The problem: I’m recently divorced and I feel like a failure. Now one of my close friends is getting married and she sent me an invitation with no “plus one” included. I prefer to not attend because it will just be a painful reminder that I am alone. How do I explain why I’m declining?

The low road: Assume your friend is thoughtless. Stay home and pout, your absence a reminder of how you’ve been wronged. 

The high road: Please cut your friend some slack by acknowledging that she was in a pickle. Knowing you’re newly single, she likely agonized over the kindest way to remind you that she’s about to ride the party bus that dumped you at the last stop. Including a “plus one” would have been insensitive. She chose the better of two crummy options.

I know this will be difficult, but I encourage you to go. Be that supportive friend on what will be among the happiest days of her life. Showing up on her wedding day is a mega-statement about your bond — and your maturity. Even if you have to fake it, it’s great practice for when you walk alone into your church, a movie theater or the grocery store where you run into your ex’s best friend.

So, you’re single again. Lots of people are. You’re hurting. You won’t always be. You will feel regret, though, if you decline to share her joy. Push through your pain, drink your and your nonexistent plus one’s Champagne, and don’t feel the need to close the place down — unless the bride sits you next to her hot, single cousin. 

Gail Rosenblum is a features columnist. Send questions about life’s little quandaries to gail.rosenblum@startribune.com.