Reader Jane faces a dilemma. Her LO has invited her to his wedding. He’s also being weird about it.
Before Bride arrived on the scene, Jane disclosed her feelings to LO, hoping that their close friendship would become a relationship. LO gave an ambiguous answer, and carried on as before. Even now, he continues to drop little hints of special closeness, just teetering on the right side of social propriety. Things like: using pet names for her, and inviting some of Jane’s other friends because he wanted to make the day “something Jane wouldn’t want to miss”.
So Jane’s dilemma is whether or not to go, and how to manage the day if she does. With a side order of wondering what the hell he’s up to.
Here are my thoughts:
If you have a fairly analytical approach to life, you quickly learn that a lot of decisions can be simplified by running a quick and dirty cost/benefit analysis. Here goes:
- You suffer the discomfort of seeing the person you are infatuated with marrying someone else.
- You have the indignity of smiling and clapping and pretending everything is awesome when you actually feel like shit.
- You spend the day wondering if he’s going to pull his “special friend” routine with you in front of his bride or family.
- You get to see his new wife at her most beautiful and radiant, making you feel really great about yourself.
- He might get drunk and blurt something embarrassing out.
- You might get drunk and blurt something embarrassing out.
- You have to buy a wedding gift, which is a combination of a financial cost and a potentially gigantic time sink as you spend ages wondering what each gift communicates about your feelings for LO.
- A… free dinner with some friends?
It’s not a massively close run thing in my mind. All costs and no benefit.
In the interests of full disclosure: the same thing happened to me. My LO invited me to her wedding. Nothing on God’s green earth would have got me there.
A friend who plays with your feelings is not much of a friend.
A last thought from me before handing over to the wisdom of the crowd is that Jane’s LO is obviously keen to keep her hanging around. Keen for her to still be part of his life. Now, that may be because he is a raving narcissist looking for supply, but it could also be less toxic.
Many people don’t know how to handle it when a friend declares romantic feelings for them. Some can feel that it would be very hard-hearted to push their friend away out of embarrassment, and so they sort of overreact with extra friendliness. Still more are flattered, and quite like the fact that their friend is crushing on them, and so they carry on being friendly and open, blithely unaware of the pain they are causing to their limerent friend. Or how their erratic behaviour is heightening the uncertainty for the limerent, and turning up the dial on their obsessive thoughts.
So it’s possible that the pet names and attentiveness from Jane’s LO are just heedlessness – but that’s the best that can be said about it. You have an emotionally heedless friend. The worst is that someone is messing with your feelings for their own gratification, under the guise of being an affectionate friend. Which is really very unpleasant when you think about it.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: trying to be friends with an LO is a hopeless cause. Good friends are like diamonds. LOs might be sparkly too, but they occupy a different emotional category. It’s regrettable to lose someone who could have been a friend under different circumstances, but not as regrettable as pining your life away on a misguided attempt to re-categorise an LO.
Over to the LwL community: what would you do?