“No” Means “No”

So I’ve been on a dating site for the past few months now. I made it after my last relationship ended and after a few weeks, I realized that the only reason I had it was because I was looking for a rebound. Once this realization hit, I took all my energy and put it into school, ignoring the site for a while. Now, I have good grades, I have my own research project with a well known researcher, I’m getting my own apartment, and I’m transferring to my dream school.

Life is good and busy for me right now. And I’m very happily single.

I still have my dating profile, and to be honest it’s really only for friendships. I’ve met some very cool friends on there and that’s all they are. As a bisexual girl in a mostly-straight friend group, I liked branching out and meeting other LGBTQ people online. I don’t have super strong relationships with people online because I prefer to know people in person, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having online friends.

Now here comes my situation.

Recently, I met a transgendered/transsexual man online (I put both because he has never specified. He just says that he’s identifies as a male but wasn’t genetically born as one). When we first began talking, he was very flirtatious which made me a bit uncomfortable. He’s a nice guy, but I’m not interested in him in a romantic sense. I’m not looking for a relationship because I want to be single when I start off at a new school. And furthermore, even if I was looking for a relationship, I’m just not attracted to this man physically, mentally, emotionally, or on any other level. The conversation seems forced sometimes, we have different values, and above all else, the attraction is just not there. But besides the flirting, he seemed like a genuinely kind and driven person so I did want to get to know him. But only as a friend. I just didn’t want anything more than that. After conversing a bit and one sided flirting, he asked for my number. At this point, I stated very clearly that while I wouldn’t mind giving him my number, I was a bit uncomfortable with the flirting. “I’m not looking for a relationship,” I said. “I don’t want one. I feel like you’re looking for something that I can’t nor am I willing to give. I’m only looking for friends and if you’re okay with that, then I’ll give you my number. But if not, then I won’t. I’m not going to lead you on.” That is exactly what I said, word per word.

At that point, he said that he understood and was okay with being just friends. “If you change your mind, though,” he said. “Just let me know.” That comment made me a bit uneasy, but I still gave him my number. Quite frankly, I think it was a huge mistake.

Since I’ve given him my number, he has continued flirting with me and making comments as if I were going to be his girlfriend. For example, we had a discussion where he said that in our relationship, I’d be the one who’d have to kill the spiders because he’s terrified of them. It’s such a minor example, but it bothered me especially when I clearly said that I didn’t want a relationship. While I didn’t say anything, in my head I was thinking, “Okay… but we’re not in a relationship.”

In addition to the presumptuous comments, he’s followed me on Instagram and Twitter and went through my old posts on both sites, liking all of them. He also texts me every morning and night and wants to know what I’m doing every second of every day, which is incredibly annoying when I don’t have the time to respond. And it’s incredibly annoying when I already said that I’m not looking for a relationship nor am I interested.

Perhaps this is my fault. Perhaps I shouldn’t have given my number out to him. Perhaps I should’ve made myself clearer when I said  wasn’t interested.

But perhaps I shouldn’t blame myself at all. I said that I wasn’t looking for anything. I said I wanted nothing more than a friendship. I gave him the option to not continue talking. What else could I have possibly done?

This is such a trivial situation. I can easily stop texting this guy, block him from my social media sites, and never hear from him again. This is such a minor situation I’m in, but I can’t help but be reminded of the Santa Barbara killing spree that happened recently. Women were killed just because they weren’t romantically interested in a guy. And the scariest fact is that there are people who say that the women deserved it for turning him down.

I saw this quote on Tumblr from user straightgirl2: “Friend-zone ideology isn’t attacked because ‘nice guys’ are comical or because fedoras make a funny meme, it’s because this logic is literally dangerous. This logic of ‘gentleman = deserving sex’ breeds hatred of women, and brutal violence against women, and if a 22 year old self-proclaimed ‘supreme gentleman’ murdering 7 in a campus shooting spree because of sexual rejection doesn’t drive that home, I don’t know what else would.

 

For the record, I am in no way saying that what I’m dealing with is on the same level as this shooting. Far from it. Like I said, I can ignore this guy and never hear from him again. These women’s families have lost these girls due to some kid’s bitterness and will not ever hear from their girls again. However, both are cases of friend-zoning, an idea that’s been taken so lightly in these past years that no one seems to really take action on anymore. So I have to say this: when a woman says no, she means no. Not yes, not maybe, not try again later. She. Means. No. It is her absolute right to say no and it is absolutely despicable to hold that against her.

This is a late-night post and I’m completely exhausted so this isn’t incredibly well written, and it’s just a sporadic string of thoughts. However, I want to end this with a quote I found on Twitter by a user named Emily Thomas:

 

“When a man says no in this culture, it’s the end of the discussion. When a woman says no, it’s the beginning of a negotiation.”

 

My prayers and my deepest sympathies goes to the families and friends of those whose lives were lost. May they rest in peace.

 

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