I’m beginning to wonder if we, as women, have destroyed the ability of a man to take our rejection seriously.
As I float around in the single world these days, I find myself being asked out by the occasional guy here and there. Lovely and flattering, yes, but I’m not interested. So, like any kind, honest woman, I reject them in a polite way. “Thank you, but no.”
The key word there is “No”.
And yet for some reason, “no” doesn’t appear to mean what it used to mean. Now it in fact means some variation of “I’m only rejecting you because I’m wounded, and if you keep on trying, my no will eventually turn into a yes”.
This, I assure you, is NOT what I mean.
I can only assume that this is, in part, the fault of us women. It’s the fault of the absurd romantic comedies geared toward us, it’s the fault of that stubborn idea that most of us like to play “hard to get”. It’s the fault of society constantly showing men that IF THEY JUST KEEP TRYING THEY WILL WIN THE HEART OF THE WOMAN WHO REJECTED THEM.
This is, obviously, false.
It’s not that things like this never happen – there are plenty of women out there who just need a little convincing to make the right move with a guy. Women who are scared or have been hurt or don’t believe they’re good enough for the wonderful guy trying to win them over.
But the point is that men should not assume that this is the case. And women should just give an honest yes or no. None of this “hard to get” business. Because quite frankly, those women who are guilty of this are making life a hell of a lot harder for the rest of us.
Considering this, I’m reminded of the scene from Pride and Prejudice where Lizzie is trying to refuse her cousin’s marriage proposal, and he just doesn’t get it.
”I am not now to learn that it is usual with young ladies to reject the addresses of the man whom they secretly mean to accept, when he first applies for their favour; and that sometimes the refusal is repeated a second or even a third time. I am therefore by no means discouraged by what you have just said, and shall hope to lead you to the altar ere long.”
Obviously, this quote proves both that I am a huge literary nerd, and also that this problem has clearly existed for hundreds of years.
So I suppose the point of all this is simple: Ladies, if you say no, mean it. Gentleman, take a lady at her word. If she gets frustrated with you later for not reading some sort of subtle undertone in her “no” that actually meant “yes”, she’s an emotional loon and you’re better off with a woman who can manage to be honest as opposed to passively aggressively expecting you to read her mind.