Yes you read correctly, it wasn’t a typo! After basking in the glory of the insights learned for the movie ‘He’s just not that into you’ and my previous article on the same title, I figured that it isn’t always about women being vulnerable and men being the emotionally stronger sex. Men need help too. For a lot of women and I speak using my own experiences, I believe that for every guy that’s just not into you there’s a guy in the same scene that you’re just not into.
For every time I have been single and toyed with the possibility of being in a relationship especially in the driest of seasons when there was just no eligible bachelor on the scene, there was always the one guy in the least that I just wasn’t into. Since we are referring to a particular movie here, I will draw examples from the movie and then from personal experience.
If you read the first article you would be familiar with the characters Gorgeous Single Girl (SG) and Scrumptious Married Man (MM). For the sake of those who missed the preceding article, I will summarise. SG is smitten by MM, pursues him based on some silly belief that MM may be the love of her life and she may be the exception to the rule i.e. the one whom the married man leaves his family for. SG and MM begin an affair which ends miserably for both parties.
I will like to introduce another character who I will call Not My Type (NT). NT is really into SG and has been prior to her affair with MM. NT often calls SG, who in turn occasionally visits NT at his home, flirts with him, tells him sweet nothings and leaves him hanging high and dry often with a ‘hard on’. SG likes to cuddle and kiss NT but that’s as far as it ever goes. She has had sex with him once before but hasn’t ever since. Thanks to caller ID she doesn’t pick up his calls most of the time and when she does and says she’ll call him back, she never does. NT cannot understand why SG gives him mixed signals. To him it’s obvious she likes him on the one hand but on the other hand it’s obvious she just doesn’t ‘like him like that’. He cannot understand why they cannot make it official as boyfriend and girlfriend.
Now in my experience after assessing guys based on whatever criteria, there are 2 broad categories of guys that I am not into and I will refer to them as Mr. No Sparks (NS) and Mr. No No (NN).
NS, we spend time together, we talk on the phone, I sleep on his couch, spend the night at his house, dance with him at the party, wear his t-shirts, sit on his lap but that’s the limit. I don’t want anything more or want him to ask for anything more because the likely response will be ‘but I thought you were my brother’. He’s the kind of guy you feel safe with but there’s really little or no attraction to tip the tables. The signals here are mixed, green-light, green-light, red-light!
To the NS man, I realize this may appear really frustrating but I would say to you, if this woman is worth pursuing based on your assessment of her, then tarry a while. A lot of women connect emotionally and being able to spend a lot of time comfortably in your presence is usually a good sign that you have passed many other assessment areas hence the green-light. However, there are two things that potentially will keep a guy in the NS state; the first is that he may be lacking in a fantasy sometimes fundamental criteria of hers, so she is re-assessing whether or not she can compromise on the criteria. While she makes up her mind, this could take some time, hence green-light, red-light. Count yourself lucky if she tells you what the criteria is as you will be amazed the kinds of criteria women have for their would-be men (another article). However, if you cannot meet the criteria set and it appears to be fundamental to her, you may be fighting a losing battle as she may string you along till her fantasy man arrives. It will be useful for a NS guy to find out early on if he falls under this category of NS that holds little prospects. The second reason which has a greater likelihood of success but can keep a guy in the NS state is that she’s just not attracted to you enough. So telling her how much you like her or asking her out early on won’t do the trick, she already knows that you like her. Your telling her again, would probably freak her out and bring on another of those ‘I see you as a brother’ conversations. I would suggest you need to do a better job of building chemistry and rapport with her. She must discover for herself that she likes you even before you tell her.
To establish whether or not she may have more feelings for you than she realizes, you need to create circumstances to test the waters. The best relationships I have had had started off as No Sparks (NS), so I really feel there is hope for turning a NS into a real relationship. When there is no fundamental criteria issue, the tipping point is usually the level of attraction. To build chemistry and rapport you must sow seeds of romantic thoughts and affiliations. Romantic feelings are the difference between the perpetual friend and the would-be lover. So the sooner the feelings are established, the better for all. So Mr. NS, a few tips to tip her over;
1. Be flirtatious. Try flirting with her and see how she reacts to it. The problem with nice guys is they are too nice and not naughty and this gives the impression of being a wonderful friend. Flirting should be playful and fun; a tickle, a playful smack, but something that allows you test the waters while allowing you hide under the pretext of a joke if things should go wrong. If she flirts back, green-light!
2. Touch subtlely. Don’t go grabbing her behind! When you meet up with her, make some physical contact for a few seconds but make sure it’s not somewhere uncomfortable. Try holding her hand for a few seconds if she likes it, she will snuggle up or have a sudden insight of ‘I like that’, green light! If she struggles to let go please leave her, red light!
3. Create some distance. Make yourself scarce. Do this especially when it’s been going on for months. Try spending the whole day with her then non for few days, then more again. Same with the phone calls. Let her miss you. Your disappearance will give her time to think about you. If she really has feelings for you; she will come looking for you, green light! If you don’t hear from her, red light!
4. Smell good, look good. I wish I could say this 5 times. Women are not attracted to men that smell funky or look unkempt. Dress neatly and smartly. Invest in anti-perspirant deodorant. It’s amazing that in this day and age some guys are still being reminded about this. I had a personal struggle with a guy on this one and he looked amazing but his smell just could not allow us pass GO. I tried telling him subtly but I guess old habits die hard! If she tells you that you look nice or smell good. Double green light! Proceed!
5. Anchor with happiness. Let her associate you with fun and happiness; that will make her see you as a positive aspect in her life. Invite her or take her out to fun places like parties or places she enjoys. Call her when she’s feeling down, be there for her but do not be the one who is always there for her at sad moments. That’ the job of her girl friends.
6. Ask her out! Only after you have established that she likes you and would consider taking it further. If you are still unsure, ask her in a light hearted manner what she thinks of you and her being a couple. If she reacts positively, there you go, green-light!
NNs on the other hand, I have no interest in whatsoever. In my mind,
for whatever reason relationship wise, there is no possibility of progress. There is often just something about this guy that just rubs me the wrong way. If he pushes, I may even get irritated and scream! The more NN tries the more irritated I get. The problem with the NN is that he doesn’t listen. The signs are there loud and clear but he creates his own agenda and pursues it. Everything he is told lands on deaf ears so he continues his purposeless mission until he exhausts himself. There was once a guy that was convinced I was his wife and his persistence only annoyed me even more. Surely if there was an atom of truth in his prophesy my heart would change towards him but the areas of incompatibility were so deep rooted that I felt like strangling him every time he mentioned his conviction. Yes, I can change from lukewarm to hot about a guy but I haven’t yet gone from cold to hot. When I am at cold that’s usually what the thought of him does to me; turns me ice cold. He pursued until I literally had to scream ‘Stop! you are making me ill’.
There are only a few things more frustrating for a woman than being pursued by a NN. It is very similar to being trailed by a stalker. There is a clear distinction between a NS and a NN. If you are a NS, she actually likes you and spends time with you and talking to you. If she doesn’t spend time with you or spend time talking to you, you are a NN make no mistake of that. Leave her alone.
A woman’s green light may be tricky but her red-light should not be disregarded. One red-light signal may mean a ‘proceed with caution’ but several doses of these are clear signals of a definite No No;
1. She’s not returning your calls. She may not call you but not returning your calls is plain rude and a clear ‘I am not interested’ signal. If she’s playing games, even worse, you should think twice whether this is the type of girl you want to be spending time with. Flashing red-light!
2. She’s giving you monotonous responses on the phone or by email. Women like to talk especially to men the are interested in. One word answers mean ‘I am not interested in letting you know me and I am not interested in knowing you either.’ This is one signal I wish all guys would understand quicker. Double red-light!
3. She’s inflexible and too busy to fit you into her schedule. It is not unusual for a woman to clear her whole day’s schedule just to be available for one hour with a man she is clearly interested in. Red-light!
4. She declines gifts, never lets you do her any favors – or she repays them immediately. This is a sign she knows you’re into her, and she doesn’t want to feel indebted or obligated to you. Most women love receiving gifts and if she declines or doesn’t acknowledge the gesture there isn’t a clearer signal that she is not interested. Proceed with caution!
5. She agrees to go out with you but cancels at the last minute. If she has cancelled on you a few times. Hint, hint, you are just back up.
6. You don’t hear from her for weeks or months at a time, and then she calls out of the blues to hang out. Chances are she is bored and you are the very last resort. You’re worse than back up.
7. She’s trying to hook you up with her friends or talking about how attractive other women are. This is a sure sign she is trying to deflect your attention from herself to another woman. Not a good sign.
8. She’s talking to you about other men she is interested in. This is really a hopeless situation and if she’s doing this because she’s playing games, again I ask is this the kind of woman you really want to be with.
9. She says ‘maybe’ to a date scheduled 2 weeks in advance. She’s just being polite, she’s not interested.
10. She tells you that she just wants to be friends or that she thinks of you as a brother (much worse). This means that she doesn’t find you attractive. She enjoys your company but she does not want to sleep with you. Sorry dear.
11. She finds every reason to argue with you and then puts the blame on you. She’s trying to justify why you’re so wrong for her. Please help her leave you. Run!
12. She puts you down in public, shouts at you or rolls her eyes in contempt. Wow! She has no respect for you whatsoever so please just leave her alone.
13. She doesn’t laugh at your jokes. She either doesn’t get your sense of humor, which means you probably aren’t compatible or you are really rubbing her the wrong way. When women are interested, everything about you is funny. She will laugh even when it isn’t funny.
14. She says ‘I am not interested in you’. Unlike a lot of things women say, it is wise to take this literally. This phrase may come in many different forms such as: ‘I don’t like you’, ‘I don’t want to date you’, I don’t want to have a relationship with you, ‘leave me alone’, ‘stop calling me’…the options are endless. The fact is she is NOT playing hard to get, so cut your losses and move on.
Now for the NS guy there is an additional aspect which should not be brushed aside. I wouldn’t be fair if I did not address it (ladies, I am sorry). It usually borders around another guy being in the picture. I like to refer to this other guy as a distraction; someone else whom a woman is attracted to and perhaps hopeful will blossom into something more. For me, it is one thing juggling a bunch of unserious men but it is very difficult to give more than one serious guy my undivided attention, even if we are still exploring possibilities. One of the relationships must suffer for the other to thrive. I tell my male friends not to underestimate the power of competition. If there’s a distraction, the signals can be very similar to red-light. If the distraction appears midway in the pursuit there may be a sudden change in her behavior and availability. Whereas the issue is not so much a ‘not interested’ but a ‘not interested right now’ which I liken to a busy signal on the telephone, ‘the lines are busy, please try again later.’ I have experienced this first hand and seen this happen with several women where after the distraction disappears, the scales finally drop off their eyes. A bit like what happens with SG and NT in the movie. When the affair with MM goes horribly wrong, she reverts to NT, who at this time has summoned up the courage to lay his cards on the table, and ask SG out one more time and to his shock, SG agrees to be his girlfriend without much fuss. Now of course the rest of us know that this behavior is due to a certain MM being out of the picture and a love guru once said that ‘the best cure for a lost love is another love.’
Nevertheless, when there’s a distraction, the signals can be red-light, so I would still suggest you move on and if you still haven’t found what you are looking for after some time has elapsed then you may try again at a later date when the outcome of the situation with the distraction is clearer.
They say women are interesting characters, I agree. If you are a NN, you are not her type, you are bringing out the worst in her or she has given you multiple doses of red-light signals then please leave her alone. If you are a NS, look out for 3 things; the criteria, do you meet it? The level of attraction, can you increase it? The distraction, will you compete or call back later? But more often than not, I suspect that she is just not attracted to you enough, so there is still hope. Again, I speak for myself, as long as woman spends time with you and time talking to you, she actually likes you, maybe not enough but she does anyway. Try focusing on building chemistry and rapport with her. Take control of the re
lationship, flirt with her a little and see how she reacts to it. If she flirts back, you are well on your way, if the signals are multiple red-lights then please consider calling it a day but whatever the circumstances, don’t be a push-over, remain confident, be a gentleman, treat her like a lady always and maybe, just maybe she’ll be yours. Good luck and please expect my invoice!