How am I supposed to act around him when I see him at school, and is there any hope he will be my boyfriend?
So please, when you see him again, be warm but disengaged. If he makes any moves toward resuming where you left off, please tell him no, thanks.
I am assuming, of course, that true intimacy is what you want. It’s not the terms of a relationship that make it OK, it’s the mutual acceptance of those terms. What you describe here is not mutual; it’s his withholding and your wondering why. It’s your wanting him, his shooing you off, and your wanting him again. It sounds to me as if wanting him is your priority, when that only works as half of one. The other half has to be that he wants you, too – “he” being any object of your affection – or else you’re on unhealthy, self-negating ground.
Between cross-country flights, rent-a-cars, and a bed-and-breakfast (no chain hotels in the immediate vicinity) I see this as a $2,000 trip, easily.
(1) I understand the destination-wedding trend, but am I right to view these circumstances as a bit obnoxious?
(2) I am leaning toward not attending for financial reasons (plus I barely drink wine!), but what is a way I can gracefully decline other than attend the Boston gathering?
Nope, too far, back up to where you understand, period. Can’t afford it? Logistics too complicated? Send your polite regrets. Judging is how we bask in our own stellar manners and taste, and therefore it reveals our poor manners and taste. Best just not to go there literally or figuratively.
Etiquette, by the way, has provided the way to decline gracefully: “I regret that I am unable to attend.” Make it a handwritten note that includes your best wishes for the couple, and you’ll be a rock star of grace. (Is that an oxymoron?)
Email Carolyn Hax at email@example.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at 10 a.m. each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.