“This is for you,” smiles one of my dearest girlfriends, as she slaps a book onto the table, narrowly missing my espresso, which dances in its little cup. I peer curiously at the slim volume before me.
He’s Just Not That Into You.
“Read it,” she says. And refuses to say any more.
So later, basking in the early evening sunshine, I dutifully flip open the well-thumbed pages and start to read…
It’s a little bit slick, and a little bit American in style. And to be honest, there are no real bombshells here: he’s just not that into you if he’s not asking you out; if he doesn’t call; if he’s not sleeping with you; if he’s sleeping with someone else…
This is the sort of stuff that we ladies instinctively know, and are only too quick to point out to other ladies who find themselves in any one of the variously tragic scenarios. And yet, and yet…
It’s the sort of thing that somehow slips clean out of our minds when we’re talking about our particular man. Mostly because we ladies like to project our own complicated thought processes onto our menfolk.
“He’s not calling because he’s really busy/his family is visiting/he’s been abducted by aliens.”
“He doesn’t want to sleep with me because he really respects me.”
(Sorry, almost snorted coffee out of my nose there.)
“He’s not asking me out because he doesn’t have much money/is really busy right now/has to stay at home and shampoo the carpet.”
Really, the whole book could have been reduced to a very small, one-sided pamphlet:
IMAGINE HOW HE’D BEHAVE IF HE WAS REALLY INTO YOU…
IS HE BEHAVING THAT WAY?
YES? Great, keep him!
NO? Walk away, girlfriend. Walk away.
If he’s really into you, he’ll call when his family are visiting – even if it’s just to say that he doesn’t have a moment to talk.
If he’s really into you, there’ll be no abstaining from rumpypumpy on the grounds of false respect: you’ll be peeling him off your leg because people are starting to stare.
If he’s really into you, even if he’s completely broke, he’ll take you for a walk in the park in the rain as long as he gets to spend time with you.
I suppose it really is as simple as that.
(However, it’s my hunch that there may be a caveat to this simple rule of thumb: I suspect that many men can display all the signs of being really into you when, as another wise friend once said, he doesn’t want a relationship, he just wants to have no-strings sex with you. But let’s not go there right now.)
Anyway, drawing absolutely no comparisons at all, Uni Boy has, somewhat predictably, disappeared from the scene. He’s taken to either ignoring my texts, or replying hours later. And the last time I saw him, he was fawning over a young lady he was clearly besotted with, so I guess that tells me loud and clear that I’m last week’s news.
(And yes, even I noticed that I said “texts” (plural) there. Which means it’s happened more than once. And yes, that means I should be getting the message: he’s just not that into me.)
I’m a bit sad about it, but if that’s the way things are, then it’s the way things are. Normally, I would do all I can to keep things on good terms and maintain the friendship … but he knows where I am. If he wants to get in touch, in whatever capacity, he will. And if he doesn’t, I won’t.
Because (thank you, dear girlfriend) whether we’re talking about ‘friends with benefits’ or full-blown love affairs, you shouldn’t have to fight to be in someone’s company. Or their heart. And if you do, it clearly means they don’t respect your feelings, and they’re just not that into you.