Am I a Low Priority If My Boyfriend Chose Plans with a Friend Over Going to a Wedding with Me?

Am I a Low Priority If My Boyfriend Chose Plans with a Friend Over Going to a Wedding With Me?

I’ve been reading your blog for a couple years now and it’s become my first stop when I have any kind of dating/male question. Your advice is always blunt (which I prefer) and you don’t subscribe to the silly “rules” of the games people play. I’ve applied your suggestions and am MUCH happier in my dating life. That’s why I’m writing you today! I’ve been seeing a man who doesn’t play any games and was quick to tell me he’s not seeing anyone else. We’ve seen each other frequently, about 2-3 times a week, and he’s making the majority of the plans. He’s a breath of fresh air because there are NO games with him. He never flakes on me and often brings up activities we should do together, often a few months out.

I’ve had a planned trip to San Diego for a friend’s wedding for a while. He’s known about it as I’ve had lots of wedding activities this month. Every time I talked about it, he seemed to perk up a bit, like he’s wanting an invite. But I’ve been reluctant because I like to let the man suggest those “big steps”. Well, as the trip approaches I just know much fun it would be with him, and while he was in Europe he even invited me to meet him in Scotland for a concert for a band we both like, although his work prevented him from making it there, it was on the table. He even offered to pay for my ticket when I said that was a little out of my budget. So, with that background I decided to invite him. I text him one night and asked if he would like to be my date. About an hour later I get a response, “OK, I’m in!” Of course I was ecstatic thinking about how much fun we would have exploring the city and just being silly (which we do quite often). It was sort of late at night when he responded so when I texted him the exact date so I wasn’t surprised or concerned when I didn’t get a response back night. He has to get up early for work and often passes out early. The next morning I jokingly texted to please confirm that he was somewhat conscious when he said he was “in”. His response was, “Haha, upon further review it looks like I won’t be able to make it, I have plans with Ben that weekend”. I wasn’t sure if he was kidding so I asked if he was being sarcastic. He said, “No, I’m sorry! Last night I thought it was the following weekend.” I just said it was OK and let it go.

My question is does his choice to place his plans with his buddy over a trip with the woman he’s dating mean that he’s placing me low on his list of priorities? To me, it sends a strong signal that he’s not interested in a serious relationship, as I would think a man wanting a serious relationship wouldn’t want his potential girlfriend to go stag to a wedding! In every other way he seems very into me, he’s not shy about wanting to spend more time with me and even asked if I would be interested in a concert here in town about a month from now. Is he trying to back things off with me or is he just oblivious at how hurtful it is to opt for plans with his buddy that he sees all the time instead of a relatively rare opportunity to take short fun trip with me? He has the most potential of any man I’ve dated in YEARS, he’s very sweet and consistent, but a tad oblivious at times. Either way I’m going to continue to play it cool and not be dramatic about his choice. Thanks for all you do!

Jaimy

I sure hope you’re still with your boyfriend, Jaimy. Because there’s absolutely, positively nothing wrong here, apart from all the meaning you created surrounding your friend’s wedding.

This is a useful lesson for any woman who is prone to overthinking, so gather round the campfire and, please listen to what I have to share today.

We are all prone to take things personally that aren’t personal.
We all have a set of beliefs that we take as “true” or “factual,” but they’re really just beliefs.

We all have a set of beliefs that we take as “true” or “factual,” but they’re really just beliefs.

Here’s one of your beliefs that’s not true.

“I’ve been reluctant (to invite him to the wedding) because I like to let the man suggest those big steps.”

When I talk about guys taking the lead and women mirroring, that’s at the beginning of the relationship so you can gauge his sincere interest in you. If he doesn’t call you, doesn’t make plans, and doesn’t commit, he’s just not that into you. After that, you’re in the clear.

This guy is your BOYFRIEND, Jaimy, and you were hesitant to invite him to a wedding because of your (false) belief that men SHOULD suggest those big steps. Besides, inviting your boyfriend to a wedding isn’t a big step. It’s merely a logical one. Who else would you take? Your sister?

7 years ago, I was just starting to see someone when I was invited to a close friend’s wedding in New York. I immediately RSVP’d by myself and booked a flight. Three months later, my relationship had become exclusive, but I didn’t think it was a big deal for me to go solo to this wedding.

Sure enough, my girlfriend was silently upset, especially when she heard that a mutual friend ALSO had a new girlfriend and he lobbied the bride to allow him to bring a plus-one. Way to make everyone else look bad, bro.

There’s absolutely, positively nothing wrong here, apart from all the meaning you created surrounding your friend’s wedding.

“Why didn’t I lobby for her?”, she wondered to herself. Well, my flight was already booked and I’d return home to her in three days. Just didn’t seem like a big deal to me. If I were invited THEN, I would have included my girlfriend, but I was invited three months ago before we were a couple and set my plans in advance.

As it turns out, I texted my girlfriend from the wedding, told her I missed her and wished she was there, and didn’t learn until AFTERWARDS that she was upset with me. I married that cool, drama-free girl because she listened to my explanation and forgave me for what you would term my “obliviousness.”

That’s how it’s done, Jaimy.

So you can believe that “a man wanting a serious relationship wouldn’t want his potential girlfriend to go stag to a wedding!”

You can believe that he’s “hurtful to opt for plans with his buddy that he sees all the time instead of a relatively rare opportunity to take short fun trip”.

But neither is necessarily true. That’s just what you believe.

I believe that the 99% of things he’s doing right are a better indication of how he feels, so if you need to talk about it, do so exactly as my girlfriend did: let him know how you felt without making him WRONG (because it makes perfect sense to him). He had plans with his friend first. You don’t break plans with someone to go out with someone else. That’s his (very reasonable) defense and it’s equally valid to your feelings about what a good boyfriend is SUPPOSED to do.

He will really appreciate you being diplomatic about this and I predict that, based on your behavior, he’ll be far more likely to make a different decision if the same circumstances should arise.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Alex Lanz

    I completely agree! My boyfriend and I had planned a trip to Seattle and with a late notice decided he had to visit family in his home town. I told him to “have fun and enjoy!” When he left I can say that I definitely felt sad that he had chosen something else instead of a trip with me. I decided not to analyze the situation since he was great at everything else. Once he returned he told me that the moment he purchased the tickets (not to Seattle) he felt sad and he asked me for forgiveness, told me he loved me for not making a big deal and being understanding. I can say he holds me at higher esteem now and can admire how i kept it together. I am happy i let it go, since it wasn’t a big deal to begin with, but i could have created storm in a glass of water if i didn’t step back. :) just keep it cool girls!

  2. 2
    Fusee

    It’s definitely a case of over-thinking-inis!

    Letter Writer, this guy is obviously a good boyfriend and very much into you! Please do not overthink and over-analyze this kind of little details because it’s going to drive you crazy and make you focus on perceived negative stuff that does not even exist.

    Sure it’s good to let the guy lead the relationship to the “next step”, but going to a wedding is not really a relationship step. Also given that it’s one of your friend’s wedding it’s up to you to invite him, not up to him to invite himself. If anything you could have invited him earlier, when he mentioned interest and before he had a chance to fill up his calendar. Now he is demonstrating integrity to the friend he made firm plans first, and *that* is a positive!

    If he consistently makes plans with you, you’re obviously high on the priority list, not low. Being in a relationship with you does not mean that he should ditch his friends as soon as you offer what you think are “better” plans : )

    Now go enjoy and appreciate that great guy while making sure to not take Evan’s advice to “focus on the negative” (which is a wise advice) to the extreme of looking for negative that does not exist!

  3. 3
    starthrower68

    I tend to be hinky about taking a bf to a wedding anyway because I don’t want them to get some sort of vibe that I’m trying to him starting thinking along those lines.  I say take one of your best gf’s, get the mani, pedi, girly drinks at the hotel, etc. and enjoy some chick time.  But that’s just me.

  4. 4
    SAL9000

    I’m shocked at this blog entry. He’s been hearing about the wedding for some time now so he knew perfectly well the date. To me it’s plain as day that plans with “Ben” don’t exist. It’s a classic deflection – sluggish to respond, only “remembers” he has plans after the fact, no mention about the plans, and guys usually don’t choose dudes they “see all the time” over their new girlfriend. Her intuition is spot on that something’s awry. IMO she’s over thinking what that is though – could indeed be he’s not that vested, could be he feels jilted for not being asked earlier, could be he doesn’t see this as a relationship (her language is kinda strange – asking him to be a “date” to this wedding – isn’t he the boyfriend?), or, just maybe (BIG maybe IMO), she’ll find they prepaid $5,000 ea. for a race car driving class…

    I’m a firm believer in intuition – be wary of acting on it but definitely let it be a guide. That he’s doing “99%” right doesn’t = ignore the 1%. If he has any self awareness whatsoever he’ll feel at least a bit awkward about it too and will appreciate airing it all out. The worst thing to do is to do nothing IMO.

    1. 4.1
      Karl S

      Um, did he know the date perfectly well? It sounds like he didn’t until she texted it to him.

    2. 4.2
      Iridium_moon

      Oh for goodness’ sake: this is nothing!  And Sal: The assertion that 1% negative in a relationship should even be noticed, let alone acted upon, is so absurd that I suspect it may be an act of trollery.
       
      The original post does not make it clear that that the event details and date were CLEARLY communicated, at a sensible time and in a fashion which the recipient, being only a man, could understand without any form of interpretation or second-guessing.
       
      The boyfriend sounds like a cool chap, probably with a busy life. Such people often lose track of dates and appointments. One has to sit down with the diary, pay attention and make plans properly.  It’s very easy to say “Yes” to something without thinking, then, on checking, find there’s a double booking. A man of integrity honours the first-made plan.
       
      Or perhaps, on reflection, he just doesn’t want to go to a wedding: many men find them a terrible bore. To infer ‘I’d prefer not to’ in such a case does not mean a man does not like his partner, it means he does not like weddings. So what?
       
      It sounds like you do much together which you both enjoy, so whenever there’s a disparity of interest, do things separately. It’s a great basis for a strong and successful partnership.
       
      And referring Sal’s ‘intuition’: This presumably mean gut feeling. I always find that the gut is rarely a reliable organ with which to think.

  5. 5
    Evan Marc Katz

    Sal – You just made up an entire story to justify your belief that the boyfriend was lying, instead of presuming the more obvious conclusion that he’s telling the truth. Seems to say a lot more about you than the OP’s boyfriend.

    1. 5.1
      SAL9000

      What it says about me is I date and have dated A LOT and have both committed and been subjected to this sin many many times ;).

      I’m only justifying her intuition – IMO she is spot on that things don’t add up. Shouldn’t guess though – she needs to explore further.

      1. 5.1.1
        Sunflower

        Sorry Sal, I think you’re out in left field.

      2. 5.1.2
        Dave

        Well… Sal… IMO if you have a tendency to over think every little nuance or perceived slight and blow them up into outcomes like you describe above, then your dating life is going to be filled with disaster.  Wow.  I’d run for the hills – like 97% of the men out there.  That is not intuition, it’s just plain crazy.  Evan has given solid advice here.  Just go with it, slow the mind-bending rush to irrational judgment, and you’ll be much more successful.

        1. SAL9000

          Actually, intuition is exactly the opposite of over thinking. That she has it is the only justification for it existing. Also, I’m a guy who dates girls.

      3. 5.1.3
        Eva

        Sal,
         
        What is this sin you are talking about?

        1. SAL9000

          Deflecting/being wishy-washy/lying in order to decline a date/invite/activity.

  6. 6
    Marie

    I wouldn’t take this too personally, Jaimy. You have not reached the point in your relationship yet where you are essentially acting as one unit. Meaning that if people ask for plans with one of you, they automatically assume to check with both of you or that your activities together may take on higher priority. Or that you both automatically check with each other to make sure there were no conflicts before confirming plans with anyone else. And that’s okay — maybe this will develop, maybe not, but at this point there’s nothing you can do about it. Personally, if this was that important to you, I would have suggested you communicated this better to him, because from where he’s standing, it may not have come across as that important to you that he go with you. You didn’t ask him in advance AND you asked him in a lame text at night. Does that really send a message that you really wanted him to go with you? Yet you are steaming that he’s making plans with Ben, but I bet he doesn’t know that either. Take a few breaths and clearly communicate your wants and needs without overreacting. You need to learn to do this in a relationship rather than tiptoeing around issues and then feeling hurt when he doesn’t read your mind.

  7. 7
    Clare

    I still think it’s too early to tell with this relationship.
     
    Jaimy I would take this as a good opportunity to, as Marie says, practice communicating your feelings.  Do so carefully and gently though. Bear in mind, he doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong.
     
    Also take a bit of ownership for your part in what happened here. If it were me, and it was important to me that the guy I’m dating come with me to a wedding, I would have asked him long before.  And I would have asked him in person, so that I could sweeten the invitation with a smile and a kiss.
     
    It also would have given me pause that he would rather keep to plans with his buddy than go to a wedding with me, but give him the benefit of the doubt. Express your feelings calmly and then let it go.  See what he does in future.

  8. 8
    Sara

    Jaimy calls this guy her boyfriend in the title, but calls herself a potential girlfriend in the text. If they haven’t yet decided what kind of relationship they’re having, it seems totally possible that her guy would think a wedding invitation is too big a deal and chose to make plans with his friend to slow things down.

  9. 9
    CaliforniaGirl

    I don’t know why women should be cool and gentle and careful in such situations while men usually will tell you right away what he thinks. My boyfriend has a family event in another country and he wants me to come with him. He is going to pay for my ticket and most expenses but the real problem is that I just started a new job and have no vacation days, so I would have to take unpaid vacation and it will be hard for me financially and also I don’t really want to take a big vacation so early after starting a new job. It does not feel right for me. I explained it to him but he tells me that I make enough money and 10 days wouldn’t kill me and it’s very important for him and why I cannot make a sacrifice for him. If it was a reverse situation, I would not argue and go alone. I tried to point that even some of his relatives don’t go because of the finances and I am not even a family, but he doesn’t want to listen and gets upset…

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