The Man of Mans and I have a sexually/romantically monogamous relationship, which means that when other people proposition me for romance and/or sex it’s no dice. I typically decline with some variation of the one of the two following two phrases:

A: Sorry. I’m not interested.

B: Sorry, but I’m married.

I tend to use A in situations when I’ve been put off in some way. Take the other night…

I was walk to the bus when someone shouted at me from across the street, “Hey! Hey, Girl! Come here I want to tell you something,”  When I looked over and shook my head, they raced over and cut me off mid-stride demanding “What’s up, girl! I just wanted to talk you, see if you wanted to hang out or whatever.”

Sorry.  Strangers yelling at me and blocking my way make me massively uncomfortable.  Being called “girl”  kind of peeves me – and I while can get past it under certain circumstances – in conjunction with street hollas and physical domination it’s a deal-breaker. No judgement of those who dig that type of come-on but it’s not my style at all. “Sorry, I’m not interested, ” I told him abruptly.  Because I wasn’t. It had nothing to do with my marital status and everything to do with my negative feelings about the person in front of me.

Flashback to another incident, a couple of years ago. Again, I was sitting alone, riding the streetcar in Toronto (apparently I’m at my most alluring on public transit). I made eye contact with a fellow passenger, who waved and smiled. A moment later they streetcar lurched over to me and said, “Hi,” and introduced themself. So I introduced myself.

“Is it okay if I hang out over here?” they asked.

“Sure,” I replied.

Then we small talked about where we were going and the book they were reading. I mentioned that I was craving a smoothie.

“There’s actually a really great smoothie place a few blocks from here,” my new found companion told me, “This might be weird, but I’ve got time. We could go together, if you want.”

“Oh. On a date?” I asked.

“Yeah. Is that cool?”

“It’s totally cool and I totally would if I weren’t married, but I am married so I can’t. Sorry…but thanks!” I said.  ‘I’m smooth like that.

My streetcar buddy was super-nice about it and we continued our conversation for a few more stops, until I got off and we parted ways. But again I meant what I said.  My monogamous married-person boundaries were the only reason I didn’t accept that smoothie date is because of my relationship   I’m a sucker for gentle people and good manners. Had I been single, I would have gone all Streetcar Named Desire on that situation!

But enough about me. What about you? Do you respond differently to different types of come ons? Are there approaches that are guaranteed to either peak your interest or put you off entirely?







  1. Robin says:

    I always think it’s funny that if someone offputting comes on to me it’s offensive, while if they’re cute & nice it’s flattering. What IS that? I think there’s some kind of status thing going on there… some kind of “if that’s how you’re going to talk to me then I’m too good for you” thing maybe? I don’t articulate it very well. But it’s something I’ve always laughed at in myself, like what, a guy has bad manners so suddenly I’m Princess Di? Anyway… if the individual does attract me… I tend to hold up my ring w/ a regretful smile and then feel really good about myself for the rest of the day. 😉

    • Nadine says:

      I think the nature of the come on actually influences my perception of how physically attractive some body is. I rarely think of the more aggressive types as being good looking. I remember the streetcar guy as being very, very cute!

  2. Nat says:

    Would you believe it never happens, maybe I need to start taking public transit more often? (Or I’m blind to it… but yes, it’s not really an issue.)

    • Nadine says:

      I’m surprised. If we were single, I would totally ask you out (in a totally awkward way because I would be SOOO nervous).

  3. @beaty_boop says:

    Hands down yes. Manners are the signal that a person is aware that the people around them *are* people. If someone lacks basic manners, there’s neglect gonna come up on down the line somewhere, in some form. If a guy is polite, I tell him straight up: single mom + 3 kids = no time.

    If someone is obviously only asking for what they can get out of me for themselves, it’s “I’m not attracted to you. At all. Goodbye.” I used to use terms like “baggage,” “not ready for a relationship,” “happy being single,” etc. I found that these were a) magnets for guys who actually go for low-self-esteem girls, b) interpreted to mean that one-night stands were ok by me (not my thing) or c) Challenge Bait (guy tries harder).

    So yes, I’d have to agree with everything you’ve said.

    • Nadine says:

      Manners are the signal that a person is aware that the people around them *are* people.

      Yes. Exactly. I’m not a stickler for hardcore ettiquette, but basic consideration is so nice and IMHO, so necessary in any respectful relationship be it platonic, romantic or sexual.

  4. Lynn says:

    I’ve been thinking of a blog post on this very issue for a while – but from a complete moron’s point of view. Saying no to guys who ask me out is just the WORST THING EVER in my book, and I am SO terrible at it. Before I was married, I’d hem and haw and make up (total lie) excuses and it was DREADFUL. Not that it ever happens anymore – age + out and about with small children + wedding ring takes care of that. But I have always wondered how one elegantly sidesteps the situation, especially if the guy seems nice and asks politely but he just isn’t your thing.

    Heaven forbid anything happens between me and Sir Monkeypants. I am ILL PREPARED.

    • Nadine says:

      I’ve been with The MoMs for 16 years. I had boyfriends before him, but I’ve done very little “dating” in my life. In the event that I find myself single again, I suspect I’ll be ill prepared as well.

      Do you know why you felt compelled to lie/evade an ask out?

  5. The Maven says:

    Honestly, this NEVER happens to me unless I’m at a bar (which is almost never) and there are very drunk older guys around. Apparently I’m a drunk older guy magnet. But yeah, I would say there are different ways to turn people down depending on how you’re hit on. I’ve seen friends do it very gracefully. It takes practice!

  6. Tweepwife says:

    Hmmm, this question gave me pause. Because the last time someone tried to come on to me – at least that I was aware – was 26 years ago when I met my husband. I too may need to consider public transit to enhance my sense of my own sexual power.