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What do you think it says about someone who never mentions their other half?

(29 Posts)
Strawdolly Fri 06-Jun-14 17:51:04

I recently spent some time in the company of someone in a work capacity and they never once mentioned their long term live-in partner. In fact they spoke as if they were single, "I did this, I shop here", that sort of thing. It seems a bit odd to me, what do you MNers think?

EyelinerQueen Fri 06-Jun-14 17:52:31

Infinitely preferable to someone who constantly says "We did this" and "We went there".

You don't stop being an individual when you have a partner.

Canus Fri 06-Jun-14 17:53:19

I think that's what I do, certainly at work. Just habit really.

if anyone asked outright I suppose I'd admit to a husband and children. grin

Otherwise work is work, and my life outside is none of their business.

Nomama Fri 06-Jun-14 18:01:53

Well, you'd find me extremely odd then. I don't talk about my private life at all.

They don't know DHs name, if we have kids, where we live (not even the town), they don't know I had a cancer scare last year, that since I have worked with them MIL has killed herself and SFIL died 2 weeks later - and I was the one who sorted out all the legal stuff, that we have moved recently.

They are colleagues, not friends and confidentes.

Goodadvice1980 Fri 06-Jun-14 18:08:56

Hmmm, I guess sometimes people try and "hide" their OH for other reasons.

I can remember a colleague asking someone if they were eating extra as they were burning extra calories (meaning exercise) but male colleague answered in terms of "other exercise" and said that he'd have to be having sex for that to happen. I did wonder if it was a warning shot across the bows to my colleague that he was hinting!!

Strawdolly Fri 06-Jun-14 19:52:02

Personal stuff was spoken about, they weren't secretive, they just gave the impression they were single.

InternetFOREVER Fri 06-Jun-14 19:54:46

Wow Nomama that's quite extreme - do they ask and you don't tell them, or is it not that kind of workplace?

LadyIsabellaWrotham Fri 06-Jun-14 19:57:16

I might guess they were possibly gay - just because the two people I've worked with in that situation were semi-closeted gay men.

frignorant Fri 06-Jun-14 20:00:24

I'd think it was odd. I don't consider my work colleagues close friends but we know about partners and children etc. Although having said that, I discovered that someone I work with has an adult son who we had never discussed in the 6 or so years that I've known him. I was really shocked.

Strawdolly Fri 06-Jun-14 20:01:35

That had crossed my mind, LadyIsabella, but it's not the case.

HillyHolbrook Fri 06-Jun-14 20:02:45

I think giving the impression you're single is odd. I personally mention DP a lot because I do a lot of the most interesting things with him and my colleagues at work ARE my friends. I don't think it's weird to be private, though. There's a difference between giving off single vibes and just not disclosing any information.


Not sure whats worse not mentioning dw/dh or not being introduced to colleagues when meeting them :/ just pushed aside.

Lovelydiscusfish Fri 06-Jun-14 20:20:44

One of my (now) best friends did this with me for ages. Eventually she told me her partner is a woman, and as she isn't out at work she only mentions her when she gets to know people really well?

CMOTDibbler Fri 06-Jun-14 20:24:37

The only person who I've worked with who has done this is gay - it took till her wedding for her to come out to the group.

scarletforya Fri 06-Jun-14 20:35:53

Or maybe they fancy you and were 'feeling you out' ....!?

Nomama Sat 07-Jun-14 08:56:49

Internet... It's just me. They all share their personal lives, some are very friendly out of work. But I just don't like to. They are colleagues. I don't do friends much, but I really don't like mixing my work life with my private life.

I have nothing to hide, I'm just not interested in sharing 'me' with people I only know because we share an employer.

Gripneededfast Sat 07-Jun-14 09:01:42

I do this quite happily. I am my own person, make my own decisions and call myself my own name. Being married is a relationship not an obligation to be at one with that person.

daisychain01 Sat 07-Jun-14 11:28:37

Strawdolly That had crossed my mind, LadyIsabella, but it's not the case

the fact you have thought and speculated about someone's private life is a reason I have been very much against talking about myself at work.

I dont want people to know the ins and outs of my life
I dont want them to have anything other than the slightest hint about my beliefs or Thoughts, other than in a work perspective
I dont want them to know about who I choose to socialise with

The list goes on.

I woukd say I have very strong and supportive relationships at work, but they are in the context of work not personal. People know I will support and help them, that doesnt change.

Work colleagues have no obligation to share or divulge, and may have good reason to conceal, whilst trying their best to somehow "contribute" to a conversation in a very non-committal way, without giving much away. There could be a whole back story they don't want to get into.

As Kate Moss says "don't complain, don't explain".

May be a good idea to respect their choice and dignity....

daisychain01 Sat 07-Jun-14 11:31:45


Or maybe they fancy you and were 'feeling you out' ....!?

Without the facts, this is speculation that put the man in a very poor light, which I think is unjust to them.

Hamuketsu Sat 07-Jun-14 11:40:58

Depends on how they generally conduct themselves. If they were continually letching around the appropriate sex, I'd assume they were trying to minimise the fact that they were already in a relationship. In all other cases I'd assume it was just their own business. Some people just make a strong distinction between professional and private life.

daisychain01 Sat 07-Jun-14 11:47:30

If a man letches in an office environment, and are a pest, surely this should be escalated to management, HR or whatever the company policy is.

If action isnt taken to stop them in their tracks it enables their behaviour and gives them the message it is OK!

we are in 2014 not 1955, does this really still happen in people's place of work confused ?

MrsCakesPremonition Sat 07-Jun-14 11:50:42

I worked with someone who never mentioned a partner. Otherwise he was generally chatty and sociable.
He took a week long holiday, came back said he'd had a nice time etc. no mention of who he went with.
Turns out he had got married and been on honeymoon.

I think he was just an incredibly private person who had decided that we were "work" and therefore didn't need to know about "home".

Strawdolly Sat 07-Jun-14 18:47:52


the fact you have thought and speculated about someone's private life
May be a good idea to respect their choice and dignity....

confused I am respecting their choice and dignity, I just wondered if others had any thoughts on the matter. I found it a bit unusual that's all, especially as there was a lot of personal stuff spoken about. I don't have a problem with it hmm

the man

What makes you think it's a man?

daisychain01 Sat 07-Jun-14 20:13:19

I have no way of knowing what gender the person is, I took it you were talking about a man but it really doesnt matter in terms of respecting their privacy, it applies to both genders.

Back to your original point, one person's evasiveness is another person's need not to have to explain the ins and outs of a duck's backside to all and sundry.

Fairyliz Sat 07-Jun-14 20:44:17

well I think its very odd. I'm quite a private person and don't reveal a lot at work such as health problems or very strong views. However if someone says on Monday morning 'did you have a nice weekend?' I would mention that we (DH and I) went for a meal.
Surely everyone makes this kind of social chitchat don't they?

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