Dear Miss A,
I have only had a few relationships in my life, and now, as a 23-year-old in my first “grown-up” relationship with an older man, I’m never quite sure how to respond when I’m out with friends and get asked for my number by another guy. I hate to be “that girl” and state that I have a boyfriend early on in the conversation, and as my guy and I aren’t really on the path to marriage, I don’t want to completely alienate other guys with whom I might develop a friendship. What’s the best way to handle this?
Not “That Girl”
Dear Not “That Girl”,
Maybe it’s me, but most guys won’t ask for your number unless they are getting the impression that you’re into them. Guys tend to weigh the reward of getting your number and seeing you in the future against the potential embarrassment of your turning them down. If they aren’t that into you, or don’t feel like you’re into them, they won’t ask. So, I’m wondering why guys are asking you for your phone number often enough for you to write me about this. I feel like you aren’t giving off the “I have a boyfriend vibe”.
In the past when I’ve had a boyfriend, I felt it much easier to “develop a friendship” with guys by stating very clearly that I had a boyfriend. It let the guys know where I stood, and they could tell from my behavior that I was only looking to be friends with them. I think when you’re happy in a relationship, it’s annoying when other men try to hit on you. I know I wanted to spend time catching up with my girlfriends, and was glad to tell other men I had a boyfriend so they’d leave me alone. So I’m not sure why you don’t want to be open about being in an exclusive relationship.
You say that your relationship with your boyfriend isn’t “on the path to marriage”. You said he was “an older man”, and I’m wondering if you like him, but feel more comfortable hanging out with guys closer to your age. I’m getting the impression that you’d rather not be in an exclusive relationship. If that’s the case, you should really talk with your boyfriend about it. It doesn’t sound like your boyfriend is the right guy for you, and that this may not be the right time for you to be in a serious relationship.
Write me back and let me know what you think, and what you decide to do!
– Miss A