He’s Just Not That Into You!

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After a magical first date, Susan was so sure that she would hear from Stephen again that she even boasted to friends that she’d met “the one.”

Two agonizing weeks later, she was shocked that she never did.

“Maybe he got back together with his ex,” one friend piped in. “Maybe he was too intimidated by you,” another said. “Maybe you should call him,” offered another. “Maybe he’s gay,” suggested yet another.

Or maybe … he’s just not that into you. Sure, these words sound harsh, but according to a best-selling new dating book, these six words can save women like Susan from a lifetime of heartache and stress.

Ever since talk show host Oprah Winfrey featured the book, He’s Just Not That Into You, on an episode of the Oprah show, it’s been flying off of book shelves and racing up the best-seller list. Its contents are discussed by single women and their Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women.

“The book is implicitly teaching women to have good psychological boundaries, meaning that if he’s just not that into you, it’s not your problem, it’s his and you need to deal with the fact that for whatever the reason this guy is not interested in a relationship with you,” he says.

“If you are on your hands and knees with a magnifying glass looking for a needle in a haystack as to why he stopped pursuing you, you’re nuts. It just didn’t click, which is fine,” Real says. “Maybe he doesn’t like redheads or maybe you have a broad face like his mother or maybe you don’t have a broad face like his mother.”

It may be an intimacy issue on his part, Real says.

“The kind of guy that has trouble with intimacy is love-avoidant,” he says. “A man who has been wounded in his childhood by family and culture and can’t distinguish between being close to someone and being eaten up alive is love-avoidant, ” Real says.

“If there is a history of enmeshment with one of the parents, often the mother, in which the man was used as a hero child, performer, confidant, or the baby, then the relationship with a parent was one in which the child was there to service the parent’s needs, not the other way around,” he says. “That’s what they feel will happen to them and are basically intimacy-phobic.”

But, he cautions, don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. “If you spent the whole date talking about yourself or not talking about yourself or were excessive and extreme in another way and bet it was a real-turn off, look at it and do better next time.”

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Originally published Nov. 1, 2004.

Medically updated July 2006.