Got a problem with your love life? Ask LaRue for advice at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Ms. LaRue,
A guest recently on "Oprah" advised a woman left dangling by a guy that "He's just not that into you." Do you think that a man who initially shows interest but does nothing to follow through really "isn't that into you" or are there other factors at work?
Well, as always, have I got a story for you. I knew a boy who was eccentric and strange. So typically up my alley. Seemingly a match in every way. Eyes like blue raspberry lollipops and lips even sweeter. Smart, funny, attentive in a non-creepy way. He called me beautiful and told me I was worth trying for. He wanted to meet my family, and we picked out hypothetical baby names.
All this on the first date; could a girl get luckier?
But alas, our fair LaRue was not so lucky. By the second date, he was distant. And by the third, I wondered if I had to hold a mirror under his nose and check for vitals.
I had all my eggs in his smooth-talkin' basket and he looked willing to carry them. So what the hell happened? Did I say something wrong? Did I do something wrong? Oh God, he hated that outfit I wore.
Maybe, but there were unforeseen forces at work.
While I moderately respect Oprah, and her guests, I gotta say the "he's not into you" answer doesn't go to the source of the problem. It instead does what we so often do to ourselves, which is assume the problem is with us. What if it's not?
He could have stopped calling because he's in the CIA and I was a security risk. The moon could have been in alignment with Jupiter, and it messed with his Uranus in the fifth house, causing a temporary squirrelliness. Huh?
Sometimes, the answer as to why we are rejected or why someone stops showing interest is complex and very often has nothing to do with us. But we as a society are people of action. If something's not working or wrong, well, let's just change it. Improve it! Make it better! Fix it for the love of Moses, so I can have this thing I think I want.
Let's take my situation. The boy in question eventually told me over drinks why it wasn't going to work for us. I was ready for anything.
Was I too fat? Too skinny? Was there, gulp, someone else. I can change all of those things, just give me a chance.
"You're too strong for me," he said.
What? Did he really just? Wha, but, what? I started looking for his skirt.
After I took him out of the headlock, I thought about what he said.
He gave me an answer. That part had seemed important before he actually gave it to me. Is this something I could change in order to be with him?
I could. But do I want to?
He was pretty hot. He did make me laugh. But anyone could. What was I willing to pay for his affection? I've gone on diets for boys. I've read books they liked in order to stimulate them to keep them around. I once took up painting to appear more moody and deep.
These were seemingly superficial changes. But how many "little" changes had I made over the years? How many of those little changes altered me in a big way?
Was I now willing to change such a huge part of myself, a part that I liked, to get a little action from a mullet who liked weak women?
Fact is, there's any number of things we could change about ourselves. With enough technology and plastic, we can be technically perfect. With enough classes, books and talk shows, we could be anyone's someone.
But would it be real? Would they be loving what's really there? In the long run, does the answer to "Why don't you like me?" really matter?
No. Because ultimately we don't want to be loved by just anyone. We want to be loved by the one that sees beyond our plastic and celluloid wisdom. We want and deserve to be loved by the person who sees who we really are and loves us anyway.
It's all part of the game, kids. There are going to be things people don't like about us. That's their problem. The trick is to figure out if their request for change is reasonable, if we're willing to pay their prices, and if they really are our match anyway.
In the end, I told the boy he was too weak for me and thanked him for a lesson learned.
As it turned out, he had made the whole thing up. The truth was, he found someone else and didn't want to hurt me by telling me so.
I was glad I didn't bargain for his affection. Because by the time I found out the truth, it didn't really matter. I had already realized he was overpriced and no match for me.