November 23, 2013 / Learn To Say No In Dating And Relationships
Being afraid to tell your signficant other or dating prospect No backfires more often than not.
One really common mistake men make in dating and especially in relationships is failing to say "no". Usually, the reason for this is a fear of rejection, but that does not have to be the reason. Unfortunately, being unable to say "no", always agreeing with your partner, is a recipe for a disastrous relationship, and in the dating realm, it is a surefire way to appear needy and make her lose interest.
Saying "No" for a healthy relationship
In point 3 of our 6 Things Every Relationship Needs Article, I mention a balance of power as a key component to a good relationship. Being unable to say no to your significant other pretty much ensures that there will be an IMBALANCE of power in the relationship. This is not healthy. If you find yourself doing too many things you do not want to do solely because you are afraid to say "no" to your significant other, you need to learn how to do so. You cannot go through a relationship feeling like you are walking on eggshells every step of the way.
Naturally, you have to compromise in a relationship, but you would be shocked at the requests I have either gotten in a relationship or others have gotten. I handle them fine, but here are some (slightly modified) examples of things I have seen in action, and guys acquiescing!
Example 1: It’s 4pm, you end work at 5pm and commute about 30 minutes. Significant other you live with gets home early and notices the trash hasn’t been emptied. She calls you to come home from work early to empty the trash.
That example may sound crazy but I have seen virtually this exact scenario occur! There is no possible answer here but some variant of "Do it yourself" yet that is NOT a common response to a question like this in many relationships!
Example 2: Girlfriend calls and says: "Hey baby, I’m going to get a mani-pedi, come keep me company." This isn’t nearly as bad as Example 1, but let’s be real, how many of you guys actually want to sit there at the nail salon? I’m going to take a wild guess and say not many. If you don’t want to, just say no! There’s nothing wrong with not spending every waking moment with your significant other and she won’t think any less of you (if she does, you should dump her) if you don’t want to follow her around to everything she does like a puppy dog on a leash!
Basically, before you blindly say yes to everything, including things you really don’t want to do, consider the following: if your significant other really likes you, even loves you, she is not going to leave you if you say no to her every so often. Most men fear some sort of repercussion like denial of sex or a break-up/divorce. If you have this type of relationship, honestly, you should preemptively end it. It is much better to not be in such a relationship than to worry that you can’t refuse some absurd demand from your significant other because it will cost you sex for a week or worse. Confront your partner if that is the case.
The most likely result of standing up for yourself in a relationship and not agreeing to everything is ensuring a more sustainable relationship for everyone involved. Most likely, there will be very little push back, and if there is, it will likely be a temporary adjustment period. You cannot possibly be happy if you are doing things you don’t want to do all the time, and at the same time, it’s unlikely our partner will be happy with an unhappy partner. Your happiness in a relationship matters, and sometimes it can be as easy as just saying no every once in a while!
Saying "No" during dating
The main reasons for standing up for yourself and "saying no" in relationships is ensuring relationship sustainability and your happiness while recognizing that most likely, you won’t get punished by your significant other for saying no. In dating, the reasons for saying "no" are different: you do not want to appear too needy or a pushover during the courtship process.
If a woman you are meeting for a date proposes something you really don’t want to do, you have two options. One, pretend you want to do it, or two (my preferred method), say no and propose something else.
The problem with (1) is that often times your date will KNOW you would rather be doing something else. If you agree anyway, then you have just appeared needy and desperate to her, which is a major turn off to women. On the other hand, if you say "No" and propose another plan, your date will unlikely cancel plans with you (in the rare event that she does, she wasn’t that interested anyway) and at the same time will view you as a confident man who knows what he wants and isn’t needy or desperate. All attractive qualities.
Here are some more concrete examples that I see happen all the time:
Example 1: You propose meeting for drinks near your place at night, your potential date counters with: "Why don’t you meet me for coffee around 2pm near my place." So many guys will be afraid to lose the date if they don’t agree here that they will agree to this shitty / no-investment on her part date which ends up actually making them LESS likely to get the girl than if they stuck to their guns. The right answer here is almost always: "I can’t do 2pm unfortunately, if you need we can reschedule." Non-needy, assertive, and more likely to get you what you want.
Example 2: You propose meeting up with a girl for drinks near your place at night. That afternoon, your date responds that she forgot she has to hang out with a friend and suggests you just meet up with the two of them. Again, the right answer here is NO. It is much harder to be successful on a date when she has friends as you need to win them all over and not just her. Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage because you are afraid to say no. Suggest rescheduling.
Example 3: You propose a date and she tries to move it earlier so she can cram another social event two hours afterwards. Once again, don’t be afraid to say that is not ok and reschedule. Obviously you want her to have the whole night available to you in case things go well. Tell her you can’t do earlier and that we would have to do another time. Otherwise you are telling her you are ok being number 2 in her book. Not a great way to start off.
Being able to say "no" is crucial in both dating and relationships. In relationships, you cannot continue in them happily if you constantly fear standing up to your partner, and in dating, you cannot succeed to your maximum potential if you constantly acquiesce to every request a woman makes for fear you may lose her. Learn to say "no" when it is in your best interest to do so.