I remember when my best friend handed me a well-worn copy of He’s Just Not That Into You. I had been dealing with a rather strange relationship involving a boy who loved to spoon and cuddle, but had zero interest in trying to jam his tongue down my throat.
“Just read it,” she urged.
And I did. In fact, I spent the next 6 hours curled up in my papasan chair having aha moment after aha moment. I realized at long last that there are so many obvious signals guys were sending that I just refused to acknowledge. And now that I had, I was able to move on to greener pastures…or boys who liked to snuggle AND see me naked.
Four years and a film adaptation later, I sit here – still single – wondering if instead of fixing my dating ways, He’s Just Not That Into You has totally effed up my ability to find or maintain a relationship.
As we all know, the purpose of the book was to remind women that guys are simple creatures and if they are into you, they will let you know. If they aren’t introducing you to their parents, they aren’t into you. If they aren’t calling you back after you hook up, they aren’t into you. You get the gist.
And while all of that makes sense, it seems (to me, at least) a little too black and white for real life. I get that guys are really easy to read, but I have come to see that this book is just pushing women to reject men before the men reject them.
Men that probably don’t want to reject them, mind you.
The book sets the bar so high that it is almost impossible for guys to make the grade. Yes, guys should call right away when they are into you, but not all of them do. Some of them get busy, some of them don’t know if you are into them, and some of them just prefer to poke you on Facebook. Yet, when he doesn’t call or text immediately (or take you home for Thanksgiving after dating for 3 months) we freak out, hit the bottle (hard), cry a little bit (to the sounds of John Hiatt blaring from iTunes), and write that bastard off.
“I don’t need to sit around and wait for someone. He’s clearly not into me.”
And like that, we’ve pushed a perfectly good guy away before he even has the chance to prove that he is that into us. He hasn’t even gone up to bat yet and he’s somehow already struck out.
No one wants to be strung along by someone they care about, but are we acting too soon? Sure, the beginning stages of a relationship are so frustrating with all that uncertainty, but isn’t that the fun of it all? I’m not saying we should continue to cuddle with a guy who clearly just wants someone to fill that empty space in his bed, but maybe we could give guys a little leeway.
If we don’t, what will our future hold? A knitting habit and 17 cats?