Be Patient

There is a common trope in popular culture that persistence wins the hands of the princess. We see it in romantic comedies but also in the meme of the ‘nice guy’ who believes that his persistence and kindness earns him the right to be adored. I see it often when clients repeatedly ask for forbidden fruits or when bargoers ignore or dismiss my rejection. There is this idea that asking often enough or creatively enough will wear down, trick, or otherwise convince the target into changing their mind.

Persistence and patience seem on the surface like synonym, but when it comes to relationships they could not be more opposite. Persistence implies constant effort with the intention of eventually convincing someone to do things your way. As the regular recipient of persistence, I find it especially irritating to handle. I very much like to say yes. No does not easily come to me and I get uncomfortable when forced to say it. The more often I have to say it, the more uncomfortable and guarded I get. A persistent admirer causes me to say no repeatedly, often to questions they already know the answer to. This persistence tells me that the only thing keeping you from doing what you want is potential punishment, not respect for my choices. With clients, this simply means that our session will not be relaxing for me, nor will the time we spend intimately together be pleasant. I will be constantly monitoring your movements, moving myself away as necessary, and avoiding positions that require me to trust your restraint. With laypeople it means that you are awful relationship material. Instead of respecting my wishes you see conversations as a chance to win. Initially it’s simply winning a date, but later it might be winning where we live or how we raise our family or even what we eat. I’m not interested in living a life with someone who isn’t interested in compromise, much less someone who may potentially run out of patience and use force to get their way.

While a persistent admirer puts me in a negative mindset, a patient admirer is a source of joy and flattery. A patient admirer rarely asks a question to which the answer will be no. If he does ask and the answer is no, he never repeats it. He has offered his willingness to reach past my boundaries without demanding it or asking that I justify or repeat myself. He has shown me that he will respect my boundaries, wherever they fall, so if I ever choose to flex or move them I can trust that he will equally respect the new ones. He has also flattered me by showing that I am desirable; more is welcome but what we already have is enough. His willingness to accept my ‘no’ just as readily as he accepts ‘yes’ along with his patience allows us to share a respectful relationship, full of joy and potential instead of a guarded relationship filled with negativity. My patient admirers enjoy a much more intimate connection, founded on trust and care not for consequences but for the basic dignity of our own choices.

Patience alone is not sufficient to further a solid relationship, however. Openness, what I describe as ‘being as comfortable with no as with yes’, is critical in developing the relationship. A persistent person is not ok with ‘no’ and will continue their pursuit until ‘no’ becomes ‘yes’. This is not a respectful way to build a relationship. A patient person presents options and is equally willing to move forward with a ‘yes’ or stay in the current configuration with a ‘no’. Whether or not the yes becomes no or the no becomes yes is irrelevant because the point is not to drag someone along but to invite them to join you.

I am always as comfortable with yes as with no. If ever I ask or suggest or assume something you’re not happy with please know that your no will always be met with respect and care. If ever I assume your answer is no when it might have been yes, let me know. If you change your mind for any reason, let me know. If you have anything to ask, know that being asked does not upset me and as long as you are equally comfortable with no as with yes I will never be upset or offended. Exploration is a key part of the experience I try to provide and I welcome you to explore yourself and your sensations. Simply be patient 😉