TL;DR: A colleague invited me and my wife to a dinner and we don't want to go. How to politely decline?

More background:

I have a colleague that sometime works on the same project as I do. When he does, he often comes to me with detailed questions regarding his work, basically asking about each step he should take, to the point it would be easier for me to actually do his work than to explain every step to him.

At first I helped him with his inquiries, but recently I became more assertive and I told him something along the lines that he should first try to solve the problems himself before asking for help.

A few days ago, he invited me and my wife to a dinner. It was quite surprising, because we don't really talk much (other than work related stuff), and we both have other people at work that we tend to hang out with. Anyway, I declined because we had other plans on the date he suggested.

Today he invited us again (over phone). I don't know what his thought process is, but me and my wife feel quite awkward about it, and we would prefer not to go. How can I politely deal with the situation?

(The colleague is Canadian, working in an European company. We are both the same seniority.)

  • 1
    Can I ask why you don't want to go? Maybe he wants to invite you to dinner as a way to pay you for help. Also when you say "politely", does that mean you want the relationship to remain just the same, just not go out to dinner with him?
    – Mykazuki
    Nov 3, 2019 at 8:34
  • 1
    If he suggested in any way that the invitation is a form of 'thank you', I would be more ok with it. Yes, that's about it what I meant by "politely".
    – Ape
    Nov 3, 2019 at 9:34
  • 2
    Hey Ape, could you add details about how you declined the first time and why you think declining the same way again will be seen as impolite? It will probably help people answering your question better.
    – Ael
    Nov 3, 2019 at 18:41