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Asking girls if they have a boyfriend

(89 Posts)
LadySybil Mon 21-Nov-22 20:07:45

When I was a teenager certain family members would always ask me if I had a boyfriend. Some would ask it every time I saw them and I hated it. Since my daughter went to college I have a couple of good friends who frequently ask me if she has a boyfriend. She has never told me about a boy but that doesn’t worry me. It’a her business and she’ll tell me if she wants to. I wonder too if they have never thought about how it would be if she preferred girls or if she didn’t want to go out with anyone or if noone ever had asked her out. The two friends who ask alot if she has a bf (I don’t see them together they don’t know each other) don’t even know my daughter. And it never feels like they are just asking out of politeness. I told one of them today that my daughter likes to keep her business private and I’m any case whether young people have a girl or boyfriend isn’t really something that concerns me. She has rather taken offence at this and gone very quiet on me. It was the umpteenth time she had asked me over the last few months and I thought it better to tell her openly about how I feel about the question. Why do some grown ups ask children and young people if they have a girl/boyfriend and how can people respond when the question isn’t welcome?

Galaxy Mon 21-Nov-22 20:27:18

I completely understand where you are coming from, I was a very private teenager/young adult and it used to drive me mad. I was sorting lots of things out in my head at the time and was also busy with other pursuitssmile. I felt exactly the same when it was asked about my son. I tend to just very quickly brush it off and move on to other topics.

welbeck Mon 21-Nov-22 20:35:13

says more about the asker, doesn't it.
it's a good thing you've given her the old heave-ho, so that you'll hear less of such nonsense.
another response to, has she got a bf, could be,
why, have you ?
i'm married !
so ?

M0nica Mon 21-Nov-22 20:36:16

It is such a chavinist remark. It implies that female success is measured by whether she has a man in tow. She needs the man to prove she is a woman.

I am afraid if any of my friends were to ask such an assinine question about DGD. They would get a very dusty answer.

Doodledog Mon 21-Nov-22 20:39:23

My daughter and her partner have recently split, but both attended my son's wedding in May, when things between them were strained, but the announcement hadn't been made public, largely because of the wedding. You wouldn't believe the number of people asking them separately and together when they would be getting married, or commenting that 'it'll be your turn next'. It was awkward to say the least.

I also remember an aunt of mine who was known in the family as 'Mad Auntie X'. She was the worst at intrusive and impertinent questions. Once at a funeral she went round all the young family members asking how many O levels they had passed, and having embarrassed them with that one went in for a second round of 'are you courting?' My cousin had just broken off an engagement, and another had failed his O levels at the same time as his twin, who had passed all hers with flying colours. I was newly married at the time, and she asked me when I was planning to have children, and if I'd give up work when I did so. for all she knew I might have been trying unsuccessfully, or have just lost a baby.

There is just no need. People don't ask adults about their sex lives, or how much they earn, and young people have as much right to privacy about their own personal lives.

JaneJudge Mon 21-Nov-22 20:44:39

I understand too and I don't know what the rush is. My Mum used to say to me, if you don;t get a good one and ring on your finger you'll be baron (true story) so I met someone and settled down quite quickly and it has worked out well
BUT what the hell!
She is now worried my extremely nice looking children will left on the shelf as well grin

JaneJudge Mon 21-Nov-22 20:47:11

I actually meant barren blush if it meant I'd have been Baron, I'd have just kept myself on that shelf wink

chelseababy Mon 21-Nov-22 20:49:22

Relatives used to ask "are you courting?" Sounded old fashioned even then!

SueDonim Mon 21-Nov-22 20:53:40

Someone asked my then-12yo-dd if she had a boyfriend. She gave him a withering look and said ‘No. I have two older brothers.’ End of conversation. 😂

MawtheMerrier Mon 21-Nov-22 20:56:49

It is a very intrusive question and nobody’s business!
I think it deserves a put down but can’t think of a polite one at the moment!

TerriBull Mon 21-Nov-22 20:58:48

I think it's an embarrassing and somewhat intrusive question, I certainly wouldn't ask it of anyone, they volunteer the information if they want people to know, if not, then don't ask, that's my policy, because I certainly didn't appreciate such a question being posed to me way back in the mists of time when I was a teen.

Forlornhope Mon 21-Nov-22 20:59:16

My son and daughter in law lived together for several years before marrying. A few months later it was clear that they had married to start a family. Our first grandchild duly arrived slightly more than nine months later. A friend smirked, ‘So, they only just got married in time’. I thought it a very odd remark!

Jaxjacky Mon 21-Nov-22 21:07:17

I’d say ‘I don’t know, have you?’ Let them think on that.

Jaxjacky Mon 21-Nov-22 21:09:11

Meant if they asked about my daughter, who’s single, or her 15 year old daughter, not me!

VioletSky Mon 21-Nov-22 21:23:14

I don't like it either.

It feels a bit creepy

My older relatives would ask when I was young followed by some racist remarks about who I was not allowed to bring to their doorstep

Hithere Mon 21-Nov-22 21:27:55

It sadly starts with "do you have a bf"
Continues with " when are you getting engaged"
Then "when are you getting married"
Then " when are you having your first child"
Then " your child needs a sibling, when is second one coming"

It never ends, sadly

CanadianGran Mon 21-Nov-22 21:29:40

I have one friend who thinks nothing of asking young couples when they will have a baby. She just doesn't get that it's a very private question, and might even be an emotional one (if they are having troubles conceiving).

I find even young children are asked if they have boyfriend/girlfriend. I think that is something that adults find entertaining; embarrassing young children.

Nannarose Mon 21-Nov-22 21:37:31

How rude! I think that occasionally a family member asking 'has s/he got anyone special?' is just about acceptable if meant kindly.
But I can't imagine where your 'friend' is coming from, and really it's good that she is now 'quiet'! It sounds as if you weren't getting much out of the friendship.
As for how to respond, I think your line about your child being quite private is spot on. If you want to keep upbeat you could say merrily 'Haven't a clue! They'll tell me when the time is right!'

I didn't hear about the serious boy/girlfriends for a good while, and think it quite appropriate.

Deedaa Mon 21-Nov-22 21:47:49

Luckily my parents had very few friends or relatives and the ones they did have weren't the slightest bit interested in my boyfriends or lack of them. We stirred up a bit of gossip when we suddenly advanced our wedding plans by 6 months, but that was because we'd suddenly found a flat we could afford. They all had to wait another 4 years for any sign of a baby.

MerylStreep Mon 21-Nov-22 22:10:41

Very 1950s.
Nobody I know asks those sort of questions.

Doodledog Mon 21-Nov-22 22:18:15


Very 1950s.
Nobody I know asks those sort of questions.

One day I'll introduce you to my mum grin

welbeck Mon 21-Nov-22 22:19:06

a school-friends mother would always ask this, and then say, make sure you get a rich one, you might as well be miserable in luxury.

MerylStreep Mon 21-Nov-22 22:31:47

I’m sure she’s lovely 😉

silverlining48 Mon 21-Nov-22 22:34:31

Hadnt been married long before we we were asked ...

When will you have a baby?
Then it was ....Isn't it time you had a baby?
Then .....Whats the point in getting married if you don't have a baby?
After that it was ....Why havnt you had a baby? Is there something wrong with one of you?
Last of all ...said in a pitying way...wrongly assuming ..Sorry that you cant have a baby.
7 years later we had our dd.

Why random people, sometimes people I hardly knew, thought it was ok to ask such personal intrusive questions like this, I just dont know.

Callistemon21 Mon 21-Nov-22 22:36:20

After that it was ....Why havnt you had a baby? Is there something wrong with one of you?

"Can't you find the recipe?"

Obviously not!