I'm Sorry, I Have a Boyfriend
Today, I was asked on a date. I was “hit on” by a guy I politely spoke with at a work event for 5 minutes. Getting asked on a date isn’t a super common occurrence yet, it’s not all that rare and I typically go with a common general response. “I’m sorry, I have a boyfriend”. I am not writing this to brag about being courted, I’m not writing out of disgust that this guy asked me, there is nothing wrong with this man asking me on a date. In my opinion, what was wrong with this interaction was my response.
“I’m sorry, I have a boyfriend”
Emphasis on “I’m sorry”
Whether I have a boyfriend or not, I apparently felt like I needed to apologize to this man for turning down his invitation. It came out of my mouth and immediately my mind left the conversation I was having with this guy to think to myself, “what do I have to be sorry for?” I wasn’t sorry that I was turning him down. I only talked to him for 5 minutes and there most certainly were not sparks flying as we discussed sleep apnea.
So, why then? I’ll admit that I have a tendency to be an over-apologizer but I can’t be the only one apologizing unnecessarily to a guy I have no interest in dating anyways. Am I sorry that this may have hurt his feelings? Am I sorry that I actually was lying because I don’t have a boyfriend? I don’t even know if I can confidently answer that question because it appeared to be more of a reflex response if anything (which is a whole other matter). I could be flattered that he asked me on a date, I could thank him for asking me on a date, but instead I was sorry I was saying no. I just feel like this is not acceptable. I feel like this only feeds the male ego and gives them the power that if someone says “no” it's an incorrect response or something to be sorry for. The particular interaction I had today was harmless but I think about the more serious situations where women are saying “no”, feeling bad about it for no reason, and ultimately allowing men to feel entitled to getting what they want from a woman just because they are a man. I don’t mean to say that it’s a woman’s fault for making men feel this entitlement. I only mean that women should never have to apologize for making a choice to do or not do something with a man. Which is what I did today; and that is the last time.