My girlfriend of a year and a half just received her 5th wedding invitation for the summer. Most of them are in town, but none of them are for people we know together–they’re all her friends. I told her I didn’t feel like going to all these with her last night, and she flipped out and called me selfish. I think she’s the one being selfish for expecting me to tag along to all these parties where I won’t know anyone. Who’s right?
– I regretfully decline
How’s this: you’re both wrong.
Who’s more wrong depends on a couple things: whether your girlfriend ever discussed all these weddings with you thoughtfully, or whether she just assumed you’d be happy to be in tow; whether there’s an issue of cost for you that she’s being insensitive to; and whether you see this relationship going anywhere.
Here’s the thing: a year and a half is plenty long enough for your girlfriend to assume that you’re a given on an invite. It would be more thoughtful for her to ask you about it, and let you vent, but assuming you can afford to go to these weddings (and since they’re her friends, I assume she’ll be doing the heavy lifting on gift costs, so presumably you can), it’s part of your job-as-boyfriend.
Not every part of being in a relationship is having fun together; some of it–maybe more than you’re willing to sign on for with this girl–is doing the boring stuff, the tedious duties, the toilet-cleaning and grocery shopping and airport pickups of a life together.
“Weddings of people you don’t know that well” are on that list, too.
If you care enough about this girl that you could imagine attending a wedding with her in a very different, groomly capacity some day, you need to suck it up and go. Talk with her about feeling like she takes it for granted, and lay down some ground rules that ease your pain at the event (“don’t abandon me for a girls-only dance circle” might be a good start), but then go. With good grace. If you guilt her about it and make her pay for your presence by sulking, you’re right, you shouldn’t go at all.
If your overwhelming feeling after hearing all this is still “god, I can’t believe she’s expecting me to do all this for HER,” that might be telling you something less rosy about your relationship…