Relationship Tip #3: Be Okay With “No.”

Because we were all kids once, when we hear the word “no” we can easily make it mean that we’ve done something wrong, there’s something wrong about ourselves, we’re not good enough or any number of other things.  I have a different take on the word:  it’s an answer as good as “yes.”  How often do we stew in our own frustration because we’re left in limbo not knowing what’s going on?  How satisfying is a “maybe” or a “we’ll see how it goes”?  What about plain. . .old. . .silence.  Those are hardly responses in which anyone can rest soundly.  In fact, these responses tend to prey on our deepest insecurities as it allows our imagination to run wild by pouring over every possible “what if” scenario.  It’s pure, self-torture.  Indeed, when we put ourselves out there and open our hearts to get to know someone new it’s a tremendous risk because the other person may not reciprocate in the way we would hope.  Worse yet, they could reciprocate with a “maybe,” or “we’ll see how it goes,” or . . .silence.  Does anyone like to be left hanging?

The most common reason I hear for someone not telling someone “no” is because they don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings.  I find that interesting.  And it’s an all-out lie.  What hurts more, to hear a clear-cut answer or to be wondering for weeks or months on end where you stand with someone?  Visit any dating forum or books on dating and relationships and you will read the same painful question over and over again.  “Why hasn’t he/she called?”  I’ve even asked that question more than a few times myself.  I have a better question, “Why should I be left guessing where I stand with you because you’re a cowardly, wimp and can’t tell me the truth?”  Some say the truth hurts.  I say the truth stings for a little bit and then you heal; lies create long-standing hurt.  When you don’t say “no” out loud to another when in your heart and mind you’re really saying “no,”  you’re lying.

Whether you’re a man or a woman on the dating scene it’s okay to say, “No, thank you.  I’m not interested in dating you.  You’re very sweet for asking.”  If a guy asks you for your number and you don’t want to call him, “I appreciate you asking me.  No.  I would rather not give you my number.”  After a first date, if you’re really not feeling a connection and you really don’t want to go out with that person again, it’s okay to say, “No, thanks.  I don’t feel a romantic connection with you.”  It’s honest.  It’s polite.  It’s straight-shooting.  It’s clear.  It honors the person on the receiving end.  It may sting at first but it will set the other person free to pursue other things.  There’s no room for misinterpretation.  The other person may not take it well at first because they could make that “no” mean any of that junk I mentioned in the first paragraph.

The key for delivering a “no” is to be kind.  There’s something to be said about someone thinking enough of you to ask you out in the first place.  That’s a HUGE compliment to you as a person and should be taken as such.  So, be nice.  Acknowledge your potential suitor for putting his heart out there to take a chance on you.  Be gentle.  Everyone’s ego is often as fragile as their heart.

Keep your reasons to yourself.  You could create a list of a 100 or more reasons for anything, including your “no.”  The trouble is that reasons tend to sound like a run-on sentence.  The result?  Your intended message gets lost in the chatter.  What that does is open the door for misinterpretation, which leads to misunderstandings, which leads to someone getting his or her feelings hurt.  Say your “no” and shut up.  Let the other person do the talking while you sit still and earnestly listen.  If there’s anything in what you’ve just said that is misunderstood, clearly restate your position and close your mouth.

Make this your habit and you can walk away with a clear conscience.  Over time, you’ll find yourself moving around with less baggage.  When the right person comes along, you’ll be ready.


9 thoughts on “Relationship Tip #3: Be Okay With “No.”

  1. a girl once told me she could think of a million reasons – i wonder if i should have made her list them out. Hehehe

    • Oh my gosh. I could get so critical of her right now, but I know that I’ve been that girl before although I’m not proud to admit it. These days, I find the clear-cut truth far more exciting. Thanks for reading!

  2. Thank you from a lot of men. We like clear direct communication.

    My pet peeve is women who ignore emails on dating sites. I know that women get a lot of emails and they just tend to delete or ignore emails from male admirers. This is a HUGE INSULT. We have screwed up our courage to email you the least that you could do is to respond with a polite turn down.

    Women who ignore emails are uncouth and way too full of themselves.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

    • Did you read that ladies? I really appreciate you mentioning this, John. This is good for guys to know too. While I do not personally participate in internet dating I have a ton of girlfriends who do. Unfortunately, ignoring someone’s inquiry is the en vogue response even by men. Yet, few people understand how disrespectful it is. What I’m learning to do now more than ever is to treat others as I would like to be treated and that’s with kindness and respect. I’m the only person that I can control. The other person’s response is up to them and not to be taken personally by me – see Relationship Tip #1. Blessings to you, too! Thanks for reading.

  3. Good in theory, but I used to try online dating… many years ago. Polite, “thanks, but I don’t see a connection here” would result in responses like, “That’s ok, you’re fat anyway!” Seriously. I agree with everything you said about online dating. Avoid it.

    • It’s crazy what people will put in writing but not say in person, isn’t it? What a rotten thing to say in any form. The whole point of this blog is to get people away from the keyboard and meeting in person. It’s an entirely different ballgame face to face and ten times more exciting. Thanks for reading, Tammy!

  4. Ok, I know the thread is a bit old, but I would still like to comment.

    I agree with direct communication. I don’t like people who are not honest front with you. However emotions and dating and flirting are and can be a nice and interesting “game”. I think you must focus more on yourself here. I mean hey, if the woman “let’s you hanging” with silence, you can still know what she means. Adn you don’t have to be hurt by it regardles of whther she said no or not. If you are sef assured enough you will respond with: Ok, I’ll take that as a no ;). And here you have it. no wondering for months and it will be easier on her as well. (I never asked a women a direct question like that btw, she will let you know pretty obviously she is into you and direct mentioning from you will just ruin the magic). You can reply to all of the above mentioned maybies and others, to break up the awkwardenes and go on about your business and by having fun at it.
    I also don’t agree with HUGE INSULT if she doesn’t reply. I don’t have expirience with online dating, but well it is like in real life. Take the hint and move on. You don’t have to hear the no. Rather then feel insulted send here some funny or witty comment. If that doesn’t work: on to the next one 🙂 I mean you don’t even know her. Why would you be hurt by it.
    There is tons of reasons for her not replying. If she gets too many emails you just have to stand out probably and she can’t reply to all with polite no. Maybe she have boyfriend already and doesn’t even look at the mails. Maybe she is on some trip or whatever or no time.
    Well, to summon up my idea: I think it is your own fault if you get hurt by this. It is for your own good. You can’t be controlled by other peoples responses like that, especially since all have so different expiriences in life, that you don’t know in what stage or what is on their mind when dealing with you.
    That million reasons answer: that is just them being mean and you giving them all the power. Believe me that when people get mean on you, they can really come across as pathetic 🙂 and they ussually try to get on you, becuase they fell bad about themself. So if you smile and ask them what’s up, they will ussualy melt and tell you some bad story right infront your eyes hehe.
    Just have fun all 🙂

    • Mystt, you make a good point about a non-reply in the online dating and email world. There’s no way of knowing what’s going on in her world. Given what you’ve written here, it sounds like you do a great job in creating a point-of-view that is very empowering. In short, I agree whole-heartedly that people’s responses to us, whatever those may be, have little to do with us. Everyone’s dealing with his or her own stuff and how they respond is just how they respond.

      Thanks for reading!

      p.s. By the way, how did you find my blog?

  5. Thank you Chrissy 🙂
    I actually don’t know how I stumbled upon your blog precisely. Probably when I was doing the research paper on soacial related topic 🙂 And I have a hard time not to replay on relationships hehe.
    Interesting blog you have, I’ll read other posts as well!

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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