NO MEANS NO: A Paradigm Shift in Dating

The #MeToo Hashtag has been eye-opening to me to say the least. I recently took a mandatory sexual harassment education exercise that Texas A&M has just instituted, and I think the Weinstein debacle and all these harrowing stories through the MeToo hashtag adds to the education I have received and is receiving. It makes me even more conscious about how I  relate to women.

Some people might say my game is wack because of what I am about to say but it is worth it nonetheless.

Just like many men and boys, I grew up with the mentality that when girls say no, they don’t really mean it. So when you ask a girl out and she refuses, the proper thing to do is persistence and she’d eventually agree. This is borne out of the belief that girls are meant to be pursued. Obviously, this stems from the machismo society we have had over the ages where women were quests to be conquered. This has developed a society where both genders have imbibed this ideal to horrendous consequences.

So it is often the case that a man may be trying to go out with a woman who clearly isn’t interested in him but he’s unable to read the situation properly and hence keeps on, leading to either harassment or worse. On two occasions, I have been in such a situation where I have been told no and I have thought it didn’t really mean no but an attempt at getting me to work harder to prove my seriousness. I have then proceeded to make other passes at such a girl to obvious rejections. Like I said, someone might say my game is wack but upon getting a clear no, I have often extricated myself completely from the situation.

I think the most important thing for me is learning.

From two previous experiences, I have come to the conclusion (some time back) that I’d never pursue anyone. That mentality of pursuing and conquering is part of the problem. We often see it as a challenge to get the girl who is proving difficult to get. And we end up ruining the lives of many women and girls. So having game should not be your ability to pester the girl till she caves into your demands because you may just be harassing her when she has absolutely no interest in you.

And this is where we need a serious change of mindset from everyone in our lives, both men and women, boys and girls. This is the thing, many men believe a woman’s no isn’t really a no. And a lot of women also believe the first no or couple of nos aren’t really nos. Mostly, women come to this conclusion because of another machismo idea: that only loose women say yes to a man on his first ask.

So a vicious cycle is created where a woman trying to protect herself against patriarchal accusations of being cheap may decide to rebuff a guy she actually likes. So it leaves a guy thinking anyone saying no may actually not mean it. And so many girls and women end up with men harassing them. This is a very complex issue and like I said, we need a complete paradigm shift in the way we all think about dating for real progress to be made.

To those raising girls, you must impress upon them that they should not ingest this narrative of cheapness if you say yes to a guy on first ask. Knowing what you want and demanding or snatching it up isn’t an indication of you being cheap, it just means you know what you want. You’re not a prize to be pursued. If you like a boy, you are within your right to ask him out yourself and when he does it first, you’re not cheap if you say yes. When you say no, it means you really don’t like him. So those raising boys, impress on them to learn to not devalue a girl who says yes to him rather than have you pester her. She’s not a prize to be had or wild animal to be chased. When she says no, leave her alone.

I for one have made a promise to myself that I will completely disengage in a situation where a girl says no. I already have receipts on it. I have witnessed situations where a girl I’m trying to go out with rebuffs me and I disengage only to see her in a worse situation. But I’d rather she makes her own decisions than me doing something I’ll never forgive myself for or WORST destroy a girl’s life. So my mantra is that if I approach you and you say no, I am off, no second approaches. None whatsoever.

I am aware enough to have never physically done something with a girl/woman she would consider assault, but I have tried to holler even after someone said no the first time. That can be considered harassment (from my training). As a person willing to learn, I have decided that I’ll never do that again. This might mean I’d miss out on some relationships, but I’d rather miss out than the possibility of harassment of someone. That might mean my game is wack but I’m happier being wack than hurting someone with my unwanted advances. I want to use this post as an opportunity to say sorry to any girl or woman I’ve ever made an unwanted advance towards. It’d never happen again. Once you tell me you’re not interested, I’ll vamoose from your DM. Again, sorry to those I might have unintentionally harassed.





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