Saying 'No' To A Boy

Dear Dr. Darcy,

I’ve been with this older boy on and off since the beginning of the school year. When we were first together, I went a littler further [than] I would normally have gone. He really likes me or he wouldn’t be with me this entire time and now that I know he really likes me I’d like to go back to not hooking up as much. My friends told me that there’s no way to go back once a boy knows you’re willing to [deleted]. Is that true?

ANSWER

Saying ‘No’ can be scary regardless of your age or gender because as you said above, it tests how much the person really likes us. If a person likes us, he (pronoun chosen to coincide with writer’s question) is more likely to respect our boundary. If he doesn’t like us, saying ‘no’ could be the thing that causes him to move on to someone else.

But how scary is it to think that the guy you’re hooking up with is only with you because you don’t say no?  I say put him to the test.

Start by changing how you hang out with him. Do things and activities with him that include friends to limit the time you have alone with him. He’ll still be able to tell you how much he likes you through Facebook, texting, etc. He doesn’t need alone time with you to express his feelings and let’s be honest, that’s not how he uses that time anyway. Go to the movies, go ice skating, watch a school game…you get it. Stop hanging out in his house or in yours or wherever you are when the hooking up gets serious. Tell him how much you enjoy going out and doing things instead of the same old boring things you’ve been doing.

Eventually it will come down to telling him ‘No,’ and there isn’t a clever way of saying it. No is actually a complete sentence by itself, but if you prefer to attach an explanation to it, remember that you’re not looking for him to agree with you ~ just to respect your wishes.

Writer’s Stats: Female, bi/not sure.