In the word’s of the author, Mark Manson, who coined the law of hell yes or no in dating, “Think about this for a moment: Why would you ever choose to be with someone who is not excited to be with you?” Why would you choose to be with someone you’re not excited to be with? Life is way too short for mediocre relationships. You deserve to have someone who leaves you saying “hell yes!”
Don’t pursue people you’re lukewarm about.
Have you heard the metaphor about a bank that credits your account with $86,400 each day you wake up? The balance is wiped out at the end of the day and there’s no promise it’ll be there again tomorrow. With this thought, would you spend that money on something you’re only moderately excited about? Or, would you ride rollercoasters, eat the finest cheese, and tell your friends and family how much you adore them? Your romantic choices should be no different. Go after that guy that you’re beaming about!
Only pursue people who are pumped about you.
My favorite author, Elizabeth Gilbert, said, “To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow — this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.” You’re a lovable and wonderful human being just as you are. You deserve a partner who will see all of the imperfect human messiness you’re composed of and still be pumped to be with you anyway. You’re the golden ticket in their eyes.
Experiment with the nuances of hell yes and no.
Love is not always about sparks flying from the start. Often love is gentle and develops over time. You don’t have to say an astounding “Hell yes!” after the first date to a lifetime together. Instead, play with the nuances of yes and no. Setting aside any thoughts about the far ahead future; would you like to go on a second date with this person? If you can say absolutely yes, then go for it. Life and dating aren’t black and white.
Be okay with learning what the answers feel like in your gut.
While you’re honing your hell yes and no meter, you’re just finding your sea legs. You’re practicing what both of these answers feel like deep inside your gut. There are no real mistakes here — you’re just learning what it means to be a human who’s listening to her heart and soul.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it’ll turn into a hell yes.
While it’s important to play with the nuances of feelings and practice saying yes and no, be careful not to fall into the trap of wishful thinking. You meet someone and you know right off the bat that it’s not going to work. Maybe you’re not attracted to them or there’s a clear dealbreaker. Do yourself a favor by not painting those red flags green.
You must be okay with being alone.
I regularly quote Warsan Shire, a beautiful Somali poet, because she gets at the heart of why it’s important to learn to be alone: “My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.” When you become comfortable with solitude, you realize your life can be full with or without a sweetie. With this realization, you’re much less likely to settle for a “hell no”.
Become a magnet for like-minded lovers by being your unapologetic self.
While you’re busy living your amazing life, keep growing towards your unapologetic self. When you don’t need a partner to define you, you’re free to make choices that align with your values and who you want to be. Inevitably, your newfound confidence and self-esteem will attract people who are living similarly!
Notice how you talk about your crush or partner with your friends.
Maybe you’re like a kid on Christmas: you can’t wait to gush about your new lover to your friends. This is a good sign. Even if you’re on the more reserved side, when your friends ask you about the new flame, you can’t help but light up. On the other hand, if you’re indifferent or haven’t mentioned them, be on the lookout for a looming “hell no”.
Don’t fall victim to saying yes just because you’re lonely.
Turning people down is hard, especially if the person is attractive, funny, and kind. These qualities should be enough, right? Well, when you’re honing your yes and no meter, you start to feel in your gut when someone just isn’t the right match. If your life is filled with awesome things and loving friends, you’re going to be less likely to keep someone around just because you’re lonely.
Finding a partner who’s a hell yes will be well worth the wait.
If all of this yes and no stuff sounds exhausting, I promise the effort is worth it. Wasting time with someone you should have said no to means that you’re missing out on someone who’s a better fit. If you’re willing to say no to lukewarm love, you’re more likely to find a match who makes you say: “And then my soul saw you and it kind of went ‘Oh, there you are. I’ve been looking for you.’”
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