How Soon Do You Reveal You're Single?

July 8, 2013

Has this ever happened to you: meet a guy, flirt a bunch, exchange numbers, make plans to meet...and then find out he has a boyfriend. Sadly, it happens more than it should. With couples in different arrangements and singles with different objectives navigating the pick up water can be difficult. I'm of the belief that if there's clear interest from one party, the other is obligated to bring up the boyfriend (in some way) within the first interaction. I'll even give a little leeway here and say the first two interactions given how hard it can be to weave that point in naturally. In chatting with some coupled friends though, they believe that they're not obligated to reveal a boyfriend. Claiming that they've often been met with attitude or anger in the assumption that they were even hitting on them and that often times conversations are struck up for the sake of conversation and/or friendship. We decided that there's no hard and fast rule when it comes to this, but that it really should be a case be case basis. That being said, I still believe that it should be worked in fairly early on to set the stage of the forthcoming interactions.

But what say you, how soon in should a person reveal their relationship status?

Tags: single, Boyfriends, Meeting
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Post written by RobHeartsDH (View Author Profile)
About this author: Rob lives in Manhattan with his black pug Riley. When he’s not thinking about daddies, he enjoys writing, eating burritos, watching copious amounts of television, and thinking about his next meal.
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As a single man, who really does not like to engage with another's mate I say this:

Interaction in a bar, social setting, party, by coupled guys, talking about the WEATHER, POLITICS or CURRENT EVENTS is one thing.
Flirting and aggressively engaging on a level that suggests more, is totally un-cool,
unless they make their status of "PARTNERED" known instantly.

Why should a single, relationship driven man, have to be disappointed or let down, when he finds out the charming dude hitting on him sleeps at night with someone else, owns a home with someone else, has joint accounts and a dog with someone else???

Why is it that a man of integrity who wants to achieve the same status should be misled?
Stating up front...PARTNERED, PLAY TOGETHER, SEPARATELY, WHATEVER, needs to be out front FIRST...Then the playing field is open for a fair game..
ANd the PLAYERS can decide what strategy they want to take.

A single guy may want to have some nsa fun...
A single guy may want to sleep with both partners..
A single guy may want none of the above..

BUT without an honest expression of facts, there is lying.
Who likes a liar???

In a crowded NYC bar once, a handsome furry beast was working me over..
HE outed that he was partnered but they had an "ARRANGEMENT"
He gave me his schedule and told me the available times for play with him
at "THEIR" APARTMENT. Then invited me to join at my my earliest convenience.

My Reply....What's in it for me????????

At that point, our conversation ended...!

Unless he told you before he was "working you over," the "charming" dude's a bit of a not-too-honest dude.

Or as they said - wisely - in the old days,"you cannot both possess your cake and eat it." People sure seem to forget the wisdom of the past. Oh, right, George Santayana's "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Agree absolutely. Perhaps if you are at the baths or in the bushes of some outdoor trysting spot where NSA is the assumption there is leeway. Otherwise to hit on someone and not let them know you are not single (even if they don't ask, naive people do exist) shows a lack of concern for the guy you are hitting on.

Agree with Wayne. And Rob it's NOT that hard to work into a conversation. "Hey, I like your shirt, my husband has it in blue." It is only difficult if the partnered person is reluctant to say for fear that their chance with you will be gone. I used to play with guys that were in what they defined as "an open relationship." I lived in a small gay resort town and more than once one of these open relationship guys said to me after the fun: "Now hey man, if you run into me on the street be cool." Happened enough that I finally cut off play with guys that were in "open relationships."

Based on the the number of partnered guys out there on the hunt, if you're single and only interested in single then you can also bring it up and ask if he has a partner. Why put it all on the partnered guy?!?!

BS! We now have to assume someone is partnered and ask if they are single. Sorry bud that's lame. Being partnered is a BIG constraint on possible interactions whether people in "open" relationships believe it or not. It is hard enough to meet decent guys online now the social protocol is is the single guy has to ASK if you are partnered. Man has social interaction in the 21st century gotten complicated.

There really should be a "like" button on here to click on. Consider one upvote for your comment!

Put what on the partnered guy?! If he's in a relationship, why wouldn't he mention it?

It is the responsibility of the person initiating the contact, in my opinion. Certainly the other person can ask.

I gotta go with Wayne on this one. I don't want to hit on your boyfriend. It's amazing the number of partnered guys that play, and rarely admit (or even lie) that they are partnered. That said, they are usually good in bed, but after that what's in it for me?

i believe if you are partnered and in an open relationship, then disclosure has to happen at the beginning (unless it's one of those situations where it's obvious nobody is looking for more than a fling, a one night stand - like, say, at an orgy in Rome).

i also believe that if you are partnered and NOT in an open relationship you should stay home. You're not doing yourself, your partner, or anybody else any favours by pretending otherwise.

And i believe if you are single and looking for long-term-romance or just looking for a hot fuck, you should indicate that too.

Life is so much smoother when everybody lays their romantic and sexual cards on the table, no?

I agree with Manscent: if you're single and having a conversation with someone eventually asking "do you have a boyfriend/partner?" is not inappropriate. Granted, you don't lead with it as an opening line. Also, if you're talking about travel, real estate, or any other topic and you're LISTENING to what they're saying you might hear a "we" mentioned at some point. When that happens it's natural to ask "who's the we you mentioned?"

It's somewhat ironic that people think nothing about asking a sexual question but hesitate to ask a simple relationship status question.

Like safe sex, it's up to each individual to protect themselves so if you want to protect your emotions, ASK!

Methinks AlwaysRoaming has a boyfriend and likes to sleep around.

TO "manscent" and "alwaysroaming"...

AGREE it is everyone's right and responsibility to ask...
We are all responsible for our path's.


"In chatting with some coupled friends,
they believe they are NOT OBLIGATED to reveal a boyfriend"

SUREEEEEEE it's easy to ask...
SUREEEEEEE it's easy to say define the "we" in that statement about that trip.

BUT a liar is a LIAR..

AND who gets hurt???
Certainly, not the liar!

The point is that HONESTY, in a community based on
TOLERANCE and ACCEPTANCE, is what is at hand...
Why can't we all be HONEST and kind to one another..
Honesty, is simple kindness...
I do not believe "NOT BEING OBLIGATED TO REVEAL A BOYFRIEND" is a noble way to live..
Call me judgmental...
But if you do, then please do so again as I help a friend get over a broken heart from a liar.

As a partnered guy who likes to play, I always say I'm partnered and that my spouse doesn't play and doesn't want to hear about what I do or not do. I've yet to encounter a guy in person who walks away because I'm partnered. We're talking about sex here, and not relationship development. Of course on sites such as this when someone says in their profile words to the effect of "single only" then I don't follow up or unlock or any of that. Both parties should simply be up front about it all.

Again a lame rationalization. When you meet someone it is important to know the lay of the land. I don't put a specific checklist on someone I meet. I want MANY possibilities. If you think it is ok to hide you personal life to get someone into bed well that is deceit whether you like it or not. I don't like sleeping with partnered guys. If I meet someone and there is chemistry in or out of bed I might want more interactions. And with partnered guys this is almost always difficult. So enough of the rationalizations. If you make an intimate commitment to another person you are obligated to disclose this fact regardless. I suppose in a glory hole in a bath house or if you are in a meth'ed out bare backing gang bang situation the conversation won't likely come up. But otherwise...

We may be talking about sex, but sex has a funny way of complicating things when we least expect it. You may find a trick more smitten than they had anticipated being, more so than they would have been if they knew up front that there was no chance for anything more than NSA. What could then have been a fun toss in the hay for both of you becomes a disappointment for the other party. A disappointment they could have chosen to avoid had you "manned up" and given them the opportunity.

I gave up playing with guys in open relationships when it became clear to me that no matter how hot the sex was, we were unlikely to see each other again. that's great for the other guy and his partner, but sucks for me. And if i am going to have fuck buddies, I want them single. Both because the potential for more exists, and because there is no feat that if intimacy develops i am damaging someone else's relationship.

And on the other side of the coin, single me has had 'coupled' guys become overly attached after what I clearly viewed as a 'one off' alcohol-fueled biological event. I guess the grass on my lawn looks pretty green, especially if you are used to looking at that same old dead weed patch every damn day for the rest of your 'partnered-open-all' life. That said, I don't want my future boyfriend to be coming out of a bored-boring relationship that I 'broke up' because I'm more interesting than The Bong and re-runs of 'Will & Grace'. So...I ask and usually their face tells the truth, even if their mouth does not...then, if I'm not drunk & making bad decisions, I lose interest. I gotta say: It seems being 'not-interested' does make one more desirable, at least from the confines of couple-hood! So: NO partnered partners for me...yawn.

I find that be open up front and honest with a Man, that I have a Open Relationship is easier ont he both of us. Yeah I love my Man very much. whichbrings me to what my partnertells me every now & then during our 10 years we been together is that He loves me, but does not own me, I visa Versa. This makes for a more open loving relatiosnhip that last a lot longer then keep it a secret. Because niether of us gets jealious of each other, when you love someone. I believe it this is better being honest to each other. Yeah we have had three-somes from time to time, never hurt anything, neither of us every felt that one of us was loving the other more then we do each other.

I know there are men out there, that the moment you state that you are in a open relationship, they are gone before you can say nice talking to you.

Oh poor partnered guys butthurt because they get rejected by single guys with standards that don't want to get in the middle of your messed up personal life. I'm shedding a tear for you right now. Try thinking about the person on the other side once in a while...

Three ways are a whole different situation.
But I say more power to the guys who lose interest in men who admit being partnered. Though they absolutely should say "nice talking to you" (or "take it easy" or whatever), and not be rude.

you can make any excuses you like to justify your infidelity
the short of it is if you want to play leave the boring man you have made s commitment to
if he was not boring you would not be looking
every relationship needs constant work to keep it alive, instead of impressing tonight's eye candy, work on charming your current partner & enhancing your relationship

Sorry Mustang, unless you're a conservative Christian, Muslim, or orthodox Jew your response doesn't make sense for a gay men. Been in a great relationship for many years, I'm not bored with him at all--but we do play sexually with other guys, perfectly openly and honestly. Monogamy was invented by puritanical Christians, most societies don't practice it. I'm always honest with guys I'm interested in, in fact usually have a regular b.f., who is known and accepted by my partner. So, feel free to be monogamous if that's your thing, but don't get all morally outraged at the majority of gay men, who aren't.

Monogamy was actually invented by the Jews. There is very little perfect monogamy but not everyone wants to sleep around. Have an open relationship if you want but be honest about it. And if people don't want to sleep with you because you are partnered that is there choice just like it is your choice to sleep around while you are partnered. We wouldn't be having this argument if there wasn't more than one perspective.

I think you need serious help! Please provide (given the prevalence of polygamy in the Tanach, as well as the existence of the concept of adultery long before the Jews existed, as well as in cultures far removed) some proof of that claim. Pl;ease read this ( for an actually intelligent estimate, based on genetic studies) that heterosexual monogamy began about 18,000 years ago. Easily 13,000 years before there were any Jews.

If I'm just looking for sex tonight, on a site like this...I don't see it as anyones business what my private life contains. For an hour of fun, I'm not giving out my profession, political views or marital status...forget it.
And in my experience, the questions I get asked are top/bottom, dick size, etc.

I simply do not believe that many single cruisers would feel differently.

I've been with my Lover for 25 years. And it our mutual love that keeps us together, not a sense of possession and ownership of each others bodies.

Maturity and genuine lengthly love experience will likely modify most of you ranting on about the virtues of monogamy.

All men are pigs so assume he's married, partnered and ten yrs older then he says.

Grow up and wake up.

Regardless of how this site is advertised or what you think you might get out of it, YOU ARE CRUISING ON A HOOK-UP SITE.

If you want something more than a hook-up then look for a different way to meet people.


Talk about wake up and grow up. Thank you for clarifying the only purpose of this site. Little did I realize that the full name was . This perception seems to be very associated with many viewers of the site and very acceptable to even more because there is much more gay activity going on than what society and police are aware by first person exposure. We probably generally see a medical doctor for our "problems" far more often than a law officer. If a couple is committed to each other that is not the same as "convenienced" for each other.

Now that the issue of marriage has reached legal standing watch out for all the palimony suits that will accompany the divorces. It will be interesting to see how the courts react to a person's rules of leading life rather than society's rules for leading life. As far I can understand in committed heterosexual situations that sexual contact outside that arrangement is perceived by the couple as misleading and to society as adultery. No one in their right mind is going to be able to defend in open court and the court of open opinion the legitimacy of open relationships when it comes to recognized committed relationships.

Many gay men perceive that it is acceptable because in the past if your family, neighbors, street, block, town were not aware of your activities then just what role would the public have in how they felt that behavior was appropriate. It already happens with het people that when their sister gets dumped or treated in a very horrible way the siblings show up on the door step. So if families become more integrated with the activities of their gay siblings then you very well may have an increased amount of family interaction.

Legitimacy can never come of a situation in which you present your life as a committed relationship yet have unknown to others that one or both of the couple play around. There is more of a chance of getting other people to legitimize your relationship if it is a polyandrous of committed people than polyandrous of convenience.

If you do not want trouble then spit it out from the start in a manner that gets the point across and minimizes the consequences. At least on this site there is the section by which you are suppose to declare what is your intent of the site's use. Of course no where along the way does it ever give one the choice to indicate negotiation.

Perhaps coming from the "Big Apple" makes one a trifle... jaded(?)... but a quest for "legitimacy" by means of life-long (or, in some contexts, month long) sexual monogamy gays seems... odd. i can think of several long standing clubs and weekly parties where straight married men and women can come out and play in a safe sane consensual environment - with other women and men.

And shall we talk the ultimate taboo - politics? Two strong candidates for local office in NYC are certainly not public banners of sexual fidelity. (Then again, both Spitzer and Weiner are but political followers, not trailblazers. The victorious Republican Mark Sanford of South Carolina lead the way!)

And that does not even touch on all the straight married people who now seem engage at what can, at best, be described as serial monogamy (implying a degree of fidelitythat surveys otherwise deny even before there near majority divorces, for studies suggest infidelity over the course of a marriage hovers at about 80pct for both men and women, regardless of how the marriage lasts or ends.) Indeed, as was pointed out repeatedly this past year, gays getting married might actually save the institution of marriage that straights have happily almost broken.

Some folks do yearn for fidelity. It is, for them, the sine qua non of all relationships. Others? Not so much. (One is curious if this is something that changes with age, or over time, and if it changes how it changes. Do people who were in open relationships become more monogamous? Do monogamous couples become less so?)

Regardless, at least a truly "open relationship" is an honest one (emphasis on "truly".)

Is the world in flux? Or have lofty illusions been torn away? One notes that the European and Asian views and expectations of fidelity are... virtually non-existent. And in Africa, India, and the Middle East fidelity is something vigorously imposed on women and equally vigorously scorned for men.

Ah! Sweet Fidelity - adown the millennia thy name was always woman. Yet was ere man faithful to thee?

To each his own but not everyone wants to have 4 boyfriends and fuck everything that moves. Think about practicality too. If you are in a truly intimate relationship with a full life how much time do you really have to spend on Manhunt or the like cruising for you next lay. Many (not all) open relationships are code for "I don't want to sleep with my boyfriend anymore but I can't afford to move out because he pays most of the bills."

An interesting take. Maybe , as I said, being in NYC makes it different. There's a lot of drive for success, almost insanely naked aggression, in this city (one is reminded of that t-shirt that reads "Too Dumb for New York, Too Ugly for Los Angeles). Indeed, the unfortunate general rise in income inequality in the U.S. coupled with the insane price of local real estate has lead to Manhattan becoming an island that is rapidly becoming, sadly, unaffordable to younger individuals just getting started out in life. (Like Silicon Valley or San Francisco, each zip code is slowly transforming into a sea of yet more ambitious and "successful" singles and "power couples" (be they straight bi or gay))

In that context, looking at couples in open relationships, in the case of most of the open couples I know of (straight, bi, or gay) both partners enjoy some degree of success and both "play the field", so the idea that the open aspect of their relationship is based on some form of internal inequality doesn't fit (if nothing else, why, then, does the "successful" one paying the bills remain in the relationship and also play around?). And that does not explain happy couples that go for threesomes or foursomes (or more LOL). Every couple is a unique partnership.

Now, granted, by pooling their resources, a couple does have an edge over a pair of singles. their are advantages to being a twosome. And responsibilities. From what I see, and experience, open couples are really based on true affection and love - including a shared lack of interest or desire for monogamy.

(Speaking for myself - I'm no more interested in monogamy than I am in settling down with a woman and raising two kids in a house with a white picket fence and a dog. Neither is my better half. But that's just us.)

I think that there are many many kinds of possible relationships that can work as long as the folks involved are honest loving and respectful of each other. And for some couples, sexual fidelity is going to be a foundation for their relationship.

I also think that some people are generally intolerant and will insist that their particular model of what is right is the ONLY model of what is right. (Note: This is a very different stance than saying, "This particular model is what is right and best for me".) And for that latter group, the intolerant ones, for some being openly gay will always be what is wrong in their eyes - and trying to be gay while also leading a perfect "Leave it to Beaver" kind of life is just not going to win any points with these folks.

As for the topic of the article, that is, when disclosure is so important: Part of being honest loving and respectful in general is saying "I'm a Top" or "I don't practice safe sex" or "I'm Bi" or "I'm HIV positive" or "I'm in a relationship" or "I'm Trans" or "I'm only into you for sex" or "I'm single and looking to find Mr. Right" or "I want to tie you up and whip you with a wet noodle drenched in Alfredo sauce while loudly playing Neil Diamond's Greatest Hits" (mind you I'd recommend running away upon hearing that last one, I mean, bondage is fine and a food fetish one can learn live with for the right man, but Neil Diamond on 11 in the bedroom?).


Who cares what strait society thinks?

This is the fatal error of trying to imitate a failing heterosexual institution designed to make sure strait men knew who their children were.

Gay men have formed our own relationships for thousands of years, free from the dead hand of religion and the state. We should not be giving up this freedom.

at once....why is being honest a choice?

I go even further than the single question when I meet somebody I'd like an open run with - I want to know whether they're pining for somebody or pursuing somebody! They say a man lays it all out in the first week so it's best to find out exactly what you're dealing with before your gay little heart goes skipping off down the yellow brick road.

If there's somebody else on their horizon or in their bed then I hope they're not offended at being just another notch on my belt who I'll never waste conversation on again lol

As for that ole marrieds thing about signals being "misinterpreted"...well they're usually full of it and deliberately testing the waters to see who finds them attractive. Tough luck if they encounter hostility - it's not too difficult to flick a limp wrist with a wedding ring.

Well, if open sexual relationships are the contribution of the gay males to the world then someone has to change their priorities when it comes to recognizing the potential consequences of that activity. It seems more likely that conflict will develop from those that want an open relationship and socialize with non-open people since as a matter of avoiding being considered rude, people of a monogamous set may not even contemplate the need to ask a stranger if they are in an open relationship. So if reducing or eliminating conflict is possible then with which group is it more likely that conflict can be avoided--those in open relationships making that fact known with those that they socialize or someone not seeking an open relationship experience risking upsetting some by asking?

If you are looking for love you should be looking in the right places. Love is not likely found on internet hoop up sites, or sleazy bars.

When someone flirts with me, or hits on my, I always assume he is single. If he is not, I think it is his responsibility to tell me right away. I just don't want to find out he's partnered (regardless of whether it's just a BF or he's married!) AFTER we've had sex and I think I've made an emotional connection that he's not actually available.

...and every time someone tells me his relationship is "open," I want to ask if his partner knows that?

if you have made an emotional connection after one night of sex with a stranger, that says way more about your immaturity than it says about his relationship.

Bang on!

Remarkably "open" men are "free" to be free because they're not afraid of getting attached TO YOU!

I often wonder how many of our straight friends would continue to support gay marriage knowing how many gay "married" men fuck around?

I'm amazed how many "open" or "it's complicated" relationships are represented on this site.

"I often wonder how many of our straight friends would continue to support gay marriage knowing how many gay "married" men fuck around?"

The self-hatred of the ghetto strikes again! Narrow views like yours go a long way to explaining why we need friends outside the community, because if left to our own devices we'll just keep shooting ourselves in the feet.

Thankfully our straight friends support the principle of same-sex marriage without getting into moralizing about the subject. I don't hear any of them claiming that their support is conditional upon gays conforming to a marriage or "fidelity" model that they themselves don't bother with.

They're probably realistic enough to know that marriage isn't an MGM musical with the well-hung couple living happily ever after in Ikea with a Lady Gaga soundtrack.

There is what folks say they do, and what they actually do. Recent surveys suggest that, over the course of a marriage, only 1/5th of men never stray. The numbers for women are changing, with rates of fidelity (as measured over the course of the entire marriage) dropping to equal that of men.

That means that 4/5ths (about 80pct) of straight couples are already "open" or "monogamish" - or will cheat on their spouse by the time a couple divorces or dies of old age.

Oh, no. Some one said those words: self-hatred, ghetto, MGM Musical, well-hung, Ikea and Lady Gaga soundtrack. No more need to "discuss." All said and all settled.

Let's restate the original intention, when do you disclose that you are in an open relationship (I add) when you are in an environment in which you can justifiably expect many people there do not identify the location as a hang out for open relationship supporters--a general café, bar or club that does not have a private membership or open solely for a specialty activity occasion?

Some people have said that as open relationship participants or followers they have absolutely no responsibility under any circumstances or context to do so since they essentially perceive the world is predatory, you cannot trust any one.

Then you have the other side that believes it is the primary responsibility of the open relationship participants and followers to essentially immediately disclose the fact so as not to mislead.

Well, I seriously doubt that the non-open relationship participants or followers have anything to be comforted by the inactions of those that very well may be more prone to a predatory mentality. When considering the potential predatory nature of human beings it would seem that the open relationship participants and followers have far more to gain by the secreting of that information than the other side being so possibly naïve asking for something truthful.

Fascinating discussion here. For me, the question is one of personal integrity and commitment to one person. In all of my LTRs I've been monogamous. When the relationships soured, then I left and opened myself to dating again. But while in the relationship I didn't want another guy, what I had was all I needed. I believe this is ultimately a spiritual issue - do I rise above momentary lust to satisfy an itch or honor my commitment to what I'm building with another man? Every straight and gay couple I know who've gone outside the relationship for sex no longer are in that relationship. Fidelity is not a fundamentalist directive, it's a soul enriching sacred union of two people creating a life together.

You say you were monogamist in ALL your relationships. Sounds like the 7 year itch. When you start getting boarded , you dump the partner and seek out a new one.

I've been with the same LOVER for 25 years, and we are in an open relationship. We don't own each other, we love each other.

And I can say to him 'have a good time' whether he is going to play a match of tennis with a friend, or going to fuck a trick. Casual recreational sex is fun and good for you, and is on a completely different plain than what goes on within a genuine Long term relationship.

Hey! Maybe we can revive the hanky code and find colors for "single only" and "open/married and looking?" Everyone on this site has provided a condensed version of themselves already so why not create a visible sign we can wear to save time?

AND for sure a CHOICE in our community...
Personally I agree totally with you..
Integrity, devotion, and dedication TRUMP variety for me...
When a union is over...BIGGER integrity in separation I find more vital..
To be able to be kind to one another is a beautiful thing..
Preserving is important to me..

It is not so common

Why do you think that a man's choice to be kind honest and loyal to a partner is "PURITANICAL"

Why compare a HUMAN COMMITMENT to an EXTREMIST religion...
Why condescend to another gay man's right to choose to be loyal..

ARE WE NOT a community of tolerance...?
Why is a VOICE different from yours, subject to such harsh JUDGEMENT?

One could then say your multi layered partnerships seems a bit vapid, desperate and lonely.
MAYBE you FUCK your brains out to happiness...WHO KNOWS..
MAYBE Your "PARTNERS/BF's" do too??????

What matters is..


The question is about HONESTY...

You are a scary take on the community...NOT ABLE to stay on point,
and yet QUICKLY to judge and condemn someone in your community,
who thinks differently from you..

You quite frankly SCARE me and I am sure many others..
MAYBE there is some self loathing...

You seem to have missed than while busy attacking another's simple and personal belief..

I noticed...NO ONE made mention of your busy and diverse love life..
MAYBE we are all a bit more KIND and TOLERANT than you..
HOPE your "fest is best" for you.

We hear you. Easy on THOSE CAPS!!