This is a story about a girl and a boy.
This, however, is not soft core porn. Or a love story. It’s a story about a girl who was screwing a guy because she didn’t know how to say no to him. Seriously, I have a problem.
It was my last semester of college, and I found a guy I actually really liked (who also wasn’t gay, but that’s something we’ll discuss at a later date). His name was (is) Bryan, and he was perfect for me…. or so I hoped. He was tall, he listened to me, and he said all of the right things. He held me close when I needed it and didn’t even try to cuddle me at night. I was comfortable with him — he knew my “ish” and I knew his.
Then, when I was ready to move into relationshipland, he stopped abruptly. He halted the process and put us into the “friends with benefits” category, which thrilled me…. really. Super thrilled. But still, I couldn’t say no since there was a chance he would change. Maybe if we kept sleeping together he would see that he just couldn’t be without me. Maybe?
Have you ever gotten to a point where “saying no” just wasn’t an option? I’ve always consider myself a strong independent woman, able to say no and stand up for myself. But for some reason, Bryan was clouding my judgement and “no” was drifting out of my vocabulary and fast.
Luckily, Bryan proved to be an asshat. And after the fifth “missed call” in one week, I realized I wouldn’t be seeing him for a while. So I was forced to stand down, until I got a drunk dial from him and continued to talk with him even though I was still upset about everything he had put me through. I couldn’t ignore his call, I couldn’t say no to him.
I was throwing myself at someone who couldn’t even call me while he was sober.
Before you judge me and tell me I have no self respect, just keep in mind that this was a new experience for me. I had never let my life be defined by someone else’s actions, let alone a man. I didn’t know how to navigate this, especially when I didn’t see anything wrong.
My best friend stepped up, and after slapping me in the face, explained why Bryan needed to be kicked to the curb. She laid it out for me: ”He doesn’t care about you, he only wants you around when he wants you, and he totally and completely sucks!”
It took a week of getting psyched up, but I confronted him. It wasn’t so easy. I had a strong emotional attachment to him that I wasn’t ready to let go of, and I had so many unanswered questions. Why would you promise to never let anything hurt me…. then you hurt me? It just didn’t make sense.
When I got there, I let him have it. Well, after we had sex. Kind of. Okay, I completely chickened out and fell back into the pattern of doing anything I could for him to like me. It was a mess. Heck, I was a mess. It wasn’t until two months later that I realized just how ridiculous I was being. I was investing so much time and effort into someone who was only interested in me for physical reasons.
So I told him no. He didn’t understand at first, and in hindsight I probably should have just started with no, but after I explained how he treated me like crap he started to see more clearly. Well at least I did. The more aggressive I got, the more I could see old Courtney coming back. For the past five months I’d followed blindly along, mindlessly agreeing with Bryan. It felt amazing to finally say “no.”
Step 1: Figure out who you really have to say “no” to. Sometimes it’s yourself because you are letting yourself fall into a “yes” pattern. Other times it’s another person. It just takes a second of stepping back. Keep in mind this is a time when a close friend’s insight is very helpful.
Step 2: Pump yourself up. You do this by refusing to take their phone calls and writing inspirational post-it notes and leaving them around your apartment. Let your friends in on what you’re trying to do and get some support.
Step 3: Follow through. The hardest step of all, but I promise after saying no to his/her face you will feel like a new and improved you.
Being in a relationship is not about being pulled along or being treated badly, so step up to the plate and take a stand for yourself.
photo found on http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=137461599663779&set=a.131454143597858.31251.130079510401988&type=1&ref=nf