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In the Romance Game, It's Three Strikes And You're Out

By Marguerite Bonneville

John walked into the room with a glum expression on his face.

"Hi John, - I said. "What's the matter with you?"

"Oh, nothing, he mumbled.

"Must be a woman, I laughed. John was my roommate's brother and his romantic adventures were a source of great amusement at our house. He was always on the make but rarely successful.

"Yeah, well"there's this girl I met at a party and she's sooooo cute. And I got her number and I've been calling her but she keeps coming up with excuses when I ask her to a movie."

"So what does she say?"

"Well, last night she said she was busy on Saturday because she has to wash her hair. The last time she said there was something she wanted to watch on TV."

"And did she suggest another time?"


"John! Where's your brain? I exploded. "The girl isn't interested!"

"But how do you know that?"

"Because she gave you the lamest excuse on the planet and she didn't suggest a alternative."

"But she was friendly at the party, he countered.

"Maybe she was just in a good mood. Or maybe she was making someone jealous. What matters is what she's telling you now. And it's definitely a NO."

"But she's so cute, he whined.

"That's got nothing to do with it, I replied. I saw the hangdog look on his face and took pity on him.

"Okay, John, here's the deal. The next time you decide to ask a girl out, you give her three chances to say yes. You stop calling her after the third no."

"That's it? Three calls?"

"Yes. If she's interested she might say no but she'll come up with an alternative. Or she'll say yes by the third call."

"But what if she's just playing hard to get?"

"Fine. Give her three chances. If she says no more than three times you don't want her anyway. You really don't need to get involved with someone who's so insecure that they need you to jump off a cliff for them."

"But what if she would have said yes on the fourth call?

"Then she'll call you. Haven't you noticed that when you pursue someone and then you suddenly stop, they miss the attention and come after you? Of course, that's only if they were interested in the first place."

John's face fell. "That's never happened to me."

"Doesn't surprise me, I laughed. "You don't give up until you've badgered them to death and by then they can't stand you. Any attraction that might have existed is long gone."

John was stunned. It was time to repair the damage.

"Look, I'm telling you this to help. Make it a rule to give a girl three chances, then stick to that rule. You'll save yourself a lot of time and heartache. And for God's sake, pick them for a better reason than the fact that they're "cute"."

John squared his shoulders. "Right! She gets one more chance. I'm calling her now."

I groaned as he strode from the room.

I doubted that the he"d stick to the three strikes rule. The movies offer many romantic storylines where the couple hate each other and then fall madly in love. Many people like John are confused about when no means yes or no means no.

But it's still safest to take a no at face value. Life's too short to try second-guessing other people. And it's much less stressful when the people in your life are honest and open and aren't afraid to tell you that they care. Why settle for anything less?

About The Author
© Marguerite Bonneville

Marguerite Bonneville is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) whose passion is publishing information online.

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