About once a week (more if I'm really bored), I like to look through my blog stats to see who's linking here. What is the most interesting about the stats is that they show me the search words or phrases people are typing into Google (or whatever search engine they're using) that end up leading them here. And here's what I just figured out, much to my chagrin: the greatest number of visitors (a whopping 20-25%!) who find me by searching on words other than my own blog name are women who are trying to figure out if some guy is "into them" or not. They end up here, a post I wrote in April 2007 and which now seems to show up THIRD (out of 486 million) on the Google list for "Is he into me?" Go figure. I wrote that post on the heels of the realization that the Australian guy I'd been dating had gone missing without so much as a G'day. His last words to me were: "I'm looking forward to seeing you when you when you get back to Paris" before he was about to move back to Australia; we both wanted to get together one more time. Or so I thought. I never heard from him again.
Afterward, although I had really grown to like him and even to be able to visualize that relationship going somewhere (like maybe Australia?), and although of course I was hurt, I found it astonishingly easy to get over him by applying the philosophy of "He just wasn't that into me", instead of trying to hunt him down to get an explanation or "closure", or wallowing in "was it something I said or did? Why, oh why didn't he like me?" ad nauseum. I was amazed at how simple it was to stop blaming myself and chalk it up to the fact that no matter how fabulous I was, he just wasn't into me enough to behave differently than he did. And there was nothing I could do about that. It felt so much better to view the end of the two month relationship in that light, than the way I always seemed to do in past situations.
Oh, this is just so frustrating, the realization that so many women are stuck in that pattern of hyper-analyzing whatever guy is drifting through their lives at the moment. Lord knows I used to ask myself that question many times in the 45 years I was single. "Is he really into me? Or is he just yanking my chain?" I used to make myself crazy and insecure, desperately searching for the answer, the key, the secret to making a guy be into ME.
It wasn't until Georges entered my life that I really, once and for all, "got it": That there IS no secret formula. There is no perfect outfit, lipstick, or boob job that will make him want you if he doesn't want you. Changing your hair style, being able to quote Shakespeare or waxing your legs won't make him call when he says he will, if he really doesn't want to call. There is no right thing to say or wrong thing to avoid saying that will hook the man of your dreams, if he doesn't want to be hooked. It doesn't work that way. It just doesn't.
All those excuses you're making for him? That's just your fear and desperation talking, forcing you to sit with your girlfriends for hours while you try to figure out "what it all means" and "is he really into me?"
And guess what? While you are busy pouring your precious energy into chasing that elusive man -- the one who isn't calling you back even if he's on a business trip, who isn't bending over backwards to book the next date, the one who shows up for a booty call and then goes AWOL for a month -- some other totally AMAZING man could be sitting right next to you on the bus or at the theatre, and you'll just pass him by while you're crying in your Cosmopolitan over the loser who can't see what a great girl you are.
Realizing how many women and girls are "desperately seeking" makes me sad. Sad for them (and a bit of an urge to shake them until they wise up), but also a little sad for the many days and sleepless nights I spent doing the exact same thing over the course of my dating life. I find myself wishing I could write to each one of these seekers personally, to answer their questions, set them straight, and save them from wasting even more of their lives on these losers. Like the poor misguided girl who apparently typed in this entire Google query: "We've been dating 2 months, he says we're free to date other people, is he into me or not?"
Ummm, honey? If he was into you, he wouldn't want to date anyone else and he sure as hell wouldn't want YOU dating anyone else. By all means, you should start dating someone else, someone worthy of you... but tell him to lose your phone number.
And hey, you there, Miss "Into You Platonic Friends"? Of course he could be totally into you as a platonic friend. Why not? You're fabulous, and why not have a platonic man friend (gay or straight) who appreciates you! But if he's straight and interested in you as more than a friend, he's going to let you know it. You shouldn't even need to ask. Men are not that complicated, seriously. When their hormones are engaged, it's pretty obvious. Even if they ARE the shy and introverted type.
Then there are my three friends "mixed signals during dating" and "wrong dating signals" and "mixed messages does he ignore me cos he likes me". Hello? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there ARE no mixed signals in love. None. If he is not clearly signaling that he's crazy about you and can't get enough of you, then by default he is signaling loud and clear that he's not that into you. Not enough to treat you the way you deserve to be treated, where you're not left wondering about it and typing these queries into Google.
And does he ignore you BECAUSE he likes you? HOLD THE DAMN PHONE! What are you, 10 years old? Because maybe 10-year old boys act like they hate you when they really like you (or at least that's what your mother probably told you, to get you to stop crying about why little Billy was being such a brat on the school bus) but after the age of 15, that's no longer a valid excuse. Men who are into you NEVER ignore you; quite the opposite.
For Mademoiselle "Signs he's not into me"... DAH-ling, do you really need signs? Don't you sort of already know? OK, let me go over this again -- signs he's not into you (and this is only the short list):
- He doesn't call or show up when he said he would.
- He nearly always calls last minute or late at night and wants to know if he can come over (yeah, right).
- He may use pretty words to sweep you off your feet, but he's not backing those words up with actions that are in sync with his words. Like calling and asking you out again and again and again.
- He's been "too busy" or "working too hard" or "traveling a lot" or "coming out of a bad relationship" (if more than 4 or 5 months have elapsed, this is another lame excuse) or any number of excuses for why he hasn't been able to get together with you, but where he still claims he's interested. This is just his way of keeping you handy but keeping his own options open, nothing more. If he really wanted to see you, even if he WAS busy, he'd find a way, or at least he'd be calling and/or emailing and/or texting you daily to stay connected until he can come back and sweep you into his loving arms again.
- And the bottom line? He doesn't make you feel special. Instead, he makes you feel anxious, worried, and doubtful of your own fabulousness.
And finally... for the dozens who Googled with simply "How to tell if he's into me" or "Is he into me?" I refer you to the list I came up with, the first WEEK I met Georges, comparing "not into me" vs "into me" -- because it was already THAT obvious to me that he was TOTALLY into me, so obvious that I looked back on every single prior relationship and couldn't believe how STUPID I'd been, wasting myself on those guys who just weren't into me enough (and worse yet, often blaming myself for not being able to attract or hold onto them). If you need more clues than that to know if your guy is into you or not... well, then maybe what you really need is some therapy to help you get your self-respect back. I'm not trying to be cruel, but really -- do you need to be hit over the head to get the message?
My dear friends, single ladies wherever you are, in all seriousness: you can stop searching for the magic answer. You can stop over-analyzing every single thing he says or does, trying to figure out if he really likes you. Because it's very, very simple. Are you ready? Here it is (drum roll, please):
When he's into you, you will KNOW it. There will be NO doubt. None. It will be effortless, and you won't be turning yourself inside out for him. You won't need to, because he'll adore you just the way you are. And THAT is how you'll know. You'll know it's right because you'll just know it. And deep down, you already KNEW this, didn't you?
If you are with a man who adores you, you'll know it. And don't you deserve to be adored? The man who will appreciate and adore you, his words and his actions will be in sync, and they will let you know that you're the one for him. You won't have to wonder. You won't have to read his mind. You won't have to manipulate or tiptoe your way around the relationship, in fear of saying or doing the wrong thing that will make him go away.
A man who is truly in love with a woman, who truly values her, who feels like he won the lottery because he found this incredible woman and he can't believe how lucky he is... that's a man who is going to jump over lawn furniture to meet her -- like my brother-in-law did, the day he introduced himself to my sister at a barbecue... they met 23 years ago this summer, married a year later, had two kids and they're still going strong. Another example is the man I know who, when the woman he liked was a bit hesitant to go out with him, wooed her with creative and hysterically funny gifts to get her attention and let her know he wasn't giving up so easily -- I'm talking about the husband of my best friend, who finally got her to go on a real date (they were co-workers) after giving her a dozen roses in a weed-whacker box, a giant salami in a florist's box (don't ask) and a bee-keeper's helmet because he knew she was afraid of bees. THEY have been married nearly 20 years, and they have four kids and have been through it all together, and he's still nuts about her.
Or my favorite example of all... the man who met a new woman, he at 53 and she at 46, and kissed her in front of the French Senat and everyone in the Jardin du Luxembourg on their first date. He then spent every day since then letting her know how much he loves her, making her feel like she's the most beautiful woman in the world for the first time in her entire life. And finally, he one day dropped the melon and dropped down on one knee on a sandy beach, and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him. Georges was just THAT into me. And I, smart woman that I am, I'm so into HIM that I said YES. Because I now know real Love when I see it. Everything up until now? It was all just "practice love", opportunities for me to figure out that I'm fine and worth loving, just the way I am.
So please, I implore you, if you're one of the women who came by here looking for the answers... stop wasting your time, energy and your beautiful self worrying about whether this guy or that one is "into you" or not. Instead, go and live your life the way YOU want it. Do what YOU enjoy. Don't wait for a man to make you happy; make yourself happy (because that's how you'll be really attractive to the right guy, by the way). Be the person YOU want to be. Make your life incredible, just the way you already are. And that's when he'll show up, and be completely WOWED by everything about you.
It will be so worth it. I promise.
And in the meantime, in a few more months you can go and see the new movie based on the book that started all the fuss in the first place. Yes, it's true -- someone actually made a movie based on that book, and maybe I'm the last one to know about it, but He's Just Not That Into You is coming to the big screen (October in the US, November here in France). Go with your single friends and remind yourselves of just how wonderful you are. Let the Universe worry about the right time and place for you to meet that perfect guy.