What should one do if her date abandons her at a formal where she does not know anybody?

by Allie

Dear Eunice

Thank-you for making such a lovely website! I have been a reader since this February and really enjoy integrating your suggestions into my life. A few weeks ago, I accompanied an old (but not very close) friend to his prom. I did not know anyone there, and after casually introducing me to a few people my date left me to talk to his friends and take photographs with them (he did not offer to take any with me). It was not too bad since I found a few people to talk to, but I was on my own for much of the time. My date also left me alone at the dinner table during the dances, presentations and announcements to talk to his friends at the other tables. I tried making polite conversation with my fellow diners, but the boys I was sitting with seemed to be the quiet type. Seeing that I was the only person trying to initiate conversation (I brought up casual, non-intrusive things like their end-of-year class trips and whether they were looking forward to college) and that my enthusiasm was not reciprocated (the replies were short and flat), I decided to finish my food quietly.

I had tried to enjoy prom and remain poised, but I felt awkward and embarrassed on the inside. I still thanked my date for the evening and told him that I had had a lovely time. What should one do in awkward situations like the one I described? How much company should one expect from a male date (even if they are just friends)? I would expect him to ask me to dance, take photographs, etc. and not the other way around. I was also wondering if I had been wrong to accept my date's invitation as we were not close friends. It seemed impolite to decline. Are there any rules on how well someone has to know another person to accept a friendly date? I would love to hear what you think.

Best Wishes

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Jun 15, 2010
Just Do What You Did
by: Eunice

Dearest Allie,

I guess it would have been better if your date was more accommodating and tried harder to make you feel comfortable. I would just say that he is probably still young and will 'get it' much later on. (LOL) He's probably shy as well.

I believe you did your best to be the perfect guest. You did well, I'm so proud of you! Well done.

Of course it is alright to accept an invitation to a party by someone you do not know too well. That is just another way of getting to know a friend better.

From the sound of your email, it is simply a situation where you've been to a party that you didn't enjoy - and it happens to everyone. You did the right thing, by trying to enjoy it and make the best of it.

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