Monday, February 15, 2010

'Married & Mortified' asks Love Kudos a Question.

Written by Lauren K. and Lindsay K.

Dear Love Kudos,

I was talking to a girl for a while at an event, just chatting it up when a friend of mine came up and blurted out, "Oh, by the way, he's totally married and has a kid." It was mortifying especially because the conversation was totally innocent, at least from my perspective. That said, I don't wear a wedding ring because I lost my original one and have not replaced it yet.
At what point in a conversation does a married guy, who innocently doesn't wear a wedding ring, have to disclose his marital status? Can't a guy just talk to a girl?!

Can you help me out?

-Married and Mortified

Dear Married & Mortified,

We have talked about this dilemma amongst our girlfriends before, because it has affected us quite a few times.

Lauren responds, "I personally have been stung by the guy with a "live-in" girlfriend before, as well as the engaged guy. I was at a wedding a few years ago and somehow I ended up slow dancing with one of the guests. He did not have a wedding ring on. This is one of the first things I check out on a male, because I am not an intentional home wrecker. Mid-way through the song, he says, 'I have to tell you something. I think you are adorable and if I did not just move in with my girlfriend, I would totally be hitting on you right now.' Awkward, but so relieved that he told me. I actually had just started seeing someone, so I was sort of relieved that I could be honest with him about my own situation."

Love Kudos duo is in agreement. We think a guy or girl should casually inject their girlfriend /wife or boyfriend/ hubbie into the conversation relatively early on. It can be somewhat awkward, but it lets the other person know they are off-limits and avoids an even more uncomfortable situation later on. This way the other person does not overly flirt or wonder why the other person is not asking them for their number. They can then go on and talk to other people at the party, bar, or brunch that actually have romantic potential. If the single person is truly enjoying their conversation with you, your relationship status disclosure will not be a turn off to them and will continue to hang out with you a little longer.

Lindsay K. adds, "In my past experiences, when a guy has brought up that he has a girlfriend or is married, I have gotten a little annoyed, because he assumed that I was interested in him when I may not have been. However, It's better to have it out there before it get's awkward."

Discounting the person who is unhappy in their marriage or relationship, why do some married or engaged men / women avoid disclosing their relationship status? Here are some possible reasons:
  • They want to see if they still "have it" by flirting
  • They think the person talking to them will leave them in the dust if they find out they are taken
  • They are truly attracted to them, feel a connection, and are not sure what to do about it
  • Professionally, they think they can get a signed contract or new business if they lead that person on and pretend to be romantically interested.

I do think it is inconsiderate when people "BUST" the married man or sell them out by a 3rd party interrupting a conversation to let the other person know that they are married. Are they jealous or why do you think they do this? Married men are often confident when they talk to single women and women are attracted to that. For men who do not wear or ring for whatever reason, you especially need to be more upfront with your intentions.  Lindsay K. suggests, "if you do see a good friend talking to someone you know that is taken, pull them aside and discretely let them know.  That way neither party will feel mortified when they find out."

Some Love Kudos fans were interviewed on the subject of "relationship status" disclosure.

Evan says,"I stopped wearing my wedding ring after losing my original one because I was always playing with it. My wife understands because she knows she has nothing to worry about. The same goes for social situations and mentioning my marital status in conversation - why am I obligated to disclose that I am married if the conversation is completely innocent?" (Married Man in his 30's)

Sarah says, "He or she should wear a wedding ring. End of story." (Woman in a relationship in her 30's)

John says, "The person who is taken should gage the situation and naturally inject their girlfriend or boyfriend into the conversation. Don't assume the other person knows that you are unavailable." (Single male in his 20's)

AJ says, "I think there are so many men out there that enjoy leading women on. It is a game to them. Women, just ask if their married or in a relationship. Get it out of the way to avoid the games." (Single female in her 20's)

DE says,"I just have gotten to the age where I have to check a woman's hand to make sure she is not engaged or married. I use that method to let me know if she is somewhat available." (Single male in his 20's)

                  What do you think ? We want to hear from you.



Dave B. said...

"I had a somewhat opposite situation. I was out with the guys not too long ago. One of the guys had a wedding ring as he's married. The rest of us are not. We're all dancing and acting like college kids. This young lady who was dancing in the crowd comes over, points to my friend's ring, and tells him he should be ashamed of himself... for just dancing. LK2, are married guys allowed to dance?"

Stacey B. said...

"To the girl who said a guy *has* to wear a ring...if it takes a ring to make you feel secure in your marriage, you've got larger problems honey. A ring doesn't keep a man from flirting, much less cheating."

J.F. said...

I "love" your columns, even though I have not been in that situation for years (thank G-d). This one reminds my of my ex-brother-in-law. My sister was his second wife. His wedding ring from his first wedding was tattoo'd around his ring finger
- how nice (NOT).

Anonymous said...

I liked the post on the married man. On the one hand, married men can flirt, but seems to me it is unfair if they don't wear a ring and don't mention their status. Of course, it does depend on the conversation (ie is he just conversing or trying to get laid.) Not every married guy cheats!

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