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Have you ever heard of any guy using the excuse that “You didn’t ask” when it was revealed that they were in a relationship or engaged/married?

you didn't ask


As crazy as that whole scenario sounds, sadly, it’s quite common with some very trifling men. But what happens when you’re not necessarily dating? What if you meet a guy, you two start as friends and don’t talk about dates or anything romantic, even though the sexual tension and flirtation is there, but you find out later that they are taken? Should they have told you or should you have asked?

For instance, there is a woman on Quora who sought out advice because she wanted to know why a male friend didn’t tell her about his girlfriend. She doesn’t say whether they had been romantic at any time, but by calling him just a “male friend,” she gave the impression that things hadn’t gone that far. In the comment section, a few people made it seem like it made sense that he didn’t say anything. According to them, he could have been “feeling her out” to see where she stood. He also could have been trying to see if she was worth breaking up with his girlfriend for. In addition to that, it was mentioned that if there seemed to be a mutual interest but neither party made it clear how they felt, then there was no need to put that information out there.

I came across a situation like this through a friend who had a crush on a guy she met through a friend of a friend. They exchanged info and talked almost daily. They had chemistry, but she noticed that when she would try and push the needle and get flirtatious with him over text, he wouldn’t fully go there with her. He might send an “LOL” or thank her for any compliments about his personality or looks, but that was about it. Still, he entertained all of her commentary and would invite her to parties and events he was attending with other friends (nothing really alone). At one party, it came out via a friend, very innocently, that he is actually engaged to a woman who lives in a nearby state. No one saw that coming, especially since you couldn’t tell he was taken from his social media (there were maybe three photos of this woman out of like 60 and included song lyrics instead of captions that should inform a follower of who the hell she is). And despite how serious of a relationship that is, he didn’t think it was worth sharing with my friend, who he was building, at the very least, a friendship with, over the span of a few months.

She felt incredibly deceived, as she should have, when we talked about it. She brought up the idea that she felt like he would have said, “You didn’t ask” if she’d asked him why he didn’t say anything about a fiancée. And I felt bad because in my mind I thought, well, if he never made it clear (via a verbal confirmation) that he had a romantic interest in her, and never said anything that would give the impression that he wanted to be with her, he wasn’t necessarily indebted with the task of telling her he’s taken. But nonetheless, the consistent texting, the choice to entertain her advances, was all misleading and disrespectful. It was also confirmation of the reason many people, men and women alike, don’t tell someone who clearly has a crush on them that they’re in a relationship. They want to keep that person in their back pocket, whether they think they might actually like them and might want to be with them down the line, or because they just like being gassed by someone who is not their partner.

The truth of the matter is, it’s not the responsibility of the single party in a confusing situation like the ones mentioned to ask if the other party has a girlfriend/boyfriend, is engaged, married or separated. That’s their business to divulge. That’s their situation. And what person doesn’t bring up their significant other at all?

Choosing not to share that is a lie of omission. Choosing not to share that is also stripping the single party of the opportunity to be informed and make an informed decision of what they want to do. It’s creating a facade. It’s creating a relationship with someone, even if it doesn’t start off romantic, based on deception.

And the sad part of all of this is, what if you are the one who asks the question first and the man or woman still doesn’t tell the truth? That happens a lot as well. So while it might make sense to go into a possible dating situation with a long list of questions ready for a cat, it’s not your responsibility to pull out of them information they should offer up. Sadly, in this dating game, you have to go into every situation just hopeful that people are being open and honest about who they are and what they’ve got going on until it’s proven otherwise. Or, you have to learn to be really good with Google, social media and obtaining background checks…

But as always, that’s just my opinion. What say you? Does a person who hasn’t confirmed a romantic interest in you still need to tell you if they’re off the market? Should you be the one to ask? 

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