I know that I have a few loyal guys who follow this blog. They have noted that I seem to write primarily for 20-something women, and that’s true. I know how to write for 20-something women because I am one. I don’t know how to write for guys because I don’t understand them. At all. But guys–in my clumsy, I-don’t-get-you way–I’m writing this post to you. From a female perspective, though, because that’s all I know.
The amount of miscommunication that happens between girls and guys is absolutely astounding, isn’t it? You asked her to artist series last week, and now she wants to know whether the wedding invitations should be peach dream or silken blush (I totally made up those colors, by the way…). You say you don’t want to get involved in a relationship right now, and so she sends your favorite cookies through nightmail with a note drenched in perfume, and the guys on your hall won’t stop kidding you about it. What didn’t she get about the word “no,” am I right? I’m not about to deny that women can make themselves obnoxious at times. But I guess everyone can have that weakness when they like someone who doesn’t feel the same way.
Yeah. You guys do the same thing.
“She didn’t say no!” you protest. She probably did, if you were listening. She made an excuse, said she was busy, thanked you politely for the invitation, ect., didn’t she? Could it be she was actually just busy? Yes…unless she’s turned you down multiple times. Then she’s trying to spare your feelings. Personally, if I get busy but would have liked to accept, I’ll come up with a rain-check plan (but I can’t speak for how other girls operate on this point). Take a lesson from The Princess and the Frog here:
But you don’t like the subtleties, right? You want us to just come right out and say no?
I sat across from a guy friend once. He was having girl troubles. And, for any ladies reading this, rest assured. Apparently girls are not the only ones who spend a good deal of time analyzing texts from members of the opposite gender. Suffice it to say, he had asked this girl out. She had turned him down. I handed his phone back to him.
“So? What do you think?”
“There’s nothing to think about. There’s no thinking. She turned you down, plain and simple.”
And she had! She flat out said no and was gracious enough to explain her reasons. There was no room for misinterpretation. There was no opening to try again. It was a flat refusal, which she had every right to give. But he told me he was going to try again. I advised against it. He told me he was going to do it anyway.
I don’t understand. I don’t understand why “no” doesn’t mean no. I don’t understand how “no” can be misinterpreted.
I write this at the risk of sounding like I’m just doing it to yell at a bunch of guys. I risk sounding heartless or like I’m a man-hater. Maybe condescending. So let me clarify–I don’t hate men. I am grateful for my guy friends. I’m not yelling. I’m not trying to be condescending. I’m writing this as your friend who genuinely doesn’t understand. And so that you understand.
No means no.
I have gotten late-night weepy phone calls. I have had my phone be swamped with text messages. I have had awkward in-person conversations and even more awkward emails.
I have been stalked. Legitimately followed all over campus. I have had guys wait for me outside the restroom, follow me to class as I made small talk on the phone with my mom, and then follow me into my class and sit down. I have had to get my dad to make a phone call to threaten a guy with a restraining order. I’m not kidding.
This is why it’s so important to me that you guys understand.
No means no.
So the next time a girl turns you down, I understand, you’re going to feel bad about it. And you really like her. Or maybe you weren’t even interested like that and were just asking her out to be nice. But when she says no, please, I’m begging you…
Leave her alone.