Graduation problem

My boyfriend of 3 yrs who owns a house with me, younger brother and I are graduating college on the same day both at 9am and hour away from each other and i don’t know what to do.

I don’t know if i should tell my boyfriend i want him to go to mine or tell him to just go to his brothers.

I only have my mom & 2 brothers that live in this town and He has his entire extended family that is going to his graduation.

i just feel guilty for wanting the man who im planning a future with to choose me over his brother and i dont know if i should or not

I think the best thing you can do is be honest with your bf and tell him how you feel. Make it clear that it would mean a lot to you to have him at your graduation. If he feels compelled to go to his brother’s instead, try to be understanding.

Will his brother have a reception after his ceremony? Maybe your bf can go to your graduation, and his brother’s reception.


Don’t put your boyfriend in the position of having to choose. It’s a lose lose. I get wanting him at your graduation but it’s his brother, who he has known his brother’s entire life. Celebrate your graduation with him with dinner or something for just the two of you. Take pictures around campus with your graduation gown.


I think you should let him know it is fine if he goes to his brother’s. (Interesting for me that you find graduations so meaningful…with one exception my kids didn’t even go to theirs!!)

There are plenty of ways to celebrate aside from the long graduation ceremony.


I’d encourage him to go to his brother’s and spend time with his extended family.


Tell him to go to his brother’s graduation. Don’t make it about choosing one person over the other.

After his brother’s graduation, he’ll spend the rest of the day celebrating with you and he will be happy he could do both.


With Covid, my daughter and countless others across the country couldn’t go to their graduations. We saw her static picture on our Samsung.

Our son doesn’t want to go to his graduation.

Tell your boyfriend how you feel, but understand that it’s his choice. I agree with everyone else that you shouldn’t force the issue. It wont bode well for your future.

My point, the degree is what matters.
I would be ecstatic to have my mother and my brothers see me graduate.
At my Bachelors’ graduation, she couldn’t be prouder.
At my Masters’ graduation, my brothers were even prouder.

You see your boyfriend everyday; let him see his large family and support his brother.

You go to your graduation (boyfriend or not) and appreciate that you can attend a ceremony with your family. It’s not a supposed to be popularity thing and whoever has the most guests, wins. It’s about an accomplishment that your family helped you to achieve.

My daughter didn’t get to attend her ceremony last year, after graduating from her medical school program.

This is my third and have not gone to a single one. I’m graduating with Highest distinction Honors program so for me it’s very meaningful when I almost died from an illness & went blind. I had to work through all that to get here.

I didn’t put my boyfriend in any situation I dont make the schedules for any school.

No one said I was forcing the issue, I haven’t even brought it up.

Also sorry Covid ruined it for yours but that has nothing to do with mine.

I spent 9 months in the hospital blind and almost died from a deadly illness. So I’m allowed to be excited for my graduation when I’m graduating with highest distinction Honors program through that.

Also no one said this was a popularity contest, it’s about actually having the people I care about there.

Is brother is not kind to him & im there to always pick up the pieces. But I know him and know he would have guilt about not being there even though he’s not treated kindly by his brother ever. No matter what he will have guilt so it’s not a win for him either way and I feel it.

Thanks for your reply, I feel yours was the most kind and helpful and I appreciate it.

I don’t know for sure if he is. His brother doesn’t treat him the best and constantly talks down to my bf but he has guilt over that being his younger brother. So I know that guilt would be brought into this situation as well.

I haven’t talked to him about it yet because I want to come in with a clear mind but definitely will be soon.

Thanks again!

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I don’t think you should tell him to do anything. Let him decide.


You have given a lot more information since your first post. Noone responded unkindly.


Idk this sounds pretty unkind to me. Exclamation points included.

(Interesting for me that you find graduations so meaningful…with one exception my kids didn’t even go to theirs!!)

Communication in a heathy relationship involves both parties telling the other how they feel. That’s why I would tell him.

Then why did you even ask for opinions? I’ve been with my husband 33 years (started dating right after college graduation), and I know now that if I told him I was ok with him going to his sibling’s graduation over mine, he would’ve been grateful. Right now your boyfriend is in a lose/lose situation, depending upon his family’s thoughts on the matter.


Of course your graduation is important and it sounds like you’ve overcome a lot. Congratulations!

Obviously you didn’t choose your school’s graduation schedule but your bf is definitely in a no win situation. He’s going to be disappointing someone.

My advice is to not do anything to put your bf at odds with his family of origin. If this family is going to be your future in-laws, they will be in your life for a very, very long time. Even the best inlaw dynamic can be a challenge.

I’m sure your bf knows you would love to have him at your graduation but let him make the decision and be supportive if he opts to be with his brother.

Congrats again on all you’ve accomplished.

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Yes, telling each other how you feel is very important. That isn’t what you said though.

Don’t tell him what you’d like him to do. Ask him. Let him know that you are okay with either option.

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What I am hearing you say is that it is really important to you to have him there. That’s totally ok. I think your original post was more neutral, so it is understandable that readers didn’t pick up on how important it is to you.

What a remarkable recovery for you. You have a lot to be proud of. I hope your health continues to improve.

You have been together for 3 years and own a house together. His family should understand the situation and how difficult it is for your bf, just as you understand how difficult it is. Can you frame it as “I know it is impossible for you to be in two places at once - can we figure out a way that even if you can’t come to both you can do something to keep everyone happy?” It is his support that is essential, right? His attendance is symbolic, but hopefully you trust that he supports you no matter what and is so so proud of what you accomplished.

All you can really do it lay is out for him honestly, what your needs are. Hopefully well in advance before it gets even more emotionally charged. Understand that if he feels he has to go to his brother’s graduation it isn’t him choosing his brother over you. It is just a complicated situation. Long term relationships have lots of them. You do the best you can.

It would be lovely if you could have a joint party afterwards that everyone could enjoy together, no matter which way he chooses.


After thinking about this for a day, I agree with this. Your boyfriend’s brother will always be his brother. You do not want to put a wedge between them. I think that I would explain to your boyfriend that you would like him at your graduation, but you would be fine if he instead attends his brother’s graduation.

I agree with this also.

You and your boyfriend’s brother both have a lot of reason to celebrate and be proud. You should both be proud of what you have accomplished.