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He’s just not that into you

June 15, 2011

When I was in my young 20’s, I read the book, “He’s just not that into you.”

You remember the one — it was a pop hit. It was written by a writer for the hit series, Sex in the City, Greg Behrendt.

At the time, I was foiling over some young suitor who was being flaky and causing me angst.

So I plopped down on my bed with a Coke Zero and flipped through the pages of the book that I borrowed from a coworker.

As silly as a lot of it was, there was an air of wisdom that strengthened my wee little heart. The gist? If he really likes you, if he really is good for you, if it is really meant to be: you’ll know.

And the advice came true. When I met my wonderful husband, there was no drama. No questions. No games. There was no “I’ll call you” and then no calls.

There was no “I love you,” but I treat you poorly.

There was good on paper – and good in person – and a completely healthy individual who never made me feel bad about me.

And yet — it is the crux of the young woman.

She watches The Notebook and believes in happily ever after and dreams of Prince Charming. But then she allows Creepo from the Corner Bar to flake out, manipulate her, lie, bring her down, make her sad, and so on and so on.

She sets expectations for herself, but then keeps her expectations low for her suitors.

She desperately wants happiness, but is only happy when she feels wanted.

And suddenly, this need to be “adored” has only made her into a door mat.

As a secure mama and wife, I look back on my younger self — and on the young women around me (heck, even some not-so-young!) — and wish for them the sense of self that does not fear being alone; but of being with someone less than they deserve.

If only our young women could hold their suitors to higher standards — and see that they deserve to be pursued, doted on and adored for who they really are.

The subhead of “He’s just not that into you” is: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys.

I love that. How often do women not just accept the excuses of a badly behaving man, but make excuses for them?

Here’s an intro page to the book:

Hey. I know the guy you’re dating. Yeah, I do.

He’s the guy that’s so tired from work, so stressed about the project he’s working on. He’s just been through an awful breakup and it’s really hitting him hard. His parents’ divorce has scarred him and he has trust issues. Right now he has to focus on his career. He can’t get involved with anyone until he knows what his life is about. He’s so complicated.

He is a man made up entirely of your excuses. And the minute you stop making excuses for him, he will completely disappear from your life. Are there men who are too busy or have been through something so horrible that makes it hard for them to get involved? Yes, but there are so few of them that they should be considered urban legends. For as already suggested, a man would rather be trampled by elephants that are on fire than tell you that he’s just not that   into you. That’s why we’ve written this book. We wanted to get the excuses out of the closet, so to speak, so they can be seen for exactly what they are: really bad excuses.

I am passionate about this subject because I am passionate about strong families. And strong families begin with strong courtships and choosing the one core-shaking, God-given, soulmate of a person who you can build a life — and a family — with.

And if us girlies waste too much time making excuses for Fuddy McDud, then we’ll never meet Studly McStud. And yes, I just totally went there like a writer for Seventeen Magazine.

But here’s another thought to throw in the mix. I recently read a great blog by Jennifer Fulwiler where she writes:

This weekend the Wall Street Journal ran an article by Kay S. Hymowitz in which she asked: “Where have all the good men gone?”

She wrote:

Not so long ago, the average American man in his 20s had achieved most of the milestones of adulthood: a high-school diploma, financial independence, marriage and children.

Today, most men in their 20s hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. This “pre-adulthood” has much to recommend it, especially for the college-educated. But it’s time to state what has become obvious to legions of frustrated young women: It doesn’t bring out the best in men.

“We are sick of hooking up with guys,” writes the comedian Julie Klausner… What Ms. Klausner means by “guys” is males who are not boys or men but something in between.

“Guys talk about Star Wars like it’s not a movie made for people half their age; a guy’s idea of a perfect night is a hang around the PlayStation with his bandmates, or a trip to Vegas with his college friends. … They are more like the kids we babysat than the dads who drove us home.”

One female reviewer of Ms. Kausner’s book wrote, “I had to stop several times while reading and think: Wait, did I date this same guy?”

Boy, did she touch a nerve. Only hours after it was posted, it had 300 comments, most of them from men who basically said: “Right back at’cha.” They wanted to know where all the good women have gone.

A variety of theories were presented in the comments, many of them dripping with animosity. One man wrote:

“Where have the good men gone? The feminists can find us enjoying a good beer and watching golf after a tough week at work. We’d rather clear our head and enjoy the free time we have on our terms instead of trying to pursue women who keep telling us that they don’t need our partnership to buy a home or have a child.”

Another said:

“Feminism’s goal was to make men irrelevant. Now feminists are complaining that men are irrelevant. Sorry ladies, but you get what you pay for.”

It seems like in the dating world, there’s a lot of finger pointing and demands being made on the other gender to straighten up their act. But first, we must straighten our own.

And since this is my blog, I’ll share a few of my humble thoughts on the subject:

1. Date to marry. Don’t date someone who you wouldn’t marry. And on the same note, don’t date someone who you wouldn’t want to have children with. Can you see this person pacing the dark halls of your home at 2 am, comforting a screaming newborn?

2. Be the kind of person you want to attract. If you want someone who loves sports, mama and God — then spend your time pursuing those same interests.

3. Be OK with being single. I think this is the main reason that people stay in unhealthy situations – because they’d rather be there than “alone.” But ah, there’s the rub as Shakespeare would say. Being “single” does not mean being “alone.” It means being free to grow, to learn, to meet new people, to improve yourself, to pray, to listen and to make sure you’re ready when the one arrives.

 

I will end with an email that my beloved Grandma wrote me in 2003:

“Happiness is not a destination but it is an ongoing tour and you make of it what you want.  You can either enjoy where you are and what you do and see. Or, you can feel sorry for yourself and want to be somewhere else and forever be unhappy. Noone makes another one happy if one is not happy with oneself.”

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2011 4:25 pm

    Brilliant blog post – thanks for the words of wisdom to all the ladies out there : )

  2. Kimberly permalink
    June 15, 2011 10:50 pm

    This is excellent. Maybe my favorite!

  3. June 16, 2011 12:03 am

    Great blog. Would be interested to see what your single lady friends think about this. Not too long ago, I was in the boat that said that “you don’t live in my shoes” on the side of it to all happily married friends. But your expression was tender, so suspect it will be positive too. 🙂

  4. Erin permalink
    June 16, 2011 3:23 am

    i am passionate about this topic too—best book i ever read in my “younger” days 🙂 have you read alice von hildebrand’s “the priveldge of being a woman” ? SO good!
    patience is the key to let go of those just-not-into-you-guys. in a world of instant gratification & over stimulation of everything (except God), we believe we are a god. we can predict our future. we can’t wait for tomorrow, next week or next year for things to fall into place…..so we eventually settle. we point fingers & blame the opposite sex. people need to “own it”. step up & own up to being a woman/man. love it/live it & hopefully it will call someone else on.

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