I thought about starting a similar thread: do people vary how long they take to mention their SO to new opposite-sex acquaintances based on how attractive the person they’re talking to is? You know, do ugly people hear about the boy/girlfriend sooner than ones they find cute?
I don’t want to walk around with a sandwich board ringing a bell, but I do try to work him in when I see a possible conversational lead because (1) it heads off unwanted advances and (2) it avoids the awkward introduction of the boyfriend at a non sequitor as an obvious rejection of unwanted advances.
Being a 34 y/o single mom I don’t get that many awkward pauses anymore anyway, though.
But anyway, that’s why I said that I introduce him as soon as possible. Just to make it so that I’m not using him as a personal insult to whomever might hit on me. But I’m pretty good with polite conversation so I don’t worry about the ham-handed introduction. I just subtly work it in.
ETA: one or two “we” statements open the door anytime, ISTM
In the past, I’ve used “my boyfriend” lines to stave off obvious interest before conversation got awkward, but now my wedding band is the tell. When someone doesn’t notice that, I just jokingly say something like “I don’t think my husband would go for that,” or something similar. I’ve also co-opted friends to be my “boyfriend,” especially when I was tending bar. It was always easier to tell flirty guys that my friend/roommate/co-worker (he was a bouncer at the same bar) was my boyfriend, and that we lived together. My roomie was awesome and played right along.
When I was single, I always appreciated a heads-up “my girlfriend” or “my wife” statement from guys, since I’m not interested in that kind of drama.
I find lying about this to be a very undesirable quality, even in a friend. If you really have boyfriend, great. But, if you don’t, there are plenty of other ways to communicate your disinterest.
In fact, I’ve never had to bother with communicating that I have a girlfriend. I’ve always been able to communicate my disinterest in other ways. And I’ve never met a girl who would press the issue in absence of me giving her signals that I like her. The closest I’ve got is to a girl asking me out, to which I very politely declined.
I’m not saying that I do this on a regular basis, but if you’ve ever seen drunken guys chatting up the bartender (who is, after all, pretty much a captive audience,) you’d understand this ploy. Some guys won’t take “go to hell” for an answer, especially when fortified with a few drinks…
I usually really like it if a guy mentions his SO early in conversation. I tend to think he’s a good guy who is proud of his relationship and happy with his life.
If however, they wait until the second, third time they talk to me to mention her, then (unless it’s reasonable they wouldn’t mention her - like at work) I tend to think a little worse of them.
If they keep from mentioning her for the sole purpose of gauging my interest I tend to think they’re slimeballs.
There was a guy at my law school who never ever mentioned the fact that he had a wife and five kids. He would ask cute girls to coffee and hang all over them. No one knew he was married! We all just thought he was just either overly friendly or kind of a would-be player. He didn’t get any action (as far as I know!) because he just broadcasted this…not desperation, but…overly friendliness.
On the day of graduation I met his wife and five kids. I was floored and I had the worst idea of him from then on.
I actually worked with him after graduation and he was still up to his old tricks. A girl he had asked out came up to me one day and asked me what I knew about him - and I told her about the secret family - and she was absolutely appalled. What on earth he thought he was doing I had no idea.
I’m married and not looking for a date, but it really bugs me when girls throw it in there way too early.
Actual conversation between myself and a woman standing near the Reference Desk at the library where I work:
Me: Do you need help finding something? Woman: I have a boyfriend… (long awkward pause)… Oh, do you have the latest Stephen King book? Me: No, it’s checked out. Woman: I’m only asking because my boyfriend wants it.
Before she left, she came back asking for a couple of different books and the constant mentions of her boyfriend stopped when she finally realized that I wasn’t hitting on her but instead actually worked at the Reference Desk.
But I’m not above dropping the “my girlfriend” in conversation to head some women off at the pass. It’s a fairly useful tool.
Last time was at a group dinner at a restaurant, with a bunch of people I didn’t know. I made a few sentences of casual conversation with the gentleman sitting next to me, which he took as an invitation to stick by my side all evening, despite my repeated polite attempts to shake him…“nice meeting you, I’m going to move now and mingle with some other people”.
I got sick enough of it I decided to go home…gentleman quickly grabs his jacket and decides to leave at the same time as me. He tells me what train he is taking but when I mention I am taking another one from a differrent station he decides he can take that one too. I am trying to make mild neutral conversation about work and family and it’s like he’s in another conversation altogether…“Do you like your job?” gets the response " you have pretty eyes", etc.
We are on train now and I am getting more annoyed by the minute, and concerned he’s suddenly going to “remember” he lives on my street, like I’m going to forget I don’t know or like him and take him home with me. So when he responds to “where did you grow up” with “I like your shoes” I had to choice but to drop the bomb … “my boyfriend gave them to me”.
The response was classic nice guy, like an indignant what kind of stuck-up person are you that assumes I’m interested !! This after following me around like a puppy for about 3 and half hours.
No, go ahead, asume I’m on the make and play the boyfriend card. Better that than let me invite you to my apartment, clean the place as it’d never been cleaned before, make a fantastic meal beyond my budget, and at the appointed hour find that you’d brought him along. (This really happened to me in college.)
Even a clay pidgeon would rather be shot in midair than stomped in the dirt.
I rarely use my boyfriend as an excuse to shut up suitors, unless they are the obnoxious kind who care more about the possession of some guy they haven’t met than my opinion, and even then that hasn’t happened in a while so I was usually lying, pre-boyfriend. The reason the words ‘my boyfriend’ sound so awkward are, IMHO, because so many of the people I talk to already know him, so I can just use his name.
I have avoided mentioning him, slightly sub-consciously, while talking to interesting men – sometimes it was because I didn’t want them to think I though they were hitting on me (confused?), and on occasion it was because they were interesting, good listeners or a good contact and I wasn’t yet sure if they’d lose interest once they found out I was in a relationship (sadly, this has been the case. Networking can suck when sex appeal enters the equation.)
I’ve only used it a few times (and honestly…I’m widowed now, and if I’m not interested, I just say so. No imaginary BF/Husband needed. In fact, most of the time when I WAS involved, I just deflected the pass w/o resorting to the BF card)
The time I recall best is this guy several years back who worked at the video store I used to frequent. Young guy (relative to me, who was near 40 and he was early 20’s). He was always a bit TOO helpful whenever I came in, and after I became absolutely sure he was, yes, “chatting me up” and not just providing excellent customer service, (esp. since there were several times when other customers were waiting for help and he ignored them to follow me around) I played the husband card.
He was recomending films as I tried to browse and I started saying, “Oh, yeah, that’s a good one. My HUSBAND and I saw that years ago.” and “Oh, my HUSBAND really likes this one!” :rolleyes: OK, so not that much emphasis on the word, but it felt like it to me…like I was having to hammer the point home. My distracted replies and general ignoring of him had not worked.
He got it, I suppose, since he quickly found another chore to do and stopped following me around/chatting me up on future visits.
Several years ago, when my now-wife was my girlfriend, I was sharing a cab from the airport in Montreal with a young, attractive woman (we were complete strangers) who lived in the same part of the city. I made a reference to “my girlfriend” during conversation so that my co-passenger wouldn’t see me as some creep or potential threat who was going to try to hit on her at 10:00 pm.