Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

He's just not that into you

(No spoilery-ish details about the movie, I promise!)

OK. So. I've become a little bit of a "He's just not that into you" expert the past couple of years. I saw the episode of Sex and the City and I read the book and I watched Greg Behrendt's appearances on Oprah and I even read the kinda-sequel "It's Called a Break-up Because it's Broken." The whole thing has been kind of a hot topic at work lately. Every time the commercial for the movie came on at work, we'd start talking about it.

We talked about the phone call thing ...

Guy: So the whole premise is that if a guy doesn't call a girl, then he doesn't like her?
Me: Not the WHOLE premise. Part of the premise. If a guy likes you, he'll call you.
Guy: Why can't the girl call the guy?
Me: Why can't the GUY call the GIRL? Are his fingers broken?
Guy: Because it's 2009. You're, like, liberated now.

And the excuses ...

Me: Girls are always making excuses for guys, like he's going through a really stressful time, or he just got out of a relationship, or he's really busy at work ...
Guy: What if he IS busy at work?
Me: Too busy to send a quick email to say, hey, what's up? Too busy to send a TEXT? You can send a text in two seconds! You can even auto-complete words in a text! Anyone can send a text! You can text while you're in a meeting! You can text while you're peeing! You can--
Guy: Seriously? You want a guy texting you while he's peeing?
Me: You KNOW what I mean.

Once, in a moment of extreme boldness, feeling very brazen and empowered by the whole idea, I had the following conversation with someone about what I defined as mixed signals from him:

Me: What is your DEAL?
Him: I don't know. I'm crazy.
Me: You ARE crazy. You wanna know why you're crazy?
(His face said no but his lips said OK, tell me why.)
Me: Because I am SUPER AWESOME and you don't realize it.
Him: I mean ... I think I kind of do ... don't I?
Me: NO!

(I really did say that. Ha. Thank you, Greg Behrendt.)

Anyway, I think the whole concept is pretty true. It's most helpful, I think, in those "no man's land" situations, where they're KIND OF into you--into you enough that you think there's something there to hang on to--but not TOTALLY into you. In instances where they want a backup, or they want to keep their options open, or they kind of want out but they don't want to be the bad guy. I said that at work, and immediately they shot back with: Oh, yeah? What if a guy is shy? What if he's not that experienced in relationships? What if he's nervous? What if he's worried he'll get shot down? What about THAT?

I mean ... I DON'T KNOW! I didn't write the book! GENERALLY, I still think it's true, although of course there are exceptions. (The movie talks a lot about that, too, how girls always think they'll be the exception to the rule. I went to see it with a guy from work, and he texted me after: "Swish. If I don't call you after work tonight, are you going to realize that's the norm and not the exception?" Ha ha.) I do, though, like the reminder that every woman deserves to have a guy who is TOTALLY into her--there is absolutely no reason to settle for "kind of" when the possibility of "totally" is out there. And when that happens you know it--you don't have to guess or wonder or make any excuses.

So what do you think?


At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the guys you've spoken to are breaking it down too much. It's not that a single instance of not-calling is such a red flag, but when it's a trend? It definitely is. Especially if the woman has made her interest clear in no uncertain terms, up to and including asking him out.

It's not that men don't deal with the same issues of disinterest, it's that they seem to just naturally handle it better and don't immediately plunge into deep-analysis mode, assigning meaning and intent where none really exists. (And I say this as a woman who has totally done this, on more than one occasion!)

Ultimately it's not about her trying to change his actions, not at all; it's about her not obsessing over his every action in the hopes of hearing what she wants to hear.

At 10:38 AM, Blogger Karen said...

I read the book too, and thought it was really good. Funny and light, but brutally honest too. Everyone knows the premise is true! I have one friend who refused to read it b/c she didn't want to know. Those were her words!

There have been many times since (with my own life and with my friends) when "He's just not that into you" ran through my mind. I think it's good for girls who over-analyze and obsess--who, me?!!--to have that trigger phrase.

I like Greg's (the author) bottom line: girls shouldn't 'waste their pretty' on guys who aren't into them.

You're so wise, Swishy ;)

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Monnik said...

I want to see this movie. Is it appropriate for a 15 year old?

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Dan said...

I WAS into you until you blew me off as just some other Internet guy...

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Trish Ryan said...

If a guy is into you, he'll figure out a way to call. I left this moving feeling like I'd been dragged across the parking lot by a tractor--it was just too real. It's as if no matter how much Hollywood tries to exaggerate the dumb ways we chase men, they can't come up with anything most of us haven't done before. OUCH.

My take is: trust the Mac guy. He tells it straight in the commercials and in this movie.

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Jon B said...

1st dates/meetings are all about selling yourself. We put on a front like we're totally normal and it's not until the 4th date that the crazy starts to come out. That's why 1st dates should be something other than dinner/movies...

And I must be out dated because if a date went well, I'll send a letter or something to her at work. A text just seems a bit too informal to say "had an enjoyable evening blah, blah".
But that's how we roll in the Twin Cities.

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't really get it until I met the one that WAS just that into me. If he said he was going to call, he would call. If he wanted to see me, come hell or high water, he would come see me. Obviously, I made the effort to call/see him too, but he made it very clear that I was worth his time and he made me a priority in his life. And we've been married 14 years now :)

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Swishy said...

Jon, I don't think a text is enough, either, but at the VERY LEAST there's no reason why someone can't do it that.

I love that line! DON'T WASTE THE PRETTY!

And Dan ... nuh uh!

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Angela Williams Duea said...

I told my daughters they knew they'd found the right guy when his worst nightmare was living without her.

Not in a creepy way, though. That conversation got a little long as I went through stalking and wife abuse and so on...I hope they didn't miss the main point.

At 8:18 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Yep, totally into you is good ... but then you have to make sure you're totally into him. I've been in a few relationships that got a little too suffocating because of the lack of reciprocity thing.

OH and I read that book while getting a REALLY great pedi one day and cracked up. Too funny to think it's a movie now :)

At 3:07 AM, Blogger JenKneeBee said...

Even if a guy is shy, he'll still find a way if he likes you enough. I don't want to date anyone who doesn't like me enough to make an effort.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

TOTALLY TRUE! The guy should TOTALLY be into the girl. And I type this on the anniversary of the day that 18 years ago my dear husband dumped me because he had to put our relationship "On the back burner." I reminded him of this this a.m. as he left for work, and then he said, "And here we are, 18 years later, with three beautiful kids." Guess he decided he was totally into me! LOL!

xoxoxo you Swishy! And keep waiting for that one guy who will be TOTALLY into you because it will SOOO be worth the wait, and that guy will be TOTALLY LUCKY because you are TOTALLY the best rocking coolest awesomest chick in the entire world and I LOVE YOU!

At 11:25 AM, Blogger kk said...

I'm an old married lady, but I wasn't always.

it's simple, but it's true: if they are into you, they will call/text/email/smoke signal you. Because they LIKE you and can't get enough of your awesomeness.

(Mr. KK and I lived in different states when we first got together, and he still called. And emailed. So, the good guys DO do that!)

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Tuesday Girl said...

I have a "totally" guy so they are out there. Keep hope alive.

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous dimples said...

what are you trying to say? heh.

At 9:52 PM, Anonymous courtney said...

I think that if he likes you then he will call you. He will email you. He will text you. He will find a way to get in touch with you. If he doesn't? Well, he doesn't like you enough to bother. Simple.

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Kristabella said...

The funny thing about this movie is that all these blogs are posting about how this movie is so anti-feminist and can't believe our society is falling to such low levels as to make a movie about this. I think a lot of people forget this isn't a typical self-helpy book. It's supposed to be funny.

I think you have to go with your gut in all these situations. People make it too simple. It isn't ONE instance of not calling or texting. People DO get busy. I mean, I fall behind with keeping in touch with the people I love when I get busy.

It's when the excuses start flying and the dude makes NO time for you. Believe me, I had this happen with my ex. All of a sudden, the guy who texted and emailed me all day disappeared. And then we broke up. This "he's just not that into you" is very awesome in its simplicity.

And it's true. You SHOULD NOT settle for "kind of". When it is right, it is right and you won't have to worry about a guy calling or askng you out or any of The Rules. It will just happen.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Bina said...

That is a GREAT post! And honestly, I've never "dated" much. I've always known yet at the start if a guy was in to me or not, or if I was in to him, and I went through a few year period where I just HATED all men and thought they were scum so I just rejected every single one of them.

But I would really like to see the movie because I hear such great things about it, one being that you don't have to be single to "get it".

At 2:00 PM, Blogger MJ said...


I am married to a "shy guy". We were casual friends for 3 years, and I NEVER considered dating him because I thought I'd destroy him, he was that quiet.

But once he asked me out, that first date, I KNEW. The chemistry between us made it so he WASN'T shy around me.

I'd been engaged twice before, and I have to advise that you wait for that guy that's TOTALLY into you. Don't settle for anything less than that. Because there is nothing better than being yourself and being adored for it.

At 1:30 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

"Because I'm super awesome and you don't realize it!"

I love that you actually told him that!

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Betty said...

I have to say, it's hard to imagine any guy not being all that into you. You strike me as a real winner, seriously. But then again, I have to remember that the guy comes with his set of issues, too- I always seem to forget that.

Kudos for being able to tell him how awesome you are!!!!!



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