Edge of Everywhere

He’s Just Not That Into You

Posted on: February 10, 2009

Yes, unfortunately, I saw the movie. Not my idea, I promise. It actually wasn’t as horrible as I expected, but there were some annoying messages. Mainly:

1. If she doesn’t sleep with you, she’s not into you. If she sleeps with you at first and then stops, she’s not into you.

Of course, we know that she might just be asexual.

2. If one partner in a mostly perfect long-term relationship wants to get married and the other doesn’t, but then the marriage-obsessed one comes to appreciate the relationship for what it is, that’s not really a happy ending. The person who doesn’t believe in marriage needs to propose anyway in order for there to be a happy ending.

This baffled me. Why should we feel happier for people who feel forced into social conventions than for people who build successful relationships outside of those conventions?

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9 Responses to "He’s Just Not That Into You"

Did you read the book? In it, there was this story about a guy who met a girl at a bar but lost her number. Then he jumped through all these hoops to look it up and find her. This was supposed to be an example of what you should do, but unless there was an interest that was really mutual, I think that would just seem…odd.

Also, is it taboo to mention that some guys are shy? The book seems to think so…

No, I didn’t read the book. I got a free copy once, but couldn’t bring myself to read it. The whole idea of dating makes very little sense to me, let alone intricate dating rules and conventions.

So do the authors really assume that if a guy likes you, he will call you, and if he doesn’t call you, he doesn’t like you? That definitely doesn’t account for shyness.

Yeah, that’s pretty much what they assume. If a guy likes you, he’ll be at the same time very agressive and emotive, and at a very early stage in your relationship. I don’t understand dating, either. I enjoy reading these sorts of books for the same reasons other people read sci-fi.

Haha! You’re right – it’s totally the equivalent of other people reading sci-fi.

I haven’t read the book or seen the movie (yet) but I guess that book was written to make women realize that it is possible that a guy is not interested. I know many women who simply cannot accept that possibility and keep finding reasons why the guy must be or should be interested in them (like “I’m the one for him, he just doesn’t understand it”). I guess that book only focused on the “if he’s not showing interest, then he’s not interested, just accept it and move on” approach because women already make excuses like “he’s not calling because he’s shy” and don’t need to be told that men can be interested even if they don’t call – they already believe it.

I agree about what you wrote about how movies seem to reinforce the idea that it’s better for them to force people into social conventions – it annoys me every time (that’s why I don’t watch many romantic comedies anymore). I expect that when I go see the movie many things about it will annoy me.

For me, dating is like a foreign culture. The extreme case is Japanese dating-sim videogames. Is dating so predictable that you may teach a computer? According to Don Knuth, it would be a science rather than an art. I reject dating because, apart of being aromantic, it’s not an issue of two people, but of two people and a dead weight of conventions.
W.r.t. a non-marriage happy ending, I remember a single case: the finale of the successful Spanish comedy Farmacia de Guardia. The pharmacist and her former husband were persuaded, after their reconciliation, to get married again. When a wedding finale is expected, one hour before the ceremony, they had a talk and decided to remain as friends. They corrected the sign “closed for wedding” with “closed for friendship;” this is the the end.

Rainbow Amoeba – the main storyline in the movie did focus on the idea that women shouldn’t be obsessed with whether a guy will call, because if he’s not interested, it’s okay and she should move on. That makes total sense to me, but I still have a feeling the book would really annoy me.

Isaac – the end of that movie sounds great!

Farmacia de Guardia is not a movie, it’s a five-season TV series of the nineties.

SPOILERS!

To asexyfeminist – now I’ve seen the movie, and I understand what you meant about annoying messages (I still liked it, but for other reasons). The marriage proposal didn’t feel like a happy ending for me and I was really disappointed that Alex and Gigi ended up falling in love with each other. I liked the idea that she would eventually realize that she could be FRIENDS with a guy and that she didn’t NEED to keep dating jerks to find happiness. And I thought it was cooler that he was nice to her if he was her friend, but when it appeared that he was because he was unknowingly falling in love with her, it ruined the whole thing for me. But well, they were my two favorite characters so I was kind of happy for them in the end – I would just have been happier if they had ended up becoming best friends or something.

I agree with you, the book would annoy me too. I don’t like books about dating. I never understood the “dating game” either. I couldn’t figure out why Gigi kept trying to meet guys in the movie – these dates all seemed so artificial, how could someone actually hope to get to know another person that way? And I could never understand the “you marry me or we break up” ultimatum either. Obviously, as the movie shows, being married doesn’t mean that the two people will stay together always – it’s the unmarried guy who only cares about his girlfriend, the married guy only thinks about the other women he can’t sleep with because he’s married!

Oh well, I knew what to expect when I went to see it, and I didn’t hate it – there were good things about it. And at least some of the characters remained single in the end and started trying to improve their own lives. Good for them.

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