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What “No” From Her Really Means

How To Read Her

There’s an old saying with women: “no” means “yes,” “yes” means “maybe,” and “maybe” means no.

LEGAL NOTE SO I DON’T GET SUED: Now, obviously, if a woman forcefully and seriously tells you to stop doing something, she obviously means to stop. This article is about those frustrating murky areas, where she says no, but she may just be testing you, cock-teasing you, just be nervous around you, or actually rejecting you – you have no idea.

Here’s a very common point of confusion for a lot of guys – the classic conundrum of, “when does no mean no and when does no mean yes?” And to make things even more confusing, what about the times when women say yes when they really mean no?

It's not always this clear.

It's not always this clear.

What the hell is going on here, and what the hell is a guy to do about it?

The problem is that men have always taken the wrong approach toward this issue … and that’s of, “I need to learn X, Y, and Z rules and react accordingly.” The truth is that women are going to say no when really, what they mean is “not yet.” And then other times they’ll say yes when really they mean, “I’m just saying this so you’ll go away.” There’s no cut-and-dry way to always know what’s going through her head.

I take it from a different angle.

When I hear “no” from a girl and I don’t know whether she’s playing me or not, or if she’s just shy and nervous, or if she actually means it, this is the approach I take. I decide to hear it as, “How bad do you want it?”

Let me walk you through it. When a woman stops you, whether it’s your approach, your advances, you taking her clothes off, you going for the kiss, etc., she is doing it for one of two reasons: 1) she either wants to do it, but is delaying it, or 2) she doesn’t want to and is rejecting you. Most guys work themselves up in a frenzy trying to figure out which is which and what she’s really thinking.

But it doesn’t matter what SHE’S thinking, it matters what YOU’RE thinking.

Let’s take the first option … she’s delaying. Why do women delay? They delay and say “no” even though they mean “yes” because they want to see that you actually like them, that you actually care, that you’re persistent, dependable, and confident. It’s a temperature check … how bad do you want it? How much do you actually like her?

If you really like her, you persist. If you don’t, then you don’t.

Now let’s say she says “no” and she says it meaning to reject you. It’s possible to overcome rejection, girls with boyfriends, women who think you’re a scumbag (my specialty), and all sorts of other unpleasant situations. It’s hard and takes a lot of work. But it’s possible.

Girl yelling at guy

Girl yelling at guy

So let’s say a woman shoots you down again, again, it’s time to ask yourself, “How bad do I want it?” Is she incredibly hot? Is she really cool? Do I really, really like her? Then try again. If not, then move on.

When a woman says “no,” it’s a temperature check. Stop worrying about WHY she’s saying it, what matters is what you’re going to do about it. If you’re not into her, you’re going to ditch her regardless of why she said it. If you’re really into her, you’ll persist regardless of why she said it.

Stop being so reactive to what she says and start making decisions for yourself.

OK, so here’s the mandatory “rape check” because I don’t like going to jail: “So if I just persist endlessly, won’t I end up raping a girl or something? Isn’t there a limit?” There is. And the limit is natural.

Let’s say you make an advance and she says “no” to reject you. You persist and she says “no” again, this time more forcefully. The “is she worth it?” scale is going to be tipped heavily towards “she’s not” the more adamantly she rejects you. By the second or third time she says no, for most guys, no matter how much they’re interested in her, he’s going to find that she’s not worth it. Again, it comes back to, “how bad do I want it?”

When it approaches the point, “Do I want it enough to force her to do something she doesn’t want to?” I would hope every guy has the integrity to always say no and move on. Again, read the legal notice up top.

But either way, it’s still a temperature check. It’s not about why she’s saying it, it’s all about how you’re going to respond to it.

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About Mark Manson Mark Manson is a writer and dating coach from Boston. He spends most of his time abroad visiting exotic places and fornicating with exotic women. He's also the creator of the acclaimed Mark Manson website.

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