For the last month, I have been on a relationship advice book kick that began with Power Texting Men: The Best Texting Attraction Book to Get the Guy and Love is in the Mouse: Online Dating for Women: Crush your Rivals and Start Dating Extraordinary Men. I’ll offer my take on these resources another time.
About the same time my book kick began, I started going out with someone who would prove to be a conundrum. Mr. B’s behavior became particularly puzzling a couple of weeks ago. When I described the situation to a friend, she said, “Perhaps it’s a case of ‘He’s Just Not That Into You.’”
This was food for thought. Speaking of which, let’s focus on fall food: wild rice crusted halibut.
I saw the movie version of He’s Just Not That Into You awhile ago and though I can’t remember the details, I remember the premise – men treating women badly. I had never read the book, which was written by two Sex and the City writers. Since it was time to select another advice tome, I downloaded the kindle edition of He’s Just Not That Into You and started reading.
For the Cliff Notes version of the book, just read the table of contents. For example:
- He’s Just Not That Into if He’s Not Asking You Out
- He’s Just Not That Into if He’s Not Calling You
- He’s Just Not That Into if He’s Disappeared on You
You get the idea. Author Greg Behrendt has a no-nonsense approach that advises women to immediately dump anyone who shows any of the “He’s Just Not That Into You” signs. His co-author Liz Tuccilo sometimes tempers or softens Greg’s hardline approach with the reality of a woman’s experience.
Women are often willing to put up with less than perfect in order to have some kind of…read “any” relationship in this world of more women than men. But more often than not, Liz agrees with Greg that it’s better to be alone than with someone who treats you poorly.
The book is really about self worth, empowerment, and getting what you as a totally awesome woman deserve.
So let’s go back to my conundrum. Here are the signs from Mr. B that gave me pause:
- After initial frequent contact (mostly texting), there are now longer gaps in communication
- Most common mode of communication: texting about inane daily activities or “his stress” from work etc.
- Only a few phone calls
- After 2nd date two weeks ago, still no plans for a 3rd date
- Out of town every other weekend to care for elderly mother but no effort to see me during the week
The reason it was a conundrum and not a clear-cut get out of it ASAP situation:
- We had two good dates and discovered some common interests
- He is staying in touch however irregularly and always asks how I am
- He listens
- Obvious chemistry and attraction between the two of us
- I wanted to see him again; there seemed to be potential worth exploring
There are other factors but I’m approaching this issue from a strictly behavioral analysis.
The more I read the book, the more I recognized Mr. B’s actions in the behaving badly category. And like many of the examples in the book, just when I thought he was really demonstrating non-interest, he would phone me. I started to think he was treating me like a yo yo – letting the line out and staying out of touch. Then, right before it hit the ground, he’d jerk (me) back with a phone call.
After pondering all of the examples of badly behaving men in the book and rolling my eyes at the women who kept trying to forgive their guys, I concluded that I was, in fact, in denial and living a case of He’s Just Not That Into You. I also concluded that women outnumber men in the decent and nice category.
What was the last straw with Mr. B? After not hearing from him all week, he phoned me Thursday evening. I was annoyed and didn’t answer. Later that night I sent him a text saying I’d be available Friday.
On Friday, he sent an afternoon text detailing his stressful week as an excuse for not being in touch. He ended the text by saying he plans to drive a friend to the airport in NY and will then spend the weekend in the city. There was no mention of getting together again — only that he’d be back Sunday.
I don’t know if his friend (man or woman) lives in NYC or in the DC area…but regardless, does this make any sense at all? Top that off with a lot of mundane detail. What I wanted him to write was “Really miss you and want to see you as soon as possible.”
I haven’t responded. I wrote a sayonara “breaking up” with you text but I may not send it. Sometimes ghosting seems like the right response.
To any reader who is in a murky mixed-message dating situation, read or re-read He’s Just Not That Into You. It will be a splash of cold water on your hot little love-starved head…. and sometimes you need that.
I don’t know about you but I feel so much better getting this off of my chest.
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Until next week, happy dating or not dating.