Just say he couldn't make it this time. When you are ready to talk thats when you do. Until then it's no one's business.
My boyfriend and I may not be together by Thanksgiving. When the curious people ask why he did not attend with me, what should I say??? I know it will be hard to talk about it.
I would say the same thing Yin said, that he couldn't make it. It's still the truth without revealing anything personal.
I would just say he had other commitments .. You don't need to explain, it's no one else's business
You should explain that his pet ferret has influenza.