best boyfriend reaction to: with a girlfriend at a bar, and random drunk guy starts hitting on her?

This is completely hypothetical (as far as I’m concerned), but the SDMB seems like a great place to get hypotheticals like this answered.

Suppose I’m at a bar, shooting pool with my girlfriend. I walk away to use the restroom, and return to some guy (let’s assume all three ‘players’ are of similar ages - in their 30’s/40’s), standing all up in her space, talking quietly to her, etc.

And since this is hypothetical, let’s please ignore the “well, maybe she’s encouraging it, doesn’t mind it, maybe she’s cheating on you”, etc. Let’s assume she does mind it, and it’s now up to me (the boyfriend) to take control of the situation.

I suppose there’s three options to this scenario: 1) boyfriend goes apeshit and starts a knock-down drag-out right there by the corner pocket, 2) boyfriend ignores what’s going on and feels like a complete pussy as he walks away to put another dollar in the jukebox, and 3) somewhere in between.

Me personally, I’m pretty non-confrontational by nature (and I’m probably in the ‘30th-percentile’ in a bar fight - as in I’m likely getting my ass kicked 70% of the time). Never been in a bar fight myself, but I’m just guessing.

I’d probably walk up to the guy and make it clear that he’s not welcome, but I have no idea exactly what the words would be that would come out of my mouth. Buying the guy a beer to encourage him to “slow his roll and go sit back down at the bar” seems a little unnecessary, but I also can’t imagine myself just walking away and ignoring the situation.

Ladies, what would your “ideal reaction” by the boyfriend be in this scenario?

Personal anecdotes/stories welcome :). And this is sort of a difficult topic to search on - if this scenario has already been discussed, then by all means point me that direction.

“Stop bothering her - she’s not interested.”

Start interacting with your girlfriend like you’re her boyfriend. Get her to do the same. Don’t interact with him, there’s not much of a reason to and maybe he’s just making an honest mistake.

If he persists, it’s a sign he’s either extremely oblivious/socially inept or a pushy asshole. If oblivious/socially inept, spelling it out should clear it up, no harm, no foul. If a pushy asshole, well, interacting with pushy assholes in bars always comports the likelihood of a stupid fight. I don’t know much about how to avoid stupid bar fights with pushy assholes.

Just go stand near her and introduce yourself to the guy as her boyfriend, in a friendly non-confrontational way. He’ll back off, and she won’t think you’re a psycho.

ETA: basically what MichaelEmouse said

Why didn’t she already take control of the situation? My “ideal reaction” would involve having a boyfriend who assumes I can act like an adult in a bar.

Yeah…anything more than, “Oh, hi…I’m Mike, how ya doing? Nice to meet you,” while subtly extending an arm that I may (or may not) choose to cuddle into is going to make me profoundly pissed off.

If he’s being a jerk beyond what I can take care of, I expect Security to handle it, not you.

I’ve never liked it when the man I’m with gets all “take-charge” in a situation like that, but I wouldn’t like him to just leave me on my own to deal with it either. As the woman in that situation, I’d appreciate my boyfriend coming up to stand close to me, making it obvious we’re together. I wouldn’t like him to speak for me - I’d take it on myself to tell the pushy guy that I’m not interested, but I’d like the feeling that my boyfriend would obviously back me up if the guy were to get really obnoxious.

I guess I’d say you’d be safe somewhere in the middle. You’d especially be safe asking your girlfriend her opinion about it; I know women who very much expect their boyfriends to be more protective than that.

Size ratio, most likely. I can say “no” all I want, but I’m only about 5’3". To the kind of guy who gets drunk and hits on random women, might makes right.

The one time I tried to act in a situation like this, my girlfriend shot me down and as we walked away, she said “I can fight my own fights.”

And the one time I was cornered by a much older (and physically fit) drunk guy and was afraid for my safety, I wished someone, anyone would have intervened. I was in no position to fight that fight…

I would want him to walk over and say, “sweetie we got to go, something’s come up!” And grab me by the hand and lead me out of there. The guy can’t assume my bf was trying to start anything and it is a great excuse to go without anyone getting upset about it. Fighting over me would be a huge turn off and I would probably leave while they were having it out.

As a matter of fact, I would want a good friend who saw I was being hit on and didn’t like it to do the same. Find a good excuse to lead me out of there.

Some places don’t have anything that could be described as “Security,” at least not that would intervene in this scenario before it escalated somehow.

I’ve never been to a bar that didn’t. Perhaps we don’t go to the same bars.

Bars with security? Maybe bouncers at downtown dance bars, which I abhor.

Anyway, I would not give a shit at all about someone talking to my “girlfriend” in a bar. Really? What is this grade 10?

We’re all adults. Take care of yourself. Unless you’re threatened somehow it’s none of my damned business what you’re doing or talking about.

Well, my girlfriend was 6’2 and grew up in Oakland, and I’m not, which probably figures into the equation.

You’ve never been to a bar that didn’t have security guards? You’ve never been to a hole-in-the-wall bar or just a regular sports bar? Ever?

My reaction depends on how much she minds. If she looks freaked out and runs to me to get away from dude as soon as I turn the corner, I’ll get between them and find out what’s going on. If he continues to be aggressive, that choice #1 guy in the OP might come around.

If she’s rolleyes and shaking her head, she’s handling it and we can go back to ignoring him while I lose at pool and then later, darts.

Of course. (No, not sports bars, not willingly, but yes, they still have security.) And they have security and bouncers. Perhaps I notice them because I’m a chick, or because I live in Chicago. But yes, even the dive bars I go to have security. *Especially *the dive bars I go to have security.

You were in the middle of a game of pool, so you should just concentrate on what you were doing. Ignore the girl and the asshole and take your shot, sink it, repeat. When your turn is over, turn the stick around and swing the heavy end into his head with all your might. Then tell the girl to get you another beer.

Yeah, now that I think about it, most do. But a lot aren’t what most would think of when they picture a “bouncer” or actual security guard. Most are just some large (usually just fat) man who is willing to sit near the door for free beer all night long.