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On Dropping The Girlfriend Bomb

I often complain to my friends about "dropping the girlfriend bomb", a term I came up with to describe the awkward way guys always let you know they have girlfriends.

The typical pattern works like this:

1. I meet a guy at a party or work event.

2. Guy and I have a friendly conversation for anywhere between 5-20 minutes, at which point he starts to panic and feel guilty about...what? Talking to another female? At which point he'll immediately start to look for the earliest opportunity to drop the girlfriend bomb and alert me to the fact that this is not going anywhere.

3. Blithely unaware of any of this, I'll be gassing on and on about, I don't know, say a recent vacation to England, at which point he'll seize the moment and interrupt me by saying: "That's funny! My girlfriend also recently went on vacation/loves vacation/has heard about England and thinks it must be nice."

4. I'll be sort of stunned by this, because 7/10 times I wasn't flirting, but suddenly feel chastised by his awkward mention of the girlfriend, and then have to reassure him that I'm not a threat by politely enquiring after his girlfriend and her love of vacation.

Jennifer Garam has another great example of a Girlfriend Bomb in her essay for The Frisky, How I Stopped Falling For Guys Who Failed To Mention They Had Girlfriends.

"He took me to a Mexican place in his neighborhood. I sat across from him, imagining that he was my boyfriend, that this was the first of many dinners at quaint West Village restaurants. “I love guacamole!” I said, shoving a guacamole-covered chip into my mouth.

“So does my girlfriend,” he said."


Garam's lovely essay goes on to chronicle her experiences with guy's who were less than forthcoming about their relationship status, so it seems clear that dropping a girlfriend bomb, as devastating as the detonation might be, is favorable to simply avoiding the subject all together.

But isn't it high time our society developed some sort of secret code to alert people to our relationship status? Something besides a wedding ring, because in this day and age, "not married" does not at all equal "single."

But some sort of signal, subtle as it may be, would definitely helpful.

Like, tugging at your ear once can mean: "I'm enjoying our conversation, but you should know I'm seeing someone."

Or scratching your nose means: "I'm a nice, engaging person, but though I'm making eye-contact and laughing at your jokes, I'm not interested in you, sexually."

What do you guys think?

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