Bringing your man to a wedding is a big step in any relationship. It means you are official and maybe even getting pretty serious (unless you are Verily editor Monica Marshall). Still, there is much you can learn about your guy (whatever your status) when you attend a wedding together.
Whether you’re the guest of your boyfriend or vice versa, these occasions are a great gauge for figuring out just what kind of man you’re with. Certain behavioral cues can say a lot about his views on the future and a marriage of his own, how he thinks of you, and most importantly—whether he’s any fun!
Ahead I’ve outlined a few red flags to look out for this wedding season when you’re on the arm of your main squeeze.
01. He can’t even feign interest in your random friends and relatives.
One of the unavoidable aspects of wedding attendance is the inevitable small talk you have to make. It could be breezing through ten years of catchup with an old friend from high school or explaining what you do for a living to your aunt for the thousandth time. That’s just part of the deal, so if your man can’t hang for five minutes and chat it up by your side, take a mental note. It’s rude and childish behavior that’s totally unbecoming. A man who loves you should a) want to meet the people in your life even if they’re boring and b) have the maturity to smile and participate in a conversation with just about anyone. Chances are, if he’s disinterested and distracted at this wedding, he will act like this whenever you take him to any family events.
02. He’s annoyed or sheepish when you ask him to take a photo together.
There’s a reason the phrase “Instagram official” exists. In the age of social media, posing for a photo with your significant other and then sharing it online is the digital equivalent of saying to the world, “This is a thing.” While most men don’t think as critically as women about the nuances of dating and social media, his reaction to your desire to take photos together is worth considering.
If your boyfriend doesn’t want to participate in silly selfies, Snapchat videos or a posed photo taken by somebody else—beware. If you’re together at a wedding, you’re together. A guy who’s ambivalent or worse, resistant when it comes to photos and social sharing, that’s a red flag.
03. He won’t dance.
Everyone knows that dancing is the best part of a wedding. Period. Loosening that tie, kicking off your shoes and getting a little bit sweaty in the arms of the one you love is the whole point. They say that weddings have a sort of magical ability to make romantics out of an entire crowd, and that happens on the dance floor.
Maybe he thinks he’s a bad dancer. Maybe he doesn’t like the band. Maybe he pulled a hamstring on a run last week. I do not care. Unless your guy has a doctor’s note that says dancing puts his health at risk—there is no excuse. Sure, you don't have to be tearing it up every song, but a man who opts out of "Shout" and "Don't Stop Believing" is a no-fun red flag. You don’t have time for an un-fun guy.
04. He drinks way more than you throughout the night.
How much you choose to imbibe during a wedding varies wildly from person to person—and couple to couple. That feeling of knowing you had one-too-many glasses of champagne can happen to the best of us, and often accidentally. However, there’s a difference between too tipsy and totally off the wall.
It’s not a bad idea to chat with your date before the festivities begin to make sure you’re on the same page. You should both feel comfortable enjoying the bar, relaxing and letting loose a little bit if that’s your thing. However, if your guy goes off the rails and you’re left corralling, apologizing, or otherwise managing his behavior—say it with me—"red flag!"
05. He doesn’t offer you his jacket at the end of the night.
Manners are important all the time, but I think that gentlemanly behavior and chivalry should be turned up a notch when we don suits and fancy dresses. A wedding is the perfect occasion to see how your guy acts when he’s on his best behavior. Does he hold the door open? Does he mind holding your purse for a sec while you fix your dress? At the end of the night does he offer you his jacket? These are all signs that you’ve got a keeper. It’s not so much the act itself but what the act implies. These kinds of gestures reveal a man who is attentive, thoughtful, polite, and invested in your happiness as well as his own.
Photo Credit: Nirav Patel