How Long Does It Take to Say 'I'm Taken'?

Sasha Brown-Worsham

Over at The Frisky, Beth Ames is calling for a new life rule: If you're talking to a person in the bar who is clearly on the make, you must announce within five minutes whether you're "taken" or not.

But how many of us really practice that rule?

I feel like a jerk waving my diamond in some guy's face after he offers to buy me a drink at a bar -- just so you know I'm married.

"Um, whoa girl. I was just being nice."

I would rather hold a conversation and slip it in when he says something obvious or asks me to hang out again. Is that wrong?

According to Ames, it is.

Out of respect for me, the single woman who wants to meet an available, unattached man, and your significant other at home, have the decency to let me make the right choice. Let me walk away (or at least keep the conversation on the innocent, friendlier side) after five minutes when I find out you have a wife and two kids waiting for you at home.

Of course, she's talking about men. Like it or not, men and women are after different things. I highly doubt the guy at the bar who just offered to buy me a drink is thinking what a good mom I would make. He wants to get in my pants. Or not. He may just want to have a conversation. Either way, he will not be devastated when I reveal I'm married.

And then, of course, there are the men who don't care. "I have found that most men kind of like it when you're taken," one unmarried (but co-habitating) friend told me.

Indeed. That sparkly ring can often be a man magnet in its own right. To some guys, it screams: "Hello! We can have sex and you won't expect me to call again!" They're all too happy to keep right on buying you drinks long after you reveal you're hitched.

So much for that.

It's awkward, no doubt about it. I generally think most respectable people check out the hand of the person they're sweating. If there's some bling there, move on. Of course there are the guys (and women) who don't wear the ring. Then yes, it must be said.

At some point.

But five minutes seems a little like jumping the gun. Nothing is worse than the guy who is all "I'm married!" two seconds after you ask him a question. It's like: whoa dude, I just asked if you like the blue cheese dressing here. Down boy.

How long do you wait to reveal?


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