Surely if my overly supportive best friend saw a spark it couldn't all be in my head, right?
Against everything in my nature, I wrote my number on a cocktail napkin as the guy was asking for his bar tab and handed him the napkin when he turned back to me. He looked down at the napkin, and then back at me. He shook his head.
"I’m sorry," he said. "I have a girlfriend."
Damn you, liquid courage.
I snatched the napkin back, mumbled my apologies, and rejoined the larger group. Later, I played back the conversation and wondered if I had missed some clues. I couldn't recall any. But then, should there have been? To save us all some future awkward interactions, here are some simple rules to follow for when -- and how -- to tell someone like me that you're not single: