I remember before prom, one of our teachers gave us a light-hearted but very serious talk about how to handle ourselves during (and more importantly after) prom. I remember he said the following thing very clearly, “No means NO. But yes means YES.”
[Before I go any further, I just want to make the following clear, this post is not about rape. I find it maddening to the point of disbelief that in our day and age we still have to somehow ‘define rape’. Just don’t be a fucking terrible human being and look at other people as objects.]
I think everyone has seen enough movies/TV etc. to know how this usually goes. Boy meets Girl. Boy falls for Girl. Girl does not fall for Boy. Boy gets rejected by Girl. Boy then works hard to win Girl over through various romantic gestures. Girl eventually realizes that Boy was the right one all along. Boy and Girl end up together and fade to credits before it gets messy. Or in some cases you can flip ‘Boy’ and ‘Girl’ around. That’s all well and good in the land of make-believe. But you know what that’s like in real life when said ‘Boy’ isn’t played by Ryan Gosling?
You’re just that really fucking creepy guy.
“No” and “I don’t feel that way about you”, isn’t a coded message that means ‘try harder’. What a lot of guys few as romantic, is just someone being super fucking creepy. The difference between awkward and romantic is reciprocity, it’s that simple. A lot of guys view common courtesy, manners, and trying to get out of an awful situation as tactfully as possible as implied consent as they are mortifying a girl in public. There is a reason why things are classified as fiction. I know the next thing that you want to say, that you know of a couple where one party did change their mind, and you’re absolutely right, that does happen. I’m pretty sure it happens on it’s own accord though. If she changes her mind, she’ll let you know.
People want to be happy, and they’re going to want to pursue who and what makes them feel that way. That’s all well and good, but as soon as someone starts infringing on someone else’s well-being it has to stop. So, at the end of the day, no means no, and you have to take that in stride. People always say that there’s other fish in the sea, but that’s a pretty empty statement in itself. Most guys I know don’t want every single fish, just a fish they treasure. [God, if you take that metaphor out, it really does not hold up.] An important part of being a man is knowing what you want, and then working to get it, but an equally important part is respect for others and not belittling how other’s feel.
Or to put it another way:
Sack up, get over yourself, and move on.
(On a complete side note: Summer is here, meaning there’s more time to write and think. Halle-fucking-lujah. Look forward to getting back on a regular schedule.)