"He's Just Not That Into You"
I'm not Gloria Steinem. I don't believe A Woman Without A Man Is Like A Fish Without A Bicycle. I like men. There are even a few I love.
I like the singlemindedness of men, their ability to focus on an objective -- usually a sports outcome or sex. I like the way hair grows in different places on their bodies. I like the way their gentleness comes out in unexpected ways and usually embarrasses them.
I like men. But Men Are Different Than Women.
Of the reams of advice I could give a young woman -- and by young, I mean any woman: it's to not rely on a man for -- oh, anything.
Not to say that men are unreliable or irresponsible. They will support and protect, even adore. But it must always be their decision and don't ever believe that you can force that decision.
This is where I gnash my teeth at women who complain at the shortcomings of the males in their lives. Who want to know "how can I get him to (fill in the blank)?"
You can't. If it isn't his idea, it isn't going to happen. Sorry, but it's true.
And women who believe that a man can be persuaded are fooling themselves. Oh, you can coerce cooperation of the moment ... but trust me, it won't last. Unless it *miraculously* becomes his decision.
Women, on the other hand, are persuadable. In fact, we LIKE being persuaded ... it's a form of courtship, of wooing. And I think that persuadability is hardwired, just like obdurate recalcitrance (look it up) is hardwired into males ...
but onto the title of today's entry: "He's Just Not That Into You." There's a recent popular book of that title making the rounds of the 18-24 (and even older) demographic. This book reinforces my "if it isn't his idea, it isn't going to happen" theory.
Basically it advises us (women) to stop rationalizing male behavior when they 1) don't call, 2) don't show up and 3) don't propose.
It's not because they're afraid, it's not because we've overwhelmed them with our intelligence and charm, it's not because they have 'issues with commitment,' it's not because we bear a striking resemblance to their mothers.
It's because They're Just Not That Into Us. For whatever reason, the call, appearance or marriage proposal is Not Their Idea and therefore isn't going to happen in any substantive fashion.
Sorry, but it's true. And it's a good idea to wrap your mind around this idea early. Embrace it!
Because there's a corollary for women: "I've Got My Own Ideas."
It took me a while to grasp the wildly appealing strength of this. The productively selfish concept of not structuring yourself around another human being (unless it's your child, which is a different issue altogether).
This means you don't spend hours seething in silent resentment because he won't "fill in the blank." Open your hands and let the sand of it sift through. And go do something that pleases you.
It is incredibly freeing to realize you cannot -- should not even attempt to -- shape another human being's behavior. I know this isn't revolutionary but whenever the light goes on for me, I get a little excited.
And the best part is when the call, the appearance, the proposal ... happens anyway. That fate has stepped in and decided "yup, this should happen" and everything unfolds the way you hoped and dreamed.
And the rainbow appears through the clouds with clear demarcation to the pot of gold just waiting for ... oh, and Happy April Fools Day to you!