At what point in a flirtatious conversation do you mention you are in a relationship?

Dear Gwyn,

Often after work I’ll stop by the bar for a happy hour drink before returning home to my boyfriend.  Especially when I’m with my single friends, I’ll meet men and am always unsure at what point to mention my relationship.  At what point in a flirtatious conversation or situation should you mention you are in a relationship?

Irresistible in Illinois

Well hello cutie, aren’t you lucky being in a relationship and still having suitors in hot pursuit!  But honestly, it is a dilemma.  Mention that you are in a relationship too early in a conversation and you may feel presumptuous and leave the other person uncomfortable, hesitate to mention your relationship and you are dishonest with your partner and you lead your new suitor on.  It is truly a fine line between being polite and honest.

To start, let’s hope that there isn’t a ring on your finger and your suitor is choosing to ignore this, or even worse, you’ve chosen to take your ring off!  When you do find yourself in a situation where you get the inkling that your company is more interested in you than you conversation, there ways to clearly let your suitor know you’re in a relationship without spelling it out in neon lights.

  • Know that as uncomfortable as you may be, until you let your suitor know, he or she is innocently in the wrong.  Can you help yourself that you’re so desirable?!
  • As much as you debate whether or not bringing up your relationship status is appropriate, provided you are tactful, both parties will appreciate knowing before the conversation of a future get together or date comes into conversation.
  • Before rushing into a full life history of your significant other, give a moment or two for the conversation to progress before integrating the topic into your conversation. There is no need to introduce yourself as, “Hi, my name is Hilary, and my boyfriend couldn’t make it.” Instead integrate the topic into the conversation once you feel that your company may be interested in a dating relationship.
  • Keep you communication about your relationship subtle yet clear.  As you discuss a topic, mention that you love participating with your significant other: “I also love too! My boyfriend and I go every first Friday.”
  • If for some reason you aren’t able to slip the information into conversation before numbers are shared, take the opportunity to include your significant other at this point with a simple, “My boyfriend and I would love to find a time to meet for drinks.”

Often we fear that sharing our relationship status is presumptuous, but ultimately our relationships are part of our life and naturally are a part of our interactions with others. Sharing that you are in relationship with potential suitors is not just the right thing to do it makes everyone involved much more at ease, and after all isn’t that what etiquette is all about?!

So pull down that work do, sip your martini, and start name dropping your boyfriend with tact and revelry.

3 Responses

  1. Rafiq Paxton says:

    My first time here. Nice blog and super post. Well done.

  2. Nathan Cadogan says:

    Thank you for this great article! It has been very useful.

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