“In the Arithmetic of Love, One Plus One Equals Everything" Mignon McLaughlin

Monday, November 22, 2010
For years, one of the things I’ve missed about not being part of a couple is not having someone to fill my “plus one” spot at events. Certainly there are the big events like weddings, but I even miss it at casual get togethers and dinner parties. There is something about an even number of people that to me seems more complete than an odd number.

Lately I’m finding more and more social scenarios where I’m short one. Say for example, Bears home games, in which I’m sitting on two tickets for a game, or I’ve got all four and another pair of folks who is in for the game but I can’t find another single to fill the gap. It makes me feel lonelier than I believe I actually am, not being able to put one body in a seat.

I think it’s one of the driving reasons behind my pursuit of a relationship, wanting a default person to attend events with (and travel with and make dinner with, etc., I’m looking for more than a dance partner, obviously). I usually don’t like anyone long enough to think about inviting them to group events, but I’m starting to think Marathon Guy would make a good plus one.

Having not had one in awhile, I find I'm unsure how to proceed.

First, the timing is tripping me up. I’m not sure how far in advance I can invite him. Two weeks? Three weeks? The more notice I give for the event, the more likely he’ll be able to attend. The farther out the event, the more likely I won’t be dating him by the time it comes around anyway.

I’m also worried about the implications inviting him to meet friends could have on our perceived level of commitment. Meeting friends is traditionally a big step, and while I tend to use it more as a helpful insight as to whether a potential mate would fit into my social scene, I can see that he might think that it was a sign I wanted to move towards exclusive dating. Which I don’t.

Of course even more terrifying than Marathon Guy thinking I like him more than I do (or at least am willing to admit), is the idea that he might want me to meet HIS friends. Which would mean that he is thinking about exclusively dating me. A double standard, yes, but while my friends would humor me and my maybe-boyfriend screenings, I’m sure that Marathon Guy wouldn’t have such a ridiculous pretense established with his friends about me.

And let’s not forget that all of these musings completely overlook the option that he might not want to go to events with me, might not want to meet my friends. I could be working myself up over nothing!

What am I saying? I have Bears/Jets and an Ugly Christmas Sweater party coming up. Marathon Guy would be a FOOL to pass on these awesome activities! Well, assuming I get around to inviting him.


Samantha said...

I say invite him. You'll be able to gauge his level of commitment to you by his reaction.

Nicole said...

I agree, those events are supremely awesome... I can't imagine who wouldn't want to go.

Anonymous said...

Have you gone crazy? Since when has meeting someone's friends become "a big step"? It's meeting someone's family that is the "big step"! Asking the man/woman you are seeing in a casual dating relationship to join you at events is just saying "Hey, I like spending time with you and think we could have fun at this ." If he/she declines it's ok. They could have other plans, not be a fan of , or aren't the social butterfly you are and just prefer to stay home. You are turning a simple moment into a dramatic do or die. Stop over thinking everything and ask him. If he says "Yes" great! Have fun. If not then wait for the next event and ask again. If he continues to say "No" you'll have your answer. Then you can worry about the next step. Finally, a person doesn't say yes because they are hoping to meet your friends. They say yes because they want to spend time with you. What happens if he says "yes" and then afterwards doesn't like your friends? Are you going to stop inviting him? Or give him another opportunity to get to know your friends they way you do? (For the record, and you should know this, not everyone is meant to get along.) Good Luck whatever you decide.

Dater at Large said...

Dear Anonymous, Have I gone crazy? Perhaps, but if you think I'm crazy it's likely I've been this way for awhile (see any of my previous posts for reference).

I freak out about dating stuff, that's no secret, and it's something I'm both aware of and trying to work on.

I'll be sure to take your comment as constructive criticism.

jo said...

i don't invite just any guy i'm kinda dating to meet my friends. but then again i don't necessarily think it's a huge deal. (and yes i know i'm contradictory like that :P)

i say invite him. maybe let him know 2 weeks in advance? that sounds bout the right time such that it doesn't seem like it's so last minutue nor that it's so planned. and hopefully you'll still likely to be interested in seeing him in 2 weeks time :P

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