Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Plus One Clarification

To read my original post about "Plus One Etiquette," please click here:

Dear Jocelyn,
I am a little confused regarding the situation with plus ones. I understand that some acceptable reasons for brides/grooms to not allow for plus ones are budget, size of venue and a desire to keep the wedding intimate (in other words, family members and close friends only). The part where I get lost is if I were married, regardless of who the friend (of bride/groom) is, the invitation would be extended to both spouses. However, because I am not married and do not live with my boyfriend of 6 years, is it justified that only I am invited and not my boyfriend? That really is not sensible; just because people are married doesn't mean they both are close friends with the bride and groom and therefore "qualify" as close friends and family. Just because people have a piece of paper stating that they paid the fee for the marriage license required in the state where they reside, that does NOT justify excluding a couple who chooses not to be traditionally married. With the divorce rate in this country at 50% , I should think we might update our etiquette as it applies to excluding those of us who don't buy into the marriage propaganda.
Also, how is possible to delicately ask if this was an oversight? I'm at such a loss.
-Unmarried and Mad

Dear Unmarried,
Since this is not a philosophical blog, I cannot really expound on society's views of marriage or the divorce rate. However, I will offer two comments:

1) Marriage is more significant than just a piece of paper. Almost anyone who has stood in front of a judge or clergy will tell you that.

2) Married couples in society will always have more benefits than unmarried couples, whether those are tax breaks or automatic invitations to weddings. Etiquette typically reflects cultural values, and since our culture gives some privileges to the married , the rules of etiquette will also privilege marriage.

You may, of course, ask if this was an oversight. All you need to do is call or email the friend and ask in your kindest tone, "I received the invitation to your wedding and would love to come! Is there space for my boyfriend John to come? I would love it if he could join me." If she says no, simply say you understand and that you look forward to the wedding.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Should I Cut My Losses?

Dear Jocelyn,
I have been dating a man for 16 months now. When we started dating he was fresh out of a relationship where he loved the woman AND her children. I had just gotten divorced and I myself have two children (5 and 3). He is willing to talk about EVERYTHING except our relationship, how he feels about me (other then he likes me and that i make him happy). His silence and fickle nature with me took me to the point to where I had to break up with him, I explained to him that i needed him to be open, a little vulnerable and tell me what he wants in life (other then career goals). He pursued me again and we got back together, however, the silence is still there. He is so silent on the subject and so closed off that he could break up with me tomorrow or decide to say that he loved me and I would not be surprised by either one.

I got back with him because I saw him pursuing me as a recognition of what i mean to him etc. Am i fooling myself? Am I allowing myself to be used? Our relationship seems to be 90% on him terms and if I try to ask a simple question such as "what do you want in life, out of life" or as deep as "can you see yourself ever living with me" he completely avoids it and if I ask why he gets stressed out. At what point do I just call it a loss and walk away?

Dear Confused,
It seems like this man is genuinely interested in you and enjoys your company. You are not being foolish to pick up on that. But, for whatever reason, he seems to be averse to commitment or the future. This could be because he was hurt before (having to say goodbye to children you have grown attached to can be devastating), or maybe he has always been this way. Whatever it is, this is clearly not working for you, nor should it. 16 months is not an unreasonable time to have talked about the future, hopes and dreams, etc. You have explained to him how you feel, and asked him to share with you. At this point, I would advise cutting your losses. If he loves you and can't live without you, he will do what he needs to do to get you back. (And at this point, that needs to be presenting you with a ring and a wedding date.) If he loves you, but is not willing to do what it takes, he is not the sort of man you want to spend the rest of your life with. Best wishes!