I am guilty of this.
You make a new friend of the opposite gender or maybe strike up a simple conversation at a networking event or giggle with a table-mate at a wedding or reconnect via Facebook chat with an old high school friend. And they ask you for your number and if you’d like to go on a date. And you say, “Oh sorry, I have a boyfriend.”
But lately, I’m finding this statement fully loaded and bothering.
Technically, have we been saying that all that stands between us and a potential hookup is our current commitment?
IS that all that stands between us and a potential hook up?
I’ve recently upped my weekly dosage of Dan Savage as I’ve transitioned his podcasts into my workout routine background music. This has led me to pursue a bit more about his personal life, specifically, his take on monogamy; that monogamy is harder than we allude to and that our society values being with one partner over honesty, trust, communication and an established relationship.
So you know, I’m all about monogamy. I feel miffed if my guy tells me he ducked out of a night a little early because some girls were overly flirtatious. I want to be mentioned! Why didn’t he remind them about me?
But I think Savage has some valid points. It’s not too far fetched to assume that being in a relationship and being committed aren’t strongly correlated.
My friend expressed something very similar the other day when a guy wouldn’t stop texting her. “Isn’t it clear I’m not interested?” she shared, “I told him I have a boyfriend!”
Maybe it’s not clear. Maybe that’s not enough.
Gossip, news outlets and even history share that celebrities and politicians falter into infidelity everyday. And I have witnessed plenty of people who wouldn’t care if the person they pursue has someone else at home.
So what’s the best way for me to paint a picture of an honest, trusting, communicative and also monogamous relationship? One I’d rather choose over anything else?
How you turn someone down?
- Leave out the chance for future reconnections: “Thank you but no, I’m not interested.” Is that rude?
- Focus on the reason behind your relationship: “Oh sorry, I have a boyfriend who l am very in love with/ satisfied by/ consumes most of my time and thoughts.” Is all that necessary?
- Make an active statement: “Oh sorry, I’m dating someone.” No possessives necessary?
- Realize that 80% of the population will respond to the usual cultural norm:“Oh sorry, I have a boyfriend.” Fine?