A megastar movie based on a New York Times best-selling book based on a Sex & The City episode drops February 6th. Fashioning an acerbic advice book into a screenplay is a feat only writers like Charlie Kaufman can safely ignore.
He’s Just Not That Into You was published in 2004 and struck a significant chord. It seems only fair if not mildly treasonous to return the favor to men.
My baseline position is that men usually know when a woman is just not that into them (unlike women, who are masters of self-delusion, false optimism and denial). You men, you don’t care. You get off on a certain level of pursuit. Experience has taught you the power of persistence. Sun Tzu’s Art of War, etc.
But for those men who are tired of treading water, sick of being a chump and especially for those poor souls who have clearly lost their way, let the following be your guide.
1. She’s Just Not That Into You if she doesn’t offer to pay for shit.
Women will keep men in their lives they have no feelings for simply because these men whip out their wallets on cue. Practical necessity? OK sometimes. Learn to spot the far more common garden variety greediness. It’s not something we’re wracked with guilt over either (hello, we still make seventy five cents to your dollar for the exact same job. If you want to try to make that up to us, we sure as hell will let you). Unless we’re really into you. A girl who’s into you will at minimum offer to pay. It’s the gesture of offering that tells a man how a woman feels and, additionally, if she’s up to the task of true partnership. Even a woman earning diddly squat will pick up the tab for cheap things like coffee or breakfast. And she’ll give you stuff: books, burned CDs, baby cactuses, bus passes. Tokens of her affection. If your girl don’t pay for shit and don’t give you tiny little presents, she is using you for your money.
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you bank. You don’t even mind paying for every single bar tab, restaurant bill, movie ticket, airfare, trip to the mall. It makes you feel generous and important and manly to be able to provide such things for the girl in your life. Especially if said girl is hot, and she’s in school getting her degree and can’t afford those sexy Nine West stiletto boots…
Dude, you are being used. If you’re ok with that, you have self esteem issues. You need counseling. A month surfing solo in Costa Rica. Something. How can you not know how many badass women are out there? Women who have their shit together financially and everything-else-ily?
Getting used for money is so 1998. Grow a fucking pair. You can rent someone’s heart or you can experience the bliss of love. Do either with open eyes.
2. She’s Just Not That Into You if she claims she’s “not over” her ex.
Both genders use this tired excuse – it’s the easiest way to turn someone down. Soften the blow. Even get some sympathy. Do not be fooled or moved! Do not try to help her through it! Do not stick around! Be smart and disappear. The only appropriate response to a girl making this claim is, “I sincerely wish you best of luck getting over so and so. I really hope you can work though it and feel better. Give me a call next July.” And she might. But the point is, the truth is, most people will suck it up and throw some duct tape over their busted heart if a new person they consider attractive, smart and nice comes sniffing around. Plus the only surefire way to get over an ex is to date someone else so it’s pretty counterintuitive to play the “oh it’s too soon” card. Go ahead and call bullshit. TIP: a good vetting device? Date people close to your level of singlehood. Single for seven months? Nice to meet you. Broke up last weekend? Excuse me gotta go.
3. She’s Just Not That Into You if you’re doing her.
Hooking up leads to love as often as LinkedIn leads to a dream job. Why do we pretend it can work? Because it’s a convenient belief. Because we’re horny. Women are dying to get off too you know and sometimes biological urges override our emotional braking system. Still, we’re all apprised of the odds. Chances are if she’s really into you, she’s terrified of messing things up between you two by adding horizontal gymnastics into the mix. She’s probably dying to get naked but resisting the impulse with varying levels of success. Conventional wisdom holds that good relationships sprout from causal friendships, which progress at normal speed into romances. Love rarely blooms after a night of hard drinking at Lucky Lounge. It’s also wise not to underestimate the effect of squawking norms from yesteryear which told women they were “sluts” if they “put out” too soon. Many women still equate sex with leverage somehow. So if you and your girl are having doggy style Thursdays it’s not love. It’s not even in the neighborhood of love. It’s sport. Cool? Cool. Just don’t go around pretending you’re her boyfriend. You’re not. Which isn’t to say you won’t ever be. C’est posible. People win the lottery every day. The odds never change, but it does happen.
4. She’s Just Not Into You if she speaks flippantly about excretory or menstrual functions.
These are topics of excrutiating shame in the romantic realm, at least initially. And at least initially a woman will usually avoiding pooping in a five mile radius of a guy she’s really into. It’s not healthy or easy but it’s what we do. If a girl is reporting her bowel movements or flow density in an offhand manner/in graphic detail, you have been relegated to Friend status. It could take years before she realizes you’re boyfriend material. Don’t you think you deserve a woman who isn’t voluntarily blind? Who can plainly see how awesome you are? Get this girl a Costco bulk pack of Always with Wings and tell her you can’t wait forever.
5. She’s Just Not That Into You if she takes her sweet ass time returning your calls.
If a woman never calls you, you cannot tell anything from this. Through various channels of public mockery women have been made aware of our tendency to call men too much. We sorta for the most part get it. You don’t like being stalked. Roger that, loud and clear. But not returning your calls is something else entirely. If she doesn’t call, email or text you back within a day or two sorry she is just not that into you. Keep on moving.
6. She’s Just Not That Into You if some guy is slapping her ass at the bar.
If she is openly giving other guys attention right in front of your face (see also: getting hit on and loving it), she is an attention whore. Let her be one. Peacefully walk away. Far away. As my friend Lisa*, avid collector of men she’s not really into puts it, “A girl who’s really into you doesn’t create a space for that to happen.” If you two are at the bar and some guy’s patting her butt while she giggles and meekly swats his paw away, you’re choopped liver. See the exit sign over there? Follow it. Go to the next bar. Meet the kickass woman who’s waiting over there for someone great like you.
7. She’s Just Not That Into You if you get the side hug.
How does she hug you? It’s important. It says a lot. The side hug, the one arm, or worse, the Oprah hug (greets with all body contact blocked, interlacing fingers of both hands with yours) speak volumes. The hug of a girl who’s really into should include both arms. Some breast contact. Pelvis touching or nearly touching. Slow to part. Hugging her should be warm and slightly dizzying. It should feel good.
This concludes my post.
All the TNB ladies, all the TNB ladies
All the TNB ladies, all the TNB ladies
If you take umbrage with any of the above points, do feel free to explain or contribute your own ideas.
Men, you are welcome.