There is one piece of advice that has (for better or worse), led every decision I’ve made over the last few years.
It has come as business advice, relationship advice and health advice.
- In Essentialism: The Hell Yeah Rule
- From the amazing Mark Munson: The Law of Fuck Yeah
- From Derek Sivers: The “Hell Yeah” or No Rule
And when I share this general rule with clients and friends I can see their eyes light up as they gently mutter “holy shit…” and scroll through their phone, deleting numbers, canceling Tinder dates and confirming new business deals.
Unfortunately, like most advice floating around the interwebs, the headline sounds soooo good, but you have to actually read the damn article. Short catchy advice needs to be applied to your life in a thoughtful and considerate way or you risk turning into a raging douchetard. Because this is real life, and all rules have exceptions. You have to consider the context and nuance of your relationships for this rule to actually work.
And it will. It makes your decisions more straight-forward, saves you time and hours of stressing.
“But he wasn’t a ‘fuck yeah’?” my friend said for the 3rd time while telling me about her latest dating disaster. She is a bit of an extremist (she prefers the Master Cleanse to eating whole foods, she likes classical music and death metal and almost nothing in between) so I had initially given her the “Fuck Yes” rule with a list of cautionary tales from my own past. But it’s a rule that gives definitive black/white boundaries and that’s exactly what she wanted.
Long story short, she had met an amazing guy immediately after joining Tinder. He wasn’t her usual type, but kind and thoughtful and kind-of-handsome-ish. She had a nice time on their 1st and 2nd dates, but after a strange early-afternoon 3rd date, they kissed on the street and said goodnight (or afternoon, or whatever). Because she didn’t feel the undeniable pull to sleep with him, she put him through the “Fuck Yes” test and obviously he didn’t pass. She texted him to let him know, and that was that. She was distracted by other shiny objects online and moved on.
A dozen bad dates later, she realized she’d made a horrible mistake and called to see if he was still interested in “getting a drink”. He obviously wasn’t. He was super hurt, and her quick decision had made him feel discarded when he was most vulnerable. She burned a bridge and passed up a really great guy without really understanding why. She decided to never ever use the Fuck Yes Rule again. oye.
Here are a few things that I’ve learned about the Fuck Yeah! rule that have helped me not only make better decisions, but build awesome relationships. Not surprisingly, it’s all about being sexually and emotionally intelligent.
Timing is what makes this rule so effective. Use it when you are stuck. It’s meant to help you get out of the analysis paralysis that keeps most people in relationships for too long. If you tend to put off big decisions, this could be insanely helpful. If you tend to make quick and half-baked decisions, this rule may get you into bad situations and you may want to adopt the “Chill the Fuck Out” rule that I also live by.
Fuck Yes! isn’t a complete sentence.
The biggest fault of this rule is it’s lack of punctuation. I think there should be a permanent ellipsis. “Fuck yeah…!”
There’s an enormous difference between “Fuck yeah, I want to see him again!” and “Fuck yeah, I want to have his babies and be with him forever (for evah-evah?)”
When deciding whether a budding relationship is right for you, take one small decision at a time. Our lives are made up of accumulative and shifting situations. When things are good we can jump into big decisions too quickly and the “Fuck Yeah” rule doesn’t help when we have a tendency to overcommit. Before making a HUGE decision about relationships or business or friends, write out all the smaller questions that should probably come first.
Change your mind when necessary
Just because you said Fuck Yeah! to a potential partner, doesn’t mean that you’ve committed forever. Be careful not to take the definitiveness of this statement as an excuse to stay in a bad relationship too long. This is a super cool way of reminding you to shake things up and make some decisions to move you forward in life, but relationships change and one solid Fuck Yeah! doesn’t lock you into something that doesn’t feel right. Be willing to change.
Know the difference between drama and consideration
This rule is also insanely helpful for avoiding the drama that keeps people in the gray too long. Some people are addicted to drama that comes with flirting, counting hours between text messages and chasing after people that they know aren’t a good match. Rather than working on communication and being great partners themselves, they waste time searching for advice on “what to do when he hasn’t texted back” and read books on how to make a man want to marry them.
If you are caught in this cycle of nonsense, use the “Fuck Yeah” rule to move the eff on. Buuuuuut, some relationships don’t unfold overnight. Your path from friendship to lovers to partners (or lovers -> friends -> partners OR fuckbuddy -> partners -> friends -> frenemies -> lovers -> partners) isn’t always a direct one. You may need time to consider the right process and situation for your relationship. This rule doesn’t account for the complexities of modern relationships.
I wish there was an easy flow-chart or formula to figure out when you’re being dramatic and when you’re being considerate, but there isn’t. Follow your intuition and be willing to check in on your own motivations throughout a complicated relationship. It’s not always easy, but it makes you totally sexually intelligent.
Don’t hold a narcissistic grudge
The core of the “Law of Fuck Yeah” according to Mark Manson says
“Why would you choose to be with someone who isn’t that excited to be with you?”
And I totally agree.
But it is way too easy to become consumed or hyper-focused on whether or not someone else is into you. Waiting for a potential partner to express their feelings first is often paralyzing; that emotional stalemate prevents you from meeting soooo many people.
- Shy people.
- People who didn’t know they loved you until you mentioned it.
Again, follow your own intuition and don’t worry about gauging other people’s emotions. You HAVE to put your feelings out there first. If you wait for someone to be “Fuck Yes” about you, before you show them that you are “Fuck Yes” about them, you will be alone forever. (that might be a little harsh)