Just Say No

Recently, a man that I didn’t know very well asked me for my phone number.  Since I was caught off guard, I gave it to him.  But in hindsight, I wish I would have told him, “No, I’m not interested.”

To provide some background, this is a guy who works at a pizza place that I go to from time to time.  It turns out that he’s 30 and is in a time of transition.

Ultimately, I don’t think we are in the same stage of life. I’m 40.  I have a career. And I know that if I date someone, I’m looking for something serious. ( I may feel 40,  but I realize that I don’t necessarily look 40.  So, sometimes I get approached by younger men.)

Sometimes we can feel pressured to give everyone “a chance”, but when it comes to dating sometimes you “just know” that you don’t really match with the person expressing interest.  There may be a large age gap, difference in religious ideas, political views, etc. Why waste each other’s time in trying to see if things are going to work out? Sometimes you have a pretty strong idea that they won’t. It’s okay to say, “No”.

Regarding the word “no”, I have some thoughts.  I think women, in particular, feel pressure to be polite and nice.

When I was in college, I had various situations where strangers were asking me out and it made me very uncomfortable.  I didn’t know how to handle the attention and I didn’t want to be rude.  So, I’d often smile and would give out my number or talk to someone longer than I wanted to.

If I could offer advice to my younger-self, I would say something like this:

Everyone is made in the image of God.  So treat others with the respect and kindness that you would want for yourself.  Recognize the humanity in people, but don’t feel pressured into allowing someone into your life as a romantic interest/partner if you are not interested. Many people will “meet the requirements” for being an acquaintance or a friend.  But few will meet the requirements for romance.

Marriage is the ultimate “group project”. You don’t need to bind yourself to someone that you don’t really have that much in common with or someone that you are not physically attracted to. So, it’s okay to say, “No, I’m not interested”.  This is not an evaluation of their character, their value, etc. Dating/marriage is a different type of relationship. It’s okay to be selective about who you want to share that experience with.

To be honest, I wish that women were given better tools for how to relate to men-especially strangers. To that end, many women/young girls experience attention that can be frightening or uncomfortable.

I don’t think that men truly understand how uncomfortable it can feel to be approached at night, to be followed around in a store, to be stared at, etc. And those are just mild situations*.

By no means, have I mastered the art of saying, “No”. But I’m learning how to feel more comfortable in politely turning a man down.

How have you mastered the art of saying, “No”?  Do you think that everyone deserves a chance?

*As a woman, there are times that I feel vulnerable. And the sad reality is that the world isn’t always safe.  There are people who do harm.  For this reason, it can be good to be practical.  For example, I have signed up for a self-defense class and am considering activating the alarm in the place where I live.

In the spirit of the post, I leave you with this song/lyric video from Meghan Trainor, No. (Sometimes men can be aggressive and refuse to take no for an answer.  But if a woman says she is not interested, let it go.)

Advertisements
Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. RESPECT | Chronicles of a Single Christian Single

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: