I'm planning a backpacking trip with a well-established partner. I would like to invite a third person along, but he has not met the second, and I do not want to extend an invitation to the third until the second meets him and approves the invitation. My question is, how do I arrange this vetting without potential hard feelings on the part of the third?
I came up with a couple of options, neither of which I really like:
Invite both the second and the third to a vetting meeting over coffee or something, and be clear with the third what the purpose of the meeting is. If the second approves, this would work fine, but if not, then the third will be understandably hurt. Further, because of this, the second may feel pressured to approve when he would prefer not to.
Invite both to a vetting meeting, but do not tell the third what the purpose of the meeting is. The issue here is either the lack of a purpose will be suspicious, or a fake purpose will be difficult to produce without seeming fake.
I am sure this situation comes up for others, so I am wondering what the best practice is.
Edit: While we all work at the same place, we commute from different cities. For this reason and others, the logistics of gathering outside working hours may not be practical in the time available.