I love men. Truly, I do. They are funny, smart, quirky, interesting, sweet, kind, and loving. Most of my friends are even men. They are half of the population. I love how much they can fully love and appreciate women and all of our quirks, our anger, our rage, our sadness, our grief, and our joy.
It is frustrating to me that there are some that refuse to hear a “No thank you” from a woman. The “No thank you” does not mean that we do not appreciate you as a person or that you are not valued, but that we are a no to what you are asking from us. Just like “He´s just not that into you”, she can be just not that into you too. The not-so-funny thing is that, when this is mentioned to many men as an issue, they try to discount our experience by saying “You were just not clear enough” or putting us down.
A few months ago I was in Paris with Robin, whom I absolutely love and adore and have zero interest in cheating on. He was working, so I was out viewing the sites. While there I had already been approached and flirted with by numerous men (it IS Paris and they do love letting women know they are appreciated), but they had been respectful of my boundaries. On the second day I went to Notre Dame, as I have been wanting to go there since I was six. I walked far away from the church to get a good picture of the entire place and surroundings. I located a place to take pictures which would include the entire church with no issues. A nice looking man approached me and asked if I would take a picture of him with the church. Me being me, of course I said yes and took a couple for him. He then asked if I would like the same to which I said, “No thank you.” He then started talking with me, being friendly. I was friendly back and included in the conversation that I was in town with my husband. My assumption was that, if he was looking for a person to hook up with, that would be reason enough for him to move on.
He then asked if I would like to walk around the area with him to see the sites. He mentioned that he was in Paris for around 6 months for a job. I felt into my body and felt no alarms, so I went walking with him. At first it was just friendly; he tried to get me to speak French with him, and he asked me to take pictures for him or asked to take pictures for me. He told me he was from Egypt, and about the other countries he had lived in for jobs. Then he tried to hold my hand. It is Paris, so I let that slide. Again, I had already let it be known that I was married, and his original energy did just feel like he was wanting a friend to walk around with.
He asked something in French, I answered in French, and then he wanted a hug. Soon after, he went too far and tried to kiss me. I then reiterated that I was married – very happily married and monogamous. For a time, he backed off. He mentioned maybe having dinner. I said that I had plans already and he started suggesting meeting up after for a drink.
Just a little bit further down the road, he went in again. I pushed him away, and he tried this spiel: “You’re enjoying this, right?” Um, no. I again reiterated about my being happily married. At this point I was a bit turned around about where we were. He started saying he had somewhere to be and wanted my hotel name and room number. I gave him our real hotel name (as I didn’t know the name of any others in town) and gave him a fake name, saying I did not know our room number. He started pushing on how did he know it wasn’t a fake hotel which I found very odd. Then he asked me where I wanted to go. I said, “Back to Notre Dame, as I haven’t gone inside to look around yet.” He took me back that way.
This experience greatly saddened me. The man was good looking, appeared nice, and should not have issues finding women interested in him. There are many women available who would have been a Yes to him, and even more in Paris looking for just a fling. A huge part of me wanted to tell him there is a much better way of relating with women and getting what he desires, but I realised that I was a No to doing that work at that time as I was on vacation, not coaching.
I know my story is not unique at all. Women have occurrences like this all of the time. When we are clearer with our No we are sometimes called bitches, date raped, or threatened with violence. This actually is sad to me as men have not been taught “No thank you” is always an acceptable answer that should be respected, and do not value themselves as being treated with respect. That women who says No may have a friend that would like you! Would you not rather keep yourself open to all options that come your way?