Dear Wendy: “Should I Stop Telling My Boyfriend Every Time I Get Hit On?”

I’m in a happy relationship, but I really want to avoid being one of those friends who, once in a relationship, loses her social life and packs up her cute party clothes. As a result, I go out at least once a week to a bar or a house party with girlfriends and I always try to look nice for the night out with the girls. The problem is, I’m often hit on when I’m out. I am very faithful so I definitely don’t think I give off a “come at me” vibe, but at least once a week, I end up with a look up and down or a conversation with a hopeful suitor. My boyfriend and I try to keep each other up-to-date on what’s going on in our lives since we both work and can’t see each other often. Am I disclosing too much by telling him those instances when I get hit on? I do not center the conversation around that topic, but I let him know what happened, then move on to what else happened in my day. He puts in a small joke or a short remark so it doesn’t appear that it bothers him. But when I told this to some of my friends, they told me it seems like I’m trying to make him jealous, since it happens often and I’m talking to him about it often. They told me I should stop talking about it because he probably finds it annoying and I’m wondering if they’re right. I’m very in love with my boyfriend and don’t find anybody more attractive than him. I’m not sure what to do — change my attitude and dress when I go out or just don’t disclose the instances that I get hit on to my boyfriend? — Disclosing Too Much

Let me ask you this: do you tell your boyfriend every time you go to the bathroom? Do you keep him informed on every little thing you eat during the day, each person you receive an email from, every time you sneeze? My guess is “no” (if the answer is actually “yes,” you have far bigger problems that just getting hit on every time you go out in your cute “party clothes”). Most likely, you pick and choose the highlights from your day to share with your boyfriend. You tell him the things that matter, the ups and downs, the stuff that will invite conversation. If you’re feeling insecure in your relationship or suffer from low self-esteem (or narcissism) you select tidbits to share with your boyfriend that you know will get a rise out of him or will send him a message that you’re a hot ticket and he should feel lucky he’s got you.

Why else would you choose to tell your boyfriend every single time another guy checks you out? What could possibly be your intention or motivation for sharing that information? I mean, there’s intention in every action — in everything we do or say — so what is your intention when you tell your boyfriend you’re getting hit on? Do you want him to be proud? Protective? Jealous? Amused? What? When you find an honest answer to that question, maybe you can start figuring out: a) why you’re trying to get the reaction you’re after, and b) what other ways you can go about achieving the same outcome. Your friends are right that your boyfriend probably finds your endless updates about getting hit on annoying (you could always ask him if you aren’t sure), and if he isn’t annoyed yet, it’s surely just a matter of time (and just a matter of time before he starts voicing concern about you going out with your girlfriends). You don’t need to change your attitude when you go out; you need to change your attitude when communicating with your boyfriend. Realize there are some things that are important enough to tell him and other things that really just don’t warrant a mention every single time they happen. Getting hit on falls in the latter camp.

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