Your response to my recent post The Trouble with the Chase was overwhelming. Many of you reached out to affirm my experience and share stories of your own. I also heard from some men who were confused as to why it’s so hard for women to say no, or why we feel we need to “be nice.” Because of the amount of stories y’all sent my way I’m going share some of your responses. Posting my story gave me a massive sense of liberation. I hope this gives clarification to those who were confused and most importantly, liberation to those with similar lived experiences.
Elena: I should’ve put my foot down and not tried to do the “nice” thing by giving him a chance. I was newly single and felt like I owed it to him to give things a try since he had been so patient and persistent for the better part of a year. After a few months I got sick of being guilted into a relationship and broke up with him. He stopped at nothing trying to get back together and would routinely show up to my place unannounced with gifts. I would turn him away every time (felt horrible about it at first, but it quickly got annoying/draining), and it finally took me telling him I was dating/sleeping with someone for him to put some MUCH needed distance between us. I was younger and pretty inexperienced in relationships, but I definitely carry some of the blame in this situation. Safe to say, I’ve learned my lesson.
Lauren: I feel like every single woman has an experience like this. Mine was a married youth pastor who incessantly tried to get me to go “hang out” with him as a 17 year old college freshman, despite my constantly telling him no. He even tried to pass it off as “God’s will” and that he just wanted to give me one on one guidance. Thankfully I was moving so I didn’t have to be around him for long.
Yve: I have so many stories! The first that comes to mind is a “nice guy” I gave a chance by going on a few dates with him. There was ZERO chemistry so I stopped seeing him. Well he wouldn’t leave me alone after I verbalized that I wasn’t into him. He got upset when I told him and called me all kinds of names. It got so bad that I threatened to call the cops on him for harassment. His response was “I didn’t want you anyway, you dumb b*tch.”
Selena: He continued to pursue me despite my telling him repeatedly that we could never be more than friends… he asked me to grab coffee and after learning I was seeing someone else he screamed at me in front of a busy shop. It was humiliating. HE STILL TRIED TO CONVINCE ME TO DATE HIM AFTERWARDS. I had to block him on everything and I was paranoid for a while that I’d bump into him and be humiliated or otherwise attacked because I rejected him.
Catherine: There was a guy in one of my classes in college who asked me out numerous times – like at least a dozen. He was sweet and I felt kinda bad about it but I just wasn’t attracted to him at all. I never went out with him, but it stressed me out when he kept asking in front of people and pretending like I hadn’t already said no. It put a lot of pressure on me to say yes. I def felt like a bitch every time he asked. And I remember having to explain to people WHY I didn’t say yes.
Rachel: I slept with a guy a few times but decided to pursue a monogamous relationship with somebody else. He stalked me for months and months and would “accidentally” run into me everywhere. Once he realized he couldn’t convince me to be with him he told everyone that we hooked up
Christine: I felt like I needed to be gentle with his feelings. Once, when we were broken up and I was away from my phone for three hours, I returned to 81 missed calls from him… I should have just blocked his number then and there. Would’ve been the clean break we both desperately needed, but I was afraid he might hurt himself or something.
Andrea: I had a guy (acquaintance, ran in the same social circle) who I randomly ran into in another city so we hung out for like an hour or two. It was fine, platonic. We then ran into each other at the grocery store, he followed me home, and he refused to leave until I kissed him (which I did because I was scared). So….yea, this is an extreme case but men are socialized to not care about women’s consent, and women are socialized to not value their own boundaries and defer to men. Shit sucks