General Question

emilyrose's avatar

What are your thoughts on the "he's just not that into you" theory?

Asked by emilyrose (2251 points ) September 25th, 2008

To fill in those of you who may not know, the theory is that if a guy is into you, he will ask you out. You don’t need to make a move, he will. If you do make a move, and things work out for a while, it never will in the end because the man did not make the first move. I’m a huge fan of this. I’m a feminist and all, but it has never worked for me to be the one pursuing a guy. Never. Those relationships never lasted. I have asked out men on multiple occasions and every time I have learned that it’s a bad idea!

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33 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

Well, you have yet to ask me out…

Harp's avatar

I spent most of my young adulthood pining for one girl or another, but too timid to make a move. My current wife (of 26 years) was the first to ever put the moves on me.

girlofscience's avatar

I don’t know. I guess this is really rare, but in my current relationship, I honestly think the “pursuing” was 100% mutual. (Been dating 2 years.) We were friends for 3 years BEFORE we started dating, and we got together one drunken night. Things stayed casual for about 6 months (from both sides), and then it sorta just evolved into a relationship.

So in that case, neither one of us really made any move. How would the theory view this?

emilyrose's avatar

@harp—- COOL!

Mtl_zack's avatar

i rarely make a move, partly because i get rejected a lot and its very depressing. i never want to be rejected. i only ask out if i REALLY like her that much that im willing to humiliate myself.

cyndyh's avatar

I think the idea behind “he’s just not that into you” is that you need to stop making excuses for something not going your way with a guy. It can be about him not asking you out or not taking the next commitment step or not being head-over-heals about you even if you’re dating. I think it’s more an idea of knowing when to move on instead of just not asking guys out.

It’s more about knowing when to cut your losses instead of banging your head against a wall. There are a lot of young women who seem to spend a lot of time second guesses everything about their relationship or would-be relationship. And some women spend a lot of time trying to trick a guy to behave a certain way. These things are really a waste of time.

You can ask him out, but if it’s not working out be clear with yourself and him about what you want and about whether this is the guy that’s going to give that to you. If not, move on because -he’s just not that into you.

Personally, I have never been a wait-til-he-calls kind of gal and I’ve been happily married for more than a decade now.

Ibrooker's avatar

I think the man’s initiative era is sort of coming slowly to an end (I may have skewed impressions of the past). In my experience its normally a sort of mutual progression where the attraction is pretty obvious and any explicit “steadiness” came well after the fact that it was what the relationship had become anyway. It doesn’t always work like that I suppose, so I would recommend that you find your own way to express your feelings. There are tons of guys who won’t take initiative and plenty of girls who make their own excuses. If you’re really into someone, I wouldn’t let any preconceived ideas about dated dating rituals get in the way. They’re falling out of practice in culture anyway…

nikipedia's avatar

I agree with @cyndyh. I think of this theory as an extension of Occam’s Razor: all other things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be correct. So maybe he’s not calling because he’s afraid of his feelings/his mom didn’t love him enough/whatever crap you tell yourself to make sure you stay invested—but the simplest explanation is that he’s just not that into you.

Which, conveniently, also lets you cut your losses and move on, which is probably the best course of action—even in the unlikely event that he actually is that into you and your crazy rationalizations are accurate. If you’re waiting around for someone or making excuses to justify his behavior he clearly will never be able to give you what you want anyway.

Emilyy's avatar

Yeah, Em, I think that your explanation of the theory in the original question might be a tad bit off…I mean, believe me, I could go on for DAYS about the politics of who asks who out and all of that, but I think the theory is less about who asks who and more about accepting that some people are gonna like you, and some people just aren’t, no matter who initiates things. And you can’t make people like you if they just don’t. I think a lot of women think that just because they like a man, they can get the man to like them back. Not so. To me the theory is more like what cyndyh described in her post up above. You can ask a man out, but if he’s not into it, he won’t call, he won’t come upstairs, he just won’t.

Personally, I love the theory as well. It was like a lightbulb went on over my head when I saw that Sex and the City episode. It’s just so freeing to realize that you don’t need to sit there and go through all the possible reasons of why he didn’t call you after the date.

Is it because I didn’t put out?
Is it because I farted that one time during dinner?
Do I have bad breath?
Am I not hot enough?
Did his dog take ill?
Did he go out of town unexpectedly?
Did he die?
Is he gay?
Does he have a girlfriend?
Is he married?
Is he a secret agent?

You can save a LOT of time by just saying to yourself, “Well, I guess he’s just not that into me. And I’ll find someone else who is. The end.”

@niki: great minds think alike. :)

dalepetrie's avatar

I was WAY too scared to ever ask anyone out. It was only by the exceptional luck that my wife, a truly kindred spirit, was every bit as lonely and shy as I was and decided to do something about it by placing a singles ad. In fact, I realized as I became more sophisticated that if I HAD asked out a few of the girls I pined for in my younger days, they might have actually said yes. Now it seems so silly to me, but I honestly think if I guy is willing to go out with you, he’s willing to give the relationship a chance…I don’t think whether or not he asks you out is any indicator of how into you he is. I can tell you first hand there were girls I was WAY into who were with guys who hadn’t been afraid to ask them out, and who now took them for granted and didn’t seem 1% as into them as I felt. So, I think the premise is faulty.

cyndyh's avatar

Thank you niki and Em. :^>

@Em: But what if he is a secret agent? LOL! That one just cracks me up.

Knotmyday's avatar

I was always the shy guy, who stuttered and dropped things around someone he likes. But still, I made the effort if I liked them well enough… of course, if I was pursued by someone I liked, so much the better! Pursuing isn’t bad, if it’s innocuous.

But I think farting during dinner would be the consummate deal-breaker. Especially on a first date.

Emilyy's avatar

@Knotmyday: So you’re saying that I could have scored all these men throughout my life if not for my chronic flatulence problem? Dammit!

@cyndyh: I have no idea what would happen if he were actually a secret agent. But I do think that’s a better alternative than most of the rest of that list, wouldn’t you say?

cyndyh's avatar

Yes, I do and it can explain more. And it’s easier to accept than the idea of never having chili with beans again. :^>

Emilyy's avatar

Or cheese! I love cheese, arguably more than most men. So if they can’t handle me, too damn bad!

I hope everyone knows I’m kind of joking. I’m never getting a date off Fluther at this rate.

cyndyh's avatar

Yeah, we’re just knocking the gas out of you. :^>

PredatorGanazX's avatar

Perhaps you are just spoke too soon My Dear EmilyNathon…

As for this book it is still no match for Mens are from Venus and Men are from mars…..

marinelife's avatar

I think your sample is not scientific. I would not give up on asking guys out that you like. Why just automatically cut a huge group of possible relationships out?

There are lots of reasons guys don’t make a move.

Making the first move works sometimes and doesn’t work others.

emilyrose's avatar

Thanks, folks! I agree that my explanation of the theory was not fabulous : ) I was thinking more about pursuit and not necessarily the initial “ask out” although I think for now I am sticking with not making any official asks.

shadling21's avatar

@Knot- For some guys, that may be the consummate deal-maker.

I’m glad this was brought up. I’m as socially inept as the next person, but I’m willing to take a chance if I think it will lead to good things.

There have been several occasions in which I want to call, but decide to wait because people say, “It’s the man’s job.” I don’t believe that men have to be the ones that initiate things, but often men believe that men have to do it. Especially if their families are very traditional. So, the order is upset.

wundayatta's avatar

Boy, I, too, would be on my own, if it weren’t for the woman. I spent three nights, sitting in a car, talking to my future wife, after giving her a ride home from a workshop we were attending. I liked her a lot, but I wasn’t about to say anything. So I guess we must have been having intense conversations for around six hours, not to mention doing the workshop together, and then she asked me up to her apartment. Thank god I knew what that meant!

Basically, women have to hit me over the head, and be very explicit that they are interested in me, or like me. Otherwise, I’m convinced that people run when they find out I’m coming. The internet is nice, because you can’t really do that. Also no one can see me. Or smell me. Or whatever it is they don’t like me.

I am soooo lucky to have a wife and kids. Soooo lucky. Of course, I don’t expect that to last either. I’m sure I’ll screw it up, somehow. oops. I’m not supposed to let these kinds of thoughts out

PredatorGanazX's avatar

Is the situation that bad daloon?

I guess in a relationship you need to have a certain composure and of course a boost o self confidence in order to set the record straight.

Knotmyday's avatar

You’re all right in my book, SeƱor Loon. Una dia at a time, and damn the torpedos.

maccmann's avatar

I have always looked at it like this (and I can back this up from personal experience and what I have observed as well in my professional experience):

Women always see a great guy who they like and it doesn’t matter who makes the move, it’s eventually about what the woman wants, and unfortunately this usually turns into what she would like the guy to be and not what he actually is. It’s that time-honored tradition of women trying to change men and mold them into what they really want.

This is strikingly juxtaposed against what should actually be happening, and that is the woman learning to love who they are with and not always pushing that person to change into what they would rather have.

And yes, I’m going to go there: many failed relationships are from this very issue.

Men aren’t stupid. Women may be intuitive, but men are also quite adept at picking up on signals and we always see what you are doing if you push us to do things or be things which we do not want. No one likes to be pushed, but men REALLY don’t. Push a man too hard or too often and you will push him away. Thus the “He’s just that not into you” theory.

If you push like this, you just make it easier for him to lose his focus on the relationship. I mean, imagine that at work you are hired to do the books and mind the money. Then all of a sudden your manager comes to you and is like, “Well, yeah Sheila…you’re doing fine here, but what I’d really like to see you doing is more technical support for our sales division because I really need to see you use those skills. Now that would be awesome! Oh, and you won’t be getting a raise for this, I’m just adding this to your duties from now on.” Where does that put you? How would that make you feel? even if you are equipped to handle a task like the new one presented, it’s not what you signed on for. And I can guarantee that you wouldn’t be what you wanted and also that you’d grow dislike it. And your lack of focus on your newly ammended job status may end up costing you employment altogether.

In a nutshell, that’s what it’s like for a guy on the receiving end of the woman’s “Change Mechanism” and this will eventually lead to relationship problems, if not total doom.

cyndyh's avatar

I agree with most of what you’ve said, maccmann, except the “woman learning to love who they are with”. To use you employer analogy, if the employer really wants someone to do tech support that’s what they need to advertise for and find in an upfront fashion. They don’t just settle for an accountant if they want a techie.

If a woman wants certain things from a guy, she needs to find that guy instead of trying to make someone that guy or settling for the wrong guy and trying to “learn to love him”.

PredatorGanazX's avatar

What about accept your SO as it is ? Never needed to be change or what so ever it is indeed a point that keeps a relationship healthy or at least a recipe for it.

maccmann's avatar

@ Predator: agreed.
@cyndyh: OK. Good luck with that. There will always be something that you’ll not like in someone. Therefore there will always be at least one thing that you will have to learn to live with. Perfection doesn’t exist.

cyndyh's avatar

@maccmann: I didn’t say anything about perfection. If what a woman wants is something very different than the guy she’s with she’d be better off to find the guy that has those qualities that are important to her instead of just deciding to put up with a whole lot of what she doesn’t want. Are you willing to settle for a lot of the things you just don’t want in a mate? The point is maybe she’s “just not that into you” either.

Thanks for your wish of luck, but it’s already worked out for me. I’ve been happily married for quite some time.

PredatorGanazX's avatar

Well to sum it all up if both parties really meant it to work out the relationship nothing is impossible.

As they say it Love is always meeting someone half way… the other half if for your mates to do their part.

Nimis's avatar

Pred: In your case though, I think you’ve met her more than half way.
Sorry to say, but I’m demoting her to a lower case love. (If that!)

PredatorGanazX's avatar

No apologize needed Nimis ..

Let it be .. let it be.

TheNakedHippie's avatar

Personally I don’t like to make the first move on someone, but I definitely don’t think it doesn’t work out if the guy doesn’t either.

But as far as the theory as a whole, I think it’s pretty legitimate. I mean, doesn’t everyone play games at some point?

softone's avatar

As long as you’re both still breathing, there’s always hope. I’ve given advice to 2 of my female family members to Make the first move on a special guy, and they are both with the guys now and married for many years. However, It never works for me. I may start a relationship, but it doesn’t last. Makes me think my picker is broken for myself. Anyway, keep breathing LOL!

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