This is a column I wrote in February 2009 for the movie release of “He’s Just Not That Into You.”
“He’s Just Not That Into You.”
Those six words seemed to set off a light bulb in women several years ago. Was it really that simple? Dating liberation.
A better title would have been “Just Get Over It.”
Trying to find a partner in the 21st century is a daunting concept of sorts. Times have changed. Men and women are closer than ever on so many levels: friends, jobs, social status, power … Especially the power in finding a compatible mate. (See, maybe SHE’s just not that into YOU.)
But, in a time when divorces are just as common as engagements, why is dating still so important? (And not to mention, neurotic.)
Singletons are always looking. Work. Missed Connections. eHarmony. Churches. Dog parks. Coffee shops. Bars. Friends of a friend of your uncle’s cousin.
You meet someone you fancy. A date is arranged, a new dress is bought, flowers are (hopefully) brought. He’s nervous. You’re nervous. But soon, the uneasiness passes and you realize you are actually having fun. “He’s interesting, kind of cute and really nice,” you think to yourself. “Maybe …”
But that is where the trouble begins. It is the perceptions and projections that come along with relationships that screw things up so badly. In our minds, we’ve already imagined the outcome: A happy, fairytale ending.
On a recent – and really great – blind date, my suitor and I shared the best first kiss I had ever had. He seemed really interested, and I was left wondering if maybe I was wrong not to feel more. “I’ll call you. I had a great time. We really need to get together again soon,” he said as he walked away from my apartment door. Flash-forward 24 hours later, and I had wasted a whole day reliving the kiss over and over again in my mind.
The truth was, it wasn’t really him I was interested in per se. But, because I have been raised in a society where the act of partnering is the norm, I began to imagine what it would be like to see him again. Our relationship. Our happy ending. But we’re all smart enough to know what “I’ll call you means.”
The Urban Dictionary gives the literal definition to this sentence as “I will never call you. Ever.” And to my shock, but little dismay, he didn’t. I will give him credit, though. I did receive an e-mail. You know the one: “You are a really great girl, I just don’t want to lead you on.” One more frog, I guess.
Maybe if I had read all of Greg Behrendt’s “book,” I would have known he would never call. I doubt it though. One thing Berhrendt fails to remember is that everyone is different. Every situation is different.
The only thing all of us a single people have in common? Hope for that ride off into the sunset.
But don’t set that fairytale in stone yet. There’s always, “Hey, we need to talk …”