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Valentines Day Debacle

February 9, 2011

When “All In Good Fun,” Is … Kind of Instrusive

Does Her Sex Life Have To Be Part Of A Game?

Dear Erica,

My husband and I were invited to a couples Valentine’s dinner.  There will be a total of four couples there and we are all good friends.  We already responded that we would be able to attend.  After I responded, the hostess sent out a questionnaire that would be part of the evenings activities.  I was shocked when I read the questions.  I think they are completely inappropriate, pertain to private information (i.e. How often do you have sex?) and do not want to share the answers with these friends or anyone.  I’m not sure how to tell my friend my feelings about this “activity” or to just make up an excuse to not attend.  I’m afraid that she’ll try to reschedule since it’s such a small group.  Any ideas on how to handle this without hurting any feelings?

Silence is Hard to Hear

Do you also have to leave your keys in a bowl?

I’m teasing. While it may make you uncomfortable, this request is hardly the stuff Playboy letters are made of. My guess is your hostess wants to play a modified version of “The Newlywed Game” or something similarly benign. But – that doesn’t mean you have to play along. And I totally feel your discomfort. Some stuff, especially stuff between couples in long-term relationships shouldn’t necessarily be fodder for parlor games.

But, the questioner is your close friend. Most likely she won’t be shocked to find out you are a little skeeved out. So, just let her know “Hey, the game sounds like fun – but I’m uncomfortable with answering some of these questions. Can we take it out of the bedroom?”

Maybe propose some of your own questions in the same vein? Or, offer to bring another game that everyone may enjoy. Things along the lines of “Where did you first meet?” or “What’s your favorite restaurant?” Or, offer to bring another game that everyone may want to play.

But definitely don’t cancel without explanation. If your friend doesn’t want to change her hostess games and you don’t want to play, then you can excuse yourself from the party – but just canceling without telling them why is an exercise in passive-aggressiveness.  And friends shouldn’t do that to friends. That’s the only way I could see hurt feelings ensuing.

Telling your friends you are uncomfortable with something shouldn’t hurt her feelings. The only hurt feelings here shouldn’t be with the hostess, but possibly in how the hostess responds to you. She should be gracious, understanding and willing to accommodate. If she isn’t, that’s on her. You can’t control how other people react to a reasonable adult request.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Photo Credit xu_99

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