Should I Attend a Frenemy’s Wedding?

Ask APW: Should I go if she's not invited to mine?

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Q: There is a “friend” who is just truly not a friend to me. My feelings about her are that it is time to move on and stop playing the “pretend friend” game. There is just one catch: she is getting married a bit before I am. And although most people have a similar relationship with her as I do, she wants all of us to be involved in the bachelorette, throw her showers, come to the wedding, etc.

While I am all about a good party, I keep going over and over what I should do about this in my head. Our relationship was so toxic that I have no intention of including her in any of my wedding stuff. I don’t mean it maliciously; I just feel this is practical. My close friends all agree that she should not be a part of any of my big day or things leading up to it.

What I am torn about is this: all of my friends are encouraging me to go to all of her events. Their reasoning is that it will be a great way for us to see each other. While that is true, I feel weird about attending everything while knowing the whole time she won’t be invited to my events. I especially feel weird about it knowing how confrontational she is, and that she will definitely want to have words upon the realization she is not invited to my wedding.

So, what should I do? Go, enjoy myself, play it cool? Or go with my gut and just avoid all of it all together. Skip the bachelorette and shower and just go to the wedding, keeping the involvement minimal? I am trying to balance my feelings, my friends’ feelings, her feelings, and it just is not going well. Additionally, some say I should invite her just because she is inviting me to her stuff. How do I explain to people that things like that don’t matter to me, and that having only the people I love there is most important, in a way without sounding (for lack of a better word) like a complete b**ch.

Too old to play pretend (with friends)

A: Dear TOPPWF,

Well, no, you don’t have to invite her to your wedding. And of course you don’t have to skip her stuff. Wedding invitations and the like aren’t tit-for-tat.

If she invited you to her wedding, the assumption is that she wants you to be there. So, go if you want to go. Whether or not she’s coming to yours doesn’t factor in. These are separate unrelated events, with separate unrelated decisions. And frankly, you don’t have to rationalize whether you go or don’t go, if you invite her or don’t invite her. “I was busy.” “We just didn’t have room.” The end.

The status of your friendship, on the other hand, does factor in. But even then, just slightly. You don’t have to be besties to wish the best for someone, be supportive of their marriage, and take them up on an offer of free food and dancing.

My one caution: be aware of the level of intimacy of these different events. You don’t super love the girl? Yeah, sure, go to the wedding. But maybe skip the bachelorette party if it’s just you and her two best friends. Pass on the dress shopping. Stick to events where you’ll be contributing to a merry, well-wishing crowd, and decline the ones that are just for nearest and dearest.

Whether you go or not, whether you invite her or don’t, keep in mind that a lot of people are terrible in college and eventually outgrow it. Make confident decisions that protect you from hurt, but be sure to leave room for the possibility of growth and change.

If you would like to ask APW a question, please don’t be shy! You can email: askteampractical [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com. If you would prefer to not be named, anonymous questions are also accepted. Though it really makes our day when you come up with a clever sign-off! 

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