Elaine is a friend of mine who finds it nearly impossible to say “no.” For reasons I can’t understand, she feels that if men want her, she has to respond in some way.

Now, those of you who know me or who have read “Exposed” may feel I’m being a bit of a hypocrite, given my willingness to engage in, shall we say, free form sexual activity. But you’re missing the point. I do that because I want to. Because I enjoy it, not because someone else wants me for their own sexual fantasy.

Elaine’s a sweetheart, and while she has a pretty substantial libido, it’s just like her to want to prevent other people from being disappointed. She ranks about a nine on the ten-point empathy scale.

But she doesn’t realize that she often creates the very situations she is trying to avoid by not being clear, firm and honest about what she wants and does not want. She will go out to dinner with a man because he wants her to, not because she wants to. She will sleep with him for the same reason. She will  find all sorts of reasons not to say no, even when she doesn’t want to say yes. She has entered into relationships that have lasted years, not just days or months, because she didn’t have the “heart” to tell the guy she just wasn’t into him.

These are self-inflicted boundary violations, in my opinion. I love this woman (no, not in that way), but she drives me crazy. I see her wasting a significant portion of not only her own life, but the lives of those men she just can’t say ‘no’ too. Because in the long run, they really want her to want them, but nothing can make that happen if she doesn’t.

They would be better off if she told them, straight up and early, kindly but firmly, that it isn’t working for her and they need to move on. She would stop wasting her life entertaining men instead of falling in love, or lust, as the case may be.


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