DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been dating my current boyfriend for about seven months. We both have friends of the opposite sex, but ours is an exclusive relationship. We love each other very much and are planning a future together.
How should I handle situations when I’m asked out by other guys? I have a number of guy friends I knew before I met my boyfriend, and whom I remain in touch with -- some that I see day to day, and some that I stay in touch with by email.
One friend asked me to go on a trip with him next summer in Europe. Another friend asked me to go and have a drink with him. I don’t know that person very well, and had only been in touch with him to tell him about something that I knew he was interested in.
I feel like I don’t have any control in these situations. I don’t know how to respond without being rude or hurtful. Am I sending off the wrong signals? How do I politely say “thanks, but no thanks,” or do I have to make the sacrifice of not being friends with guys at all?
GENTLE READER: Of course you have control. You can say yes or no to any such invitations, and you can add, “I’d love for you to meet Jasper. He’s the new man in my life.”
Some will be disappointed, Miss Manners realizes, but others will be happy for you, and those are the friends to keep.