I’ve been single for the past two years and am tired of explaining why. I dated around five people in the past, and some of my friends wondered what happened.
“I thought you were dating X?” “So, now you’re dating Y?” “We had the impression that Z would be your next boyfriend. You said he was the one.”
Well, I called all of those “failed dates.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m still friends with them. But that’s the point, we just decided to be just friends.
I’m not the one who leaves everyone in the friendzone. In fact, two out of five said no to me and it was painful. I was angry and in denial, the normal reaction to being rejected. I came to thee point of asking myself what was wrong with me. As time passed by, though, when I calmed down, I mustered the courage to ask them why they said no to me.
“Why did you turn me down?”
Time and again, I got the same answer: they weren’t ready.
“Are you f*cking kidding me? Why would you go out with someone and then say you’re not ready?”
Later on, I understood why. Or at least I accepted their reason. How? I just shifted my perspective. When I was younger, I always thought that dating meant being in a relationship. If one would date me, then we would end up together regardless of how long we dated.
So, why do we go out on a date? Dating is our way of knowing and understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Getting to know the person prepares us for what happens next, falling in love that is. If I fall in love, I’m willing to accept all the person’s flaws and love him unconditionally as we move on to the next level–that is if we feel the same way. Sadly, it never happened. My friends say I have high standards. I don’t think so. Why would I say yes to someone if at the end of the day, I no longer see myself happy with him as a partner for a long time? I’d rather say no to the relationship and save our friendship.
But that’s where the hard part comes in. It’s hard to say this two-letter word. It sounds easy, but it’s not. It’s hard because I grew up in a society saying YES to mostly everything. Because we have that thinking that saying yes is being courteous and polite while saying NO is being rude and disrespectful.
It’s hard to say no because I know exactly the feeling of being rejected. It’s hard to say no because there is always some guilt feeling that lurks within me and it’s hard to say no because we don’t want others to feel bad about themselves. By saying no, we have that thinking that we are creating boundaries and distance. But in fact, sometimes boundaries help you understand another person.
A few months ago, I said no to someone I dated for quite a long time. I had the feeling that he was the one. He is the ideal guy to be with. We became good friends. He has always been there for me when I needed him the most. I prayed for someone whom I can share the same passion with and that was him, we both love traveling. Everything worked smoothly. At some point, I thought about taking it to the next level. Maybe I was ready.
One night, I told him, “I will tell you something soon when I’m ready.”
I had sleepless nights for two weeks. I kept thinking if I was ready to enter into a relationship. I wanted to be fair to him. We had been dating for a long time and he deserved an answer. Then I delivered the news: “Sorry, I’m not ready to push it to the next level.” The explanation would be a different story.
I lost him as a partner, I expected that, but I will lose something more important if I don’t learn to say no. Every time I agree with others, I actually sacrifice my personal satisfaction and happiness.
I might appear as the bad person here. But I’m just being honest about what I feel. We are not required to fulfill what other people ask us to do. We must learn to say no especially if we feel that it will hinder us from achieving bigger things. If you feel that you will not be moved by an opportunity or by that person, say NO to it and you are not required to have a detailed excuse, even if you feel like offering one. I felt that it wasn’t right for me that time. So I said no to him and I’m glad that we are still good friends. He already found someone. We both deserve to be happy.
I’m not telling that it’s okay to leave someone in the friendzone. I hate that this term is being associated with negative interpretation. So what’s wrong with deciding to be friends? It’s better than being a complete stranger.
What I would like to share is that, after dating someone, if you think he/she is the best fit for you, then go for it. But if it will go the other way around, say No and let him go. Be honest about what you feel and always give an explanation. Both of you might get hurt, but trust me, your happiness will be made up of the choices that you make in life. If you’re not sure about something, say no to it.