DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for more than 12 years now, engaged for most of that time. We live together, and throughout our entire relationship, have spent time with friends together.
There is one friend we’ve spent many weekends with -- celebrated graduations, birthdays, had him over for meals, etc. He has now gotten engaged to a woman I have met once; my fiance has yet to meet her.
My fiance received an invitation to their wedding addressed to him “and guest.” I am confused by this.
I understand that unmarried men typically get a plus-one to a wedding, but this is addressed right on the envelope. I feel like it completely negates a relationship that far predates the soon-to-be newlyweds’ one.
I should mention that my fiance saw “and guest” immediately and did not like that my name was not there. Is it proper not to acknowledge someone on an invitation because they didn’t take the trip down the aisle first? Am I being overly sensitive?
GENTLE READER: Using the salutation on an envelope to critique your living arrangements is, Miss Manners suspects, too subtle for your friend. And if it was done in deference to etiquette, it is simply wrong.
The proper rule is to treat recognized couples as a social unit. What constitutes recognition may not be as clear as it once was, but it should certainly include you and your fiance: You are engaged and you are socializing as a unit.
Whether a 12-year engagement outranks a one-month engagement is not a discussion Miss Manners is prepared to entertain.