I'm not sure how we got to
Really? So even if I find the person I'm talking to fascinating, and we have a lot in common, if I don't want to sleep with him I shouldn't talk to him got an extended period of time. What if i don't want to mingle with other people? That seems frankly offensive- like I owe him a chance at sex simply by virtue of being single and being interested in the same thing.
I don't think anyone was saying that if you talk to someone too long at a party you owe them sex. I think the point is that it is not unreasonable to think someone is flirting if both people are single and they spend most if not all of a party talking to eachother and not as part of the general mingling at the party.
I don't think the concensus is that he had the right expectations or should be angry, since if she introduces him to her BF, that's as strong a signal as possible that she's taken.
On the other hand, this type of thing isn't black and white and there are times where one could reasonably feel led on.
If the two single people were of the same gender, would you still consider it "leading on"? I haven't seen any posts in this thread that suggest that having a conversation of that length, in itself, inappropriate. Instead, posters seem to be saying that it only becomes inappropriate and "leading him on" if A) the people are of opposite genders, B) there isn't mutual romantic interest, and C) the person not interested in romance hasn't established that they're "unavailable."
So to answer cross_patch's question, I'd say that if you are going to spend several hours having an in-depth conversation with an eligible member of the opposite sex, then yes, you do need to slip into the conversation that you're taken. It doesn't need to be a major production. It can simply be something like "Oh, you like art? So do I! My boyfriend and I happened to see the recent Monet exhibition at the National Gallery the other week and it was wonderful. What do you think of the Impressionists?" etc.
I'm a single woman in a male-dominated field with no particular interest in starting a romantic relationship
. Does that mean I can never have in-depth chats with like-minded guys just because we happen to have different plumbing? If I made up and mentioned a fictitious boyfriend to protect the fragile egos of guys like Ted, does it then become ok to converse? Is it ok if they think I'm gay
? Or would that just make it wrong to chat at length with people of my own
gender? Thedudeabides summed up the problem with this line of reasoning very succinctly:
This line of reasoning is offensive to many people, LifeOnPluto, because it treats members of the opposite sex as sexual objects and not as people in their own right who are interesting enough to have a conversation with.
My romantic "status" is not a primary consideration in my life. Hence, I don't shape my social interactions around figuring out who's available to form a couple with. I shape my social life around interacting with people whose company I enjoy. If other single people (like Ted) want to limit their interactions to either romantic prospects or people of the same gender, then that's fine--I can't imagine wanting to do that, but it's their choice. It's not ok to force others into those same limitations. People here are saying that to chat with someone of the opposite gender without either being open to romance or establishing one's "ineligibility" is leading them on. To me that implies that it's wrong to treat a new acquaintance as a potential friend first, rather than a potential romantic partner--completely backwards from my perspective.
folks can apparently manage to find romantic prospects without assuming that everyone person of the same gender and talking to them at length is flirting. I'm sure the straight folks can manage this, too.