I have got a new colleague to work together on a very long project. We have worked for a month now, things look good so far. She is a very reserved person, but I am not a big extrovert myself, so this fact didn't bother me. Still I have thought that as we are going to work together for a long time, and the project requires quite a lot of communication, it would be good to get to know each other better.

So I spoke to my partner and today, when we both were leaving the building at the end of the day, I have told her that my partner and I want to invite her and her partner for a dinner on Saturday. She was startled, then she was silent for a couple of minutes, then she started to say something like "We don't usually go for dinners" and I was prepared to hear about allergy, or halal or kashrut, whatever, then suddenly she blurted out: "We are very particular about our meals, we are foodies".

I was so astonished that I said something very stupid about my cooking being not good enough for her, she said "Sorry" and went out of the building. Now, it is a weekend, but I have to meet her again on Monday. What should I do? I still feel very uncomfortable about this situation. I do not want our work relationship to be influenced by that, but I feel that it would. Should I say sorry? My partner thinks so, but I do not really know what for should I feel sorry.

To answer possible questions. If she would say something about allergy, or another engagement, or even not being in the mood to go out this weekend, I won't see it as a great deal, I would say "What a pity, another time then", would probably repeat an invitation in a month or so and let it go after the second refusal.

A foodie is a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages.

  • What is a 'foodie'? You might want to edit in a link so people for whom English isn't the native language can understand ;)
    – Tinkeringbell
    Dec 15, 2017 at 18:48
  • Could you add a goal to your question? ie. what should I do to accomplish x? Dec 15, 2017 at 18:49
  • 1
    @Tinkeringbell basically a food connoisseur. Dec 15, 2017 at 18:49

2 Answers 2


What should you do? Nothing. And don't worry about it.

It was nice of you to invite them over for dinner and she punted. It's possible that she had a different reason for not wanting to go and used any excuse she could think of in the moment. But on the final analysis, and at the lowest common denominator, the invite wasn't accepted.

Don't take it personally. Next time you see her treat her just like you did before you ever asked her to dinner. Anything more might push an issue that's uncomfortable for her.

American idiom here, but the ball is in her court. If she wants to shift the situation, allow her the space to make the next overture.


I was so astonished that I said something very stupid about my cooking being not good enough for her,

That may not have come across very friendly. You cannot change her behavior (as elrobis more or less says in his answer), but I suggest you take responsibility for your part of the conversation. You obviously feel not good about having said that either, since you don't feel comfortable about it and call it stupid.

Say something along the lines of

Sorry about my remark last Friday about 'my cooking not being good enough', that may have sounded unfriendly. I was a bit surprised and did not really know how to react. And its perfectly fine if you don't want to come over for dinner.

Not too heavy, just to clear up anything that may be left between you.
You have to mean that last sentence, of course.

  • The part "... And its perfectly fine if you don't want to come over for dinner." gives her a nice opportunity to change or soften the rejection, without pressure. Feb 1, 2018 at 9:27

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