I don't know how to respond to something that is going on. I don't even know if I should respond.

My girlfriend's daughter's husband, let's call him Bill, and I often get paired at family gatherings. Very consistently, he will talk about how I should come over and play some board game. The last time he was very specific about how the game required a certain number of people and how other friends were not suitable. I have consistently responded that I am interested.

By long standing habit, I discount such discussion right up to the point the other person actually contacts me to discuss a time and date. I figure if they really mean it, they will act on it.

This contact has never happened. Bill has several ways to contact me.

At first this made me mad. He keeps bringing it up and keeps never doing anything about it.

The last time it happened I figured that this was just his way. I do not know what is going on, so shouldn't judge it too harshly. It also occurred to me that it might be appropriate to say something. Maybe, "whatever happened about that board game?"

My natural inclination is to do nothing. But I don't know if this is appropriate. If it isn't, then I'm not sure what is. Ultimately, I don't want to alienate anyone, but I would like Bill to either stop bringing it up or actually try to schedule some time.

How can I get Bill to either stop bringing up the subject or take the next steps to actually schedule time to play?

  • Hi jeffry7, welcome to IPS! Right now I think your question is a little broad, but I think with a little more information we can fix that. Could you tell us what your goal is? Do you want Bill to stop bringing up the board games or are you wanting to get him to actually contact you to discuss them further or is it something else entirely?
    – Rainbacon
    Apr 17, 2019 at 3:12
  • Hi Rainbacon, In order of importance, I want to navigate the social situation without alienating anyone. I would like Bill to pick one. Invite me or quit talking about it. Either is fine. Thirdly, I am not good at IP and so my inclination is suspect. I would like to hear what others have to say.
    – jeffry7
    Apr 17, 2019 at 3:51

1 Answer 1


I don't know Bill, so I don't know if this applies. I'll tell you what sometimes makes me behave as Bill does.

I have lots of board games and dexterity games. I often play them with my children. I sometimes long to play with other adults. I will tell my friends that we should get together and play sometime.

The problem is that I also enjoy solitude and have some minor anxieties regarding social interactions. I worry that if I invite them they won't come. I worry that I won't enjoy playing with them and it will sour our friendship. When I am about to invite them for a specific time and date I might think to myself "maybe I'll just want to read that night instead."

Maybe Bill needs some more encouragement from you. For example, you might tell Bill that you've been excited to play the game and invite Bill over to your house to play at a specific time and date.

If Bill is like me, this might encourage him to actually get together.

  • Hi James. Thank you for this suggestion. Inviting Bill and his wife to me and my GF's house is something we should do anyway. If the question of a boardgame comes up, well I have a bunch to chose from.
    – jeffry7
    Apr 18, 2019 at 1:22

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