Dear V: Is my boyfriend shopping around or embarrassed?

Dear V,

My boyfriend and I have been going out exclusively for 14 months and everything is good between us. “Ethan’s” older brother is getting married during our winter break and he has not asked me to be his date at the wedding. Even though the wedding is out of town, I would love to travel and attend at my own expense, of course. The wedding reception is going to be first class and I reallllly want to go.

I’ve hinted, and then point-blank asked if he wanted my company at the wedding. Ethan casually replied, “No,” because he “doesn’t want a date for the wedding.” That’s all he says. And I am hurt.

Is he shopping around, embarassed of me or what?

I am,


Dear Confused,

There comes a time in just about every long-term romance when you begin to wonder, “Where is this relationship going?”

This is a stressful question that has a tendency to consume one’s mind once it shows up, especially in couples that have been dating for over a year. Sometimes, the question can be avoided by relaxing, enjoying one another’s company, and letting the relationship run its natural course.  But in your case, Ethan’s sister’s wedding invite creates an elephant in the room that just doesn’t seem to fit back out the door.  Is your relationship as serious as you think it is?

I must state the obvious first:  Have you asked Ethan why he does not want you to attend the nuptials?

Perhaps he feels that whisking you off to a celebration of eternal commitment could send the wrong message to you.  Have you met his family yet?  Maybe he is nervous about it, or feels that introducing his boo might steal his sister’s thunder. Or, he could just be “shopping around.”  He might have already done some shopping on the side (if you know what I mean).

While I’m not trying to freak you out, I just want you to understand that Ethan’s decision might stem from any number of reasons.  But there is one thing that remains known:  you deserve to know.

Not only is Ethan hurting you, he is leading you to question the value of your relationship.  In order to smooth things over, the two of you MUST be on the same page.

Ask him nicely why he does not want a wedding date. If he does not want to tell you why, tell him you’re hurt and will try to be understanding (which excuses you’ll choose to understand, I will leave up to you).  If he’s still not budging, ditch the loser.  This discussion (or lack thereof) will tell you much of what you need to know about the direction of your relationship, and whether or not you should continue it.

Best of luck!