» What if she says, I have a boyfriend?

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I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. You'll know more about me on . I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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If you’ve been out on the town for any length of time you are bound to have had the phrase muttered “I have a boyfriend” by some girl you’ve been talking to.

I remember for many years this phrase used to be a game killer for me.  Not only would I immediately retreat from the girl I was talking too, but with my confidence shattered, I would usually spend the rest of the night on the sidelines.

is flickr an addiction?There are several reasons why guys seem to get so affected by this phrase.  The first reason is that they immediately equate the phrase with some form of rejection.  The second reason is that guys feel like they are wasting their time talking to a woman in a relationship.  And the third reason we tend to hate this phrase so much is because we feel a tinge of guilt for hitting on another man’s woman.

It wasn’t until I began to have close relationships with several female friends that I began to see the fallacy in all three of these reasons.  It was through my many conversations with them, along with my observations of the way they acted towards the various men that were approaching them, that I began to really understand the misguided power that phrase contains.

Let’s first examine the three REAL reasons a woman will tell you that she has a boyfriend.

  1. She wants you to go away.
  2. She is starting to feel attraction towards you and wants to break the state.
  3. She is letting you know that if you proceed there must be discretion.

Before I get into each of these reasons I first want to address the concern of “what if she does have a boyfriend?”

A little known fact

Here is a fact that you are going to have to come to grips with.  The fact is, at any given time, almost every attractive woman has at least one guy she is currently involved with.  The level of intensity of the relationship will vary from woman to woman… but you can be sure that there is at least one other guy in the picture at the moment.

So you are almost always being judged against another guy.

Let’s get something else straight.  Just because a woman has a boyfriend does not mean you are forbidden to talk to her.  While I do not advocate actively trying to steal other men’s girlfriends, there is no guarantee that the woman is in a happy relationship, or she isn’t already looking for a reason to end it.

And there is also no rule that says two human beings can’t have a genuinely fun and exciting conversation just because one of them is currently in a relationship.

How should you react when you hear the phrase?

Yes, many women use the “I have a boyfriend” line as a way to get rid of guys that are annoying them or they have no sexual interest in.

If you are hearing this line very soon into conversations then you are probably doing something wrong.  This is a strong reason not to use the “can I buy you a drink” opener.  When you come on too strong and direct, before having a chance to build any attraction with a woman, or at the least, demonstrate some social proof… a woman can very easily reject you by saying “I have a boyfriend.”

If you hear this line extremely early into a conversation than you basically have two choices.

  1. Make a friendly exit.
  2. Continue the interaction and attempt to build attraction.

If your game is not that solid then your best option is probably to bounce.  At this point whether she really has a boyfriend is irrelevant… but she has let you know that her guard is up.  Although your ego might be tempted to try to win her over, or erase the rejection, just accept the fact that there are probably easier and more entertaining women little known factavailable to approach.

If your game is solid and you are up for a good challenge, then you can always bust into some cocky funny and say something like “I won’t hold that against you.”

At that point, you would want to break the silent tension and move forward with some fun banter.  Ignore the whole “boyfriend” thread for the rest of the night and continue to proceed forward as if it was never said.

If you are hearing “I have a boyfriend ” for the first time later in the conversation as both of you seem to be enjoying yourselves, she is saying it as a way to break her state and  control the attraction she is feeling toward you.

Whether she does or doesn’t actually have one at this point is irrelevant.  She is saying it as a way to kill the momentum that you’ve created.  She is addressing a logical concern.  You can NOT respond logically back to her.  If you do, the two of you will get into a logical conversation and all the emotions that have been created will disappear.

So at this point I would proceed as if it was a test.  She wants to see if she can throw your game off.  Don’t let her.  Just slow down the escalation for a few minutes, ignoring the comment, and continue building attraction.  After a few minutes, amp up the escalation again and see how she reacts.

294-2If she is saying “I have a boyfriend” later in the night then most likely she is indicating that there must be discretion involved.   Maybe she does have a boyfriend, or maybe she is just letting you know she doesn’t want anything serious from you… but the subtext is “let’s silently have our fun, no strings attached.”

So if things are getting hot and heavy and she lets it slip out… put your finger up to your lips and say “your secret is safe with me” and proceed as planned.

If you are actively socializing in bars and clubs you are bound to run into this phrase quite often.  You need to be aware in advance how you are going to respond to it.

Even if you are dead set against being a “home wrecker” there are plenty of good reasons to continue talking to a woman who has told you this.

First, the act of talking to her may be acting as social proof to other woman in the bar… if you abort too early it may come off as obvious to other’s in the room you were shot down.  Second, you may find that you get along well with her and can weasel your way into her social scene to hit on her friends.  And third, if you do sense attraction you can plant some seeds through Facebook and see what happens over time.

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10 Responses to What if she says, I have a boyfriend?

  • dannyvlc says:

    Good solid advice to approaching this obstacle Bobby. It’s something every guy encounters in game at some point. So knowing how to deal with it when it comes along is important. I find that just being completely indifferent to the phrase works well, I’ve pulled out a few ‘good for you’s’ and ‘I’m happy for you’ with a stone cold look on my face! But Bobby’s right using the cocky funny, perfect response.

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  • Karl says:

    I get this all the time, I mean ALL THE TIME and I have never had found a good way to reframe it….

  • john mantella says:

    respond with “oh i got 3 kids” or “i got 2 boyfriends sweetheart and mine are alot cuter than yours.

  • Peter says:

    It’s like I always say: “Just because there is a goalie, doesn’t mean you can’t score”

  • adrian says:

    I pretend to look shocked and say “You’re heterosexual?” I go on to tell her I thought she would be able to relate having women hit on her all the time. As the conversation goes on, I will bring up that I don’t believe her, ask her if she’s actually bi. If she says no, then I ask her if she’s ever kissed a woman. Some blush and look guilty when they say yes.

  • Karl says:

    Does anyone really have any good reframes where I will not get slapped less than two or three times a night?…lol…

  • frank says:

    You need to read I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell by Tucker Max. Plenty of such situations in that book. I learned to say something like “so there’s no chance of us fucking tonight?” if she’s not that hot or is a prude that wants you to leave. Saying something like that puts you on the offensive and will never sideline you for the night. If you really want to play homewrecker and she seems insecure go ahead and target that insecurity. Way i see it if a girl is at a bar and pulls that line, they’re just teases and deserved to be made fun of.

  • gameison says:

    Best response to IHAB I ever heard was:

    “Why are you telling me this?”

    It turns the tables beautifully. If she gives some variant of “You seemed interested,” then you can neg with “You’re a little presumptuous.” If she says nothing, you shrug with a puzzled look that conveys “What’s with this chick” and change the subject. No matter how she responds, she DLVs and you DHV! Beautiful!

  • Shaun says:

    In the event she actually has a boyfriend I’m glad she told me right away as I really don’t want to get any more involved. Don’t take it as rejection just try to keep the convo pleasant briefly and find a new target. I find girls who actually have boyfriends don’t usually say “I have a boyfriend”. In fact I seldom get told “I have a boyfriend” unless I’m being a drunk a-hole(which has happened before). Generally girls with boyfriends slip into into casual conversation, “oh you go to that restaurant downtown? I was just there with my boyfriend on Wed”. Think about it, girls aren’t that creative if they’re lying about their boyfriend they’re more likely to say I have a boyfriend then have ample supply of boyfriend crap to randomly slip into conversation.

    In the event she doesn’t have a boyfriend and she’s telling you explicitly I have a boyfriend. It means you’re escalating quicker than you should and/or annoying her and she wants you gone. Now is not the time to double down by going into new routines. Your game already failed for one of a million possible reasons. Evaluate what went wrong and adjust. If this is something you experience a lot you need to seriously give some thought to how you approach. I don’t believe this is something girls say ever if you’re not annoying them and they don’t actually have a boyfriend.

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