When it was on HBO, I lived for Sex in the City. Never missed an episode, have them all on DVD (still binge watch on occasion), saw both movies (although, the second one? Really??), and when it came out, I read "He's Just Not That Into You." Yes, the whole book was kind of a joke taken from an episode where Carrie's boyfriend of the moment (Berger, the writer), told Miranda, "he's just not that into you" when a guy in which she was interested lost interest in her and stopped calling. Miranda, was both shocked and relieved by this honest advice. Berger basically told her, "He's not calling you because he's not that into you. it's not that he's so busy or he has commitment issue. He's just not that into you." The message was to stop worrying about what this guy was thinking because if he truly wanted to date Miranda, he would. And so Miranda, in this episode, went around spreading this very freeing "gospel."
As much as this was just an episode of a cable show (for the record, I have always loved Sarah Jessica Parker and everything she has ever done. She's so immensely talented. When I was going on auditions in the early 2000's, I was often told I looked like her or reminded the casting people of her, which I took as a great compliment. But then the casting people would say, "oh, but a younger, prettier version." Uh, thank you? Not a compliment?) the message rang true with me.
At the time, I was out there - dating, meeting some really nice guys, hitting it off and then...silence. Typically right at the sweet-spot too; that 4 month mark where it is appropriate to introduce someone to friends and family (that's kind of my unwritten rule, anyway), suddenly, I was no longer interesting or good enough to continue the relationship. I didn't get it. "Well, he was just getting over someone when we met," I'd say. Or "He did tell me he would be in Chicago for depositions for two weeks, maybe he hasn't had a chance to call." (Yeah, and maybe his cell service doesn't really work there...) I tried to convince myself that there was a good reason that I was being dropped so abruptly.
And my sister or my friends would say things like "well, if he wanted to, he'd call you or at least send you an email." This is pre-texting, mind you. I mean we were texting, but it was a pain in the a*#. Remember, you had to hit numbers to type letters? How did we survive?
So I ended up buying the book, reading it, enjoying it and taking it's principles to heart. Joke or not, it made sense to me. "If he wanted to talk to me, he'd call. If not, he's just not that into me..." "If he wanted to be with me, he would. If not, he's just not that into me..." And so on.
Flash forward to 13 years later, I'm drawing on this well-reasoned philosophy once again. And remarkably, once again, it has helped me tremendously. This thought process assists me not to take what appears to be rejection, quite so personally. Most recently, it turned what could have been a rock-bottom emotional experience (damn, I was close. Definitely picked the wrong day to stop drinking) into a situation I could rationalize.
"He's just not that into me and that's not my fault. That's his thing..." When I drew upon that statement, I felt almost a sense of relief or resolve. In this case, once I accepted that the relationship was sort of dying a natural death, I resolved to go back to doing my own thing, distracting myself with exercise, writing, work and kid stuff. I was far more productive when not daydreaming about "the impossible dream." "If he really wanted to be with me, he would...he's just not that into me." "If he wanted me, he wouldn't be with her...he's just not that into me." There's nothing more I can do about it.
When I reminded myself "he's just not that into me" I was able to avoid the "every song reminds me of you and makes me cry" crap I had been dealing with on and off when I would experience these somewhat random lapses in communication (damn you John Legend and Taylor Swift!) Rather than wondering "what's going on?" with him, "why isn't he calling me anymore?" I can accept, "he's just not that into me." It stings a little less.
I'm in a place in my life where I never imagined I'd be at 40, however, I think that this lesson is something any love-lorn girl should consider at any age. It reminds us all, we are amazing, we are beautiful, clever, fun and there is someone out there who will appreciate all of that. It may not be this guy or that guy, but he exists and if you put all your positive, amazing energy out into the universe, he'll find you because he will be totally into you. And really, why would you want to chase after someone who ultimately doesn't want you to catch him? Why try to force something that isn't going to fit? I am told, if we wait, it will come.
This philosophy holds true with friends as well. There are friends we are constantly chasing after to get together - "Oh, it's been so long. We have to get together soon." And then you try and try to schedule something, it doesn't work and you recognize, "hey, she's just not that into me" and you find another friend. No hard feelings. Everyone is busy and I can't hold it against someone if they have better offers than hanging out with me. I wish I had better offers than hanging out with me too sometimes.
So I offer this: we are all amazing people with unique qualities. It is mathematically impossible not to find a person who shares at least some of our interests, views, and passions, who checks our 5 must-have qualities boxes, and who really wants to be with us. Rather than chase the ones we think look good on paper, wait for the one who feels good on your heart. The one who makes your eyes light up when you hear he likes the same books you do or wants to travel to the same places you do.
Yeah, that's cheesy, sorry if you're all vomiting in your mouths a bit. But patience (not my strongest virtue, as we all know) can make all the difference. And if you're open to it, you never know who might be really, really into you.