“See you later.”
“Where are you going?”
“Oh, I’ve got some stuff to take care of.”
“What kind of stuff?”
“Eh, just stuff.”
If people are being nosy to the point of bothering you, just stop volunteering hints about your life. There is nothing wrong with being neurotically private. I mean, maybe there is, but that’s between me…err…you and your therapist ;).
ETA: Eh, already covered by several other people. But whatever - it’s still sound advice. Close-mouthed is the way to go.
Why does it matter if you get the side eye? At 32, the details of your personal affairs are yours only. As I stated in another thread, I always introduced my girlfriend by her first name only and generally ignored any further inquiry. I induced some side-eyes, but I just ignored them and the next time there was no inquiry.
I gotta throw in with the “if you’re going to have a boundary about something, make sure the line is drawn in the correct place” side of this.
If a person brings up a topic – new car, new restaurant in the neighborhood, new friend – I think it is well within normal social behavior to ask for more general details. Asking whether a new friend is platonic or romantic does not strike me as intrusive, not really any more so than asking whether the new car is sporty and fast or more of a utility thing. (Don’t read into that analogy too deeply, of course!) That holds true even when the other party has an ulterior motive, like wanting you to buy a massive SUV, or avoid fatty and unhealthy foods, or whatever. It’s still a reasonable question on its face.
So if the question of romantic/platonic is to be avoided, the whole topic of friends should be avoided.
I’m guessing the underlying question is actually ‘Is this a date?’ and that’s what you’re trying to avoid answering. In my case, I usually just explain that it’s a friend from college/high school that I haven’t seen in a few years or that I recently found on facebook and we’re going out for a drink.
Up until recently I worked at the same job for about 7-8 years, and almost NEVER brought up my relationship status (they knew I wasn’t married, and that was it). If someone asked if I was seeing anyone I’d say nah (I’ve been talking to someone for a couple years, but we are not official, and I didn’t feel like explaining) and that was that. I had one older coworker who, while generally a sweet old man, would ask me all the time if I or my brother (my brother worked the same job for awhile and this guy LOVED him) are seeing anyone yet. When I’d inevitably say no, he’d shake his head and say I’d better get moving. Irritating, but not enough so that I felt the need to tell him off.
For those saying ‘Just don’t mention friends’, that isn’t as easy as you think for sufficiently determined parents. My mother’s the same; I mention anyone, in pretty much any context, and my mother assumes we’re probably dating. New neighbour? Dating them. New co-worker who I’m helping train? Dating. Drunken lunatic threw a brick through the window? Ooh, he clearly likes you! Got a picture? Maybe when he gets back out!
You manage an entire conversation without admitting to the existence of another human, and OoooOoh you’re clearly hiding something, who is he/she? I won’t tell anyone!
Thanks - yes, this is kind of the issue. As a 32 old single male, I have to be cautious about mentioning spending time hanging out with any single woman because people will automatically jump to conclusions. My mother has written a long, winding email to me before, for instance, urging me not to get into a relationship so quickly with a particular female friend (let’s call her Sherry) even when I was NOT in any relationship with Sherry at all, nor did Sherry have any such intentions towards me.