At happy hour the other night, one of the guys mentioned something that resonated with me. He was referring to a concept I’d read about several years ago and forgotten. He said that if someone can’t say “fuck yes,” then it’s a no. Later that night, I saw a post that talked about the concept and linked to the post where I’d originally seen the idea, the one that Mark Manson wrote. Two mentions in one night was a sign from the Universe that it was something I should ponder..
The concept makes a lot of sense to me, especially in the context of consent. I mean, if I am not excited about the idea about kissing someone or if he isn’t excited about kissing me…then why bother kissing at all? If one of the people involved in a transaction is pulling back or slapping your hand away, that’s definitely not a “fuck yes” to whatever you are doing. Or as the article says, if you aren’t both leaping into bed yelling “fuck yes” then you probably shouldn’t be leaping into bed at all.
If consent isn’t enthusiastic, mutual and clear, it’s a no. Simple.
It’s the same with relationships. You need the enthusiasm and emotion about a new beginning in order to have a shot. We shouldn’t be starting from a place of “meh, I guess she might be OK.” There has to be something about the other person that generates a “fuck yes” on some level.
I would rather be alone than be with someone who is not 100% into me. I would rather be alone than with someone who I can’t be 100% into. Sure, every relationship has ups and downs. Sometimes you are 80% and he is 120%. Sometimes it swings the other way–but there needs to be a core of fuck yes to the relationship in order for it to last. And you have to be on the same page about what you’re “fuck yes” about. If he thinks I’d be an awesome friend and I think he’d be the perfect father of my children then it won’t work.
On the other hand, I do wonder if sometimes we write people off too soon. Especially in this time of snap judgements made on online dating sites, or based on only superficial criteria. Some of us have a long list of dating demands, instead of being open to the other person showing us what’s awesome about them. Physical attraction can be a sneaky bastard, but maybe if we were more open we’d struggle less finding a partner. People seem very disposable when you can just swipe left to make them disappear.
Or maybe if we gave people more time, we’d just get bogged down with the wrong people. I’ve been married 87 times, what do I know?***
But what if no one does it for you? If no one ever makes you feel that fuck yes feeling about them? Or conversely, what if you don’t ever generate a fuck yes from other people? I’m sure most of us know people on both sides if that equation.
The piece recommends looking inward in that case and working to figure out if there’s something about you that needs to be tuned up. If you’re too picky, no one will ever ring your bells. If you are too negative/judgmental/hostile then people will have a hard time responding to you. Sometimes you are the problem, or at least part of it. Sometimes the issue is with the person in the mirror, and that person has some work to do. Sometimes I wonder about that given how many times people forget they’ve met me!
The concept could have uses outside of sex and relationships, but it might be a little less clear then.
Work? Well. Maybe. It would be awesome for work to be a fuck yes. There are people who’ve made that happen for themselves. But there are also financial realities. I’m not so sure that I need more than “mostly yes” for work to be functional.
And maybe to some extent you can make what you have a fuck yes with a positive attitude.
I’ve certainly been guilty of not listening to my own inner voice telling me someone is not right for me. I have talked myself into countless dates and relationships because someone was nice or funny or smart, thinking that if I didn’t get the fuck yes feeling then it was because I am broken. Not because that nice, funny man was just not the right fit for me. Or that the one I was crazy about who kept dropping the ball would figure it out someday.
I’m still not entirely convinced about that. Which does say something about me that I am not entirely happy about.
Work still in progress. Always.
***For the record, I have not actually been married 87 times. Not even close.