Have you ever found yourself in a situation because you didn’t follow your instincts? Your gut is saying “Danger Will Robinson” but you ignore the flashing red lights.
I never thought I’d have to remind myself of this sage old advice: “If something doesn’t feel right, get out of the situation — now.” I am a confident, assertive, strong woman. I am clear (or so I think) on what I want and don’t want. Yet, in two years of dating, I’ve been surprised how this image of myself has been tested. I’ve ignored my instincts and sometimes allowed myself to be enticed into things I wouldn’t have thought.
Once in a great while I’ve been with a man, who, when I’ve said “no,” will say something like “Five more minutes,” “Then let’s just kiss/cuddle,” or “C’mon, I’ll behave.” Then he proceeds as if I’d said nothing. Now I’ve learned not to give in to pleas, no matter how good what we’re doing feels. It can lead to doing what you don’t want to do.
Saying “no” is hard for many women, as we are typically socialized to be agreeable, sometimes to our detriment. Even “strong” women can be seduced by smooth talking and cajoling. If we like the guy, we don’t want to send him packing. But if he doesn’t listen to and heed what you want, he’s not for you, so he should be sent on his way. If he doesn’t honor your boundaries, how would he ever respect your desires in other parts of your potential life together?
You might say “At some level, you want to be doing what you’re doing unless he is physically forcing you. As long as you can stop it and you don’t, you must want to keep going.”
You might also say, “You are sending mixed messages by saying ‘no’ then giving in to his requests. No wonder he doesn’t believe your ‘no.’” Mixed messages are never good.
So now I watch what happens when I say “no.” If he honors it, I know he respects me. If he doesn’t, he’s putting his own needs ahead of mine. That’s not a match. So if he doesn’t respond to your “no” the first time, get yourself out of the situation — and the relationship.
Your instincts are telling you what is really right for you. Ignore them at your peril.