The other weekend, I attended a friend’s wedding with a girl friend as my sort-of-date. She’s single, I’m not so much, but I felt merciful and told my partner to stay home — he didn’t really know the couple and had other obligations that weekend. I had a blast and didn’t particularly miss him, not even during the heartfelt speeches where the other couples tend to squeeze each others’ hands (the degree and aggressiveness of squeezing depends on a given couple’s views on marriage; some squeezes can be observed to draw tears from men’s eyes, and not because they’re feeling feelings). I am all for attending parties and events separately, even if you’re in a couple. Who decided that, upon entering a relationship, partners need to babysit one another? Ridiculous. If you don’t want to be there, you shouldn’t be there. The end. Still, as with all things, there are some notable exceptions.
Ha ha ha. You thought, “No more weddings, ever again,” right? Wrong. You must attend a wedding if you know the couple well enough to have had some conversations with them. Also, if the wedding is your girlfriend’s boss or anyone involved in her career you should probably attend. If you’re not sure, ask if it’s important to her professionally.
There’s no question about attending a funeral if it’s for someone your girlfriend was close with. It’s not about babysitting, it’s about support. Suit up and show up. Even if you’ve just started going steady.
As with weddings and family reunions, you should probably only attend if you know the people well. Or, if you’re the risk-taking type, attend with the new girlfriend and be prepared to engage in some awkward talk about the future. (Psst: Attend if you’re planning to break up, and bring up the “future” topic yourself.)
Work Cocktails, Barbecues
Definitely attend, especially if they’ve been designed for the employees’ families. She might invite you even if you’re new on the scene — possibly to give you the chance to show how delightfully charming you are (and test for your degrees of alcoholism?).
You should attend if you’re more on the serious-boyfriend side. If you’ve just started dating, you’re under no obligation to go. Seriously, nobody needs to listen to Uncle Gerald talk about his views on problems with pollination in Southern Ontario.
Image courtesy of x-ray delta one.