Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Response to wedding deluge shows boyfriend lacks integrity
Baltimore: Four(!) friends of mine are getting married within the next six weeks. Miraculously, none of the weddings is double-booked, so I have the pleasure (I'm only being a little sarcastic) of attending all of them. My live-in boyfriend is also invited, and three of the four brides are invited to each other's as well.
My boyfriend is taking a real stand and has said he will attend two of the four, but no more than that. I wish he could come to all of them for obvious reasons, but now I have a dilemma. Do you think the other two brides would be offended if they saw him at another wedding but he ditched theirs? Or am I making a big deal out of nothing?
Carolyn: For you to have four weddings in the next six weeks, you must have RSVP'd already to most of them, if not all. What were his responses?
Baltimore again: Well, the problem is, he has indicated (informally, but still) to all four that he'll be coming — generally by omission. For instance, we had dinner with one couple last night, and there was a lot of talk anticipating their wedding. It's one of the ones I happen to know my boyfriend doesn't plan to attend, but he still said things like, "I'm looking forward to (blank)" in conversation with them. To say it was deceptive is an overstatement. He hasn't officially RSVP'd in either direction to any of the weddings.
Carolyn: You mean "understatement," right? Regardless of the base issue — of whether it's okay for him to "take a stand" on your friends' weddings — he's acting like a weenie. He is deceiving your friends, apparently, and, more subtly, he's willing to put you in an awkward position.
And he's no more than two weeks out from Wedding 1 and he hasn't RSVP'd?
As for that base issue: It is okay in an etiquette sense for him to skip two (or all) of the weddings — as long as either he formally sends his regrets, or you accept only for you (if he wasn't named on the invitation). It's okay in a relationship sense only if he has a good reason besides bad sportsmanship.
Because he's apparently putting more energy into standing up to you than he is into being honest with others, you need to ask yourself: How's his integrity otherwise?
Age divide doesn't dictate if friendship is appropriate
Friendship: Do you believe in friendship between a 55-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman? He is a married man, and she is single and beautiful. Or maybe something's wrong with me?
Carolyn: I believe two people form a relationship because it gives each of them something desirable. Companionship, empathy, intellectual challenge or stimulation, business acumen, sex, bragging rights, laughs, validation, excitement, codependency or a fig leaf for unhealthy behaviors, genetic material, doting attention, comparative superiority — these are just some of the commodities people enter relationships to receive.
If you believe these two people are receiving something from each other that is inappropriate, then that's the issue, not the ages or marital status. Don't expect demographics to do the hard work that only judgment can do.