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Here's a new one...two SOs?

My FI recently spoke to a friend that he hasn't talked to for a few months but who we're inviting to our wedding. The friend is divorced, and my FI asked if he was seeing anyone (because, of course, we are inviting SOs). The friend informed my FI that he now identifies as polyamorous, and has two girlfriends. I'm an open-minded person and I don't judge anyone who leads a poly lifestyle...but am I right that being poly does not automatically entitle you to be invited with all of your love interests?

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Re: Here's a new one...two SOs?

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    If he considers both of them equal partners, then it's really not up to you to pick one that can come. They're a social unit, just of 3 instead of 2. I'd personally invite both women rather than force him to choose between them. I don't know that there's a standard etiquette for poly relationships, but I would treat it the same as the rest of your guests.
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    keochan said:
    If he considers both of them equal partners, then it's really not up to you to pick one that can come. They're a social unit, just of 3 instead of 2. I'd personally invite both women rather than force him to choose between them. I don't know that there's a standard etiquette for poly relationships, but I would treat it the same as the rest of your guests.
    No, the 3 of them together are not a social unit - it's not sister wives here. He just has 2 different relationships with 2 different women (though he assures us that they know about each other and are cool with it). For what it's worth, he didn't ask to be invited with either/both, I'm just thinking proactively.
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    I don't know the answer to this but it seems like it could get out of hand really fast. What if he has 10 girlfriends by the time your wedding rolls around?
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    itzMSitzMS member
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    Ask him for the spelling of the girlfriends' names so you can include them on the invitation. Let the friend decide which one (or both or neither) to bring.
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    I can't imagine what the odds would be this would effect your other guests, but nonetheless, I think that should be taken into consideration. Typically a wedding guest gets a plus ONE, not a plus TWO.

    So as long as none of your other guests will make a stink about not getting to bring two people then I say go ahead and invite them both. However, even if he does consider himself polyamorous I think you are within your rights to only extend him an invitation for one of the girlfriends and he can choose which to bring.

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    annathy03 said:




    keochan said:

    If he considers both of them equal partners, then it's really not up to you to pick one that can come. They're a social unit, just of 3 instead of 2. I'd personally invite both women rather than force him to choose between them. I don't know that there's a standard etiquette for poly relationships, but I would treat it the same as the rest of your guests.

    No, the 3 of them together are not a social unit - it's not sister wives here. He just has 2 different relationships with 2 different women (though he assures us that they know about each other and are cool with it). For what it's worth, he didn't ask to be invited with either/both, I'm just thinking proactively.

    I assume this means they don't go on dates all together, so I would address the invitation to Mr. FI's friend and guest.  Then he gets to pick which girlfriend he takes out that evening.  And if he has 10 girlfriends by the time your wedding rolls around as @MissHart00 pointed out is possible, he doesn't end up with an entire table to him and his lady friends.
    I like this idea, even though it may not be correct etiquette wise. He dates these two women separately so he could just goose which one he wants to date that night.
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    edited June 2013
    I don't think being poly necessarily means you're allowed to bring an infinite number of SOs, but if your FI's friend considers his relationships with both women to be equally serious - ie, considers both of them to be a SO - then I think both should be invited. But if it were me, I would just ask what FI's friend would prefer to do and leave it up to him - assuming giving him one additional SO isn't going to break the bank or put you over venue capacity or something.

    ETA: spelling
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    annathy03 said:
     
    I assume this means they don't go on dates all together, so I would address the invitation to Mr. FI's friend and guest.  Then he gets to pick which girlfriend he takes out that evening.  And if he has 10 girlfriends by the time your wedding rolls around as @MissHart00 pointed out is possible, he doesn't end up with an entire table to him and his lady friends.

     

    I'm thinking this as well.

     

    At first, I thought the OP meant that they were a unit of three--as in all three were in a relationship together, but now it seems that he just has separate relationships with the two of them. If the latter is true, then to me, it wouldn't make sense for him to bring both at the same time, just one.

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    keochan said:
    If he considers both of them equal partners, then it's really not up to you to pick one that can come. They're a social unit, just of 3 instead of 2. I'd personally invite both women rather than force him to choose between them. I don't know that there's a standard etiquette for poly relationships, but I would treat it the same as the rest of your guests.
    No, the 3 of them together are not a social unit - it's not sister wives here. He just has 2 different relationships with 2 different women (though he assures us that they know about each other and are cool with it). For what it's worth, he didn't ask to be invited with either/both, I'm just thinking proactively.
    Ah, I was under the impression the 3 of them were all involved in one relationship, in that case just give him a standard +1
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    It just seems like he's dating two different ladies.  A poly relationship usually has all parties in one relationship with everyone.  It doesn't seem like he takes both out at the same time.  Unless he does take both out on dates together, then he should get an & guest and he can figure out which lady attends.  But if he does indeed take both ladies on dates with each other, then you should invite both of this GFs.
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    I'm assuming the girlfriends aren't also in a relationship with each other, so I would see him in two separate social units - one with each lady. I'd give him one space for an SO. I'm also assuming that he goes on separate dates with each lady.
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    I would invite him with ONE guest and let him decide who he brings. I would say you don't have to invite both.
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    edited June 2013
    Okay, so are they poly or not? We invited a polyamorous triad to our wedding, a married couple that at the time had a girlfriend. All three of them (and the married pair's child) were on the invitation and they attended as a social unit. They were even planning at the time (though they ended up breaking up with the girlfriend) to have a commitment ceremony.

    ETA: It sounds like he's maybe just non-exclusive, and I would give him one guest. But I would say that poly relationships are valid SOs, in a case like the one I had.
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    Polygamy is a religious decison...it sounds like this just came out of the blue like he woke up one morning and decided dating 2 ladies sounded better than 1. So weird! I would tell him he needs to pick one.
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    Another vote for just inviting him with "and guest" and letting him choose which girlfriend to bring.
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    If they were a real unit of three, it'd be rude to break them up. Since this is just a case of the "I'm too manly to contain my penis to one woman", he isn't entitled to tow in a harem of girls who will all be at a loss as to how to act. I also cannot imagine that this will end pretty when the alcohol gets flowing.

    This. Especially the penis part. I'm not so sure how okay the girlfriends would be with each other of they had to share him for an evening. Although it sure would be entertaining... just not worth the costs to host an extra girlfriend.
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    Thanks all. I think we will just give him 1 guest and let him decide.

    I think some of you are confusing polyamory with polygamy. Polygamy = more than 1 wife, while polyamory just means that you, yourself, can be in love with more than one person. From wikipedia: Polyamory (from Greek πολύ [poly], meaning "many" or "several", and Latin amor, "love") is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.

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    I agree with many PP. If the 3 of them are in a commited relationship together then he should be able to bring both. If he has a serious relationship with each one then it is prob best for everyone if he brings just one!

    Always fun to see a new topic come up!

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    rel1988 said:
    Polygamy is a religious decison...it sounds like this just came out of the blue like he woke up one morning and decided dating 2 ladies sounded better than 1. So weird! I would tell him he needs to pick one.
    No, it's not necessarily (and in my experience usually).  There's a whole lot of ignorance being displayed on this thread.



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    Also, thumbs up to @marburger06 and @phira.



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    edited June 2013
    If they're dating as a triad, (aka the two girls are also dating each other) then I'd invite all three. Otherwise I would ask friend which of the two girls he wants to bring, and invite that girl by name. 

    ETA: PPs are right that he's part of two separate social units. He just has to decide which social unit will be attending your wedding.

    It just seems like he's dating two different ladies.  A poly relationship usually has all parties in one relationship with everyone.  It doesn't seem like he takes both out at the same time.  Unless he does take both out on dates together, then he should get an & guest and he can figure out which lady attends.  But if he does indeed take both ladies on dates with each other, then you should invite both of this GFs.
    While this is one type of poly, this is not what "usually" happens in poly. I've numerous poly friends who date multiple people that aren't also dating each other.

    rel1988 said:
    Polygamy is a religious decison...it sounds like this just came out of the blue like he woke up one morning and decided dating 2 ladies sounded better than 1. So weird! I would tell him he needs to pick one.
    Polygamy and polyamory aren't the same thing.
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    @phira you said it perfectly. The 'what if he has 10' comments are pretty ignorant of poly relationships. If they are truly in a poly relationship, as in the 3 of them are all together, both women should be invited, if he's just playing the field/having open relationships, that's a completely different thing.
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    If this is not a poly relationship, then I think he should get 1 plus one and he'll have to decide who that's going to be.

    Otherwise, if you can fit them all in, invite all 3.
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    pesematologypesematology member
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    edited June 2013
    If the hinge in a poly relationship has a primary partner, invite them. Otherwise since they're not a social unit, I'd invite him solo or give him a +1 if you have room on the guest list for it.

    All of my poly friends have one primary partner who they live with, so that makes it easier.
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    ind of sounds like this guy needs to clarify his situation.  If he just has multiple girlfriends, he needs to pick one.  If it's anything different than that, he needs to make that clear so the OP knows what to do.  
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