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To Ask Or Not To Ask, That Is The Question

February 18th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

What’s up, readers. Instead of waiting all day for my brain to conjure up the next great American post, I decided instead to roll with this real quick topic we can wax poetic on in the c-section. Here it is:

One of my rules I apply when it comes to approaching a woman is I never ask whether or not she has a boyfriend. Now if she has a ring on her finger, I’m going to assume she’s already spoken for, and of course, if there is a man who is standing close to her, I’m going to assume they’re together. But if I see a woman walking down the street or waiting in line to get something to eat, or at the bar chilling with her homegirls or with herself, I’m walking up to her and talking to her like she’s as single as a dollar bill.

This may or may not be the case, but I figure if she is in a relationship (or even if she isn’t and is just saying so as a defense mechanism) then she’ll tell me straight up. Essentially, it’s not my job to ask if she’s in a relationship, it’s her job to tell me.

But my other reason for not asking a woman I approach whether or not she is in a relationship is because if she isn’t, she doesn’t want to talk about why. No woman wants to be reminded of her single status, even if she’s happily so.

Thus, I approach all women under the assumption they are single unless there’s a tell tale sign they are not. But that could just be my thing. What do you all think?

Categories: c-section, dating, guys, women Tags:
  • 05girl

    I like it. I don’t mind being asked if I have a boyfriend/are you single, but if you then follow up with “why are you single” I’d like to consequently stab you.

  • Bahama

    There needs to be more guys like that. It’s nothing worse than when a guy just assumes you’re spoken for and doesn’t approach for that reason.

    And I agree with you fully. It is the woman’s place to tell the man if she is off the market.

  • Afro

    i dont mind being asked…no reminder of what i already know! i’m single…but don’t come with that bullshit, “why is a woman like you single”? how the hell should i know? that’s like asking me why am i black…
    it’s not the worst question i’ve been asked…can i be your baby’s daddy is.

  • Miss Sia

    Since I am an upfront person, I’d rather you ask me (tactfully of course). But to each his own. Or you can live under the assumption and walk away with hurt feelings. As I am not a person to lead you on, you’ll know from jump whether or not Im involved, if the conversation progresses that far.

    I will say this: I am guilty of going out with my guy friends and have using them as my “boyfriend” if the wrong dude approaches me, lol.

  • Miss Sia


  • Hibiki

    I’m kinda opposite. When I meet a cute guy, I automatically assume he’s already taken…well, honestly I TRY to convince myself that he’s taken at first so that when I got to know he wasn’t, it would be a GREAT news for me. I guess it’s a defense mechanism of mine that if I assumed he was a single and later I found out that he wasn’t, it would hurt me a little. That’s the difference bet. a confident man like yourself and I, a shy, pessimistic-of-love kinda gal…., I think.

  • Alana

    I don’t ever mind a guy asking me if I am single,it shows he has respect for my relationship.I can not stand when a man asks me why am I single,it makes me feel even worse about the fact that I am single, LOL.Alot like 05 girl, I’d also like to stab the next man who asks that question!

  • nitha

    The “do you have a man” question doesn’t bother me. The question that makes me tear up, grab a bottle of sangria, and break out the Ben & Jerry’s is “what happened in your last relationship?” Just last night, a guy trying to get put on asked this and I seriously had to compose myself before answering…thank God this was via text. Sore spot. Really sore spot.

  • afro

    cosign nitha…cosign…

  • 05girl

    I’ve taken to assuming everyone is free game unless you have a ring on the finger, so I appreciate and encourage Jozen’s POV.

  • nic

    The “why are you single?” bit is a little much…I never know how to answer that question, so I just give a “are you serious?, dead-pan” face. It doesn’t bode over well…

    Great post!!!

  • Tunde

    in the rare occasions when i used to approach strangers, i would ask during the course of our conversation. if she said yes, i would respond with something like “too bad” or “he’s a lucky guy”. in the future if i did end up approaching a woman, i would let her tell me that. if she doesn’t she doesn’t. *shrug*

  • Sunkissed404

    I like this point of view Jozen. Lately, I’ve been having more and more guys come up to me and just start talking without ever asking the question. I feel that’s fair. It’s the woman’s role to stop you if they are “spoken for”. As far as I see it, if the guy has not put a ring on it or given me the idea that he is taking me seriously enough to express to me that he’s as interested as I am in making our relationship exclusive, then “I am single and ready to mingle (waving fingers on left hand). hmmph.

  • SassyNoLA

    asking whether or not i’m single doesn’t bother me. i think the conversation flows better and has less pressure/is friendlier when that question isn’t asked up front. then the conversation just seems like a nice conversation instead of a means to an end (the number). either way, no big deal. i don’t offer the information because i don’t assume that every guy who speaks to me is trying to holler (okay- lemme stop lying. of course, i do because 99% are trying to holla but it looks conceited when you say that and it also seems conceited/rude/premature to be like “i have a man!” if a dude said that to me while i as just having a conversation with him, i’d be like WTF, you have issues and this must be your first girlfriend for you to feel the need to just randomly announce that in every conversation).

    the “why are you single” question doesn’t remind me that i’m single or make me feel bad about it. i’m actually really surprised so many women (and you) said this. i’ve never heard that before. i guess i interpret the question as “why hasn’t some lucky man snapped you up.” i assume the bad-feelers must interpret the question as “what’s wrong with your crazy ass that you can’t get a man?!” otherwise, i don’t get the bad feelings. anywho, i do hate the question just because it’s so unoriginal, corny, flat, etc. the dudes always seem to ask it like they’re being suave or something. NO!

  • Sunkissed404

    I definitely cosign with Sassy…. 🙂

  • Lynn

    I never get offended when a man asks me if I’m single or not. HOWEVER, don’t be surprised if I reciprocate the question… too many times I’ve been approached by men who are “taken” (ie, have a girlfriend, fiance or WIFE!).

  • MissBaldwin

    I am down with your approach Jozen. Where adults. When I woman or man for that matter is in a relationship they value they should say something. It’s their responsibility to speak up. Now if you were the ask up front type, asking “Do you have a BF?” is fine… It’s the question that follows that always gets me “Why not?” That question doesn’t make sense for a guy to ask given the fact you approached me and I would assume you would like for me to be single. But, I’m not reminded why I am single when a guy asks me “why not?”, instead I’m caught off guard… What do you want me to say to that?
    Now if you want me to feel special “I can’t believe your single” rolls off the tongue so much better. Why? Because I’m not trying to figure out why you approached me to in the 1st place.

  • BoomShots

    I am gonna ask because I have also used the “you never asked” defence. For me knowledge is power, I want to know everything, let me decide if I can deal with whatever you doing. But then I try to take responsibility for my own life and future and I trust but verify.

  • tihawkins

    I’m with SassyNoL. i don’t automatically jump and tell a person i’m spoken for considering i don’t even know what your intentions are. you could very well JUST want to enjoy my company for the next :15 mins; and not necessarily looking to “bag” me. Not to mention, I enjoy meeting new people and the company of a friendly stranger myself.

  • livinglatina

    I prefer for a guy to ask me if I was single or not. It doesn’t bother me at all, actually it makes it alot easier to shoot down a guy that I think is unattractive. Just please don’t ask me why I’m single … I just am!!! Ask my ex-husband!!!! Ugh! I just hate that question.

    Great post!

  • Star

    I don’t mind being asked if I’m single. I take it as a sign of respect from the guy (if he’s trying to holla, which is mostly the case lol). On the contrary, if he doesn’t ask it is my responsibility to offer that information, if the conversation is going in the direction of him showing more of a personal interest (basically, I feel he likes me and wants to get up with me again).

    The next questions to ask in regards to why I was not in a relationship depends on the tone of the conversation. If we are deeply engaged with the conversation and we are connecting really well than I would be more open to personal questions. If the conversation is light, a lot of small talk, than I wouldn’t get into my personal information.

    “’s not my job to ask if she’s in a relationship, it’s her job to tell me.”

  • LumbarPuncture

    I don’t see anything wrong with asking the woman if she’s single. I know that I personally didn’t mind being reminded that I was single when a man was clearly expressing interest. If anything, it made me smile with the thought that he just might be my next boyfriend.

    I got into trouble once assuming a guy was single just because he asked me out and we went on a few dates. When he brought his GF to the 4th date I knew that I had a new rule: Ask EVERY guy after him if he is currently single!

  • Renee

    *DEAD* @ “why is a woman like you single”? how the hell should i know? that’s like asking me why am i black…

    I love the intellect of this group because I concur with all. Additionally, I continue to subscribe to the belief that it is “MY JOB” to ensure that my S/O is respected and vice versa…

  • oc

    LOL! If that had happened to me, I would do the same thing.

  • Unveiling The Mask

    I think it’s a good approach, although I don’t mind being asked whether or not I’m single as long as it’s not followed up with a “Why” question. That’s when it starts to become annoying. Hell, that’s a question I ask myself daily… I don’t need anyone else asking me too.

  • Dominique

    but what about the cases when I tell a guy off -rip, that I’m in a relationship, whether I’m telling the truth or not(defense mechanism), a guy will automatically jump to the defense and accuse me of sweatin’ it’s kind of a lose-lose situation. either he’s gonna feel played or he’ll try to make me feel played

  • Dom

    You’re spot on for all points. Keep doing what you do. I like that you put a lot of thought in to HOW you approach a woman, and consider things from her perspective. Not many men are as perceptive about women as you seem to be. Keep making it do what it do!

  • b

    the whole “do you have a boyfriend?” thing bothers me….it lets me know right then and there what your intentions are. You dont wanna be my friend or someone to cool to chill/hang out with. u think im “cute” and you wanna try to talk to me…. why? you dont even know me!

  • Ebony Womick

    I would rather for a guy to ask me if I am single or not. In my opinion, that shows that the guy really wants to pursue me and maybe one day I can become his Woman. Now, if a man don’t ask then that shows that he don’t care and he is just looking for “Fun”.

  • bkgirl

    I think “are you single?” is an honest, straightforward way to get some pertinent information if you are interested in someone, regardless of the motive of your interest. Whether you want a date, a jump off or a wife, you may want to know if there is someone you’ll be competing against, or if you want to compete at all.

    If you don’t ask, you can wander into a grey area b/c you could end up liking the girl and then she has to choose between you and the BF. But hey, you wouldn’t have gotten that far if you had asked in the first place so I guess its a catch 22 in that case.

  • Simone

    The question is did you stay? If that were me, I know I would have been out! Im sorry…..

  • Dani

    It’s not the question of “do you have a man?” that bothers me so much. It’s what comes after I say yes: ‘Well can you have friends?’ Seriously though guys should really stop this foolishness.

  • Obi Okere

    I think that is best to proceed as if the woman is single unless proven otherwise.

    If she has a ring, I ask “how long have you been married or engaged.” Some women fake it.

    If she is with a man, I ask “how do you guys know each other.” Some women use a male friend to block out unwanted company.

    If she is by herself, I simply start an interesting conversation with her. Many women enjoy having a fun conversation while they are out.

    I think that it is the woman’s job to say that she is taken or not. I don’t ask directly “Do you have a boyfriend?” because it is really none of my business. It only becomes my business when I we have a conversation about us being in a serious relationship.

  • akreporter

    I agree tihawkins. As a woman who is spoken for but unable to wear her ring (I am allergic) I APPRECIATE being asked by a guy, because there is nothing more awkward then blurting out “I’m married,” only to hear something like “I wasn’t trying to get at you like that,” (even if they obviously were) or to try and be “safe” and wait until it is clear that the guy is and it be like 15 minutes into the conversation. It is just awkward all around. I am a friendly person and like to make conversation so it is nice if the boundaries can be established early on without me have to be or seem presumptuous.

  • akreporter


  • akreporter

    B wouldn’t you rather know their intentions offhand though? Would you rather they pretend to want to be your friend if they don’t? Also why would anyone approach anyone else to be their friend if they don’t know anything about them. Friendship comes in time after getting to know someone. Attraction on the other hand is instant.

  • akreporter

    Good point ebony. Guys that don’t ask that are interested come off to me as not caring one way or the other which screams (barks) DOG to me. It never ceases to amaze me just how many guys don’t care that I’m married. Not just taken. MARRIED. Happily. Just sad.