I don’t know about you, but I never took any comfort in reading the book He’s Just Not That Into You. The book came out in 2004, intent on breaking the bonds of our utterly bewildered spirits. But for me, this kind of relief felt something akin to swapping alemon for a lime—my lips still puckered.
It might seem inconsequential to some, but I think it would help if the “that” in the book title was italicized. Because that’s the real point of the author's advice, and it's a good deal easier on the palate. We're all conscious of the fact that things are generally more complicated than “into" or "not," but it’s still a waste of mental time and energy to try to figure it all out. The truth is, he is into you—you’re not taking crazy pills and he’s not necessarily a liar— just not that into you. And that’s not enough.
So you could sit down with a nice cold glass of limeade and read He's Just Not That Into You, or you can do yourself a favor and concede: To some degree he is into you (otherwise you wouldn’t be getting his sporadic date requests or flirty texts), but he’s not that into you. It requires determination not to trouble yourself with anyone who isn't completely into you.
The 3 Bs below always mean it’s time to take the high road and move on.
I’m sure he truly is busy, and he can probably corroborate that. Busy with work, busy with family, busy with friends—these are all legitimate priorities, and he's letting you know that they come before you.
A guy who is into you enough will make his friend’s eyes roll as he ducks out to take your call, his family will begin to whisper about when he is going to bring his “mystery girl” around because they have been seeing less and less of him, and he will be getting into work several hours earlier than usual so he can leave in time to take you on a date. The best part is, he will probably have a skip in his step while he does it.
So if your date from two weeks ago finally gives you a call and apologizes because life has been just so busy, let him know that you understand. You can accept another date in the hopes that cupid will aim straight this time, or you can politely decline knowing that you won’t hurt his ego that much.
This is closely related to busy and always means that he's not that into you. He follows up on dates … a week later. He checks in via texts but doesn’t request a follow-up date. He lets email chains or text messages drop—and picks it back up a few days later. A man who takes his time suffers from a lack of necessary urgency. Why is it necessary? Because there's another contender working up the courage to ask you out at this very moment. At least that’s how the man who is into you enough sees it.
Stop here and mentally disregard anything he said before this. Everything that came before the interjection “but” is a guy telling you he is into you; everything that comes after “but” is his way of telling you that's he's just not that into you.
It may seem wasteful to scrap all of this flattering and most likely truthful information about how he feels for you—he is attracted to you, but... He loves spending time with you, but... He want’s to be with you, but... The fact of the matter is all of this points to one thing: The poor guy should be more into you, but for reasons beyond his understanding and yours, he isn't. Holding onto these sweet nothings will only distract you from meeting a man who will be as into you as you are into him.
Photo by Joe Curtin