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BFF may not be that for long

Wed., March 13, 2013

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I introduced a close young friend of mine to my sometime boyfriend some months ago. I had her go in my place, as I was in the hospital recovering from surgery.

This was July 2012. Last Christmas I was invited by my “boyfriend” to his company party, and he also invited my young BFF. He asked me, and I said it would be a nice invitation for her. Then I went out of town for the holidays.

He contacted my BFF and invited her to a Christmas Eve dinner at a couple’s home with other people. I was fine with this.

Then, he invited her this week to a casual dinner at the same couple’s home. But he didn’t invite me. My BFF had to decline because she had to work that evening. He told her that he understood and would continue to invite her when he could.

Is it proper etiquette to invite someone who was introduced to the host/hostess and my sometime boyfriend (grown man, by the way) by me, knowing that the invitee is my BFF, without inviting me?

GENTLE READER: Are you writing a country music song about this?

That strikes Miss Manners as the most suitable way of elucidating what it means to be a sometime boyfriend, and what he and a best friend forever owe the not-infrequently absent person who puts them together.

But you have asked only a far tamer question about the social obligation to include you at a dinner subsequent to the one to which you authorized sending your friend as a substitute. There is a rule that people who are introduced at a social event should include their hosts if they decide to meet again. But that doesn’t quite apply to your case, as you sent them to functions together over several months. In addition, the gentleman might argue that he was merely reissuing an invitation that you approved but your friend was unable to accept.

None of this addresses the emotional undercurrents that are sloshing about beneath the social surface. Miss Manners is waiting for the song before she can do that.


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