If you’re looking to earn a reputation as a sleazy Jerk, here’s something you can do, or not do, that’ll ascertain you achieve your objective. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the issue of ambiguous dates, when you’re not sure if you’re going on a date or just hanging out with a friend. Today I’m taking it one step further.
Here’s a real life episode I was just informed of. As usual, I’ve changed the names. Sarah was taking a course with a guy she hadn’t seen for years. He told her that he recently moved to NYC and would love to get together and catch up. He was quite friendly to her. They spent some time chatting and exchanging texts. He was really anxious to hang out. He asked if she’d like to have dinner with him after class. Ok, sure. At dinner he mentioned that he regularly traveled to his hometown. Interesting.
“Why?” she asked, curiously.
“To see my girlfriend,” he replied, innocently, a smug grin plastered across his face.
They split the check, and Sarah left dazed and confused…and pretty pissed off. Why didn’t he mention anything about a girlfriend during their previous communications (flirtations?).
Wait, let’s not lynch this dude just yet. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. He really did just want to catch up on old times, with absolutely no intention of misleading Sarah into thinking that he was single and available. But isn’t it strange that his girlfriend didn’t come up in conversation? Ok, let’s say she just didn’t, and he didn’t think anything of it. He was just being friendly, with not the slightest thought of possibly flirting with this attractive girl or maybe exploring a bit further? Hmmm. Let’s just say all this is true (you need to stretch your imagine here).
The verdict in this case: GUILTY. If you’re flirting with a member of the opposite sex who is single, you need to reveal to them that you are UNAVAILABLE asap. That means you don’t wait until you’re out on what appears to be a date with them. You let them know in your first conversation. You can find a way to slide it into the conversation without causing any awkward moments. If you can’t, then you need to just come out and fully disclose your status, awkward or not. It’ll save a lot of frustration and ill feelings down the road.
Maybe there should be a ring that single men and women are forced to wear signifying that they are in an exclusive relationship. That would solve everything. But there isn’t. Heck, plenty of guys don’t even wear wedding rings! So how are you supposed to know whether someone is taken or available? You can’t, unless they tell you.
So here’s my new rule that I want everyone (men and women) to follow without exception: If you are unavailable and flirting or “hanging out” with someone who is, you MUST fully disclose your status. If you don’t you run the risk of hurting the other person and earning for yourself the reputation of being a sleazy, cheating, manipulating, cruel, selfish, Jerk.