When He Won’t Take ‘No!’ for an Answer

| 10/15/2010 | Comments (20)

No Means No Interest, No Caring and No Time for You Either

Sherry is a 27 year old legal secretary living in Philadelphia. “My best friend went on 3 dates with a 37 year old guy in her Ph.D. program. It was cool but he did something she found to be very distasteful on the third date, so she decided she wasn’t interested. She did not have sex with this guy but they kissed at little.

The three dates took place over a month’s time, so it’s not like it was a hot and heavy romance or anything. She nicely told him that she was no longer interested, yet he continues to email her about once a week. She even told him that she’d met someone else.

He doesn’t seem to care; he just emailed her again last week with his availability. What am I missing here? She asked me if she should say something again to him and I told her not to engage and to just delete the emails. It’s like he is trying to convince her that she made a mistake. I am getting that fatal attraction/stalker vibe. I guess I am shocked due to his age.”

In fairy tales and Hollywood fantasies on film, when guys won’t take “No” for an answer, they are rewarded with the girl, the promotion, the Presidency. Not having the mental capacity to separate fantasy from reality, many males believe these films and stories are reflective of female truth. They believe that a woman who says “No!” is merely playing hard to get. For them, a woman’s “No” is erroneously interpreted as “convince me,” when in the woman’s very real world, she said “No!” and meant it.

Body Language That Means “No!”

Part of the “be nice” mandate instilled in women means that we are expected to give an explanation for why we said “No.” Men believe they “deserve” to know more information about why we don’t want what they want, the way they want it, or why we don’t want to give them what they want, the way they want it. Some women are so frightened they can’t form the word “No,” but their behavior and body language is a clue that they aren’t interested.

When a woman doesn’t want to engage in conversation or have anything to do with you, she gives off very clear signals.  Learn to pay attention to them to avoid problems for both her and yourself.

When a woman is disinterested in engaging in dialogue with you, she will turn her head in the other direction to avoid looking at you, or she’ll stay focused on the pages of her book. She doesn’t want to answer your inquiries into her name, whether she has a man, or if you can have her phone number. She may become engrossed in her IPod, stare straight ahead to avoid making eye contact, or slump her shoulders in a protective motion as she walks past you.  street harassment say no men don't listen to no wont take no for an answer

If you try to touch her (which you really have no business doing), she will snatch her arm away, clutch her purse and duck her head, or move her entire body in a different direction. If she is somewhere that she can’t leave right then, she will assume a posture with her arms across her chest.  If you are trying to get her attention by standing too closely, she will walk very quickly and determinedly past you. In none of these examples did the woman SAY a word, but her body language is telling you “NO!”

Some men, however, choose to ignore all signs and signals expressing disinterest, as well as the verbal utterances.

Knowing how men act, most woman’s verbal “No!” is usually accompanied by scientific justifications, cosigned explanations, and unnecessary background information to validate her response. This is nothing but a vain attempt to make her “No!” more palatable to someone that ain’t trying to hear it. Why must a woman expend all this energy to shore up her desires to choose, for HERSELF, what goes on with her body? Why should women ever have to say anything more than “No?”

(continued on page 3)

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Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray," and "Why Vegan is the New Black" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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Category: Women's Issues

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  1. annabolan82 says:

    @TheLastBaron No, my little narcissist, we do NOT owe you an explanation when we say ‘No’.  It’s no because we said no.  End of.  And anyway, I’m not quite sure you’d like it if a woman did give a guy like you an explanation for why she’s rejecting you.  Do you really want to open that can of worms? If you choose to push yourself on a woman, you are owed NOTHING from her. We’re not here to cater to your needs, horrific as that thought must be to someone as narcissistic as you.

  2. annabolan82 says:

    @TheLastBaron I realise this is an old comment but frankly, it’s not the problem of women if you’re feeling frustrated and angry. Also, your statement: ‘Just look at this through the other side’s perspective for once’ is ridiculous. This article IS the other side’s perspective being looked at for once. Women are conditioned to look at things from the guys point of view, and to consider his feelings before her own.  It’s guys like you who need to look at this through the other side’s perspective for once.

  3. Deborrah says:

    Here is a video interview of Gavin DeBecker, the #1 expert on personal security and the intuitive voice that people often ignore, which ends up getting them trouble.


    • AndreaLewis says:

      I read “The Gift of Fear” in high school and it totally changed my life. Ever since, I have rejected the whole trust me and pretend to be my oldest pal / girlfriend — despite the fact that I have never laid eyes on you before, because we’re both Black non-sense.
      Before reading that book, I had no idea how very dangerous it could be to allow strangers who behave in an overly familiar fashion into your personal space. Every woman should read that book, but especially BW. BW are waaaay too trusting of other Black folks.

  4. TheLastBaron says:

    I admit I’m being pretty harsh here, but I’m far from an idiot or an asshole. I’m just a frustrated and angry guy who’s been rejected too many times and just went through a bad breakup. Just look at this through the other side’s perspective for once, that’s all I’m saying.

    • Raz says:

      The LastBaron: “I’m just a frustrated and angry guy who’s been rejected too many times and just went through a bad breakup”
      Well since you’re being rejected ‘too many times’ and went through a bad breakup, rather than blaming the woman and wallowing and whining in your self pitty, get off your fonky azz and start work on your inner self. Time for to self-reflect, improve. That’s the problem with some dudes like you, they stay stuck on stupid, and bitter and angry, they never grow up and mature emotionally and try to figure shyt out. They just blame the woman instead of looking at what they need to improve in themselves. There are plenty of articles on this blog you can get busy reading to improve yourself such as:

      Dating Tips for Men: How to Dump Proof Your Relationship
      How Nice Guys can Develop the Player Edge that Women Love (written by a happily married guy)
      Why Nice Guys suck and women don’t want you

      You can either stay bitter and wallow, or improve yourself. “Where ever you go, there you are”. By your own admission, you’ve been rejected ‘too many times’ which means that something is going on with you’. Either you’re ugly as a troll trying to get women way out of your league, or you have a nasty fonky attitude that turns women off with no ‘skills or game’ on knowing how to get and please and keep a woman happy. I suspect it’s some of both.

      • Nigerian Sista says:

        I personally do not understand why I a woman would owe a guy an explanation to after telling him no. Guys do not HAVE to do this. If anything if a guy does tell a woman he’s not interested he will do it in a mean (i.e. short you aint pretty enough/your a– AIN’T phat enough). He will attempt to hurt the woman’s feelings. I’ve been around long enough to know that many African American males share a streak of mysogny and cruelty when it comes to interacting with women. Many males think that they are superior to women, so they have this delusional belief that certin things should be made available for them no matter what. Buy they don’t seem to owe anyone anything.

      • LMH says:

        Got it! You are a frustrated, angry guy who now expects all women to cater to your bruised ego. Dude! Frustrated, angry and needy is NOT attractive!

  5. TheLastBaron says:

    Women, you DO owe men an explanation when you say “No”. You often won’t explain yourselves because your reasons are shallow and illogical and deep down you know it. I find all this talk of “putting yourself first” rather hypocritical. The examples given in the article are pretty extreme and the men involved are going about it the wrong way, but in the end they’re just pursuing what they want and will make them happy. Don’t castigate them for this! Most of you are no better than the men you’re criticizing

    • Raz says:

      The lastBaron: “Women, you DO owe men an explanation when you say “No”

      Women don’t owe men shyt! Especially some stranger who simply asked her out. But if a dude just has to have an reason, here’s one for you. “You stank, ugly, and the thought of one more second in your company makes me vomit in the mouth’. Now be gone lout!” How’s that for an explanation.

    • You’re an asshole and an idiot. That is the only response I feel you are worth having.

    • LMH says:

      Here is the explanation for “No”…ready…SHE IS NOT ATTRACTED TO YOU!!!

      That is all the explanation anyone ever needs and it should be evident by the word NO!!! End of explanation.

  6. C says:

    It’s irritating and rather insulting to me, as a guy, that this article is even needed. Of course, it’s a failure of society. Men are taught to be ambitious, that persistence will ultimately win. However, I don’t understand how so many of us apply it to our interactions with women.

    Common sense should tell us that life isn’t a friggin’ romantic comedy. When the protagonist is rejected by his love interest, persistence only works here because the outcome has already been decided. Persistence of that level, up to and including, showing up at her goddamn workplace… that’s called harassment in the real world. Especially if the protagonist is required to rescue her from the “no good boyfriend/husband/whatever.”

    When the roles are reversed, she is usually cast as “crazy stalker ex.” Therein lies the rub. I hate those guys who catcall, persist with a woman who clearly said no, and generally make asses of themselves when they catch a whiff of pheromone. They perpetuate that tired old script that says a man can’t help himself. Like hell, I can control myself just fine. The men who can’t simply have a weak will, and blaming women won’t help them.

    It’s all about personal responsibility. Blame only goes so far. It doesn’t matter how they’re dressed, whether anyone put themselves in a vulnerable position, or how they may be acting. Anything that violates the autonomy of another human isn’t right nor deserved. I recognize the difference between when a woman is interested and when she wants nothing to do with me. And I respect her wishes because that’s what a sensible person does.

    • Danta' says:

      Speak on it C!!!! Again it’s a maturity thing, as well as a respect thing. Actually for this Blog a Picture on the street and not a club would’ve been better and more realistic. It was changed and brought back Club pics don’t count.However both Men and Women need to respect each other’s wishes if neither is showing interest towards each other. The word Respect needs to be emphasized if not Society will have more wrecks in it.

  7. SunnyDay says:

    I was just talking to my sister about this last night. Guys hate the word, they have no idea what to do when they hear it.

    My sis was telling me about a brother who is married yet keeps pursuing her. She has repeatedly told him no (for about 6 months now) and he continues to proposition her to join him at a hotel for him to become the man of her dreams. PUUHLEEZ I mean pure maddness!

    I cringe at the cat calls I receive more often while I’m dressed in my professional work attire, I absolutely hate it. I hate when older men, who more too often stare at me with as you mentioned “lust filled eyes”. I think of the women in the Congo who are raped and used as pawns of war and think Sistahs need to form an army.

    I refuse to make eye contact with men as I walk the street. Dudes can be very brutal. It’s a shame that we have to go through this on a daily basis and some of us who are lesser willed succumb to these advances all time to their detriment I believe.

    Not sure where we can go from here but I am grateful to your words and appreciative of all the sistahs who shared their experiences. Teach our sons differently…

    • Raz says:

      SunnyDay: “My sis was telling me about a brother who is married yet keeps pursuing her. She has repeatedly told him no (for about 6 months now) and he continues to proposition her to join him at a hotel for him to become the man of her dreams.”

      Tell your sister the next time this man harrasses her, she has the cops on speed dial 911 for stalking. She has already told her to leave her alone and NO! If she means this emphatically then this married man should have gotten the message. She needs to let him know that there will be consequences (and no idle threats) that will be carried out if he continues to harrass her. He’s already continued, so at this point she needs to pursue seeking the law on his butt. Then he’d have no choice but to leave her alone or his butt will be locked up. Women need to stop being afraid to throw these scumbags like this married man who is harassing your sister under the jail. See this is why so many women end up dead. They too damn nice to these losers. They are too scared to take a stand and stop putting themselves in the ‘victim’s shoes. That fool should have been reported to the police a long time ago. They will tell him NO in a way he understands!

    • Since so much time has elapsed, I am assuming that your sister knows this guy – as in he is a neighbor, a coworker, a transit driver on her bus, the guy that works in her bulding, etc.

      She is fully within her rights to file a harassment claim and request a restraining order. What he is doing to her is stalking and sexual harassment. What he is exhibiting is the traits of a sociopath. These are people that have no concern for your feelings, your life, your body or mind, your boundaries, your needs or anything else about you. Their single-minded focus is on what THEY want.

      She could also try telling him one of the following:

      (1) And what would your wife say about that? Because if you ask me that shit again, I’m calling her and telling her to keep her dog ass husband away from me! OR

      (2) If you do not leave me alone I am going to file stalking and harassment charges against you. I’ve told you numerous times to leave me alone yet you persist in disrespecting me, my husband, my marriage, and your wife. You are NOT a man of quality and certainly cannot be the man of ANYONE’S dreams. OR


      My personal preference is #3 first, #2 second.

  8. Pat says:

    How about telling them to practice ‘safe sex’ and go f*&^ themselves.

  9. Anderson says:

    If the guy gets on your nerves and goes to the extent of stalking you or something, it would be better to let a male accomplice confront him or better yet, approach the cops.

  10. Golden Silence says:

    I agree! Women need to stop being polite to these men and learn how to put themselves first.

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