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Wedding Guest Called Out For Dancing With Recently-Separated Woman In Front Of Her Ex

Guests dancing at a wedding
Tom Wilde/Getty Images

Weddings are meant to be incredibly happy occasions, for the bride and groom, their family, and for everyone in attendance.

But like any other big occasion, there’s always bound to be a little drama, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

While attending his sister’s wedding alone, Redditor bdhshxbeuaita55wed meant a beautiful woman, who he shared a few dances with.

Despite the wonderful time he had with her, the Original Poster (OP) was then bombarded with advice about his own dating life.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for dancing with a recently separated woman at a wedding while her ex-husband was in attendance?”

The OP attended his sister’s wedding and met a woman.

“I recently attended my sister’s wedding solo. At the reception, there was a slower type of dance when I saw this really beautiful woman by herself.”

“I went up to her and asked her if she would like to dance.”

“She mentioned she was recently separated so she wasn’t looking for anything romantic but agreed to dance with me anyways.”

“We then danced for a couple of songs and seemed to really enjoy each other’s company.”

“We actually ended up exchanging numbers and she left to go home.”

The OP then received some unwanted attention.

“As I went outside for a smoke I noticed a guy kind of glaring at me.”

“I asked if he wanted a smoke, and he told me that I should ‘lose her number.'”

“I just kind of ignored him and went back inside.”

The OP didn’t quite agree with the advice their sister gave them.

“I asked my sister who that guy was and she told me it was that woman’s recent ex-husband (technically they were just separated, not yet divorced).”

“When I told my sister what happened, she said that the ex was a friend of the groom and that’s why he still ended up going to the reception.”

“She told me that I probably shouldn’t be dancing with someone who was so recently separated.”

“I don’t know. I feel like I really didn’t do much wrong, but I do feel bad I might’ve caused a scene with her ex.”

“AITA?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some pointed out that dancing and enjoying a wedding reception are harmless activities. 

“NTA. I’ve seen married women dance with other men at weddings. Because a dance isn’t necessarily a precursor to sex/a relationship/etc.”

“She’s separated. Maybe she wanted to slow dance with you because she hasn’t had a slow dance since her own wedding. You might’ve done her a kindness by just being nice to her and showing her attention she hasn’t been getting.”

“I’ll also point out that separation is not by choice. So she could want to be divorced. She would still have to be separated for a year in most (I think all) states before it’s finalized. They make you go through a waiting period.”

“What her ex/whatever he is to her did was not acceptable. If she’s giving out her number, it likely means she wants out and is ready to move on.” – GoatessFrizzleFry

“So? She told you she wasn’t looking for anything but still danced with you. You didn’t force her, nor did you force her to give you her number (at least it doesn’t sound like you did).”

“NTA, although it might be a good idea to lose her number anyway, if only because the ex sounds like a jealous psycho.” – PrscheWdow

“NTA. So what? Does it mean she’s untouchable? If so, how much time is supposed to pass until she can exchange numbers with someone? A month, year, ten years?”

“Stop listening to all these people who want to own her.” – Korlat_Eleint

“Definitely NTA. All you did was dance and have fun in a situation that is meant to be fun.”

“Should she be in mourning? Should she be forced to be a wallflower because she’s recently separated? No, she’s allowed to enjoy herself.”

“It’s not like you were making out or making plans to start seriously dating. I don’t think anything you guys did was inappropriate.” – thaligorgon

“In my opinion, it would be f**king weird if in reply to ‘oh well, I’m recently separated so I’m not looking for something,’ and his reply was, ‘oh well, never mind then.'”

“It was a nice heads-up from her, I guess, to set the boundary on the relationship, but I didn’t know dancing was a contract to f**k or literally anything else.” – plierss

“You probably made this woman’s evening. Can bet she felt seen. Separation and divorce can take a toll people.” – Ok-Laugh-2806

Others agreed and hated how the woman wasn’t given a choice in how to live her own life.

“Too many people in this story are acting as if the woman has no agency in this situation. She made a choice to dance with you. You didn’t know anything about her marital status. NTA.” – joanclaytonesq

“She made the decision to dance with you because SHE wanted to. It was her choice to accept or decline, she chose to accept. Her decision was hers and hers alone, just as it was to exchange numbers.” – Feeling_Ad_2354

“So? She was much more aware of the details of the situation than you. It was her choice. People are acting like you just picked up an object belonging to another man rather than a woman with free will who obviously and willingly accepted your request to dance.”

“Any issue her ex has with her choice to dance is between her and her ex.” – joanclaytonesq

“It upsets the h**l out of me that the bride’s reaction was to support the controlling ex.”

“Either they knew he was like that and invited him anyway, or this was the first time she’s heard that and her immediate reaction was, ‘he’s my husband’s friend so he gets a pass on sabotaging her life behind her back.’ Either way, yuck.” – ISTFMM

“I’m happy for this lady that she had a nice time dancing. If her ex was smart, he’d have asked her to dance after a few songs, but instead he decided to give OP crap.”

“OP needs to tell the naysayers that she’s not property and wanted to be danced with. Too bad her husband wasn’t smart enough to try to do so. Then text her and say he had a great time. If she wants to hang out, he’d love to, but when she’s ready, to take her out dancing again.” – longpas

“NTA. As far as you’re concerned, you asked a stranger to dance, she accepted, you both had a good time and then decided to exchange numbers to see where it might go from there. You did nothing wrong.”

“More importantly, the woman in question isn’t anyone’s property. She’s separated from her husband. He doesn’t own her.”

“If she accepts a dance with someone and decides to hand out her number, then that’s on her. That macho ‘lose her number’ threat from her ex will be exactly the reason why he’s her ex in the first place.” – calicosmoke

Some pointed out that the woman already did the right thing by sharing her dating status.

“If she didn’t and he had expectations she’d be accused of ‘leading him on’ by not telling him. I am 100% with her on telling him.” – Elaan21

“NTA. The woman you asked certainly could have declined. She could have declined to exchanged numbers. The ex doesn’t get to dictate who his now ex gets to dance with or talk to. The scene is indeed unfortunate but not your responsibility.”

“Would I get in a romantic relationship with someone very recently separated? No, but that is because they need time.”

“Does your sister have a recommendation on soon is too soon to dance? A week? A month? Six months?” – tropicaldiver

“She set clear expectations: that she was open to dance but not looking for anything more.”

“I recently did the same at a party. I was vibing with a girl and we were dancing. I then mentioned to her that I have a girlfriend and I wasn’t trying to make a move on her, just have a good time. She appreciated the open communication and we had a great night.” – ilikedmatrixiv

“To make herself clear that if he was looking for a hookup. She did nothing wrong by making her intentions clear, and he did nothing wrong by dancing with her anyway. There can be no claims of ‘leading someone on.'” – Cauleefouler

“I suppose the whole situation was a little awkward and new for her. She’s at a wedding, while her own marriage is ending. Her former partner is there watching her.”

“This may have been the first or one of the first times she’s been a ‘single woman’ at an event and probably hasn’t dived back into dating. Forgive the poor woman for being rusty on the dating scene.” – biscuitboi967

“She was recently separated and wanted to enjoy a dance with a stranger. You got all the facts. Don’t feel guilty a single woman was enjoying herself.” – marahute85

The subReddit was all for the OP and this anonymous woman having a good time at the wedding, especially between two consenting adults.

The woman was able to make her own decisions and handled the situation well by explaining her current status to the OP, who still wanted to dance with her.

If the woman’s ex didn’t want her to dance with other people, maybe he could ask her for a dance himself.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.