Why Women Are Afraid to Just Say “No” to Guys
Why are some of us so afraid to reject guys we’re not interested in? We asked relationship experts for their input and advice to stop this damaging habit.
I’ll never forget the day in middle school when one of my friends told me, “You’re too nice.” I was stunned. I didn’t even think it was possible to be “too” nice. After all, that’s what my teachers were always yelling at the bullies, “Be nice, Steven! … Stop being mean, Frank!”
But now, I know it’s very possible. In fact, my dating track record proves that I am still “too nice.” I don’t have it in me to flat out reject a guy, so I put myself in situations I don’t know how to get out of: I say yes to second dates I don’t want to go on, give guys my number even though I’m not interested, and so on. For some reason, I find it extremely difficult to just. Say. No.
I’m not alone – in fact, many women have been guilty of doing the exact same thing. It’s something that Elizabeth K., a 27-year-old from Washington D.C. has been struggling with. “I finally JUST broke it off with someone I’ve been dating since September. My friends kept giving me a hard time because when I first started dating this guy I wasn’t really into him. Why would I carry on a relationship for six months when I didn’t see it going anywhere from the beginning?”
LJ M., a 34-year-old L.A. native, has the same problem. “I’ve been guilty of having trouble rejecting men I’m not interested in. I know what it feels like to be rejected and don’t want to make someone else feel the same way, especially if he’s a nice guy.”
What is our problem? We’re so confident in the other areas of our lives, so why do we turn to mushy pushovers when a guy we’re not interested in asks us out?
I turned to relationship experts to see if they could give me some answers, and man, did they have a lot to say. When I asked them why women are afraid to reject men, the same 6 answers kept coming up:
1. It’s in our nature. “Women tend to be sensitive, compassionate people. They care about emotions, so they empathize with the pain of rejection and don’t want to cause a guy pain.” – Dr. Kenneth Ryan, author of Finding Your Prince in a Sea of Toads: How to Find a Quality Guy Without Getting Your Heart Shredded.
2. We’re afraid of being alone. “It can be difficult to cut off dates who are so flattering and offer a fun night out. The alternative sounds quite depressing, even lonely: ‘Sit at home and do nothing? Forget it, I’m going out!’” – Julie Melillo, Manhattan relationship/life coach
3. We’re not confident in ourselves. “Instead of waiting for a quality date with someone they want to go out with, many women opt for these easy fixes of ‘flower potting’ themselves into dates.” – Maria Avgitidis, professional dating coach and head matchmaker at Agape Match in NYC
4. We’re settling. “Women who’ve been single for awhile may come down on themselves, thinking their standards are too high.” – Tiffani Murray, author of Stuck on Stupid: A Guide for Today’s Single Woman Stuck in Yesterday’s Stupid Relationships
5. We feel guilty. “Many women believe that if they break it off with someone, they’re being selfish.” – Jaymes Ian Woode, author of 101 Behaviors a Guy Needs to Understand about His Woman!
6. We want an ego boost. “Often times, women say yes to the first man that really pays attention to them and get lost in the lust and excitement of a new relationship without really knowing what they want.” – Lauren Sheehan, teacher of feminine presence classes and workshops at femininerhythm.com
Gulp… that’s a lot to digest!