The death of the romcom is something I’ve lamented. Many people have also celebrated it, because they create unrealistic expectations, put us in scenarios that don’t and can’t exist, and give us completely warped views of how men and women are supposed to behave in certain scenarios.
One thing people forget is that they teach us a lot. Like, more than we could ever possibly hope to learn in real life – the lessons I’ve learned from romcoms would have taken me decades and an astronomical number of mistakes. Why kiss all those frogs, and go through all that heartache, when I have it nicely and neatly packaged in a 90-120 minute box, with pretty people and lines like “You had me at hello?”
While I could go through all the When Harry Met Sallys, Love Actuallys, and Cluelesses, the most important lesson I’ve learned comes from He’s Just Not That Into You. It’s something everyone, not just women, should always keep in mind.
They made this scene into an entire movie exploring different relationships. But the bottom line is the same: If he’s not making time for you – if he’s being distant – if he’s got excuses and won’t give you a straight answer – if he feeds you lines and then ignores you – if he’s saying one thing and doing another – if he’s not reaching out first – if he pisses you off enough that you throw your phone across the room and crack the screen…..he’s just not that into you.
Of course, this is a lot easier said than understood and put into practice. When you really like someone, whether it’s after a day, a week, a month, whatever amount of time, it’s very difficult to not get hung up on the fact that you sent him a message hours ago and while you know he’s seen it, you don’t know why he hasn’t responded to you. It comes across as a bit clingy or needy, but really, if you like him enough to want to respond to him right away, why doesn’t he like you enough to do the same? Again – if the guy is into you, he’ll make time to respond, whether he’s in a funeral or a meeting or playing a sport. If he really likes you, then he’ll be checking his phone or Facebook or email or whatever, to see if there’s a message from you.
I think it’s even worse when your relationship starts from something with hours of immediate back and forth, funny banter, and being missed and wanted. When it changes from that, to something sparse, and you have to pull it out of him…when you have to pry when you never had to before…when you are the one putting all the effort in….that’s when you know. Even if he doesn’t say anything, you should take the hint. It’s staring you in the face:
And it’s a sucky thing to feel. Especially if you’re like me and you get attached easily. I’m not actually sure what hurts more – the pushing away, or the realization that you should probably give up because it’s not going anywhere. The attention, the butterflies and anticipation, those things are like a drug, and when you don’t have it anymore, you go through withdrawal.
It’s probably more important to pay attention to the writing on the wall, than the writing in your email, on your Facebook, in your texts, wherever else. Because, ladies, let’s face it. He’s just not that into you.