What if you love someone who doesn’t like hearing the word “no”?

All of us, I believe can relate to the idea that we don’t like hearing the word “no” from people we spend time with. We were frustrated when we heard it from our parents when we were little, or when our friend wouldn’t share their awesome Star Wars X-wing fighter toy, and we still get frustrated when someone tells us we can’t do something we want to do. Just this morning I was grumpy and upset that our local ski mountain closed the hill to uphill hiking and backcountry riding (and there is tons of new powder to ride!!)–I didn’t like that “no,” but there was a good reason for that “no”: the ski patrol was blasting for avalanche control.

With dating we can still be bummed to hear the word “no” especially when our heartstrings are involved.  Problems arise when we don’t respect our partner’s no or they don’t respect ours. Disrespect looks like: pressure (“come on, you’d do this if you really liked me”), put downs (“are you for real?!”), and pushing on or past someone’s personal boundaries (“you’re just playing hard to get”). Being able to say no to our dating partner freely, without fear of consequences is a big way to tell if we are in a healthy relationship. If the person we really care about has a hard time hearing “no” from us and makes us feel bad for it, or pushes us to do things we feel uncomfortable with, that is a big red flag. In a healthy relationship we deserve to say no to whatever we want, for whatever reason without fear of pressure, put-downs, or force.

If you aren’t sure how to navigate a relationship with a pushy person, I encourage you to to talk to someone you trust. You can also call our 24 hour helpline at 406-425-2222 or check out the great online resources at www.loveisrespect.org.

Thanks for the great question!

Written by Travis Burdick