Sometimes we say “No” in a serious manner. Other times, we say “No” with a smile and in a joking way. I think this wide range of ways to say “No” leads to a lot of assumptions, often misleading. And while couples sometimes play around with each other in a joking manner, which I think is a great thing, the one thing that should not be joked about is “No”. . . especially when the couple is faced with situations that might be uncomfortable for one of both of the people in the relationship. What kind of situation am I talking about? Well, the most obvious is sex. The topic of whether to have it or not often comes up in a relationship, and it is a topic where “No” should be taken seriously and meant to mean no. But also, if one or both of the people in the relationship say “No” and mean it, then it should be communicated in a serious, truthful way and not in any sort of playful or joking way. I know plenty of people who have gotten into trouble because there was miscommunication on this topic, and other important topics in their relationships, because they did not take “No” seriously or they did not say it seriously.
So remember, “No” does mean “No,” and we need to make sure we take it as truth and say it truthfully.