When a simple ‘No’ should suffice | The Triangle

When a simple ‘No’ should suffice

“Sorry, I’m seeing someone.” The number of times I have had to use this line is more than I care to admit. The reason I dislike this line is because often times, it isn’t true and I dislike lying. But what really bothers me about it is that sometimes, it seems like it’s my only choice.

Most people will know what I am talking about, and if you don’t, then you are quite lucky. I am talking about those nights when you’re walking down the street by yourself and someone approaches you. They usually offer some sort of compliment and then ask for your number or whether you want to join them for a drink.

Now, there is a minority of people who do this and will perfectly accept a flat-out no. I want to acknowledge this because I think their acceptance should be encouraged. You say no, you both tell each other to have a nice night. You both recognize that neither of you have any malicious intentions and everyone goes home feeling okay.

But then there are the rest. These are the people, who won’t take ‘no’ without a fight. They wheedle, they talk themselves up, they make you feel terrible for turning them down and after the exchange everyone goes home feeling terrible. The easiest way to avoid this is one magic phrase: “Sorry, I’m seeing someone.” And this is just wrong.

It discounts your personal feelings. It no longer becomes a question of whether or not you’re interested, but a matter of you being already taken. People are not property. And the idea that the only reason why someone would not continue to bother me is because I am already “taken” is sickening because this idea fosters the notion that the stranger has more respect for my partner than they do me, the person they are allegedly interested in.

What also makes “Sorry, I’m seeing someone” such a terrible excuse is the apology. It’s as though I feel bad that I am not available for that person. In the rare case that I am seeing someone, I shouldn’t have to feel the need to apologize for it. There are times where I know that if I don’t apologize, things might turn sour.

Dating and finding the right person is hard enough, but your chances are not going to improve if you are not considerate of the other person enough to accept their rejection. By gracefully doing so, phrases like “Sorry, I’m seeing someone” will become obsolete and we can begin have more honest dialogues with one another where no one feels threatened or disrespected. So the next time you approach that cutie, be prepared for them to say no. If they say yes, that’s wonderful! If not, don’t get defensive. It’s probably nothing personal, but a forced yes is not a way to start a relationship.