Boyfriend was included on dinner invite that my sister sent to other friend

Dear Ellie,

My female friend recently “outed” my sister’s (late) “summer girlfriend” as a guy — she even included him on the invite. On Instagram, her friend included my sister’s much younger man in a screen shot of our recent dinner. Once I confronted her, she assured me that she just wanted to “make her friends happy.” Now I don’t want to believe her, so I am thinking of just ignoring it. Should I just let this go and forget about it? I am hoping that my sister will make an issue of it and set us up for a date! I love my sister and I’m afraid of upsetting her, but I want to have fun and be with my sister. Do you have any ideas?


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Dear Ellie,

You shouldn’t worry about upsetting your sister. If your sister is not a social butterfly, and she is doing what you would do for someone else, you are not going to call her out. But while your sister doesn’t need to put the kibosh on the short-hand prenup exchange, you do want to set your longtime friends straight.

You say your sister doesn’t need to play it cool. That’s not a hard sell. People often get into trouble, very directly, when they don’t allow themselves to be “nice.” In the same way, your friend might well get into trouble when she tries to play nice and doesn’t let loose an address and name when she seems entitled to both. She also needs to understand that when she gets invested in other people, she will sometimes not honor it.

To make her feel more included in the tribe, take her out to dinner with an actual group of people, who you do not know. Heading to the coast, you can afford a romantic excursion — a picnic and a stroll — in an adjacent area to accommodate this version of your “summer girlfriend.”

Forgive her, apologize if needed, and invite her to join you at a dinner with your extended friends at a nearby restaurant. Tell her you are just supporting the faction she’s going to or is going to to. Don’t bring up the “summer girlfriend” for the rest of the evening.

Your other friend who made the targeted invite has also done you a huge favor by providing a pre-written, and publicly available, shot of her friend in what should be an eye-opening predicament for you and your sister. By throwing your friend under the bus, your sister won’t have to feel blindsided and torn.

You have a lot to look forward to in the coming months.

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