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Disappointment Over A Milestone Birthday Celebration
Friends don’t always see things the same way we do.
An invitation to a milestone birthday celebration is not met with the same enthusiasm as the birthday girl had hoped for.
I’ll be turning fifty on New Year’s Eve. Since I now live abroad, I planned a trip back to the UK to celebrate with my friends and family. I haven’t been there or seen them for five years due to COVID.
I had made reservations at a bar to celebrate. But my two best friends since my school days both said they didn't want to be in the city on New Year’s Eve so they wouldn’t come to my party.
So I changed the party to December 30th, thinking that would resolve the problem. However, they're still not keen on attending. Now they are saying they'll just have a meal with me another night.
I feel really let down and disappointed. Celebrating my birthday is always a hassle because it’s on New Year’s Eve but this is my 50th. I'm traveling 28 hours on a plane to see them after five years and they can't come across town for one night for me!
Am I being unreasonable?
We understand your disappointment and hurt. It’s not unreasonable. Many people feel sentimental about milestone birthdays, like you do, and want to make them to be memorable.
It’s great that you were able to arrange a trip home and will be able to see your family.
We aren’t quite sure why your friends don’t want to be at the official bash; we can only guess that maybe:
They may want to have a more intimate get-together with you rather than be with you as part of a group.
A five-year, in-person friendship hiatus is quite a long time. People and relationships often change, and your friends may have things going on in their own lives (that have nothing to do with you) that make them reluctant to attend your party.
Looking at it from their perspective, your friends may not think in terms of you traveling 28 hours specifically to see them, per se.
Since you tried to change the date to accommodate them and they still don’t want to attend the party, you have no other choice but to let it go.
Why not look at the upside? Now you’ll have two opportunities to celebrate your special day— one with your family and one with your friends. Turning 50 is worthy of two celebrations, don’t you think?
We hope that things turn out better than expected.
When friends disappoint, give them the benefit of the doubt that the hurt isn’t intentional.
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