Author Topic: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit update post 69  (Read 15204 times)

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Hmmmmm

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #45 on: July 24, 2012, 12:37:35 PM »
Olivia has indicated quite clearly that she has no interest.  She deliberately ruins the gaming experience for everyone by distracting the players.

Yet she still attends, indicating she wants to be there.  I think to tell her that she is NOT invited would be rude.  I think the OP can certainly ask her not to come, but I think it would be rude.

I think her reasons for wanting to be there are relevent here.  She is not coming becuase she wants to play the game.  She's coming because she doesn't want to be seperated from her husband for one evening (which is wierd but thatís a whole separate issue).  Why is her desire to attend for her own selfish reasons, despite the fact that she is not interested in the game and in fact actively tries to ruin it for everyone, more important than the actual purpose of the get-together.

That is my question, as well.

I don't get the sense that Olivia is malicious in any way, or that people do not like her in general.  If the OP is fine with significantly harming her relationship with both Paul and Olivia, I think not inviting Olivia is fine.  I got the sense she does not want to harm the relationship with Paul or Olivia though.  It is not that Olivia's interests "win" here.  It is a choice the OP needs to make about what is more important - playing the game of Risk or having a good relationship with Paul and Olivia.

I'm really botheredby the idea that not inviting Olivia would cause permanent damage to thei relationship.  The OP stated that Paul is a childhood friend.  The OP is inviting Paul to an activity, not a scal only event.  I think the idea that I'm really bothered by is the concept that it is always wrong of a female to invite a married male to an activity without the spouse.  That because this is a co-ed activity, both husband and wife should be invited.

If the OP was a male, I don't think any one would question the idea of Paul being invited to participate in an activity with his male buddy without his wife being invited.  Because if it was, then guys poker night wouldn't be such a cliche.  Or if the female OP wanted to invite Olivia only to play Risk, no one would bat a eye if Paul wasn't a Risk player.

Would it be the same if Paul was married to John?  Would John be required to be invited to an activity he doesn't participate in just because he is married to Paul?

Yes, if all the details were the same as the OP, then John should be invited because 1) John desires to come and 2) John is friends with OP too and they all appear to be part of the same social circle.I don't see it as a male/female thing.  It's more about the fact that it is well-known that Olivia wants to be near Paul all the time.  If this were guys poker or something, I imagine that Paul would just eventually get booted from the invite list because of Olivia.  That's usually how these things pan out in the end.  But OP is not willing to not invite Paul for the game.  She does not have a whole lot of options.  It's invite Paul and Olivia or don't invite either of them.


Two new replies... posting anyway!

But to me this isn't a social event.  It's a group activity.  And Olivia has indicated she does not want to participate in the activity.  She wants to change the activity to something she wants to do.  Therefore, she doesn't warrant an invite to participate in the activity. 

TurtleDove

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #46 on: July 24, 2012, 01:00:19 PM »
Sure, but if Olivia is essentially banned from an activity she attended in the past, while her husband is welcomed, there will likely be repurchssions. The OP needs to decide whether it is worth Otto risk that. I am not saying Olivia is right or her needs and wants are more important. I am sayig the OP can only control what the OP does. If she "bans" Olivia, the relationship with Paul and Olivia may suffer.

MacadamiaNut

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2012, 01:34:38 PM »
Sure, but if Olivia is essentially banned from an activity she attended in the past, while her husband is welcomed, there will likely be repurchssions. The OP needs to decide whether it is worth Otto risk that. I am not saying Olivia is right or her needs and wants are more important. I am sayig the OP can only control what the OP does. If she "bans" Olivia, the relationship with Paul and Olivia may suffer.

I agree with this.  Maybe OP can help to confirm this, but I get the impression that Paul and Olivia have already established themselves as a package deal.  Nothing wrong with that.  It really is their issue, not OP's.  But if OP wants to remain friends with them, this is something she will need to accept.  Typically, couples who are like Paul and Olivia, again, nothing wrong with that, eventually get excluded from certain invites by people who are not accepting of it, and there's nothing wrong with that either. 

In this scenario, it is the singling out of Olivia by specifically excluding her that will cause the problem.  The ideal thing would be for OP to not invite Paul and see both him and Olivia on a separate occasion, as other posters have mentioned.  But if she wants Paul as the fourth Risk player then she has to accept that Olivia "needs" to be there too.

I personally am not into the whole "couples always as a package deal" thing, but I accept that some couples are like this and I work within those parameters.  I either invite them both or exclude them both.
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lowspark

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2012, 01:44:27 PM »
As evidenced here, the etiquette is a bit ambiguous as some people would be highly offended by the invitation coming only to Paul while others think it's perfectly fine. So it's best to examine this specific case instead of having a general guideline which applies.

It's clear that this couple is a package deal. If you invite Paul without Olivia, regardless of whether it's rude or not, Olivia's feelings will likely be hurt. And if Olivia is hurt, there's a good chance Paul will also be unhappy. And the result will be a dent in the friendship.

I've known couples who can't stand to be separated. They pretty much do everything together and neither one of them is interested in doing anything at which one would not be welcome. I had a friend like this who used to do girls only stuff all the time till she got married. Then she was no longer available to do girls only stuff, just things to which her husband could also come. This lasted for years till I guess they finally realized they weren't joined at the hip after all and she relaxed and joined back in the girls only events.

But while they were essentially inseparable, no amount of reasoning or cajoling was going to make them change. This appears to be the case with Paul & Olivia. So if you want him, you're pretty much stuck with her. And if you really don't want her, you're pretty much not going to get him either. And that's the reality of the situation that you will have to deal with and base your decision on.

ETA: MacadamiaNut essentially just said the same thing while I was typing. (!)

Hmmmmm

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2012, 01:54:43 PM »
As evidenced here, the etiquette is a bit ambiguous as some people would be highly offended by the invitation coming only to Paul while others think it's perfectly fine. So it's best to examine this specific case instead of having a general guideline which applies.

It's clear that this couple is a package deal. If you invite Paul without Olivia, regardless of whether it's rude or not, Olivia's feelings will likely be hurt. And if Olivia is hurt, there's a good chance Paul will also be unhappy. And the result will be a dent in the friendship.

I've known couples who can't stand to be separated. They pretty much do everything together and neither one of them is interested in doing anything at which one would not be welcome. I had a friend like this who used to do girls only stuff all the time till she got married. Then she was no longer available to do girls only stuff, just things to which her husband could also come. This lasted for years till I guess they finally realized they weren't joined at the hip after all and she relaxed and joined back in the girls only events.But while they were essentially inseparable, no amount of reasoning or cajoling was going to make them change. This appears to be the case with Paul & Olivia. So if you want him, you're pretty much stuck with her. And if you really don't want her, you're pretty much not going to get him either. And that's the reality of the situation that you will have to deal with and base your decision on.

ETA: MacadamiaNut essentially just said the same thing while I was typing. (!)

But Lowspark, did you guys quit inviting her to girl's only stuff because you knew she wouldn't join? 

I would feel rude not inviting Paul to do something I knew he enjoyed because I assumed he wouldn't want to join in because he wouldn't want to do an activity without his spouse.  I believe in "issue the invitation and then let the guest are participant decide if they can attend" not figure out if the person can join based on what I assume is their situation. 

I fully believe it is up to Paul and his wife to determine their social schedule. 

I think think it is perfectly OK to invite Paul only.  He can then decide if he wishes to attend an activity without his wife.  I think the bigger issue is how to make sure Paul understands he is invited to join the activity but there isn't also an invitation for his wife to come and try to change the activity. 

auntmeegs

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #50 on: July 24, 2012, 02:03:10 PM »
As evidenced here, the etiquette is a bit ambiguous as some people would be highly offended by the invitation coming only to Paul while others think it's perfectly fine. So it's best to examine this specific case instead of having a general guideline which applies.

It's clear that this couple is a package deal. If you invite Paul without Olivia, regardless of whether it's rude or not, Olivia's feelings will likely be hurt. And if Olivia is hurt, there's a good chance Paul will also be unhappy. And the result will be a dent in the friendship.

I've known couples who can't stand to be separated. They pretty much do everything together and neither one of them is interested in doing anything at which one would not be welcome. I had a friend like this who used to do girls only stuff all the time till she got married. Then she was no longer available to do girls only stuff, just things to which her husband could also come. This lasted for years till I guess they finally realized they weren't joined at the hip after all and she relaxed and joined back in the girls only events.But while they were essentially inseparable, no amount of reasoning or cajoling was going to make them change. This appears to be the case with Paul & Olivia. So if you want him, you're pretty much stuck with her. And if you really don't want her, you're pretty much not going to get him either. And that's the reality of the situation that you will have to deal with and base your decision on.

ETA: MacadamiaNut essentially just said the same thing while I was typing. (!)

But Lowspark, did you guys quit inviting her to girl's only stuff because you knew she wouldn't join? 

I would feel rude not inviting Paul to do something I knew he enjoyed because I assumed he wouldn't want to join in because he wouldn't want to do an activity without his spouse.  I believe in "issue the invitation and then let the guest are participant decide if they can attend" not figure out if the person can join based on what I assume is their situation. 

I fully believe it is up to Paul and his wife to determine their social schedule. 

I think think it is perfectly OK to invite Paul only.  He can then decide if he wishes to attend an activity without his wife.  I think the bigger issue is how to make sure Paul understands he is invited to join the activity but there isn't also an invitation for his wife to come and try to change the activity.

POD to all of this.

Twik

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #51 on: July 24, 2012, 02:19:31 PM »
Well, we can argue until the cows come home (and probably will) whether it's rude to not invite Olivia. But the practical point would be, will Olivia be offended if she's not invited? I would wager dollars to donuts that she will. Unless she's very clueless, she will understand that it means you don't actually enjoy spending time with her. The last time you'll be getting together with your friends for a while, and you don't invite her?

I'd expect the relationship to cool significantly, and may well mean that your relationship with Paul will suffer as well.
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lowspark

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #52 on: July 24, 2012, 02:21:54 PM »
But Lowspark, did you guys quit inviting her to girl's only stuff because you knew she wouldn't join? 

Well, yeah. It became established that she wasn't interested in participating in social activities that didn't include her husband. Of course, I kept inviting her to social activities which did include both.  Because really, how many times do you have to get "no" for an answer before you get it? I have had friends who pulled away by simply declining all invitations. After the nth "no" you get the idea and stop inviting them, leaving the ball in their court if they really do want to get together agaiin. This is the same kind of thing.

She knew I was still involved in lots of girls only stuff. And when she decided she wanted to participate, she simply let me know. And she was automatically included again.

I just don't see the point in repeatedly issuing invitations to someone, anyone, who will always decline. It's an exercise in futility. At some point, you stop inviting them and figure it's up to them to make the reconnection. Now, in this case, I stopped inviting her to specific events I knew she wasn't interested in but didn't stop inviting her to couples things. And she did make the reconnection when she was ready.

In the OP's case, she can invite Paul only. But based on what she has written about Olivia, I'd say there's a really good chance not only that the invitation will be declined but that Olivia, and probably Paul, will be offended.

MacadamiaNut

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #53 on: July 24, 2012, 02:51:54 PM »
I believe in "issue the invitation and then let the guest are participant decide if they can attend" not figure out if the person can join based on what I assume is their situation.

I fully believe it is up to Paul and his wife to determine their social schedule. 

I think think it is perfectly OK to invite Paul only.  He can then decide if he wishes to attend an activity without his wife.  I think the bigger issue is how to make sure Paul understands he is invited to join the activity but there isn't also an invitation for his wife to come and try to change the activity.

re: the first bolded.  I think there comes a point where their situation stops becoming an assumption.  I had a friend who brought her BF to everything.  Literally everything.   He wasn't even specifically invited to any of these things!  She established that rule by her actions.  He even showed up at a girls night out.  I never specifically said it was a girl's night, but with all the invitees and the things we planned, it was pretty obvious.   I eventually stopped inviting her to certain things because rather than hurt her feelings by saying he can't come, it was just easier that way.  Sometimes I just want to have one-on-one time with a friend, you know?  But that was just never possible.  I only invited her to those things where I didn't mind him being there from a certain point on.

re: the second bolded.  Yeah, that is exactly the issue.  No matter what OP decides, there will be consequences.  OP needs to decide which consequences are best:
- having interruptions in the game of Risk,
- risk offending her friends Olivia and Paul by excluding Olivia or
- find a fourth Risk player and see Olivia and Paul at a different time. 

If it were me, I'd do either the first or the third.  More likely the first and I'd issue the invite as I said earlier.  (Sorry to quote myself but it's just easier than typing it again.)

OP, I think you should invite Olivia when you invite Paul.  Make sure he understands that all you will be doing is playing Risk and if Olivia wants to come and watch, that's fine, you are happy to see her, but that it is not a socializing type of party.

Then leave whether Olivia comes or not up to Paul.  That's probably the best you could do in this situation, IMO.  Specifically singling Olivia out as being "not invited" would not make for good relations.
Paperweights, for instance - has anyone ever established what, when, and why
paper has to be weighed down? ::) ~Don Aslett

I'mnotinsane

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #54 on: July 24, 2012, 03:00:13 PM »
Sure, but if Olivia is essentially banned from an activity she attended in the past, while her husband is welcomed, there will likely be repurchssions. The OP needs to decide whether it is worth Otto risk that. I am not saying Olivia is right or her needs and wants are more important. I am sayig the OP can only control what the OP does. If she "bans" Olivia, the relationship with Paul and Olivia may suffer.

This is the crux of the issue.  From past experience the OP knows that Olivia will interpret an invitation for Paul as an invitation for her also.  Paul either doesn't know any better or doesn't want to deal with the fallout/separate from Olivia. While it would be perfectly polite to issue an invitation to Paul only (without mentioning Olivia) it probably will not garner the desired outcome. At this point, the only way for Paul to come without Olivia would be to specifically *disinvite* her.  That would be rude and will probably change the OP's relationship with both friends. 

Are you close enough friends that you can bring the event to Paul and Olivia's home?  Suggest bringing the game and a few snacks.  Olivia might be comfortable enough on her home turf to leave you alone for short periods of time.  You could also suggest meeting at a local coffee house, cafe, or library (on a slow night, making sure it is okay with management first).  In a public space she might find something else to occupy herself.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 03:03:07 PM by KitKat »

yokozbornak

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #55 on: July 24, 2012, 05:35:36 PM »
I have no issues being away from my DH and we do separate activities all the time.  I play Bunco and get pedicures with my friends and he plays golf with his.  We aren't necessarily a package deal. 

I do think the fact that this is a "party" and that you are female do play a role in this.  I wouldn't blink an eye if one of my husband's buddies wanted to play golf or have a poker night (okay, maybe a slight blink because my DH is a terrible poker player  ;)), but if one of our female friends called him over to play poker or watch football WITHOUT me, yeah, that would not go over well.   First, it would hurt my feelings and second, I would probably question your motives.  That may sound rude and tacky, but I would.  It would just not be a cool thing to do in my world. 

I also think clubs (like the cooking club) are different animals altogether because the people involved have made a decision to join, and I don't think it's rude to only invite club members to a club activity.

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #56 on: July 24, 2012, 07:55:30 PM »
I think if you invite one, you've got to invite the other, particularly because that's the established pattern at this point. I think it's OK to explain to Paul that it is ONLY going to be about Risk, and that there won't be other conversation, so if Olivia would be bored, you'd understand if she'd rather skip this outing and get together for something else in the future. But I think your choices are to invite both, or not invite either.

Hillia

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #57 on: July 24, 2012, 08:09:29 PM »
What's interesting to me is the amount of time and energy that's being spent on being considerate of Olivia's feelings, when she's indicated quite plainly that she doesn't give a hoot about anyone else's.  I admit that in my younger days (like, young teen) I behaved in similar annoying and immature ways.  And people quit hanging out with me.  And I got the point and corrected myself.  It always drives me batty when selfish behavior is excused with, 'well, that's just how s/he is'.  Well, it's just how I am to not tolerate it.

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SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #58 on: July 24, 2012, 08:11:28 PM »
Well it's the whole "two wrongs don't make a right" thing. She was rude, but that doesn't make rudeness toward her stop being rudeness.

C0mputerGeek

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Re: Questions on inviting one half of the social unit
« Reply #59 on: July 24, 2012, 10:27:31 PM »
If the gathering is Co-ed, you cannot exclude half of a social unit. Unless, like a previous poster said, it is a work function with spouses not invited.

Poker night is fine because its men only. If the OP wanted to invite a Female Friend, but was also going to invite men, then it would be wrong not to invite Female Friends spouse. The rules are the same.

If Paul was married to John, you still can't exclude half of a social unit. The rules stay the same.

This has nothing to do with the OP being a female, except for the fact that it makes the gathering a co-ed one.

I was raised with the same etiquette rule that Siotehcat is stating: Unless I was throwing a "girls only" event then I must include both halves of the couple. I was interested in what Miss Manners take on this. Link to her Rules of inviting couples

Sio is correct. A host cannot invite half of couples to most social events. Doing so is impolite. The only exception are one gender only (e.g. gals only) events. Since the OP is female and Paul is male, this is a co-ed event. Both Paul and Olivia must be invited.

Interestingly enough, Miss Manners does suggest a workaround: Make occasions that would be of obvious interest to one but not the other. Unfortunately, that scenario does not work here since Olivia attends regardless of whether she is interested or not.

Since Olivia is not interested in playing Risk and only distracts from the game, I would then either not invite Paul until he and Olivia are willing to attend events separately or be honest with Olivia about her behavior.

I have been friends with couples who are a "package deal" and no longer do "gals only" or "guys only" activities. I simply exclude the couple from certain events.

I agree with this.  Maybe OP can help to confirm this, but I get the impression that Paul and Olivia have already established themselves as a package deal.  Nothing wrong with that.  It really is their issue, not OP's.  But if OP wants to remain friends with them, this is something she will need to accept.  Typically, couples who are like Paul and Olivia eventually get excluded from certain invites by people who are not accepting of it, and there's nothing wrong with that either. 

Well said.