• Resolving Problems

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Published: October 11, 2016 | By | 6 Replies Continue Reading
A woman is never sure whether a dinner date with a friend will include surprise guests.


Dear Friendship Doctor,

I would like you opinion about a touchy situation I’m am constantly having with a male friend. He invites me over for dinner or drinks and when another friend calls, he says he is not busy and invites them over.

I think it is very rude. It is like he is dumping me for something better and he always answers his phone when he has company, whether it is me or someone else, and continues to talk to the person on the phone.

I get fed up and go home but he gets angry that I do. Can you help clear this up? Am I wrong to feel dumped and unimportant to this friend?

Signed, Heather


Hi Heather,

I can understand how you would feel hurt and unimportant under these circumstances. One possibility is that your friend may simply be more social and inclusive than you, adhering to the “more is better” philosophy. Coming from this perspective, he may have no idea how these intrusions feel to you.

Another thought: You may want a more intimate relationship with your friend than he does with you.

Next time your friend invites you over for dinner, let him know you would prefer to spend uninterrupted time with him alone—without other people popping in or his talking on the phone at length. If he isn’t willing to agree to these terms, you can either decline the invitation or decide whether being with him is worth swallowing your pride. Do you think inviting him to dinner at your place might solve the problem?

Hope this helps!

Best, Irene

Category: Disappointing friends, RESOLVING PROBLEMS

Comments (6)

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  1. joy says:

    I Have emailed him about how I feel when he does this and just recently sat down with him and expressed again how this makes me feel.I also forgot to mention that for some reason, when I am there and he answers the phone he “lies” about what he is doing, he never seems to let the person on the phone know that he has invited me over for supper, drinks coffee etc. It seems to me that he is embarrassed to let his friends know that I am there. We do a lot together ,shop, go out for supper, like a good friend does. I have asked him about this behavior and he gets really mad and says things like, you are not going to tell me what to say to friends and have no reason to do so but it puzzles me as to why he just doesn’t say that I am there ??? I am not embarrassed or ashamed of spending time with my friends and it seems for some reason he is …WITH ME !!! At this point, I am feeling like he is not a really good friend and friends like that I don’t need. Anyone care to try and explain this behavior to me ?

    • Sandra says:

      I certainly don’t know this man, so I can’t explain the behavior. But this doesn’t sound like a healthy friendship to me. I would spend my time elsewhere.

      • joy says:

        I appreciate all the comments and realize once I actually wrote these things out that this is not a healthy relationship. Certainly not what I expected a good friend to be like or treat me this way and I am not liking who I am with him. I think I finally have seen the light.Thanks

  2. Denise says:

    Heather and Joy sound like the same person.

    If I were invited for dinner, then the host invited someone else while I was there, I wouldn’t be surprised really if it sounded spontaneous. But, like you, I wouldn’t like it if I was invited to someone’s home and they spent time on the phone while I was there. The call should only last a few minutes, explaining he/she has company–unless it important or urgent.

    “He can’t be at my place for too long as he is allergic to cats but when he comes over he brings his phone and does exactly the same thing if he gets a call.” —- Especially the second part; that’s awful and rude.

    “I get fed up and go home but he gets angry that I do.” Second part is Ridiculous.

    This is similar to being in public and spending more time with the phone than the person your with. So…. “I have told him if he chooses to continue this ,I will not accept an invitation.” is a great idea!

  3. Sandra says:

    First, I think it might be important to clarify whether this is a platonic friendship or a romantic relationship. Since you refer to this man as “a friend,” I am assuming it’s simply a friendship. I suppose it doesn’t matter either way — you want more of this friend’s respectful attention and loyalty, and he’s not giving that to you when you’re with him. Sounds like he’s a very social guy.

    On the other hand, if you’re hoping for more of a romantic relationship (that’s not clear in your letter), I think you’re wasting your time with this man.

    Clearly, you’re not pleased with the way this friendship is going, and it really should be discussed directly with your friend.

  4. joy says:

    I have talked to him many times about this and how it makes me feel and for a short time he respects that but then it doesn’t last long before he is back to answering his phone and dumping me . When he answers his phone it is not just a few minutes on the phone, it can last 1/2 hour or more. He can’t be at my place for too long as he is allergic to cats but when he comes over he brings his phone and does exactly the same thing if he gets a call. I have talked to other friends of his about this and they don’t appreciate the interruption of a visit because of the phone either. I have told him if he chooses to continue this ,I will not accept an invitation.

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