"I'm new to my city, but I already made a guy friend. We're just friends; I don't like him romantically. He has a girlfriend, but I asked him to meet me at an event to be my wingman so I could meet other guys. His girlfriend invites herself along, and he doesn't tell me until the day of the event. In addition, he was supposed to get there at 7:30, but didn't arrive until 9. I already left. I want to hang out again but this situation really turned me off. He thinks I'm mad because he brought his girlfriend, but I'm upset he brought a plus-one. If I invite him out, I expect to see him, not him and someone else. What should I do?" —L.D.
1. This story makes no sense.
2. I really like his girlfriend.
Let me start with her and by asking you to see things from the girlfriend's perspective. Her man told her, essentially, "I'm going to an event with a woman I just met who is new to town." She heard, "Blah, blah, blah, I'm going on a date." He insisted that wasn't the case.
Now, she could have put her foot down and said no, which he would have interpreted as her trying to control him, and he would have resented her for that. Instead she said the equivalent of "You know what? It's friends night out? Let's all be friends!!! I want to meet your new friend."
She brilliantly put him in the hot seat without making a big stink. You're just a friend, so he shouldn't have a problem with her meeting you. If he tried to stop her from going, she would be suspicious of the relationship, and she would have every right to be upset. He certainly would be if the tables were turned. Did he want her to go? Probably not. But it came down to definitely upsetting her and probably upsetting you. He chose her feelings over yours, as he should have.
They showed up so late because the girlfriend stalled for time to be passive-aggressive and inconvenience you, or he stalled, hoping you would leave, and you and his girlfriend wouldn't meet. I'm 50/50 on which is right.
I'm not sure of the guy's intentions here. But he was either trying to cheat with you or he is naive beyond reason. I'm trying to figure out in what world he thought it would be OK for him to be your plus-one to an event, essentially your date, while he has a girlfriend. You knew he had a girlfriend, so you shouldn't have asked. At the same time, he knew he had a girlfriend, and he shouldn't have accepted.
I'm not entirely believing your version of events here either. You say you don't like him, but being mad he brought his lady (or anyone) doesn't make sense. You and a solitary man out together are going to look like a couple. You would have actually had a better chance at meeting guys with his girlfriend present. They would look like a couple, and you would appear to be her unattached friend. As soon as you got up alone to grab a drink or go to the bathroom, you would have seemed to be fair game to the single guys at the event.
You should know that your plan didn't have much likelihood of success no matter what man you asked to accompany you. I'm all for wingman male friends, but there's an art to it. Let me give you three basic rules:
1. They need to know guys at the event. Going to a place where they can't introduce you to men whom they can vouch for (or steer you away from) is pointless.
2. I said "they" for a reason. Going with one guy looks like a date. Going with two or more puts the interpersonal relationships of the trio or group into question.
3. You have to be more aggressive than "normal" when meeting guys in this scenario, because the average guy is not walking up to talk to you when there's a possibility that one of the men you are with could be your man. You'll need to get away from the guys.
I know you don't know very many people in your new town, and you want to make friends and land dates. Instead of trying to reschedule with your guy-friend with the girlfriend, cut your losses and head out solo. You'll actually have better success going out alone than bringing a guy or a bunch of guys, or even a female friend with you.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.