You're Just Not That Into Him
“He’s Just Not That Into' was an episode of Sex in The City, which was so popular, that it became a best selling dating advice book. This mid aughts, silly dating consciencness hit our culture just before the ascendency of fourth wave feminism. Back in 2005, when society embraced Carrie Bradshaw, it was a simpler time, an era before the internet, when women could be attracted to toxic masculinity, and care more about shoes than activism.
Well, by 2015, things were changing.
Feminists on the internet, or as I think of them, western women in need of an outlet for their inexplicable anger, had successfully convinced us that Sex and the City was a problematic show. We should all regret, perhaps even apologize, for watching anything that glorifies four priveledged white women sleeping around in Manhatan.
You know what, they aren’t wrong.
Sex and The City is a silly show, but it’s not trying to be The Handmaidens Tale. It’s escapism at it’s best. I liked it back then, and I still watch it, mostly for nostalgia now. I like the inspid jokey banter. I like how pretty they are and all their fun outfits. I laugh at the show’s attempts at empowerment, which in a post me too world, now come across as lame and cringey. I watch Sex and the City now and remember the days, back when I was in my twenties, when I earnestly thought I’d find the answers to my romantic problems from fictional socialites.
When “He’s just not that into you” came out, I ran out to the book store and got a copy.
Ahhh, Bookstores, also a relic of the past, replaced now by online articles. Honestly, reading isn’t a thing any more either. Who needs to read when you have youtube and tik tok to sedate you 24/7? Even dating feels outdated. We live in a hookup culture composed of man whores, crazy cat ladies, and androgeynous anarchists with a fetish for destroying capitilism.
But I digress.
When I bought He’s Just Not That Into You, I really thought my mind was about to be blown. It wasn’t. It all seemed pretty redundant. Yes, of course, if a guy is difficult, or the chemistry is off, the most obvious reason it’s not working out is because he’s just not in love with you.
There is another, equally compelling, reason why you're having problems with your man. This is a concept I conceived of as I was reading He’s Just not That into You back in 2011. I have been slowly building this hypothosis, and now I’m ready to share my visionary theory on WHY you keep having problems in your love life:
Sure, maybe he’s just not that into you. But also....
Maybe You’re just not that into him?!!? Did that ever occur to you?
No. Well, allow me to Carrie Bradshaw my lived experience into your mind and revolutionize your soul. It’s hard out there in the dating world. Sometimes you go out with someone and they check all the boxes. They are everything you want, and everything you want to show off on the internet. He’s cute. He’s got a good job. He doesn’t bring up tying you up to his bedpost on the first date. Finally you’ve found a guy that isn’t completely degenerated by porn addiction! Halleaugha!
But... you don’t have butterflies. He doesn’t excite you, infact, sometimes he flat out annoys you. Even though he’s a capable person, you don’t respect him, something about his essence, his very nature, repulses you, and you try to hide that by reminding yourself that he is consistent, and dependable, and at least not a complete dolt who still lives with his mom.
But you’re rude to him. You withhold compliments. You're more demanding than you should be. Generally speaking, he is bringing out the worst in you, but on the surface he’s fine, and your friends like him, so why not just go along with the charade, and pretend like you're thrilled, because having a boyfriend gives you an excuse to get out of the house, wear a dress and take pictures for the gram.
So you stay in the relationship. You tell yourself you will grow to like him more, learn to love him. You’re in your thirties. It’s time to stop thinking with your heart, and thinking in terms of, if there is another quarantine, I need a boyfriend who's got a good apartment. It’s 2021. It’s time to be practical, shrewd. If there is an economic collapse you need a guy with a good head on his shoulders even if he is conventional and drab, you must choose wisely for survival, eschew passion for prudence.
But you’ve also grown up on cheesy rom coms and love stories. You’ve learned critical race theory in school, you beleive in utopia, a perfect society, where justice and true love exists. Deep down, despite all the party boys you’ve wasted your time on, you still believe there exists out there the perfect guy. You try to push this wishful thinking aside, but it pulls at you, whispers in your ears, argh, I just don’t like my boyfriend very much.
But you can’t say these thoughts outloud. So you oppress it and wonder why life seems boring. You’re doing it for the gram now, you're settling down, getting real about your life and future. You can’t have everything. You should feel grateful that you have most, or some things.
Everything is perfect on paper, but the truth is, Your Just Not That Into Him.