Where I reveal the secrets of how to tell if a guy truly loves you or is just not that into you, from the writers of Sex and the City and the best-selling book, He’s Just Not That Into You.
So I had heard of the book: He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys
by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo before and I remember thinking when it first came out— “Sheesh, not another sexist book condemning women and shooting down our dating-self-esteem even more” and wrote it off in my head. Well, my apartment lobby doesn’t usually produce much treasure (a cache of paintings when some old person died and the gym equipment my ex left that he said I could get rid of) but I picked up this book and to my surprise, I actually liked it!
Yes, they were both writers on Sex and the City and Greg was married at the time and Liz was single and dating. Apparently when the idea of the book was born Liz and the other female staff at Sex and the City were also shocked at first when Greg jumped into their romantic-problems-discussion with his one-line-answer to every problem:
“Yea, he’s just not that into you.”
It sounds like a typical diss from a male non-friend who’s just trying to be mean and shoot down your self-confidence. But where Greg was coming from was the exact opposite— he wanted women to realize and treasure what amazing women they were and not waste time with guys who just weren’t all that into them, BUT —and this is crucial— they were just too damn scared to say it.
The Secret About Men That I Even Did Not Realize Until Now
Now, I don’t know about you, but I had no idea (and I’ve dated a good amount) that guys had a deep-seated fear of rejecting women:
“We would rather lose an arm out a city bus window than tell you simply ‘You’re not the one.’ — Greg
Sure, I know there are plenty of cowards out there, but I figured most guys just don’t care enough whether they hurt our feelings or not. Some tough, macho myth or something. Apparently, they don’t really care, but they also don’t want to have to clean up the mess that their words could cause so they’ll say any excuse in the book to avoid saying the truth that— “I’m just not that into you.”
Top 4 Excuses Men Use Instead of Rejecting You Outright:
1. “I’m scared of intimacy.” OR “I wouldn’t want to ruin the friendship.”
Bullshit. When men really like someone they can’t control themselves—they always want more. If they’re friends with you and attracted to you, they’re going to want to take it further. As Greg says, he’s not scared, the only thing he’s scared of is “how not attracted to you he is.” And like the authors keep saying, the truth may hurt at first, but after you accept it then you will feel finally free to move on to finding a guy out there who will truly value you and absolutely love being with you— what you really deserve.
2. “Give me a call.” “Email me.”
I still can remember— and this must have been almost 10 years ago— some guy insisted on giving me his number at a club and then when I finally called him later, he never called me back. Now I understand the reasoning why. They are not actually giving us control as we may like to think. They are really making us the do the work and then they can decide whether to pick up the phone or call us back or not.
When I used to waitress guys would ask me for my number all the time. Like they didn’t realize I would be Miss Call Girl if I actually gave out my number to every guy who asked. But when I told them they could leave their number they were always reluctant to. Because they know the game they’re playing. They know whoever has the other’s number holds the power. Cheesy but true.
3. “I’ve just got a lot going on right now.”
Barring an absolute tragic emergency, if a guy really, truly liked you he would call you, even when things are a mess, especially when things are upside down in his life. He would want to talk to you about it or at least express regret that he couldn’t see and be with you.
4. As a woman: “They just need their space sometimes.”
Maybe it’s just me, and maybe I’ve changed a lot over the years, but honestly, I truly do like my space. When I was 19—not so much— I used to stick to my 2nd boyfriend like glue. We finally had to sit down and plan out which days we’d be together and which days not because I just wanted to see him all the time. Sounds pathetic to me now, but hey it’s just what I was going through then. I’m not like that anymore. I still really want to see whoever I’m into at the time, but I also really need my me-time too, sans anyone else or sometimes with girlfriends.
I think some of us think guys need their space. So I was surprised to read Greg’s words:
“A man who likes you wants to spend time with you. And he’ll only settle for talking to you on the phone five times a day when he physically can’t get on a plane to come see you.” — Greg
I guess long-distance makes the heart grow fonder, but I think 5 is a bit much. At any rate, the point is they can’t get enough of you, which I guess has been my experience looking back at guys I know who were really into me.
Caveat with Abusive Guys:
Moving things too fast too soon is also one of the traits of abusive guys. Certainly not all guys who want to spend lots of time with you are abusive of course. But just to be aware of.
Guys Like To Be the Chaser, Not the Chased
Liz talks about how in this day and age, women have learned to go after what they want. If X is their goal, then they take steps A, B, and C to get there and voila! They didn’t sit on their hinies (bottoms) and expect their goals or dreams to come true on their own. However, what works in the workplace does not necessarily translate to relationships. And we need to learn their respective rules.
“I’ve never had a successful relationship with a guy that I’ve pursued. And when they polled 20 male friends in long-term relationships, none of them had started with the woman asking them out first.”
Sure, there are exceptions, but they’re saying this is the rule. I kind of think of it like the guy treating the girl rule. Yes, I understand as a feminist everything “should” be 50-50 these days to be “fair.” However, ultimately in the end I want to feel taken care of, that if I’m with this person long term he would be able to take care of me and us (and maybe that is a deep-rooted childhood hurt or sexist attitude) but it makes me feel ‘safe’ and so ultimately it means a lot more to me (symbolically) when the guy treats me than going dutch (50/50). It’s not the act itself, it’s what it represents.
Same thing with chasing. I don’t necessarily feel like I need to be the damsel in distress and that I need to be batting my eyes and sitting around just waiting to be chosen. (Although I also can’t handle rejection well and thus almost never pursue them.)
We need to keep in mind that if a guy truly likes us enough he will pursue us.
We need to stop giving excuses for guys—whatever it is— and face the fact that if he isn’t calling us, seeing us, sleeping with us, dating us exclusively (if that’s what you want) then he’s just not as into you as you are into him. So instead of dragging along a half-hearted guy (who’s lying to your face because he isn’t brave enough to reject you outright) wouldn’t you rather go spend your valuable time finding the one who would die to get some time with you?
I think what I’ve learned from all of this is that:
Whoever does all the work in the relationship cares about the relationship the most.
If the guy is pursuing you hands down then that means he really likes you or loves you and really wants to make sure you know it (if you’re confused then he doesn’t, and don’t make excuses for him). Unfortunately, if you are doing all the work, more likely than not, he’s just not that into you.
Question: What excuses have you heard fed to you about why he has been putting you off? It’s OK—it’s happened to the best of us! Feel free to share anonymously too. We all can benefit from this and so we can move on.
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