Overcoming Awkward Relationship Questions
How should you respond to relationship questions when you haven't properly defined your relationship with your date? Modern Manners Guy on the dangerous minefield of dating etiquette
Q: I was recently at a party with a guy who I’d been seeing for a few weeks. It wasn’t anything serious, and we hadn’t really defined the relationship yet, but we were exclusive. When one of his friends asked if I was his girlfriend, he mumbled a lot and then just called me his date for the night. Cringe. Is there a better way we could have handled this awkward question?
A. Whether it’s your first date, your fifth, or you just announced to the world that you are Facebook Official, having to answer questions about your relationship “status” can be one of the quickest ways to end a relationship.
You know that when you go “public” with someone you're dating, you have to expect people to ask questions. Your Friend-Who-Isn’t-Yet-Your-Boyfriend could have avoided an awkward encounter by just establishing your status before bringing you.
Now, how do you do such a thing? You just have to be open and realistic. Even if you just started dating, tell your date, “Look, you know that my friends may ask what we are and if even though we haven’t talked about it officially yet, I don’t want to you feel uncomfortable. I really like you but don’t want to rush things. Let’s just have fun tonight.”
Then, when you do enter the room and one by one people come over and ask who the girl or guy is, keep that casual confidence you had in the car. “This is [NAM, the coolest person I’ve been out with in a long time.” Your friends will (hopefully) pick up on how awkward they made you feel by your way of stepping around the issue and drop the third degree. And if they don't, you can always go to the old stand-by "Hey, look at that shrimp platter!"