AdviceHelp Me Rhonda

Help Me, Rhonda

Wedding Crasher

My fiancé and I are getting married this coming fall. I have a friend I have known since college, and she and I have been chatting about the wedding for a while now. I spoke with her a few months ago, and she had finally left her gross, alcoholic partner after he was violent during one of his many, many drinking binges. Now, I come to find out that they are back together. I want her at my wedding, but I do not want him anywhere near the festivities and open bar. I fear that come the wedding, he will still be her plus-one. What should I do? If I invite her, can I ask that he not come? That will be uncomfortable enough. And if I don’t invite her, she’ll be hurt. Which drama do I endure? Yours,
Just Want to Have a Drama-Free Wedding

She’s your friend, and you want her at your wedding, so don’t leave her off the guest list. Especially since she’s got a problem boyfriend who probably costs her plenty of social opportunities already.

I don’t think it would be quite right to invite her and then ask her not to bring her boyfriend, either. That’s a harsh way to tell her you don’t like her boyfriend, and it’s a self-serving reason to tell her. It would be one thing to tell her you’re concerned about her boyfriend’s behavior and how it impacts her, but this would be about you, not about her well-being. (And while we’re talking about it, at some point expressing concern about how this bf affects her well-being would be a good thing to do.)

I think the best course of action is to invite her and not try to control who her guest is. In my experience, the bride and groom are always so consumed by cake cutting and requisite socializing at their own wedding that they don’t spend much more than five minutes with any one person. If she does bring Charles Bukowski, I don’t think you’ll even notice him. That just leaves the question of your other guests’ comfort. Identify three or four trusted (and strong) friends who will be at the reception and let them know the situation ahead of time. They can keep a discreet eye out for any trouble from this guy. If he does start to cause problems, they can quietly suggest to your friend (his girlfriend) that they leave and, if need be, escort him out.

Is This How Things Work? 

I recently got out of a three-year relationship, and I’m a little confused about dating. A few months ago, I had a very exciting two months with someone who suddenly told me that he wasn’t interested. I took him at his word and maintained the friendly and platonic relationship we had prior to dating. 

I have started seeing someone else very casually, nothing physical yet, but he seems like someone I would get along with well. The guy from before (we’ll call him Guy #1) has suddenly put the moves back on, and we’ve made out a couple times, but the thing is, he hasn’t asked me to hang out at all. I’m wondering if he’s just being cautious since he pulled the plug a few months ago or if he just wants convenient make-outs (standing outside my house after we hang out with friends) which I think would be pretty weird for a grown man, but he hasn’t suggested anything more.

I keep going out with Guy #2 and am keeping my options open as best as I can so as not to get emotionally carried away. I feel like I’m approaching these situations logically, but I’m not sure about Guy #1’s motivations or desires (he is a notoriously bad communicator) or whether these seemingly harmless make-outs can be of detriment to my dating life. My feelings for him have been reignited a bit but I’m aware of the danger in that. 

Is all of this normal? I don’t remember things being so slow or so bizarre. Before my three-year relationship I remember meeting people, being attracted to them, hanging out with them and then, after some time, hooking up with them and eventually labeling it as an exclusive relationship. Is the fact that I’m unsure about all this just speaking to my insecurity outside of that long relationship and Guy # 1 telling me he wasn’t interested, or is it just that these guys aren’t really interested?


Great question, Dating. For resolution with Guy #1, we’ll turn to Danny Castellano and recall what he told Mindy on “The Mindy Project:” Guys don’t break up with girls they secretly want to be with. Disappointing, I know. After two exciting months, it’s probably really difficult to let go of both the fun relationship and the potential it seemed to have. But him telling you that he’s not interested is very clear.

What’s less clear is why he’s suddenly trying to make out with you again. Fortunately for us, it doesn’t matter why he’s doing this. Trying to divine his motives is a bad habit. You’ll invariably convince yourself of the explanation you want to be true and disappointment and hurt feelings will ensue. 

So leaving the question of motivation aside, all we have to go on are his actions. He tries to make out with you when you happen to be alone and standing near each other. This does not a relationship make. It doesn’t even constitute casual dating. And it’s definitely not him “being cautious.” It’s him kissing you when the mood strikes him without any consideration for you. I advise ending the kissing. If he wants to start dating again, he can tell you that. You say he’s a notoriously bad communicator, but if you look carefully enough, I think you’ll probably find he can communicate just fine when it’s important to him. He communicates with his boss and co-workers, right? He once called Charter and got Internet at his house. He makes plans with friends. All of these require communication. And he’s communicating to you now. He’s letting you know that he doesn’t want to make specific plans with you that have a romantic undercurrent. He doesn’t want to date you. He wants to make out with you from time to time when he feels like it.

On to Guy #2, who sounds like he has potential. You know him a little bit, you like what you know, and I think you should keep getting to know him to see where things go. You’re right to be cautious about Guy #1 during this time. Nothing will hinder a relationship with #2 like an unresolved quasi-relationship with #1. Keep things platonic with #1 in order to things a real chance to develop with #2.

Beginning to date after a long-term relationship will feel a little strange, but your instincts are good. The rules haven’t changed dramatically in the three years you’ve been out of the game; don’t let anyone convince you that making out in the shadows is the new normal.

Dinner Bell

I’m planning a dinner party for several friends. I’m planning to serve meat (because it’s delicious), but one guest is a vegan. Do I need to make an entire separate meal for him? I don’t even totally know what vegans do and don’t eat. Growing up, I learned that when you’re someone’s guest, you aren’t picky about what they serve you. Am I wrong?



You’re like 50 percent right. It’s not polite for a guest to refuse to eat something he simply doesn’t like. But if a person consistently follows particular dietary guidelines, a considerate host accommodates him. You don’t have to make an entire separate meal, but every guest should be served a full meal. This means you don’t just make a meat and two sides and expect your vegan friend to fill up on bread and side dishes. He should be offered an alternative. A small amount of Internet research will produce some easy vegan options. You’ll be acting considerately and building a reputation as a host extraordinaire.