What’s strange about the “I have a boyfriend” thing that many women do – and yes, yes, I understand why they do it — is that it is not very effective against the very guys they are attempting to target with it.
Sure, it’s effective against some guys, most of whom would be fine with a simple “I’m just interested in being friends,” but against the guys who don’t take no for an answer, it’s probably actually an incitement and not any form of dissuasion at all.
I’m not a woman and I don’t intend to tell anyone how to behave (as obviously many women believe their strategy to be effective), but I am a guy and I’ve known (many, many) misogynist creepy guys, and I can tell you from experience with them that “I have a boyfriend” means absolutely nothing to them. Nothing at all.
I think it is just one of those things that humans do that is self-effective rather than being that effective in the world (like taking antibiotics for viral infections). It doesn’t help, but it feels like it helps, and that is enough.
Lately (and it doesn’t happen as often as it used to) when a woman says that to me, I just as quickly say, “Cool! I do too!”
It just confuses the hell out of them which is fine with me. Historically, most girls who think I am flirting with them I want absolutely nothing to do with….