When she says she has a boyfriend...

Maintaining your integrity is crucial to your long term success, happiness and self-esteem. This relates to both the sphere of dating as well as life in general. You must know exactly how you feel about what you are doing. For example, under what circumstances would you try and date a girl with a boyfriend? For some guys, “I have a boyfriend” will signal the end of their communication with the girl and that’s fine. Other guys won’t care at all, and will keep trying, disregarding her relationship and feeling no sense of internal conflict in pursuing a ‘taken’ girl. Others, still, will want to enquire about the nature and circumstances of the relationship: is she happy in her relationship? is it a long-term relationship? is it an open relationship? is it falling apart…? All of these, if they truly reflect your values, are legitimate. This article however, will address only the third demographic, as this reflects the approach that is true to my own values. You must have an understanding of your own personal value system, knowing where your own personal lines are, and how you really feel about what you are doing, or else you will compromise your own integrity in the process.

Regardless of whether or not she truly does have boyfriend, she has probably said this line to many other guys in your position. Some will have stopped in their tracks or walked away, others will have given off the typical sucker responses, a few of which I will cover herein.

Receiving the “I have a boyfriend” response from a girl you are attracted to may cause a number of immediate obstacles: Firstly, there is the difficulty in continuing to express interest after receiving this response, as the girl might seem to have disqualified herself as a potential romantic interest from you. In fact, she may feel that there is ‘nothing there’ as soon as you stopped her, as her boyfriend response has so often lead to the end of the interaction. Secondly, there is your own moral compass to consider: do you really feel okay with yourself, trying to date a girl in a relationship? Isn’t that ‘sleazy’? How would you like other guys to act this way with your girlfriend? I usually encounter two different responses from clients when they get the boyfriend response:

1) To rattle off the classic but cliched: “cool. I have a goldfish/cat/etc”, which often gets a laugh, but necessarily compromises either your personal values or your sexual intent - either you acknowledge that she has a boyfriend and that will try to date her despite this, without further enquiry, which is a mind-set outside of the paradigms of this article, or you acknowledge the boyfriend and imply that you do not intend to date her, and that she has told you a presumptuous and irrelevant fact, which removes intent and limit the sexual potential from the interaction.

2) To ignore the question entirely and continue to communicate as if nothing has been said. This is a short term fix, and when the interaction draws to a close, you are both aware that she has a boyfriend and that this has not been addressed. Both of the above responses ignore the boyfriend dilemma, rather than addressing it.

This article will propose a more intuitive way to address this dilemma head-on, creating the outcome which is congruent with the stated value system, every single time. Example:

Her: “I have a boyfriend”

You: 1) “I don’t believe you” (hold eye contact)

If you have received coaching from me in the past, you will know how much value I place on the ability to decode body language. In this situation, if you are relaxed, and are holding eye contact, you can often tell from her response whether she truly does or does not have a boyfriend. If she shuts her eyes as she speaks, or stutters or slurs her words, or she looks down and to the left, then she is probably not telling the truth. She may say “haha how did you know?”, or some variation of this, in which case you can respond with “it's actually really obvious, you are a terrible liar” (very cheeky) or “I can just tell” (more intense), or some variation of these. It is more likely, however, that she will say something along the lines of “no, I really do…”, in which case you can respond with...

2) “What’s his name..?”/”Is his name Dave?” (always gets a laugh)

This response shows that you are not dissuaded by her words alone, and are taking the initiative to actually find out more about her and her life, whilst simultaneously addressing the problem, in a non-needy and non-sucker manner. By guessing a fairly amusing name for her boyfriend (sorry to the Daves out there) you can keep the conversation light whilst demonstrating your sense of humour as well - and she will in all likelihood tell you a name. By this point, if she still asserts that she has a boyfriend, and she gives a name instantly, whilst holding eye contact, then she probably does. If she pauses, then you can light-heartedly accuse her of lying, and bring some sexual tension into the interaction by disbelieving her story and seeing past her words - demonstrating your intuition and awareness. In both cases, the next question is...

3) “Is he nice to you…?”

Again, you must be aware of her non-verbal communication here, as it provides a very lucid window into her relationship. This is the point of decision. If she says confidently “yes”, and tells you they are very close or that she really likes him, you can close the interaction with something like “that’s rare these days, it's refreshing to hear. He’s a lucky guy, you’re beautiful. Have a lovely day” and everyone leaves a little bit happier, your integrity remains intact. If however she hesitates or expresses uncertainty, or plainly says that he isn’t nice to her, then you can say the golden response:

“That’s very honest of you. Well, I’m not a home-wrecker and I don’t like to interfere.. But we are young and beautiful... and things fall apart... 2 months down the line, when shit hits the fan, I think you’d regret not meeting the handsome blond guy for a drink”.

This should be spoken with a touch of irony, a slight smile to show that you are aware that it is slightly ridiculous. Please, paraphrase and personalise this concept according to your personality and preference. There is something compelling and romantic to this response, and she will often laugh at this and agree, give you her number, and the two of you will have built a fun and compelling narrative together, in the knowledge that you are not encroaching upon a happy relationship, rather, displacing a probable douche-bag.

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