drunk, etc. then I would lean more in favor of exclusion on the grounds of his behavior. Exclusion on the grounds of ‘he may or may not be part of the reason your friendship is failing’ is not going to fix anything and will make it much, much worse.

  2. karenwalker says:

    Hmm, I thought she was planning on inviting the BFF but not the boyfriend.

    I agree with those who have told you not invitin the bf will only further damage your friendship. It sounds like you miss your friend and want to fix things with her. I’d recommend inviting the boyfriend, to keep the peace if nothing else.

    You now have a few options. One would be to talk to your friend one on one. Invite her to coffee or drinks, something short & simple. Tell her about the party and how much you want her to come. Explain how important it is to you for her to be there, especially because you haven’t been seeing much of each other lately. You can tell her how happy you are that she’s so happy with her boyfriend and how you’re looking forward to the chance of getting to know him better at your party (yes, it’s a white lie). Whether or not you have a conversation, be prepared for the fact that they might bail. It’s not the end of the world if they do and you’ll still get to have a fun night with close friends; really, it’s their loss if they’re no shows. You also need to be prepared that if they do come, they might be that weird couple like they’ve been in the past. If they start making out on your couch, maybe say something like, “Hey guys, the party’s over here! Come join!” Keep it lighthearted.

    It sucks when a friend pulls away because of a relationship. And it especially sucks when the boyfriend is not someone we like. I know for myself I definitely spend less time with one of my friends because I cannot stand her boyfriend. But I know he makes her happy so I keep my opinions to myself and just try to spend 1 on 1 time with her when we can. I would keep reaching out to your friend. Talk to her though. Next time she bails, call her out on it. “Well, I’m bummed you can’t make, but do you realize this is the third time in a row you’ve cancelled on me?”

    Just remember, whether or not BFF & bf come, you’re throwing this shindig to have a fun night with all of your good friends. So have fun!

  3. I didn’t gather that the LW didn’t want to invite the BFF, just that she didn’t want to invite the boyfriend. Of course, if you don’t explicitly specify that, she’s going to bring him, and if you do, you’ll sound like an ass. Being worried that they’ll spend more time with each other than you and the other guests is not a good enough reason. As the host, it’s not your job to dictate what the guests do (within reason) or whom they talk to. And as much as it sucks, I’m sort of surprised that you’ve never encountered a friend who got absorbed in their boyfriend before, because this is something that I learned about in high school. It happens. Sometimes they come around, and sometimes they don’t.

    If you’re upset that your friend has been neglecting your friendship, the answer is not to alienate her and her boyfriend. Tell her that you miss her and try to make plans for just the two of you. I’m not sure that I agree with Wendy’s advice of telling her that you were going to not invite her, because a lot of people wouldn’t realize that you meant it as a wake-up call and would think you were just being hurtful. But telling her (not at the party) that you are sad that you guys haven’t hung out as much, etc., would be a nice gesture. And try to get to know the boyfriend. You’re never going to repair your relationship if you’re not willing to be around him.

  4. Please, oh please tell me this LW is under the age of 25 because that may explain the third grade mentality.

    Unlike Wendy, I didn’t read this as the LW not wanting to invite the friend, but only the boyfriend. I’m not sure what friends of hers are telling her this is ok, but it’s not. And those are not good people.

    So, LW, your friend has a new boyfriend and has fallen off the face of the earth. May I remind you that this is NOT her boyfriend’s fault, but hers alone. She’s not being held captive by him. I seriously doubt he’s telling her to fuck her friends over. She is choosing this. She is the one that wants to spend all her time with him. Does it suck? Yes. But don’t take it out on the boyfriend. As Wendy said, have a conversation with her about how you feel. If you are out of college, having these kinds of converstations are the grown up thing to do. Learn to act like an adult. Start now. With your bff. Wendy’s paragraph on what to tell is pretty perfect.

    I’m sure at some point in your life, whether it’s a husband or a new job or a baby on the way, you will unintentionally put a close friend on the back burner. It has been done to me and I’m sure I’ve done it. That’s life. Think of how much it would hurt to have friends treat you the way you want to treat your bff. I mean seriously.

  5. It’s selfish of you to want your friend there, but not her boyfriend. It seems like you’re looking for a way to make your friend mad, without actually solving the actual problem–which is your hurt from your friend disappearing into her new relationship. They are in a relationship, albeit a new one, which should be even more reason to include him in social events. You admit you don’t have any reason not to like him, so you never know, maybe you will like him more as time goes on. I’ve been on both sides of this before, and I had a good friend who definitely preferred me to be single, because she wanted me all to herself. It’s silly. As people couple up, it can suck to not have as much time for friends. You may not get to see them solo as much, but sometimes you just have to carve out that time to make it happen. Invite her for a girls night, get a manicure, or whatever you two like to do together. Don’t be passive aggressive; whatever you do, please do actually say something to your friend, like what Wendy suggested.

    If you exclude you friend and her boyfriend, or just her boyfriend, it will blow up in your face. There’s no harm in being inclusive. The couple bubble will likely eventually wear off, and if you’re not a supportive friend, then she likely won’t want to come back to you in the same way as before.

    3 years ago, I never thought I would say this, but my best friend’s boyfriend is one of my closest friends, and we would never be great friends as well if I hadn’t kept an open mind and supported my friend and her relationship, despite everything else. I’m not saying that’s always the case, but you never know.

  6. I was under the impression that the LW wanted to and was planning to invite her BFF to the party, but she wasn’t sure what to do with the BFF’s boyfriend…but maybe I misread the letter. Either way, I agree that if she doesn’t invite both of them she will be asking for some BFF drama.

    1. sarolabelle says:

      read the forum for more info.

      1. I did actually, but I didn’t see where the LW said that she didn’t want to invite her BFF, only the boyfriend. Unless I’m really missing something here.

      2. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        Yeah…I didn’t see the “more info” either

  7. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    If you invited your friend, without her boyfriend, and she came to the party without him you would still have twenty other guests at your party so you wouldn’t be able to spend much time with her one on one. Why would you think your party for twenty people is a good way to spend some quality time with your friend? You really just want to make a loud statement to your friend that you don’t like her boyfriend and don’t want him to be around. You can tell her that and she can decide you aren’t friends or you can invite both of them and be a gracious hostess.

    You sound jealous so maybe your friend has been cutting you out of her life just because you are the jealous type who wants her all to yourself and not because she has a boyfriend. This may have happened anyway so take a long look at yourself and see if you’ve alienated her with immature, jealous behavior.

    1. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      Instead of trying to make him disappear why not say something nice about him to your BFF and get her to start talking about him. Then the two of you will be sharing time and bonding over her talking about her bf.

  8. When my best friend started dating her then boyfriend – he wasn’t my favourite. Different sense of humour, nothing much to recommend him -I thought she could do better. But I wasn’t dating him. She was. And he was HER favourite. Which was good enough for me. And it should be for you too. Unless there is something significantly wrong with him, have him over, get to know him, be glad your friend is happy. Otherwise all you are doing is prioritizing your love of the status quo over your friend’s happiness. And that doesn’t make you much of a friend. The only certainty in life is change – learn to adapt better or you will get left behind.

    1. TOTALLY agree. My BFF’s now hubby is not someone I would have picked for her– very quiet and not very outgoing or social and she is the complete opposite. But I genuinely think he is a decent guy and he makes her happy so that’s all i need to know : )

  9. Lily in NYC says:

    I think maybe Wendy misread this letter a bit (because we all seem to agree she wanted to invite the friend without her boyfriend). Listen, I get it. I had a friend like this. If she showed up somewhere with her boyfriend, she would ignore everyone else all night and it got old really fast. However, I don’t think the idea of inviting her without him will work – it will only piss her off and turn her BF into your enemy. And, if she’s anything like my former friend, if she shows up without him, she will pout all night and be just as annoying as if she actually brought the BF. So my advice is to suck it up because anything else will backfire on you. FWIW, I don’t think you are being childish – I truly do think Wendy misunderstood your intent.

  10. Wendy, I think she wants to invite her BFF, but not her BFF’s boyfriend.

    To the LW, you are a moron. No, you absolutely cannot be so disrespectful of your Friend as to not invite her Boyfriend to this party. It sounds like you have made absolutely no effort whatsoever to get to know this guy. You don’t like him purely because he’s dating your BFF and now you are no longer the most important person in her life. Honestly, I’m wondering if you are single and perhaps a bit jealous because it’s the only explanation I can come up with for why you are being such a pain in the rear.

    Suck it up, invite your BFF and her BF. If they go off in a corner and make out for the entire party, who cares. Unless they literally go and have sex in a corner of your house, I think you need to just back off and let them enjoy the honeymoon phase of their relationship. Seriously, it won’t last forever, so don’t make a big deal about it.

    Oh, and when you do invite your BFF’s BF, actually make an effort to get to know him; a real, honest-to-goodness effort. You have said NOTHING in your letter to suggest there’s a reason to believe he is bad news, so get to know him. You may just find he’s awesome and perfect for your friend.


    PS – You are of course well within your right to not invite anyone you don’t want to invite. It is your party after all. But to not invite your BFF’s BF based on the information you have given will alienate your BFF and complete and utterly reveal you to be a horrible person.

    1. Trixy minx says:

      Matthew! You should comment more. I always like your responses.

  11. also, dating 6 months is really not THAT long… when you get older and have other things going on, you don’t see your friends every weekend… I am lucky if i see them once a month now, and even that is generous. That means 6 times tops she would have met him…which isn’t much to know someone “well”, which is even more of a reason to invite him.

    Agree with Wendy, get over it and invite both of them, unless you want to lose your friend forever… and probably cause some of your other mutual friends to choose sides. Also, this is not a good precedent when your friends start to get married and have kids — you are going to end up alone with no one if you can’t adjust, and communicate, and be flexible.

  12. kerrycontrary says:

    Can I come to your super-exclusive secret party?

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      To actually respond though…What you are doing is really obnoxious. You said you don’t have a reason to dislike him other than your bestfriend is in a little bit of a love-coma and is flaky (which is probably an issue with her, not her boyfriend). And have you ever been in love? Unless you think your best friend’s new boyfriend is abusive and that’s why he is alienating her from her friends, her behavior is completely normal. Most people disappear for a bit when they fall in love. Because they are too busy fucking and cuddling to hang out with their friends who they usually spend a significant amount of time with.

      1. Yeah, I thought that was fairly normal at least for a little while at the beginning of a relationship. It’s not like people mean to do it, but they’re exploring their new relationship.

    2. Yeah, I get you can invite whomever you want, but I was kind of put off by the description of how exclusive this party is. I usually tell people they can bring friends, but even if I didn’t want them to, I’d feel kinda silly/rude running around and telling everyone how exclusive my party is. Unless that’s a thing?

  13. Avatar photo gillociraptor says:

    Yeah, as someone who was the BFF in this situation, if you don’t invite them both, this isn’t going to end well for you. I married the boyfriend and ditched the friend.

    Six months isn’t a long relationship. If your friend hasn’t spent much time with you since she started dating her boyfriend, how can you really know that you don’t like him?

  14. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

    I know people sometimes reminisce about their childhoods, but it doesn’t mean you have to revert back to that age. You’re jealous of the boyfriend, but have issues with your best friend. Talk to her about them, about how you miss seeing her and spending time with her. She’s an adult so unless her boyfriend is using some form of intimidation to force her to do these things, it’s her choice. The boyfriend isn’t at fault.

  15. Don’t take it so personal. Look if she wants to be close with you, she’ll get in touch, if not, meh. I’m sure you have other friends. I know I sound really blase about it, but I am actually serious.

    It took me forever to get to know my BFF’s guy. I mean like a good year.

    I’m probably the odd one out but I actually see no problem with not inviting EITHER of them. We don’t invite every single one of our friends to every single event. Sometimes we just invite some of the crowd, sometimes the other part. Sometimes I don’t invite my BFF! (I know, shocking!).

    Just don’t invite either one, and if you want BFF time, plan something with her that is just you girls. You can’t have her get together with you and your guy… wait a minute… this would explain a lot actually.. are you single?

    Anyway as I was saying you can’t have her get together with you and your partner if you purposefully exclude hers.

    1. And after reading the forum, another question… are you by chance… male?

      1. Ooh, interesting twist. If the LW is, in fact male, I think he’s harboring feelings for the BFF since he has unjust feelings of dislike towards the boyfriend.

      2. Ahh, true. I don’t like watching people make out as much as the next person, but it doesn’t usually induce this sort of hostility in me as the LW seems to have.

  16. lemongrass says:

    This is really immature behaviour. People become more involved with the people that they are dating than they do their friends, even BFFs. If you can’t handle that then you need to get a life and figure why you are over-attached to your friends. Either that or you just can’t handle life without drama.

  17. Bittergaymark says:

    What a fucking bitch. Passive aggressive. Petty, too. Nothing more to be said — really.

  18. GatorGirl says:

    It is never polite to only invite one half of a couple (unless it’s a one gender party). Invite them both or invite neither. And maybe try to get to know the guy…

  19. Liquid Luck says:

    “but after almost six months of him dating my best friend, I don’t even know the guy and have no interest in starting now. I don’t like that I never see her without him in toe…aka I never see her, it feels like.”

    This is all you needed to write. Seriously, because you haven’t gotten to know him super well in the first SIX MONTHS of their relationship, you’re acting like an immature twat in the hopes of gaining her attention. That’s ridiculous. Let your friend enjoy the honeymoon phase of her relationship, and be glad she didn’t drag you into it until there was solid footing and the chance this guy would stick around for a while. Make an effort to get to know him, because you can bet that if you don’t you’ll lose this girl completely whether her relationship works out or not.

    And ffs, if you feel left out, talk to her! Tell her you’re excited she’s found someone she’s so into, and invite them both over for dinner one night. The take some interest in getting to know him, and keep in mind that your opinion of him doesn’t actually matter, so you might as well get along with him.

    1. Liquid Luck says:

      Also, these two comments really don’t gel:
      “He’s never wronged me so I don’t have a legit reason to distrust him…” and “Hell, even the idea of him simply knowing where I live I don’t find appealing.”

      You are taking this way too far, and it’s going to bite you in the ass. Your friend is the one choosing to exclude you, so stop pushing it onto the boyfriend. It’s not his fault that your friend would rather spend time with him than you, and attempting to punish him for her choices is only going to make you look crazy (because it is) to everyone else.

      1. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        In addition to that, given what’s been said here, I doubt the friend doesn’t know how the LW feels about her boyfriend so that could factor in why she doesn’t want to hang out with the LW.

      2. Liquid Luck says:

        I agree. She doesn’t sound like she’s being too subtle about the fact that she doesn’t approve of how the relationship started (there’s an update about that in the forum now) and that she’s upset she isn’t getting the “right of approval” on this guy. If she were my friend, I’d probably pull a fade out too.

      3. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        I saw that…it makes it seem more and more like the LW is being petty and jealous and is closer to a small child than the adult I’m assuming she’s supposed to be. She doesn’t get the right of approval and seems to be acting out due to that fact. She says the boyfriend hasn’t made an effort to get to know her and the two other close friends, but neither has she. PLUS she’s made it clear that she doesn’t approve nor wants to get to know him, so why would he make the effort?

      4. GatorGirl says:

        Right? How can a person be SO sketched out by her BFF’s boyfriend she doesn’t want him to know where she lives, yet also claim that she doesn’t have a legit reason to distrust him and also says they know little about said BF? Doesn’t add up…

      5. Yeah, does she think he’s going to show up at her house sometime, or does she just hate him that much?

  20. ele4phant says:

    You don’t *have* to do anything you don’t want to, ever. Can you do whatever you want without consequence to your friendships? Erm no.

    If you try to invite your friend but exclude her boyfriend you are likely to damage this friendship, maybe irrevocably. Are you okay with that? If you are, then by all means, go ahead not invite him. If you do want to stay friends, then you’ll need to suck it up and invite him.

    And I’m curious why you dislike him that much. I can understand not liking him because his personality doesn’t jive with yours, or that you resent how much of your friend’s time he is taking up, but to dislike him so much you don’t want him to know where you live? There must be something you’re not sharing. Do you have some gut instinct that is setting you off that he might be a major creeper?

  21. Jenny May says:

    Having had a former friend try to pull this kind of crap on me that the LW is pulling, reading the comments here has been refreshingly vindicating.

  22. It does really, really suck when your best friend is seriously dating someone you just plain don’t like. Been there. But here’s the thing, he didn’t go away. In fact, they got married. So I had to force myself to make an effort with him and see past all the parts of him I found annoying or even offensive. And turns out, we could get along when I actually tried. If you don’t care about keeping your best friend in your life, then by all means, draw your line in the sand with this party. But sometimes in order to keep important people in your life, you have to endure the company of their significant other. Just because you and your friend have a lot in common doesn’t mean you’ll look for the same type of partner. So make the best of the situation or accept the loss of a good friend.

  23. Trixy minx says:

    I had to chuckle at how much of a snob the LW sounds like here ” i trust I will only have said respectable, responsible people on my property.”

  24. Hi,
    How are you ?
    In my opinion there are two options.
    The first one is not to invite him because is your party so you can invite the people you want.
    The second option is to invite him and during the party you can try to talk with them so they won´t be alone and they are going to solicialise.
    In conclusion, you have to do whatever you want because the important thing is to spend a good time with your friends.

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