Dear Dr. Date, I…



Dear Dr. Date,
I have been dating my boyfriend for just about two years now. Ever since we’ve started dating, I have had a hard time meeting other male friends. It seems like such a challenge. So let’s say I meet a nice guy in a computer lab and we chat and we see each other around campus and we become semi-friends. Now I have a dilemma. Do I tell him that I have a boyfriend or not? You see, if I tell him that I do, I jump to a huge conclusion that he actually is interested in me. What if he’s not and, in turn, I look like I’m arrogant? In addition, guys usually tend to shy away from girls who have boyfriends. If I don’t tell him, on the other hand, they get the wrong ideas and impressions. Either way I lose. I want male friends, and I want them to know that I have a boyfriend. But that doesn’t seem possible. Any good suggestions?
— Quandaried

Let’s turn negatives into positives.
First, let’s say you come out and tell him you have a boyfriend. What harm is really done? So what if he thinks you are arrogant? Excessive arrogance is ugly, but a little isn’t too bad. Women also fare better than men when tagged as arrogant. I’d slip it in as soon as possible, and do it naturally. If he only wants to be your friend (which is unlikely) he won’t care. If he has other designs on you then he’ll feel like a bigger idiot than you when he finds out you’re involved.
Now, let’s say you opt for the second option — not saying anything about your boyfriend. This is a pretty risky situation because, almost certainly, the friend will think he’s got a shot at being more than a friend. But, since you are used to having guy friends, I’m sure you’ve had to divert unwanted attentions of this sort before. If you go about being friends and don’t flirt with this guy, you shouldn’t have to worry about much. Then, when your friend tells you he likes you, you can let him know that is nice, but you are already happily involved. I don’t believe that you will be able to be friends with someone for too long before they find out about your boyfriend.
Either way, you’ll be fine as long as you don’t lead these poor boys on. Unfortunately, guys can be a big pain about all this. They have a nasty way of interpreting everything you do as flirting. Be strong and clear. The best choice of the two is to tell any potential friend about your sweetheart sooner, rather than later.