"So, is this your (significant other?)" (Question asked too early)

Suppose that you’ve just gone out on a couple of dates with someone. You’re at that in-between stage where they aren’t quite your boyfriend/girlfriend yet. Furthermore, you’re not sure what the other person thinks of you - maybe they’re already deeply in love with you, or see you as just friends.

Now, you’re in some setting - say, with family or friends - and then someone suddenly asks you, in front of a lot of people - “So, is this your (boyfriend/girlfriend?)”

How would you reply?

If you say “Yes,” then you run a risk, what if the other person doesn’t feel that way about you yet?

If you say “No,” and the other person had been thinking all along of the two of you as already a couple, then you might torpedo the relationship right then and there.

Saying “Maybe” is just lame and indecisive.

Which would be the better answer?

Your friend/relative is pretty tactless to be asking that, especially in front of a bunch of people.

Personally, I’d be very tempted to say “Mind your own business.” But I’m a social idiot.

Guess I’d better let someone smarter than me answer this.

If I’m with friends, they would know this is someone I’ve just started dating and would avoid asking the blindingly stupid.

If I’m with family, I don’t bring a date unless we’re well into the s.o. stage.

So in the unlikely chance the world doesn’t work according to my rules, I’d say, “We’re just figuring things out.” Then smile politely and change the subject.

“We’re dating.”

Yep. And then follow-up. I always like to know the status of my relationships.


Saying any form of ‘Yes’, including ‘Maybe’ or ‘Not yet’ would be inappropriate because, even if accurate, it would be presumptuous for just one of you to declare it. Saying any form of ‘No’, again even if accurate, would be inappropriate because it would be, well, negatively presumptuous (i.e. potentially rude). At most I would say, “Nah” immediately followed with something like ‘just dating’, or ‘only on our n[sup]th[/sup] date’ etc.

Word of advice to friends & family members in general: Don’t EVER ask this! If you have to ask, it’s too soon.

I would just say “This is John Smith. John, this is Susan Peters. Susan is my cousin. Susan, you just got a new job, right? How’s it going?”. I would basically just politely deflect.

I remember once bringing a date over to a friend’s house. I’d been friends with him for years, but only dating him briefly. The first question my friend asked (in front of my date, btw): “So, have you schtupped him yet?” :eek:

Good answer! Deflection is my favorite response to nosy questions, but I can’t always manage to come up with the right words, especially spur-of-the-moment.

I think it’s perfectly ok to just pretend you didn’t hear it, and just ask them any old thing to get them engaged in talking about something else. You’re giving them a chance to realize they made a gaffe, and a face-saving way to get out of it. A lot of people will gratefully accept the lifeline, others will be confused but willing to be distracted. It’s a graceful way to get past awkwardness, when it works, and it often does.

A better way to do this is to turn to your date, look them in the eye, and say “I don’t know. Is it?”

“We’re getting married tonight.”

Were you amused, annoyed, horrified? All of the above? And did you duck the question? :slight_smile:

I worked with a remarkably…candid woman – luckily it was just me she was talking to:

her: Oh, how was your weekend?

gigi: Good. I saw a guy I was friends with in school…

her: Did you sit on his face?

gigi: :eek:

Obviously you don’t publicly state X is your SO until after you and X have had a discussion agreeing to exclusivity, or whatever.



I like to deflect as bluntly as possible. My stock reply to a question I don’t care to answer is, “So, how 'bout them Cubs, huh?”

I tend to attempt to use humor so this is how I would respond. After a second or two of forced chuckles I’d add “no, we’re just dating”.

::Regards Shodan with an icy Miss Manners glare.