There has never been a moment when I stepped out with my girlfriend to a party and regretted it. We have nothing but good times. But whenever we hit the town, I feel an extra amount of pressure to be aware of our surroundings at all times and keep her out of any uncomfortable situations.
This is not because of how she acts. Anyone who has been around her knows she doesn’t call attention to herself. This comes with the territory of being a man.
From the days I was a young boy with an even younger sister for whom to look out, I have understood my duty to always be on notice when with a woman. My cues came from following my mom and pop’s walk alongside each other in public spaces. Even if they had just been arguing with each other, once out in the world, around others pop’s always stayed close to my mother, allowing very little space between him and her and sending a clear message to any man who may have been staring at her from afar.
Now I’m doing the same thing with my girlfriend and with good reason.
Without fail, the minute I put some space between us at a party, there is usually some guy sizing her up and approaching her. Luckily most of the time, she and I can find a way to diffuse it without any awkwardness or problems. Our go-to move is me coming up to her and showing her some affection, nothing too brazen or imposing. Since she knows exactly what I’m doing, she’s receptive and follows along, letting the guy who’s trying to ask what her interests are know that we are together. Most guys play this off with ease. I’ve seen them introduce themselves to me then back off. Others, fully aware of what is happening, humbly back away without saying a word.
This is not what happened at a Fourth of July party we attended.