The first date was great. Even if she didn’t sleep with you.
So you take a chance for the second time. Second date, second time, surely she’ll change her mind. You see if she wants to go home with you. She says, No. But, you say, we have a connection. You felt a connection, is she sure she doesn’t want to go back to your place?
Once again, she says, No, she won’t go home with you.
She’s playing dating games. So you dig into the conversation from the first date. You cite all the crazy things she once did in college. Doesn’t matter that she may have had one beer too many and told you more than she wanted. Making out in a bar must mean she’d be willing to have sex with you when you want her to. Because that’s who she must be, that’s how she must operate within this world, that she’s here to fulfill your sexual desires, that you get to decide when and where she wants to use her body.
Yet, for some unfathomable reason, for the third time on the second night, she says, No.
You decide it’s time to go home. You pout, you refuse to talk so that she can sense your disappointment. She won’t follow you hand in hand to your bedroom, so what’s the point of further conversation with a tease? Because you know her, that’s how you’ve reduced her in your mind.
Doesn’t matter that she an educated, well-traveled woman who demonstrated her awareness of the world again and again. Doesn’t matter that she says it’s her rule because she’s not that type of woman and wants to establish a real connection with someone. It doesn’t matter because you no longer have control over the situation, and she didn’t give you what you wanted.
It’s all about you. You’re the story’s Hero and anyone who gets in the way of your happiness is automatically rendered The Villain. You pity your misfortune, you use insecurity thinly disguised as self-awareness to pin your own emotional issues on her because you’re not at fault for your own hurt. You tell her over and over you respect her decision, yet had she not sent out mixed signals you wouldn’t be in this position.
Listen very carefully to the only words that mattered in that entire story and let them sink in:
She said, No. I. Said. No.
You narcissistic emotional manipulator, you conceited prick, you child. You’re an insecure boy who tried and failed to entice an intelligent woman into giving you more than you deserve.
You said all the right things to appeal to my worldview, yet you gave yourself away as soon as you questioned my decision making about my own desires. But I’m here to tell you what you need to hear, what you must hear, and the only thing you should have heard.
No means No.
When you go off and tell your friends about the woman whose body you believe you earned, I know I’ll be painted as the temptress, the tease, the woman who played with you. I know you’ll condense me down into a disreputable object rather than a woman with loves, fears, and pains that govern her actions. You’ll sacrifice my humanity so that you may gain pity where you don’t deserve it.
Whatever hurts you received in the past, whoever doused your initial insecurity in gasoline without remorse and caused you to feel as you do when I repeated No over and over, those people are the ones that wronged you. Not me. I merely walked by holding kindling for my own fires and you took the liberty of stealing mine and throwing it on your own, blaming me for feeding your fire when I simply came in at the wrong place at the wrong time.
At the end of the day, I can only expend so much anger on you because there’s enough anger out there to keep all our fires burning for an eternity. In fact, I’d rather have never wasted any thoughts or energy on writing this in the first place.
But this is the last time I think about you. You’ve pissed off a writer. But you wouldn’t know that, you were too busy talking about yourself.
You said I put out a mixed signal. I did. Though you misinterpreted it. My mixed signal was not whether or not I would sleep with you. My mixed signal was about how I felt when I was around you, if you were someone safe.
Turns out what you interpreted as a mixed signal designed solely for the purpose of leading you on, was there for me and me alone.
It was my gut telling me to run.
I suppose I do have to thank you for one thing: forcing me to realize that I’m a strong woman who won’t put up with anyone’s bullshit.