Dating has taught me the importance of the word NO. No, it’s not okay for you to borrow money on a first date. No, I don’t want to see a picture of…. This dating thing isn’t for wimps and it’s not for everyone. I’ve met so many people who share their bad experiences and then finish with, “I’m done dating.” Who can blame them? When a date takes off his leg and puts it on the bar, then grabs your shirt with his missing hand/hook – yea- it’s enough to make you say NO. When you’re on a date and the guy LICKS your face. No! When the girl you take out for a drink gets 3 ears of corn as an appetizer and spits corn all over the table. No. The only yes here is that these are all real stories from reasonably normal people!
I think dating has taught me the importance of saying no to what I can’t accept and yes to my boundaries. You’re rude to a waiter … no. You take a loud negative political stance on a person or party without even checking to see what I believe in. No. You make fun of my dog – Hell No! Seriously, you’re out the door on that one. No isn’t about someone else, but about me and where I am today. The more I say no, the healthier I get. I read an article recently that talked about dating and how in the beginning it’s hearts and flowers and you truly see only the best in that person. You may even have trouble being rationale and finding faults; all very normal. Although this stage scares me, because it’s just not reasonable, I agree that if it’s not sunshine and unicorns in the beginning it never will be. This is why listening to that gut/inner voice is so important to me. When I feel annoyed on a first date or hear a quiet no somewhere in my brain – I know I have to honor it. What stinks is when you hear a yes and the other person hears a no….that’s not fun, but honest.
There’s a Megan Trainor song, “…my name is no, my sign is no, my number is no…you need to let it go.” That may be a little extreme, but maybe not in this dating culture of ours. I almost find it funny and a little sad when people take my ‘no’ as a challenge. “You don’t mean that….you know you want to go out with me.” No I don’t. “Oh…you’re just playing hard to get.” Nope, I just don’t like you. “You’re so funny…want to go out for a drink.” Nope, still not feeling it and now I’m leaving. For me, feeling that no and then saying no aren’t always easy, but it makes my life so much easier. Back in my 20’s I didn’t use my words like a big girl and would find myself on bad dates that turned into bad relationships. Why? I didn’t just say no – this just isn’t working for me. I had my Pollyanna glasses on, would see the potential of that person and start dating what I thought they could be someday. Barf. No. I’m not dating potential these days; I’m dating who shows up today.
If we didn’t need physical attraction, I’d wish dating could be like The Voice. Stand there and tell me about yourself, answers questions and if I like what I hear I’ll hit the buzzer and turn around, if not I’ll hit the NO button and you can quietly leave the stage. Unfortunately/fortunately physical attraction is a big part of the mix, so that would never work. I mean really, if Blake Shelton was standing in front of me and saying all the wrong things (he wouldn’t of course) I admit my brain would not be thinking no.