Stop Saying “I Have a Boyfriend”


I enjoy “going out.” I like dancing, I like music, I like drinking, I like spending time with friends. And I like meeting new people, chatting with them, making friends. I also understand that many people (men and women) go to bars and clubs in hopes of meeting a romantic/sexual partner, and of course, there is nothing wrong with this, in theory.

That’s why, if someone attempts conversation with me, I try not to immediately write them off as a “creep.” I welcome conversation and believe that the more people in my life with whom I can converse, the better off I’ll be. However (as most women know) there sometimes comes a point in a conversation with a man where it becomes necessary to draw the line and indicate that you are in no way, by any means, at all interested in pursuing anything further. There are also times when it is clear that friendly conversation is not in the cards (i.e., those men who substitute grabbing your hips and attempting to “dance” with you for a polite introduction). This is about those times.

If you do a Google search for “how to avoid being hit on at a bar,” you’ll get several articles with “helpful” tips on skirting conversation with men you are not interested in. The majority of these list pretending to have (or actually having) a boyfriend/fiance/husband as the number one method for avoiding creeps (second to “pretending to be a lesbian” or “pretending to be crazy,” a la Jenna Marbles). In response to my complaints about men creeping on me at dance clubs in college, an ex-boyfriend of mine used to get cranky that I refused to whip out this cure-all excuse (one of many reasons he is an ex).

Yes, this may be the easiest and quickest way to get someone to leave you alone, but the problems associated with using this excuse far outweigh the benefits. There is a quotation that I’ve seen floating around Tumblr recently (reblogged by many of my amazing feminist Tumblr-friends) that goes as follows:

Male privilege is “I have a boyfriend” being the only thing that can actually stop someone from hitting on you because they respect another male-bodied person more than they respect your rejection/lack of interest.

This amazingly puts into one sentence what I have been attempting to explain to ex-boyfriends and friends (male and female) for years, mostly unsuccessfully. The idea that a woman should only be left alone if she is “taken” or “spoken for” (terms that make my brain twitch) completely removes the level of respect that should be expected toward that woman. It completely removes the agency of the woman, her ability to speak for herself and make her own decisions regarding when and where the conversation begins or ends. It is basically a real-life example of feminist theory at work–women (along with women’s choices, desires, etc.) being considered supplemental to or secondary to men, be it the man with whom she is interacting or the man to whom she “belongs” (see the theory of Simone de Beauvoir, the story of Adam and Eve, etc.). And the worst part of the whole situation is that we’re doing this to ourselves.

This tactic also brings up the question of the alternative. If the woman in question was boyfriend-free, would she automatically be swooning in the arms of the creep harassing her? Unlikely. So why do we keep using these excuses? We’re not teaching men anything about the consequences of their behavior (i.e. polite, real conversation warrants a response while unwanted come-ons do not). We’re merely taking the easy exit, and, simultaneously, indicating to men that we agree, single girls are “fair game” for harassment.

So what can we do? I think the solution is simple–we simply stop using excuses. If a man is coming on to you (and you are not interested–if you are, go for it, girl!), respond with something like this: “I’m not interested.” Don’t apologize and don’t excuse yourself. If they question your response (which is likely), persist–”No, I said I’m not interested.”

“Oh, so you have a boyfriend?”

“I said, I’m not interested.”

“So you’re a lesbian, then?”

“Actually, I’m not interested.”

“You seem crazy.”

“Nope, just not interested.”

Et cetera. You could even, if you were feeling particularly outspoken, engage in a bit of debate with the man in question. “Why is it that you think that just because I’m not interested, there must be an excuse? Why is it not an option that I’m simply not looking for a sexual encounter and/or something about the way that you approached me indicated to me that you have very little respect for women and therefore I would never be interested in having a sexual encounter with you regardless of my sexuality or relationship status?” (Or, ya know, switch it up as you see fit.) Questioning them back (if you have the energy) puts you back on an even playing field.

I’m not saying this is easy. I’ve gotten into my fair share of arguments with men during what were supposed to be fun nights out with friends over whether or not I have the “right” to tell them to buzz off, boyfriend notwithstanding. However, there are a few reasons I continue: 1. So that maybe, possibly, the man I’m speaking to, or other men observing the encounter, may learn something about the agency of women, 2. So that maybe, possibly I might be inspiring other women observing to do the same so that one day, we can be a huge kickass collective of ladies standing up for our right to go crazy on the dance floor without being hassled, and 3. So that I can go home that night, sweaty and tired and happy, and know that I gave myself all the respect that I deserve.

Alecia is a logophile and a library bandit wanted in several states. In addition to feminist rants, she also writes essays, short stories, bad poetry, recipes and very detailed to-do lists. She currently resides in a little blue cabin in Woodstock with one fiance, one Dachshund and one pleasantly plump cat. Find her tweeting @alecialynn.

Categories: Feminism, Ideas, Society & Culture


  • Albert

    Hi. Great article. I did however have a question about the response suggested. You explicitly state to not apologize and to not excuse yourself. Why is that? I know the guy may be coming on strong, but it seems like being polite about not being interested will get a better response from the other party even in this situation. I’d assume aggressively dismissing an aggressive persuer would result in even more aggression,as predicted within the article. Seems kind of counterintuitive. It’s clearly not a small detail because you specifically state to not say it. So I’m just wondering the reasoning for it. Thank you.

  • Wendy Chad

    I am 26 year old lesbian, i have been in a relationship with my girlfriend right from high school, indeed i never regretted each moment i spend with her and it came a time she wanted to end the relationship and move on with this new guy she met, i felt so confused, i love her so much and had to plead with her to come back to me but all effort to get her back did not work out. I wanted her back at all cost and had to seek for the help of a spell caster but the first one i met did not work,i wasted so much time believing him and at the end nothing work but yet i did no give up as i had to try another one whose name is Priest Ajigar and he was the one that finally brought her back to me in just 4 days after the spell was done, i am a very happy person today as i love lesbianism life and i never could live without her. I would advice if you need a powerful spell caster either to get your boyfriend or girlfriend back, get your husband back, get a new partner? You don’t have to look further for other spell casters, explain your problem by sending email to priest Ajigar (priestajigarspells @ live . com)

  • sherilyn t.

    WOW. I never thought about this before. I am that woman who says “I have a boyfriend” at the club and actually enjoys saying it because #1)98% of the time, the guy leaves me alone and #2)i like to show off the fact that i have a hot boyfriend (who is usually “standing right over there”) but this article makes me rethink that. I love this school of thought and can’t wait to start saying “I’m not interested.” Now… if I could only get my hard headed boyfriend to not be upset when when I don’t tell other guys “i have a boyfriend”… thank you for this article!

  • Alexander Rose

    “Male privilege is “I have a boyfriend” being the only thing that can actually stop someone from hitting on you because they respect another male-bodied person more than they respect your rejection/lack of interest.”

    This is just another example of how feminists are severely misinformed and delusional about their beliefs. It’s literally cult psychosis 101. Or…we don’t even bother to REALLY clue ourselves in on what people outside our walls actually think and feel. This is it, if you don’t like it, you’re a misogynist!

    Guys do not stop hitting on a girl when she says I have a boyfriend because he respects other males. Most guys would sleep with any guy’s girl if given half a chance no question about it. How do I know this? I’m a guy. I know guys. We talk to each other.

    Guys stop hitting on girls when they say I have a boyfriend because they have been conditioned by society to think that girls who have a boyfriend will never want anybody else and/or they are unattainable / the only thing that exists is a monogamous relationship.. Keep adding to this.

    They usually walk away, head down, saddened because they really liked the girl and live in a mindset where they think “the one” is hard to find and thus if they feel something for a girl it’s a rare commodity. Another societal mind fuck.

    Now it is also highly likely the guy is NOT interested in her like that, and when she says I have a boyfriend he is highly annoyed by it because he was not actually hitting on her, she just thinks it because he said something ranging from completely neutral to a full blown compliment. The place at which the needle drops on that scale depending on how often the girl gets hit on, how cynical she is about men, how likely she is to just jump to conclusions.

    But forget about explaining all this to a feminist because it will fall on deaf ears.

    Now.. When a girl tells me she’s not interested, that actually may lead to something happening only because I’m like WOW. Mad respect.

    You want to impress me, tell me you’re not interested instead of making a BS excuse and I will be extremely impressed and that girl will have my respect. Of course, at that point the ball is in her court as to whether show that she is NOW interested based on my response, or if she is still not interested it will be obvious. Because anyone can turn around a woman’s disinterest, because after all she does not know the person, and at any time anything could strike her interest.

    I totally agree with this article by the way I just had to put that in there. I would keep it if I were you even though I am hating on feminists because it will serve as a shield from any vile comments or death threats from feminists who are angered by this. :)

  • Tokyo Mommy

    What do you do when to tell them you are married or have a boyfriend and they still don’t take “no” for an answer and harass you even more? Grrrr! I hate that!

  • Dan 13732

    Awesome, thoughtful article. I will certainly suggest that my teen aged daughter read it… and probably my teen aged sons, too!

  • Luis J. Quinones

    If a woman approached me looking for something I would come out and tell her that I have a girlfriend. Why??? Out of respect for my significant other. She would do the same for me. That category of men you are describing is only a small part of the population and you are correct. they are creeps. They are unteachable creeps. They won’t respect you regardless of what you say or do. Nothing but a bunch of feminists are reading this post. Those creeper men are out there being creepers. They don’t care about this article. Stop acting like a victim and get over it. Feminism is just another form of sexism.

  • Alma Gonzales Mendoza

    Whenever I go to shows/clubs I always converse with them because they might just be guys who like talking but usually they want to dance so I say “I only dance by myself, but thank you though!” and include a sweet smile when it comes to the point of them wanting to get to the root of their interest. Guys aren’t always assholes, sometimes there’s just guys being guys. I always get positive response because I’m pretty much saying “you’re a cool dude but I’m doing my own thang.”

  • Anonymous

    Every guy also has freedom of speech. He is free to continue to talk to you after you’ve blown him off. You saying anything that you may have to say does not take away his right. Saying “I am not interested.” Or even “just leave.” or pointing at the man in question, making a turn around gesture with one’s fingertips, and pointing in the other direction, is not obligating the man to leave. The only thing that obligates a man to leave, is his will. That’s it. He can stay and talk to you as long as he wants to.

    What can you do, if you don’t like it? Easy. Ignore him. Completely. That’s my advice, as a man. Don’t give him anything to go off of at all, or if he’s good at what he does, he’ll make you laugh, you’ll find him charming, and you’ll find his perseverance an attractive quality, and you may end up dating him by mistake.

  • Just a random guy

    Me and my girl both say “I have a gf/bf” because its probably the most polite way to say you arent interested while simultaneously giving a reason. Stop digging so deep into phases that are usually used out of politeness. Your encouraging rudeness…

  • Brian

    If a girl has a boyfriend, she is off limits, because of respect for the relationship. If she would break up with him to be with me, I wouldn’t trust her to stay with me. Likewise, I won’t respect a guy who breaks up with one girl for another. Respecting another man more has nothing to do with it.
    With that said, if you say you’re just not interested, I’m probably going to want some sort of answer “you’re really just not my type”, “I’m not looking for a relationship right now”, etc. If I took the effort to talk with you, please take the effort to not just leave me standing clueless

    • Martin

      Honestly, a girl with a boyfriend isn’t “off limits.” Marriage is a different story, but to say that just because a person may have found a likable person before me so I can’t attempt anything (read various ways) is ridiculous. Dating is a tentative state where we are feeling out the people we are with, we are not in a bubble, and if a person comes along that is more compatible/nicer/better/etc then there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to attempt to pursue that person. That says nothing to the ability of the person in the relationship to deny them.

  • Toni

    Hi, so I read this article a while back and was actually fascinated by it’s idea. Last thursday I went out with a long time friend (who is a guy) I am recently single again and my friend says im an attractive woman (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) and he told me that if a guy hits on me tonight I should tell them I have a boyfriend. I went on to explain to my friend I won’t be doing that tonight. Now mind you I am going to a bar with a lot of young military soldiers (who tend to be very touchy feely when durnk and have little boundaries, but in this small town there aren’t many bars to choose from) Most the night I was left alone while I sat at the table with my friend, at some point in the night he ended up going to the bathroom (I was DD and he was getting pretty drunk, which is why his platter was sending him away more) At this point a gentlemen came up and asked if I would like to ask and I told him thank you but no. He proceeded to ask if I had a husband and I replied no, I am just not interested. He smiled gave me a thumbs up and went to ask another lady (I was actually surprised how well it worked and how good it made me feel about myself.) so naturally when another guy came and asked if I wanted to dance I did the same thing I smiled said thank you but I’m not interested again he also just smiled and said enjoy the rest of your night and went back to where he had been sitting. Then my friend returned and I told him what had happened he didn’t seem to happy that I didn’t take his advice but when i went on to explain to my friend that woman should have the right to stand up for themselves because even though we are single doesnt mean we are on the market for any man and being in a relationship doesnt mean that man owns me his jaw actually dropped he didnt realize its something he has done with woman in his life he was actually ashamed and said wow i never thought of it that way you are right. All in all I felt great about myself that night I may not had danced with anyone or gotten shit face drunk but i had a fun time and respected myself as a woman. Thank you for opening my eyes and also allowing me to open my friends eyes. I will continue to do this and also to teach my daughter this life lesson. you are a wonderful person :)

    Keep on being you and keep on being strong and beautiful <3 you are truly amazing.

    • zx74125800

      “..doesnt mean that man owns me his jaw actually dropped he didnt realize its something he has done with woman in his life he was actually ashamed and said wow i never thought of it that way you are right.”

      It is so over the top not sure anything needs to be said. TJ

    • passingliaison

      So let me see if I understand this…
      You are told women should say “I have a boyfriend” because men won’t go away otherwise, and thus respect the woman’s right to say no. So you must claim to be “another man’s property” by stating you have a boyfriend. So, you decide to put it to the the test and instead of saying “i have a boyfriend” you simply say no. Not only do the two guys respect the woman’s right to say no and not be interested, but this somehow confirms the myth that men only respect a woman who is “owned” by another man….O_O

  • msnyc10

    More to the point on all this is it points to the myopic and narcissistic view of the universe of many women. Men are under no obligation to find you attractive/sexy/desirable only when that serves your timing or need or preferences we do so when it suits OURS. if you resent being pursued by men you aren’t interested in or when you are interested in being pursued, then stop insisting on being pursued (and paid for). If you resent men not taking no for an answer then stop playing hard to get to get the men you want. All I come away with when I read articles like this is the utter contempt women today have for men.

  • msnyc10

    This is repentantly sexist from the assumption that ‘I have a boyfriend’ is an indirect warning from another male about his property to the whole concept of telling a guy to ‘buzz off’. Men are taught and socialized to approach women. Women don’t approach men and not one woman I know will pursue a man and EVERY one says a man who wants to date/be with her better make the move and make it clear. We don’t get to sit around at bars or place ads and filter through 1000 replies in an hour. So we are expected to and in fact must pursue women we find attractive. You can’t expect it AND find it annoying (when it isn’t the guy you want). ‘I have a boyfriend/girlfriend’ is simply a way of saying ‘I am committed to someone else and thus not even open to the possibility of you’. Most people will respect and accept this, and it saves face on both sides (vs e.g. ‘Buzz off’, “You are too short”, “I only date Bankers”). To put some male perogative spin on this is ludicrous and speaks of the underlying contempt the author and in fact many womeh have towards men.

    I was not not to long ago and three very well dressed very attractive women were sitting catty corner to a male friend and I. Neither of us attempted to speak with them and none of the gave us a second look. Suddenly some guy from the other side of the bar walked over and said ‘Hi Ladies!’. The prettiest of them (with a rock on her finger the size of Kansas) said LOUDLY “No. go away. we aren’t interested in talking to you, we are talking about things you couldn’t possibly be interested in so just go away”. Embarrassing him in front of the entire almost empty bar. My idiot friend decided he needed to place himself in-between the guy and girl since he was given them “unwanted” attention (at that time and from that person) and I pulled him back. I’m sure each of those women has spent years having drinks bought and men pay for dates, relationships and ended up with the big rock sitting in that exact way and make-up to make that happen. So you know what? You need to accept attention from the men you don’t want when you don’t want it. The girl in question could easily have said nicely and quietly that they were married, not out to meet anyone, thanks for your interest, etc instead she chose to treat him with the same contempt you show in your article. Some guy I’m not interested in at a time I’m not interested in BUZZ OFF, when I want something from one of you (e.g. my friend who now serves the purpose of protecting her from unwanted attention even though a moment ago he didn’t exist and would have gotten the same contempt if he’d tried to speak to her).

    Men pursue women in the world because they have to to get women because THAT is what women want as well. Treating men who are part of that paradigm with contempt is … contemptuous.

    This paradigm is not about MALE privilege it is about FEMALE privilige and the abuse of same. Do g man who has found you attractive and approached you with the respect he deserves for having such good taste and for noticing all the things you did to make yourself attractive, most of which you did (despite your protestations to the contrary) to attract a man, just not this one.

  • Adam Wargacki

    This is an interesting article, and the comments (at least the first 50 I read) were a pleasant surprise. Very good points, and well articulated all around.
    The major flaw that I perceive in this essay is the assumption that there is some significant indirect communication occurring between men that affects their behavior toward women. In this case, the woman delivers that actual message “I have a boyfriend” (whether true or false), which is received as a warning from male to male (“Stay away from my property”).
    In fact, almost every man in this scenario would sell out the patriarchy for even the briefest and most unsatisfying of sexual encounters. There is NO backroom deal among men to lay off each other’s women. There isn’t even a law against it. It might make sense in theory but men are cheating lying bastards when it comes to sex. Men out there, look inside yourselves and admit that in your hearts you have already gone over to the other side. There is nothing that some vague “other man” can offer you that is better than sex, so in the pursuit of sex our concern of other men will almost never get in the way.
    My second point is based on my understanding of normal male sexuality Men want to be wanted. They want to be desired. Yes,sometimes they are possessive, but they also want to be possessed and objectified to some degree. In that sense, a woman who informs you she “has a boyfriend” is not not unavailable because she is possessed but because she has proactively made a choice to be with someone who is “not me”. Now that I have that information I understand that we really can’t have the relationship (or probably even the sex) that I am looking for. That’s totally fair, and I would rather have that information sooner rather than later, no hard feelings.
    So when we get the message “I have a boyfriend”, what we are hearing is not “I already have a master” but “My desire lies elsewhere”. As others have pointed out, it is polite in that it makes no comment on the suitor’s desirability (which is now understood to be a moot point).
    As for the inevitable rebuttal that “this is about harassment, not about reasonable people who are trying to gently hit on one another” – Re-reading the article, it’s not entirely clear to me at what point this crisis occurs. The article points to
    “there sometimes comes a point in a conversation with a man where it becomes necessary to draw the line and indicate that you are in no way, by any means, at all interested in pursuing anything further”
    In my opinion this point could come well before “harassment”. Some people can’t take hints/body language very well, and need to be told in clear terms to back off. Anyway…I just think the article was unclear on the extremity of the situation and left it up to the reader…I guess people behave differently when it comes to hooking up(?) and have to fill in the detail with their own experience.

  • Saul

    This is a really silly thing for people to believe. This piece could be interpreted as “guys will keep hitting on you even if you say you’re not interested because they don’t respect you (because you’re a woman)”. For a tiny miniscule minority this could be the case. But for 99.9% of males this is not true. Please do not believe this! Some males have come to learn that persistence pays off, some guys may be drunk dickheads, but our rejection of your rejection does NOT stem from a lack of respect.

    • Jessica D

      This article is about the multitude of men that do act this way. It isn’t about the men that don’t act this way.

      You’re not focusing on the resolution by saying the problem isn’t as bad as this article says it is. Saying that only a few men are persistent, drunk, or dickheads when asking uninterested ladies out repeatedly doesn’t mean that is ok for those individuals to be that way.

      Your rejection of a lady’s rejection may not stem from disrespect, but that doesn’t negate the fact that other men are disrespectful or that your actions can be taken as disrespect.

      A woman shouldn’t need to constantly refuse offers to the point of lying by saying she is already in a relationship or isn’t interested in men all together. This happens. It happens to me. I am not a model, but I can’t go out without my fiance without being harassed. I use my own fiance as a body guard against guys that won’t back off. You don’t see anything wrong with that?

      I am glad that you feel you’re a great person. Obviously, not knowing you, I can’t say otherwise. But, because one good guy does not a world of good men make.

      • Saul

        Okay, firstly, i can never fully understand what it’s like to be a woman in that situation. But i can appreciate it would be annoying/scary/terrifying/rapey. And it sucks. Im very sorry that you or any woman has to go through this.

        Lets be clear on what this article is saying however. The point, is that a guy only accepts “i have a boyfriend” as a rejection, because he respects another male more than the female he is pursuing.

        Now lets get some perspective. Im sure no studies can show any numbers, but i am confident in saying the vast, VAST majority of males do NOT think this way. Most males will give up in response to “im not interested”.
        And if you took all the males that remain persistent, the majority of those males STILL don’t think that way. They persist for other reasons. Asserting that it is male privilege to think like this is ABSURD.

        The reasons for a male accepting “i have a boyfriend” as rejection are as follows:

        1: it works because we respect your RELATIONSHIP. We respect that you are in a committed relationship and no amount of flattery or dance moves can make you forego your commitment.

        2: When these words are uttered, it immediately conjures images of a giant, hulk-like boyfriend ready to punch our heads in should we continue to be within a 5 metre radius. This is fear, not respect.

        It does not work because we think “oh, this woman is already owned by a fellow male, i should find a female without an owner”
        I agree that some men possibly DO think this way, but these are the minority. And it is NOT OKAY for them to do this.

        If we want to get more men on board with this movement, we need to understand male motives clearly.
        So in summary, most men are not the way this article paints men to be. Some men are. They are disrespectful dicks. But instead of telling women “stop saying i have a boyfriend” a more accurate thing to say would be “careful ladies, if you go out tonight you might meet an arsehole”

        But we can’t write that because it’s not nearly as controversial.

    • Jessica D

      If it were just a few guys being jerks, I would get it. There are plenty of rude ladies out there, too. But when I have to deal with it when buying groceries? And my coffee in the morning? And walking down the street? I get that your point is ‘not every guy is like that’ or ‘not every guy does it because of male dominance or privileged’. But asserting that and making that the issue *really* misses the point. We have articles like that because of the large population of men that do act like this.

      In the past when I finally said, “I have a boyfriend,” it isn’t to instill fear, it is to get guys to back off. Even still, many don’t. They ask, “Is it serious? How serious? Like, are you guys getting married or something? Like, have you been together long??”

      So, to get this movement started and moving along I have to understand that men want respect when they clearly aren’t respecting our wishes when we say we aren’t interested more than two times? We have to be polite and sit there while we feel more and more anxious to the point of lying?

      I understand that there are many individuals with many motives. I don’t fault a guy for initiating a flirtations conversation at all. I will start to get a singular opinion of a man when he won’t back off. This article is about THOSE men.

      • Saul

        Jessica D, thanks for the discussion, but I feel like we’re arguing different points.
        Im trying to explore the quality of a man’s rejection of your rejection. That is, WHY they are persistent. And how it is not the way the author describes.

        Whereas it appears you are focussing on the quantity of men that behave this way.

        You have seriously misunderstood what i meant when I wrote we need to understand male motives clearly.
        Hopefully our small discussion has given some readers pause. I hope for both of our sakes this sitation with arseholish guys improves.

      • Joanna

        This interface won’t let me reply to Saul’s post, but I must say that I had never even thought about this. Most men are good at picking up much more subtle cues. Those that do not get slimed by nuclear-grade contempt. And you shouldn’t have to make an excuse! I do find people will rarely fully own their feelings in this culture, so personally I can have trouble reading the situation. Recently I broke my leg and felt really vulnerable and hyper-aware that I would have a problem defending myself. Until we all look up from what we are doing and just stop hurting each other, that’s how it will be.

      • Raymond Harrington

        I find it easier, safer, and less socially stressful just to keep my distance. Women tend to be very subtle, and the subtleness makes it harder to interoperate. This leads too high of a risk of misinterpretation…So why risk it? Would it not be easier in this post feminist revolution society to have women do their fair share of pursuing? Why should it be men who are always on the chopping block for rejection in these situations? Would this not help solve women who are not available from being hit on?

  • Agnieszka Brzycka

    every time I read a text like that, I cannot escape the quite different, and frankly unwanted unpleasantry – most feminists’ claims are girly, not womanly; they reveal lack of maturity and still vivid excitement over sexual differences, like a teenager who practices saying words like “sex” or “penis” without a nervous giggle. I say and will continue saying “I have a boyfriend”, because of courtesy. It takes courage to approach a person, and guys have an exceptionally hard time with most of women, as we are taught that rejecting someone at the bar/club somehow adds to our value as “not easy to get”. Even if he is not your type – it is class not to bring down his spirits and confidence, discouraging from next attempt. It is childish, and self absorbed to tell him “I’m single, you just don’t have what it takes to interest me” to him.
    To you girls claiming guys respect possessions of another male – really? Never did any of the pursuers reply “well, he’s not here, is he?…” to you? really?
    Saying “I have a boyfriend” is really allowing someone to keep his face, why do GIRLS have such a problem with that? It’s almost as if it was more important to you to emphasize your superiority than get rid of the unwanted guy.

    • sara

      I get your point but I also understand where the blogger is coming from. But you are speaking of extremes, I believe there are nicer ways to let a guy down than to be in his face and “you just don’t have what it takes to interest me”. I think it’s all about the delivery- there are nice ways to say that you are not interested than to leap in front of the “I have a boyfriend” reason as well.

    • Martin

      Nooo! I don’t care about the boyfriend, most guys are not respecting a boy more than a girl. That’s a serious mistake to think like that. If I like the girl I do not give a shot if she even is married (if it is not your friends wife). Why should I care more for a guy that I do not know then the girl that I have in front if me? Only idiots thinks so.
      Don’t say you have a boyfriend, say you are not interested if that’s the case. We can handle it!

  • Pierre

    Why don’t you devise a convention that says “I’m here to dance, I will not hook up with you”. Say for example, a green earring, or a red bracelet on the right hand, or a decorative hair comb for the girls; a folded handkerchief in the breast pocket for the guys, etc. Then watch the guys flee. But then that’s the problem, isn’t it?

  • Rob

    What a load of rubbish. Telling someone they have a boyfriend is simply the nicest way to reject someone.

    If someone has put themself out there and plucked up the courage to approach you, it’s going to hurt if you flat out tell then you have no interest in them, implying there is something about them you do not like. By saying you have a boyfriend, you are not implying there is something about them you do not like, and so it’s a lot politer to end the conversation that way.

    It was nothing to so with men only respecting other men. I’m a man, I’m single, and when girls come up to me I tell them I have a girlfriend, for the sole reason of not wanting to hurt their feelings.

    • Stephanie

      While I do think that saying you are already dating someone is a softer way to turn down someone, I think the author is pretty clear she is primarily talking about men who are vulgar, pushy and don’t take no for an answer.

  • barrydonegan

    The point of the “i have a boyfriend” thing is not to make a statement about anything. It’s just the polite thing to say to get someone to back off because it’s inherently the least hurtful. Most people should not want to be hurtful to people who are attracted to them, if it’s at all possible to avoid it.

  • Kenneth

    The author implores you to lie, to tell half truths. What would come more naturally to a privileged hipster narcissist than lying? Someone whose entire existence is essentially a lie? Isn’t it all pretty redundant?

    • Stephanie

      I don’t understand why you say that Kenneth – from reading it, I understand that the author specifically states one should not lie about themselves in order to avoid harassment. It does no one any favours.

    • Alecia Lynn Eberhardt

      “privileged hipster narcissist?” you’re making quite a few assumptions about me there, kenneth.

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