In this week’s episode of  The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I talk about why some of us wrestle with ‘he’s just not that into you’. From the 2004 book of the same name and a hilarious episode of Sex and the City, this advice helped us to stop making excuses for disrespectful behaviour and lack of interest. Of men. The general themes, however, apply to both sexes and in LBGTQ+ relationships too.

There is, however, an inherent and inadvertent message contained within ‘they’re just not that into you’ that causes shame and self-doubt. It’s this notion that if we were ‘more’ or that person felt more then the situation would have been different. And that’s not true.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • When we encounter ambivalent behaviour, they don’t ask us out, call/text back, are using us, etc., there isn’t enough going on for us to be interested, never mind to proceed to a relationship.
  • Much of the dating and relationship advice we’ve internalised is about ‘efforting’. It’s this idea that if you please, perform and try ‘enough‘, we get what we want. The person will change or will want a relationship if we do enough or do things the ‘right’ way. Of course, in learning that effort equals outcomes and following faux rules and conforming, we feel utterly confused when we experience disappointment and rejection. And when we’ve busted our boundaries or sold ourselves short to accommodate half-hearted interest or lack of commitment, it’s wounding.
  • Society has conditioned us to believe that we all spontaneously combust into being ‘better’ when we’re loved by the ‘right’ person. Women, in particular, were taught that if they were cheated on or beaten, it’s because they weren’t meeting their partner’s needs. And we’re all participating in this mentality and attitude when we judge and shame ourselves and others for someone else’s feelings and behaviour.
  • ‘They’re just not that into you’ pairs emotional unavailability, shadiness and yeah, straight-up assholery, with interest, period. We conflate it with being ‘not good enough’ and our fault. It feeds into the societal conditioning these issues occur is that they’re not interested enough. And that’s not true.
  • When someone is ambivalent, ambiguous, blowing hot and cold, etc., they’re trying to communicate who they are and what they do and don’t want. They’re trying to say no without actually coming out straight and saying it. Or, they’re hinting at no while trying to continue enjoying the fringe benefits of a relationship without the investment.

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