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Here’s a cool trick to see if a man actually respects you: try disagreeing with him

A friend of mine did something with online dating where, before meeting a person, she’d say no to something minor without a reason for the no. For example: “No, I don’t want to meet at a coffee shop, how about X?”, or “No, not Wednesday”, or “No, I don’t want to recognize each other by both wearing green shirts”. She said how the potential dates reacted was a huge indicator of whether she actually wanted to meet them, something I readily believe.

I’ve mentioned this to a few people and sometimes I get very annoyed and incredulous responses from guys about how are they supposed to know that it’s a test if the girl is being unreasonable? How are they supposed to know that and let her have her way? I find it difficult to explain that if you find it unreasonable for someone to have a preference of no consequence which they don’t feel the need to explain, then you are the one being unreasonable. You can decide for yourself that it sounds flaky and you don’t want to date her, but you don’t have a right to know and approve all of her reasons for things in order to deign to respect that she said no about it. Especially in the case of someone you haven’t even fucking met yet.

The point isn’t to know it’s a test, the point is that if you would only say “yes” if you knew it was a test, then what if it’s not a test, but because she hates coffee shops, or because she’s attending a funeral Wednesday and doesn’t know you well enough to want to share that, or whatever else? Because if you’re making rules for when other people can have preferences and not explain why… yeah, that is a thing they can reasonably want to avoid.

@ all the angry dudes in the replies: the point is not to trick or manipulate men. The point is to see how a potential romantic partner reacts to a minor inconvenience.  If they say, “oh, ok, would seven work instead?” or “well there’s this Armenian tea house I’ve been meaning to try out, want to go there?” then that’s a good sign that they’re safe to date.  If they throw a fit and/or demand to know every little detail about your rationale over something as simple as rescheduling dinner plans, that’s a bad sign. A really bad sign.

It’s like this, dudes. Women in Western society are socialised to cooperate and compromise. Some men are socialised to get all their own way, all the time.  These dudes are incredibly dangerous to women their partners,* and the only way to tell them apart from the OK guys is to pay close attention to how they react.  If you’re one of the OK ones, this isn’t about you. Learn to take “no” for an answer, and you’ll be fine.

*Updated to reflect the fact that abusive men can target any gender, and the fact that I used this screening tactic to good effect during my Big Gay Slut phase.

The thing a lot of the men reblogging don’t get – they think this post is telling women to lie. They think this post is telling women to start a fake argument and to be manipulative.

Actually, this post is doing the opposite. This post is telling women to be straightforward, and forthright, and upfront about their values and opinions.

This post is telling women, “I know you’ve been socialized and conditioned to nod and smile at everything a man says your whole life, since you were 4 years old and your grandma told you that little girls should be seen and not heard. I know that by now it’s second nature to you, and you probably don’t even realize you’re doing it half the time. You don’t even realize that the laugh that just came out of your mouth is a laugh of appeasement, rather than a laugh of genuine humor. ”

It’s telling women, “Force yourself to resist your conditioning. Consciously make an effort to be open and honest in that initial conversation, when you’re making small talk, about small things. If he says something you don’t quite agree with (and he inevitably will, because nobody agrees on everything), don’t smile and concede the point like you’ve been trained to do. Consciously make a point of vocalizing your real opinion.”

It’s telling women “If a man doesn’t respect your real opinion about a small, insignificant issue when you first meet him, then he’s not going to respect your real boundaries later on when you’re in a serious relationship.”

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