We’re friends with a close-knit group of four other couples, but sometimes we only want to have a few people over. Is it rude to invite some but not all of them?
This one is tricky to navigate. Of course you have the right to invite just one or two other couples over on occasion, but you have to be careful not to offend the rest of the group. The only way to reduce the awkwardness is for you to be as matter-of-fact about your plans as possible. When you invite one or two of the other couples over, there's no need to rub it into anyone’s face, but never lie about it either. If it happens to come up in conversation -- let’s say one of the uninvited friends later asks, “What did you guys do on Saturday?” -- just be honest and say, “Oh, so-and-so came over for dinner. I would've loved to invite more people, but you know our table is so tiny, and I’m terrified of cooking for more than six. But I’d love to have you over soon -- when are you free?” That last part is key: If you want to stay friends with all the couples equally, you’ll have to invite them over at an equal rate. Otherwise, the uninvited will (understandably) feel snubbed.
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