Before I begin
- I am male
- I am in a long term relationship with a woman that I live with
- I am in an environment where I frequently meet new people
Throughout recent years, I have been in an environment where I frequently meet new people. Some percent of these people are women, and invariably some percentage of these women will initially approach our new friendship with some level of more than friendly interest.
I recently met a woman "Susan," and initially our conversations were directly related to the work we were mutually involved with. Susan asked for my phone number, and I didn't think much of it because we would need to communicate outside of normal working hours in order to finish a task we were both assigned.
After talking with her for a bit, it became clear that she was attempting some casual flirting and reaching out more than was strictly necessary for the requirements of our work. For example, she would text me late at night when I was home with my girlfriend to tell me about how she is drunk, mention dreams that she had about me, ask me questions about how certain outfits make certain parts of her body look, etc.
I am concerned that some of these messages could be misconstrued by my girlfriend as infidelity on my part even though she is aware of the situation, and I would like to make the friendship boundaries with Susan clear.
How do I inform Susan that I am in a relationship and that I do not want the conversations to continue in a direction that might jeopardize my current relationship? I don't want to offend her, or dissuade the casual friendship that we already have, but I also want to make the boundaries of my friendship with Susan clear. At the same time, I don't want to come across as "reading too much" into the situation and perceiving flirting where she may only see friendly conversation.
- I am aware of the fact that I am likely hyper-vigilant of anything that could be construed as flirting because I am in a relationship.
- I use texting, a profile pic would certainly make this easier. Maybe I could start inviting new people to my social media accounts, where my relationship status is clearly displayed.
- In previous situations like this, usually I just directly bring up that I am in a relationship when I feel that things have gone too far, but I have always felt that was a bit awkward and could be handled better.