Dating etiquette was quite different when I was a teen. I’m trying to keep up with what’s going on with my young teenager and her friends. My daughter’s friend (let’s call her Amy) had a date for her school prom with a boy (we’ll call Johnny) from a neighboring town. At the last minute Johnny backed out.
Johnny and Amy connected through my daughter on social media. It seemed to be an amicable friendship. Even though they never actually met in person, they messaged everyday for three months. Now Amy and my daughter are wondering what went wrong? How could Johnny break the date to go to the prom with Amy without offering an excuse?
How do we teach our teenagers to navigate dating on social media in a more civilized and polite manner?
- In ghosting, which predates texting, you simply dump the person you were dating, courting or had previously had a crush on by going cold turkey and not answer texts or any kind of messaging. The dumper acts as though he/she never even knew the dumpee. Leaving the dumped to lick their wounds wondering what they did wrong. Too lazy, the wuss doesn't offer an explanation.
- There is no fear of obligation or commitment.
- The heartbreak is allegedly less devastating when the relationship peters out -- drifts out of your orbit.
- You circle round and round each other (much like wagging dogs sniffing each other in the park) through social media before making a decision as to whether to actually meet for the first time in person.
- Or you return to the relationship you miss a lot.
- It's self-protective.
- A common theme in online dating is keeping an eye on your options.
- In the gay community orbiting is a diplomatic way of cultivating being part of the community.
- People orbit when they are not ready to commit but don't want to totally eliminate contact because they might miss out on being able to reconnect going forward.
- Dming on a post is a way of getting into another person's orbit.
- Orbiting lets us keep tabs on people whether it's a platonic or romantic relationship.
- Not texting someone back is as rude as not returning a phone call or answering an email.
- On the other hand, if s/he's a narcissist, s/he'll be back -- so block him or her.
- Orbiting is creepy. Like stalking, so watch out. Especially if you've been ghosted and s/he's orbiting you. Block him or her.
- Us this incident as an opportunity to teach empathy.
- From time to time monitor your teen's Internet behavior in the hope that you don't find that s/he is wasting time orbiting, or is being hauntingly orbited by someone else.
About wearing white before Memorial Day. What’s with the leader of our country and the world doing wearing white before Memorial Day?
- Nowadays, winter white is a marvelously chic color.
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Invited to an informal no neckwear wedding in June. Do I have to wear a jacket? I’m not part of the wedding party, just a roommate from college. The wedding is not in a church, but outside. The groom isn’t wearing a tie, but he is wearing a jacket.
–JG, Portsmouth, RI
- By showing up in a respectable jacket you won't risk being mistaken for one of the caterer's waitstaff.
- A pocket handkerchief -- without too many points -- would be swell as well.
–Jeff, Location Withheld
- On your excel spread sheet find a way to designate who writes the thank-you note to whom.
- In modern times, sending out a thank-you note upon receipt of a gift (or notification of a gift) is far more efficient.
- Older folks, especially, really like receiving the acknowledgment that their gift was received and is appreciated, sooner rather than later. (They often write saying, "I haven't received a thank-you note for a wedding present and it's been a year!")
- The rule of thumb is that you have a year to send all your thank-you notes, but I recommend giving yourselves a six month deadline.
- And, no matter the design of the thank-you note, flat card or fold-over, always be sure to include a handwritten personalized line or two mentioning a brief description of the gift. And, when applicable, that you, also, wish to thank them for coming to your wedding.
- Don't bother taking your thank-you notes with you to write out during your wedding trip/honeymoon. They simply won't get done.
- These days, some couples have a monogram designed to include both their first and last initials. The four letters are intertwined.
- When the bride and groom are both using the same last name they sometimes simply use the first initial of that last name as their signature motif. For instance, a pronounced G. These can often be found boxed online or in stores that sell stationery.
- Being even more creative, we also see a motif such as an anchor, shell, palm tree, two monkeys, sailboat, bug, that, perhaps, appeared on the save-the-date card (meaning anchor the date), cocktails napkins, etc. These can, also, be bought already boxed saving the expense of printing.
- Traditionally, the bride and groom would have their own note card (him) or fold-over notes (her) with their full name. Or the fold-over note or flat card, you would simply have printed: Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Stuart Greene.
- When the couple own a house or apartment, they may simply have their address on a notepaper or card, once again, so that both can use the same stationery. Quite convenient when the couple use different last names.
- The Printery in Oyster Bay (not to be confused with the company by the same name in Glen Cove), NY, has an exquisite selection of hand engraved stationery.
- When you have a message that you can use over and over customizing the same tone, such as: "Jeff joins me in thanking you for the beautiful wooden salad bowl," writing thank-you notes isn't as daunting of a task as one anticipates.
–Grace, Hilton Head, SC
- We’ve both been attendants ourselves so we understand that the cost, especially if you have to travel to a wedding, is a huge commitment, anywhere between $1,000-$2,000 per wedding.
- Friends who thought they were close friends had hurt feelings because they hadn’t been chosen to be in the wedding party.
- On the other hand, we know that it is hard to say no when someone asks you to be their maid-of-honor or best man.
- Does my college roommate, at whose wedding I was a bridesmaid, assume she is one of my bridesmaids?
- Several friends are pregnant, making choosing the bridesmaid’s dresses a nightmare.
- Others have small children that will have to be fed.
We’ve decided that our wedding should be an inclusive wedding of our truly closest family and friends. And where certain guests are not signaled out as more special than others. Everyone will be treated equally.
–AS, Watch Hill, RI
- Whether you have six attendants each or twelve each, you'll be spending too much energy on keeping everyone happy. For you, it may be better to have none.
- Make everyone happy by sparing your friends the huge commitment of being an attendant.
- You can get yourselves down the aisle without attendants.
- Avoid drama, invite only your best friends.
- Ask yourselves, Are attendants more of a hassle than an honor?
- The current trend: Fifty percent of couples choose not to have large weddings with attendants.
–BC, Seattle, WA
- As the host, unless you're not particular, make a list of assumed single people you are inviting whom you want to extend a plus one invitation to your wedding.
- If the guest doesn't list his plus one's name on the reply care to the ceremony, find out the name of the guest your guest is bringing as their plus one.
- Add that person's name to your guest list after the original guest's name on the spreadsheet. That way if the name of the plus one changes, at least you're keeping a correct head count.
- As a guest, he or she is being invited because they're liked by the wedding couple or their parents.
- If a mutual friend hasn't been invited, it is because the bride and groom don't want him at their wedding, so it is in bad manners to bring him as your plus one.
- It can be hurtful to the plus one to be told they weren't invited because they aren't liked, so don't push it.
- Make it clear that if a guest is bringing a plus one, s/he sends a gift from the bridal registry from both the original guest and his/her plus one.
- The plus one can certainly send his own gift from the bridal registry, as a thank-you for having been invited, but don't count on it.
- Don't get caught up in being stuck with a revolving guest list of unwanted plus ones -- surprises that you either don't know or don't like.
- Do give a plus one to a friend's SO when they've been together for over six months and you've met him or her more than once.
- Don't give an open plus one because you're stuck if you know the plus one and don't like him or her.
- Do give a guest traveling from afar, who may not know people at your wedding, the option of having a plus one.
- Don't think you have to offer all of your extended family members plus ones, the fact that they're family means that they'll have people to talk to at the wedding anyway.
- Do ask single participants in your bridal party if they would like a plus one, and get the name and address of the person to whom you can send an invitation.
- Don't get talked into giving someone a plus one once the list has been finalized, which is after the cutoff date for the reply card return. Even if he says, "She's the one. I can't wait for you to meet her."
- Often the size of the list depends upon the fire code of the venue where the reception is taking place.
- Leave your answer at that.
- A small wedding is in the eye of the beholder. What a small wedding may be to you, might look like a big wedding to me.
- Couple: With a good pen print the names of the guests who are invited on the outside and inside envelopes (if you're using two both).
Mr. Matthew J. Whitman (guest)
Ms. Annie Louise Kelley (plus one)
- For a family: when residing at the same address, list on the inside and outside envelopes the names of the children you wish to invite. For instance you may not have accommodations for small children and babies. You can also list, or just list, those names in the upper left hand corner of the actual invitation:
- There is no time constraint on sending a condolence note. Whoever is handling your friend's personal affairs will appreciate your taking the time to write him or her a note.
- Remember that a man who makes it known that he has children is traditionally paid a higher salary or/and accrues more benefits than a woman in the same job.
- Men in the workplace are rewarded for having children, while women doing the same job are penalized.
- Should a colleague say, "I didn't know that you had children," nonchalantly respond saying, "I didn't think anyone would be interested."
- Check out the company culture at glassdoor.com.
–AW, Charleston, SC
- You don't have to invite children and you didn't.
- So you can stick to that excellent decision.
- They are the child of the bride and groom.
- They are the child of the bride or groom from another relationship.
- They are siblings or step-siblings of the bride or groom.
- There is nobody to watch the child while his/her parent(s) attend the wedding.
- The child is twelve-years-old or older, and then -- only if there is a connection with the bride or groom.
- The wedding is very formal, either white tie or black tie.
- The reception is held at six o'clock or later in the evening.
- The dinner is seated formally with place cards and table cards.
- There won't be any accommodations to feed, seat or entertain small children.
- There won't be any childcare available at the wedding ceremony or reception.
- You want all of your guests to have a good time.
- If it is a guest coming from out of town, offer to help find a caregiver that can stay with the child during the wedding reception.
- Invite the guest to bring the the child to the ceremony, and then gently remind her/him that there won't be any accommodations for the child at the reception or seated dinner.
- After all, the parent wouldn't want their child to be the only child at the reception.
My husband and I separated a year ago. I’ve tried many times to persuade him to get a lawyer so we can get a divorce and let bygones be bygones, however, he’s lazy and cheap and can’t seem to find time to deal with our fizzled out marriage. I’ve tried talking to our mutual friends for support, but he doesn’t listen to them either. Help!
–AW, Brooklyn, NY
Is it right to fall in love with two ladies at once?
–Oluwapelumi, Kwara, Nigeria
- A lot depends upon which woman you are the most committed to.
- If you are married to one, work on that relationship first; don't see the other woman while you're trying to make a decision about the first woman.
- The first being a flirtatious infatuation, while the other has reached a more mature level.
- If the table was turned and one of the women was romantically in love with two men and couldn't decide between two guys, what would you advise her to do?
- How do you feel while imagining both of these women kissing other men?
- Which woman would you not be willing to share with someone else?
- What would you think if you knew one of the women was in love with someone else?
- Is it about love or sex?
- Are you really torn between two lovers or do you have your ego and love mixed up?
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- "The Cat Person," by Kristen Roupenian,
- from the online New Yorker magazine:
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What style of wedding dress code is appropriate for a 4:00 ceremony. The reception for 50 people will follow immediately after the ceremony. We are having a cocktail hour, then dinner, and dancing. I am the Mother of the Bride. The wedding colors are blush, ivory, periwinkle (a very pale blue, similar to a Williamsburg blue). Very soft colors.
–Elizabeth, Atlanta, GA
- The groom, best man, and ushers follow a set dress code. Meaning mid-grey, charcoal grey, or navy blue suits. There is also a trend in warm weather toward khaki suits and navy blue blazers worn with off-white trousers (quite handsome in the photos).
- The bride would not have a wedding gown with a train, nor a cathedral veil of great length, and the skirt length could be knee-length, ankle-length or any length in between. The wedding dress would not be a ballgown, but even for a church wedding her shoulders can be bare (though not if held in a Catholic church).
- The bridesmaids' dresses can be of different styles to suit the particular bridesmaid, but are usually the same length, fabric and color. The choice of color is up to the bride because the color reflect her dress, bouquet and wedding colors. Knee length is preferable for a 4:00 pm wedding, even when the bride's gown is long.
- The mother-of-the-bride chooses her dress, usually in a shade of beige or a pastel, and sends a photo and/or description to the mother-of-the-groom (who traditionally wears beige or blue). In wedding photos the mothers-of-the-bride and groom always look the best when they are wearing the same length and basically a similar style, although not necessarily the exact same color. Neither would wear white nor any shade of off-white. The only woman at your daughter's wedding wearing white is the bride.
Accepting A Compliment