Why Women Are Afraid to Just Say “No” to Guys

Why are some of us so afraid to reject guys? We asked relationship experts for their input and advice to stop this damaging habit.
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couple rejection

Whatever the reason may be for why we find it hard to reject a guy, it’s obvious that this behavior is toxic for everyone involved. We don’t realize that, by trying to avoid hurting someone we’re not interested in, we’re actually doing more harm than good.

For starters, it’s really not fair to the guy. “You can’t date a guy because he wants you to,” says Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka Dr. Romance), psychotherapist and author of The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again. “Your heart has to be in it, too. It’s mean to string him along and then not answer his calls, etc. You need to set him free so he can find someone who really clicks with him.”

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The same can be said for you, too. “Having the wrong men in your life just makes it more difficult to find the right man, since that time is being wasted,” says Julie Melillo. “It feels difficult to reject the wrong people at first, but doing so creates a beautiful blank space in your life for a new relationship to grow with the right man!”

So, how do we women who are “too nice” stop this bad habit? Well, it won’t happen overnight, but there are steps we can start taking immediately to overcome our fear of rejecting men.

Step 1. First, we have to become comfortable being single, independent, and on our own. “We need to enjoy time by ourselves,” says Tiffani Murray. “Being single is not the end of the world. It’s certainly better to be single than to be out ‘faking’ it with someone who puts out our fire.”

Step 2. Then, we have to be honest with ourselves and what we want. “Ask yourself, ‘What do I really want?’ That might be a relationship, something casual, or marriage,” says Julie Melillo. “Getting clarity on life goals makes it much easier to cut out approaches that aren’t working. If you’re going on dates because you’re bored, that’s a clue you need/want to build up other areas of your life. Make more girl friends, expand your social life, try new events and classes or work on your fitness or career.”

Step 3. When a guy does ask us out, we should take our time before making a decision. “Connect better to what you really desire by creating space between the answering of a question and the asking,” says Lauren Sheehan. “When he asks you to do something, simply say, ‘Can I take a minute to check in about that and I’ll let you know if that feels right for me?’”

Step 4. And finally, if he isn’t the right guy for us, we should tell him up front and be honest. “Women have great intuition and know early on when something isn’t right,” says Dennis E. Golden of im-safe.com. “Be clear and direct with any male. If you’re not interested, say it once. You’re not in a debate over who you’re comfortable dating. Be firm. After you make your position known, NEVER return a phone call, email, or any type of interaction.”

When it’s put like that, rejecting a guy doesn’t seem so difficult! I’ve made a promise to myself to put these steps into action so I can change my ways. I’d much rather be the woman who knows what she wants and gets it, than the girl who is “too nice” to everyone she meets. That only worked out in middle school.

Tell us: do you have trouble rejecting guys? Why do you think you do?

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