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This is a follow up for a different question I posted earlier this week. Here is the brief background story: There is a guy I work with that I know likes me and was talking to me a lot for a while and asked me out a couple of times but never committed to a plan so we never did. After the holidays for no obvious reason he started retreating and stopped communication with me. He sits right next to me every day but speaks to other people and does not acknowledge me anymore. He is very quiet and reserved so he's hard to read and normally doesn't speak to people unless they address him first (although he used to start conversations with me all the time).

As we got to talk more I started to like him as well and was enjoying getting to know each other. A few weeks ago I invited him to a dinner party I'm hosting this coming weekend (that was while we were still talking a lot). My dinner party is approaching soon and my question is how to politely ask him if he still plans on attending since he never confirmed RSVP. This is a little tough for me because I like him and don't want additional awkwardness between us as we see each other every day at work and I don't understand what changed.

Last time I texted him was last week and he confirmed that he's aware of the date of my party but didn't say anything beyond that. I want to know how to approach the topic of the party without making him uncomfortable, I was also considering asking why he cut communication with me but I'm unsure how to go about that too.

So, what is the best way to ask this person about attending my party without making him feel obligated or pressured?

I asked friends for advice but most of them said to assume he's not going to come or forget about it and don't even ask. Some said that maybe he's shy and scared to talk to me but he was able to do that before so I don't know what to think.

*another side-note: this guy's room mate (who also happens to work in our office) invited me to a new year's eve party which I declined because I was nervous to be around him when he started pulling away so it might be something related to his behavior too but I don't know that for sure.

  • Out of curiosity: where are you located? I don't know if you'd mentioned this in your previous question. – Crazy Cucumber Jan 3 '18 at 20:48
  • @Crazy Cucumber I'm in the east coast of usa but I moved here from Israel 10 years ago – sillygilz Jan 3 '18 at 20:52
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If I were you, I'd use the fact that your party is a dinner party to your advantage. You can do this by saying something like:

Hey! I'm trying to get a good estimate of how many people are going to be coming to the dinner party this weekend to make sure there'll be enough food for everyone, and I realized I never heard back from you. Do you think you'll be able to make it?

This is a practical approach. You're not coming across as intrusive, and you're not directly pressuring him. If anything, you're being considerate in making sure you know if you should account for the possibility of an extra head at the dinner table, should he choose to come!

Additionally, asking "Do you think you'll be able to make it?" doesn't trap him into definitive "yes/no" answers. It seems possible that at this point he's still unsure what how he wants to proceed with your friendship/relationship (due to whatever is going on with him). If that's the case, this allows him to give a more non-committal answer and he can decide the day of - which might be important to allow him this breathing space, given his wishy-washy nature as of late.

Whatever his response, carry on as usual when replying to not expose that you were trying to specifically ask for his attendance plans. "Be cool, be cool."

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    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question with a suggestion. I apologize for any grammar issues as English is not my first language. I basically texted him and asked him to confirm his attendance and that I'm not sure why he cut communication with me. He responded that sometimes he just likes to work in silence and not talk to anyone and that he would be happy to be my friend but not looking for anything serious at this point. He never mentioned anything about the party so I'm letting this go now. – sillygilz Jan 4 '18 at 13:22
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You ask:

So, what is the best way to ask this person about attending my party without making him feel obligated or pressured?

Don't make it personal. Confirm attendance with the group as a whole (mass email or social media page) with something along the lines of:

  • Here's a list of the ones who have confirmed they're coming to my party. If you're not on the list but would like to be at the party, please let me know. (list of names)
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    I had to approach him. My party is posted on a meetup site that he is not a part of the group RSVP and I invited him personally. He still hasn't confirmed either way so I decided to let it go – sillygilz Jan 4 '18 at 17:37

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