Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Address date's flimsy lies to gain insight into his character
Cambridge: I've been dating an awesome guy for about four months. Nine times out of 10, when we make plans together, he honors them and we have a great time.
But whenever he does cancel, he offers up the flimsiest excuses. More than once these excuses have turned out to be lies. I would totally understand if he were to sometimes say, "I'm not up for a date tonight, can we reschedule?" But at the same time I believe everyone has the right to privacy and to avoid awkward truths with harmless lies. Should I address this with him, or no?
Carolyn: Absolutely. If you know of a lie, then you can use it to point out that you understand having to cancel sometimes, and you'd prefer the truth to cover stories or excuses.
Whether he can accept this gift from you, or whether he instead gets defensive, will tell you a lot about how comfortable he is with himself, with letting people down, with telling uncomfortable truths — all valuable insights on his character. And it's his character that will tell you whether his lying stops at "white lies," or those are just the ones you've happened to catch.
Re: White lies
Anonymous: To your response, Carolyn, I'd add that this is a great opportunity not just to learn about questioner's boyfriend, but also to learn about their compatibility as a couple.
She says, "I believe everyone has the right to privacy and to avoid awkward truths with harmless lies," but clearly she actually prefers to be told the truth. If the white lies bother her enough at four months to write into an advice column about it, just think how much they'll bother her after years or decades of them!
Not that white lies are right or wrong — it could be a matter of preference — but her preference is pretty clear, so I think it's only fair to all involved to see if they can find a mode of communication that actually works for her.
Carolyn: Works for them. Otherwise I'm in. Thanks.
Don't ask for an invitation to new work friend's wedding
Va.: I'm in a slightly awkward position with a new girl at work. She got engaged shortly before she came here, and sometimes when we have down time she and I chat about her upcoming wedding. At this point, I have helped her choose vendors, looked at countless design photos and even listened to gossip about the attendees as she worries about who will sit where.
It has actually helped us become quite close — to the point where, terrible as this sounds, I now feel like I deserve to be invited to the wedding. I am honestly shocked that she hasn't taken the initiative to ask me by now, since we talk about it multiple times per week. Is this a rare example of a time when it might be okay for me to try to ask for an invite?
Carolyn: Gah, no. There is no justification for inviting oneself to a wedding. I am sorry she is excluding you; if it helps, maybe it just hasn't occurred to her to see you in this new light.