As women, we tease ourselves a lot when it comes to red flags and how we’re somehow so amazing at ignoring them. Sometimes consciously, sometimes not. But don’t beat yourself up! A lot of the time it’s a grey area, and it’s not always easy to interpret someone’s words and actions, especially when they’re new in your life. Luckily, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to help you navigate the sometimes-treacherous waters of dating, and help you avoid wasting time with people who ultimately won’t be good for you.
I highly suggest that when you go on a first date you do something that is short and doesn’t require a lot of time. So for example, a dinner and some activities require more time, and if you’re not vibing with the person it’s a bit harder to get out of the date. If you go for a coffee or grab a drink instead, it’s much easier to excuse yourself and leave if you feel that it’s time to call it quits. Adding onto this, don’t go to someone’s house or invite someone to your house before you feel ready to sleep with them. Sex is often initiated if you’re at someone’s house and then you can be in an uncomfortable situation if the intention isn’t there – or on the other hand, it’s also an effective test to see someone’s true colours. If sex is implied and you say no, their reaction will help you to know if they respect your choice. At least for safety reasons however, I would not invite someone over or go over to someone’s house unless I had spent a lot of time getting to know them and I was ready to take the relationship to the next level.
The only people who have a problem with your boundaries are those who benefit from you not having them. A man with good intentions will respect you for having boundaries and respect you for sticking to them. If anything, he will like you even more for doing that and respect you even more. The way someone reacts to you sticking to your boundaries is a really amazing way to know if he is trash or treasure – so if he has a bad response and doesn’t respect your choice, then I would fuck him off immediately! And if he says “of course, I understand”, then he’s definitely a keeper. Bottom line is, always remember that you don’t owe anyone anything; it doesn’t matter what the person buys you, it doesn’t matter what he does, you don’t owe anyone anything.
If someone is trying to guilt trip you or pressure you into sex, that’s a pretty firm sign that they don’t have good intentions anyway, so it’s not someone you want to be with and you therefore shouldn’t be afraid to walk away. Don’t be afraid to lose that person, and don’t worry about how he’s going to feel or what he’s going to think of you. It just doesn’t matter – a person like that should not be a part of your life, so remember you never ever owe a man sex. You have the right to say no at any time. You can be with someone at home, naked and in bed, and you can still say “no, actually, I changed my mind, it doesn’t feel right”. You always have the right to leave and to remove yourself from the situation.
No one should ever tell you what to do with your body or disregard your choice. If someone keeps questioning, pushing or pressuring you, get the fuck out of there as fast as you can. You don’t ever have to explain yourself or your choices, so just get out as smoothly as possible – it’s just not worth sticking around for a person like that, because at the end of the day, he does not respect your choice and therefore does not have your best interests at heart.
I’d like to leave you with a journaling prompt here, one that you can use in order to get clearer on how to set boundaries for yourself and know where they lie.
“What situations do I normally say ‘yes’ in when I actually want to say ‘no’?”
“Why do I feel resistance to saying ‘no’?”
“If I’m ever in that situation again, how can I say ‘no’ in a way that feels kind, assertive and good to me?”
This third question is so important, as it’s going to help you feel prepared for the next time you’re faced with a situation that your gut is telling you to get out of. Take your time to really think about these prompts and write some thoughtful answers that are meaningful to you. Remember, no one else has to read this except you.
With these three prompts you can feel prepared, positive, and start saying “no” in a way that feels comfortable for you. “No” does not always have to be sad, negative and rude – remember that there is a positive “no” and it is available for you to tap into!
Do you have a beautiful love story you would like to share ?
I would love to hear from you! I am passionate about helping women open their eyes to all the incredible things that are possible for them.