He’s Just Not That Into You And You Can’t Change His Mind

 Christopher Campbell
Christopher Campbell

I spent over two years of my life pining over an ex-boyfriend that just wasn’t that into me. Not to mention a few other dudes here and there. If you give me a chance, I think what I have to share with you (which is what your friends and family won’t say to your face) could be of use.

Yes, this was a book. And a movie. But there’s a generation of women who have likely never heard of it and I have several friends that are acting like it doesn’t apply to them. Allow me to remind you, he’s just not that into you.

Once upon a time I got dumped. I was laying on my bed, face up, when my reality check was delivered. My arm was draped over my eyes, he was sitting on the ground, and I thought maybe if I just sat there long enough. And still enough. And didn’t look at him, or see anything, that it might not be happening. I wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t see it coming. Us dumpees never really do. Sure we might suspect that things aren’t going well, but we chalk it up to a slump. We figure the phase we’re in is just another valley and soon we’ll be back up on a peak.

After we’ve been blindsided by a breakup our favorite thing to do is to try to figure out why this person broke up with us. Because what they told us is just not the ACTUAL reason why. I agree with this line of thinking, 1) the person doing the breakup usually is going to give you a “soft” version, so to a certain extent they are holding back because most people don’t want to hurt you and 2) it doesn’t matter if they tone it down or give it to you straight, you are going to come up with some “real reason” why they broke up with you.

I don’t know why we do it, we waste energy and hours determining another human beings motivation, reasoning, and their thought process. And then we waste our friends’ (and anybody who will listen) energy and hours talking about it too. When it doesn’t matter. This person broke up with us, we should be reasonable and move on. But the heartbroken are some of the least reasonable people you will encounter.

I present the top justification that the dumped and their support system champion:

Afraid of commitment. Just a classic case of commitment phobia huh? Things were getting too serious? Moving too fast? He was afraid about how strong his emotions were? Really, tell me more.

The Dumper is not “afraid of commitment.” STOP people. Wake up. Guess what, you know what people commit to? PEOPLE THEY LIKE. It is that simple. You can stop reading, this is all you need to know. When someone likes you, NOTHING gets in the way.

“I really like you, but… ” translates to: “I don’t really like you.”

Timing. Friends. Family. School. Work. None of those are a valid reasons to break up, not with someone you want to be with. Did you hear me? People don’t break up with people they like. Stop over complicating it. Stop making excuses or trying to figure out a reason why the person you love doesn’t want to be with you anymore. It doesn’t matter. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can begin moving on.

He just isn’t that into you. And that’s OK. You need to come to grips with the fact that this person might not be ready to settle down, and you can’t attribute that to some outside force that has nothing to do with you. That is taking away your responsibility and role in this break up, and therefor you’re relinquishing your ability to heal. And as hard as it is to believe, as much as it hurts, understand that one of the major reason people are ready to settle down is because they meet the “right” person. So that means you, are not that person. Hard to swallow, but you’re better off being hurt for a while than delusional.

It’s a lot easier for all parties involved if you resolve to accept the fact that he’s just not into you. And it’s even more important that you understand that this is OK.

It doesn’t make you any less wonderful or beautiful or smart. You are all of those things. But you cannot be everyone’s brand my dear. It’s simply not possible.

Coach purses are nice. Would I ever want a Coach purse? Nope, not my thing. Doesn’t mean that Coach isn’t a perfectly classy respectable brand. Think of yourself as a Coach purse. There are people out there who love the shit out of Coach purses. Go find them.

I want to apologize to any of my friends if I’ve gone along with this charade. You know, the one where you tell your friend that their ex is afraid of committing and it has nothing to do with them. The one where you enable your pal and do them the disservice of allowing them to think that this guy will come back around once he sees the light.

Stop. You’re not helping the situation, in fact at the very least you’re setting yourself up for countless hours of dissecting the same 3 text messages over and over again. You are a bad friend if you’re unwilling to tell someone the truth because it’s not easy to say, but are willing to watch you friend suffer and encourage her to go after someone who doesn’t reciprocate her feelings. Don’t be a bystander.

You’ve been together for 4 years (assuming that both parties have an understanding of each other’s expectations regarding marriage) and you’re not engaged yet? I’m sorry, but nothing is going to change by year 5. I know zero couples that somehow magically crossed over into “ready to get married” territory after some obscure mile marker of time.

Bottom line, after a few trips around the sun, your significant other knows all he needs to know about whether or not he wants to spend the rest of his life with you.

I’m not saying that your significant other doesn’t love you unless you’re running to the alter, but if you want to get married and he knows that, then he should be demonstrating to you that, that is his end goal. Verbally or financially assuring you, that that is where his head’s at. Don’t waste half a decade with someone without having this conversation. Pressuring someone to marry you and being pressured to get married is not the stuff of romance novels. It doesn’t have to be that way, talk about it.

Be proactive and open about how you’re feeling and move on, enjoy your relationship, or don’t. Get out of a relationship that isn’t heading where you want it to.

Would you want to watch a Nicholas Sparks movie about a girl who keeps nagging her commitment phobic boyfriend to get married? No, I bet those characters would be really annoying on screen. Just like they are in real life. And while we’re talking in movie analogies, men who are into you don’t make cameo appearances. They have staring roles. Ryan Gosling wouldn’t settle for 5 lines and neither does your ride or die.

(Exceptions to every rule: if you guys are young, if you’re actively saving for a home, ring, or have some other financial burden like loans or debt, intensive schooling… then you receive a pass.)

He’s just not that into you. It doesn’t mean he’s not into you at all, it’s just not enough.

Not enough to not cheat on you, not enough to marry you, not enough to buy a house together. You deserve someone who is all the way into you. I beg you, stop wasting your time trying to figure out why. Recognize and move on. Do not drunk text. Do not sober text. Do not call. Do not tell them you ran into their family member or heard a song and thought of them. Let’s be honest, all of the songs and all of the faces make you think of this person. You’ve picked up your phone and put it down 75 times talking yourself out of contacting them. Make it 76 and delete the number.

You owe these people kindness, because as a general life rule we should be kind to everyone. But you don’t go out of your way to give it to them. You don’t need to say happy birthday. I assure you, receiving a HBD text from you is not going to tip the scale in your favor. All of the sudden they’re not gonna be like… dayyyyyum, I need to be with this chick. They’re actually more likely to contact you the less you contact them. Heaven forbid you move on.

You don’t need to meet up to “get your things.” Do you know how the guy who dumped me got his things that he left at my place? He went there while I wasn’t home and he took them. Because he was smart. He understood that face-to-face contact with a girl he wasn’t that into needed to be avoided. He minimized unnecessary interaction – and bless him. At the time I was angry, but now I realize that the only thing that comes from all of those meet ups and conversations is more heartache. Have you ever left one of those feeling better? Don’t confuse false hope and prolonging the inevitable, with feeling better. Have that homie give your favorite hoodie to a friend and call it wrap.

People who are somewhat into you are really good at making you think they are all the way into you.

In fact, they will do almost all of the things fully committed people will do. They will sleep with you, they will spend time with you, they will text you, and they will buy you things. They might even bring you around family and friends. In the most extreme cases they will have children with you.

You may have spent a considerable amount of time telling your best friend how you know that so and so likes you because he does all of these great things for you, you just can’t figure out why he goes radio silent from time to time. When someone is into you, this is not a conversation you have to have with anybody. You don’t have to make a mental inventory of their behavior that would suggest they like you.

I had one guy bring me to his parents house the first time we hung out, in all my history of dating, this guy may have been into me the least of all. Yet I was certain he liked me because, well, who introduces you to their parents unless they actually think there might be something there (crazy people). After meeting my future in laws, a heated make out sesh and a lovely breakfast the following morning, he called to inform me that we would not be hanging out again. Now I know, meeting friends and family is not a guaranteed check in the “totally digs me” category.

Here’s the kicker though… you’re probably not that into them. We tend to like people who diminish our self-worth and make us question our value. Those feelings of unworthiness are powerful and we frequently mistake them for love.

You spend all your time worrying about why they’re not into you and trying to make them into you, that you may have lost sight of whether or not you actually like them. Pause for a moment and reflect deeply about this scenario, what about them makes them the right person?

This moment might be difficult, but hindsight will blow your mind. One day, you will look back on all of the men who just weren’t that into you, and you will want to thank them.

The lessons you learned from leaving them behind will be more valuable than the time you spent with them. You will realize that you were beautiful, and smart, and funny all along. And that those qualities are not dependent on someone else’s love. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Scarlett is a stay at home-ish mom who moonlights as a writer and bartender.

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