Ladies, if you haven’t seen the movie ‘He’s just not that into you,’ please, invite a girlfriend over for a night of Netflix (once the pandemic is over), open a bottle of wine and take notes. The movie was released in 2009 and is based on the novel written by Greg Behrendt’s and Liz Tuccillo’s 2004 self-help book of the same name. This movie is a favourite of mine as it follows nine people experiencing everyday relationship realities. 

The movie opens with a compelling thought which addresses how we, as a society, might be raising our children. Are we unknowingly programming little girls that when a boy picks on her, it means he likes her? Are we supporting the same belief in young boys when he expresses himself in this manner? I’ve observed conversations like these between adults and children. Although these interactions are meant in jest, what if this conversation between adult and child supports learning how one might express attraction?  

In the movie, Gigi was the little girl programmed to think that misbehaving male behaviour was a sign of attraction. She’s my favourite character as she represents every woman’s relationship alter ego due to her neurotic nature. We’ve all experienced the emotional tornado of dissecting tiny details from a date or interaction with men. Our brains enter a perpetual loop in an attempt to decode what was said and what it meant. We’re compelled to converse with our girlfriends, rationalizing the male behaviour, formulating an outcome in our favour, and yet we are perplexed when they don’t call. One of Gigi’s lessons learned along her bumpy dating experiences is that ‘if he’s not calling you, it means he’s not into you.’ This is GOLD. Why? Because it’s true. Male behaviour is simply this- if he considers you worth his time and energy, he will contact you. If he doesn’t contact you, you are not worth his time or energy. This comes from men having a ‘worth it calculation,’ where they assess everything they do based on this energy equation and expenditure.  

Please be mindful about the context in which I am stating that he’s not into you if he’s not calling. I’m not talking about booty calls. I’m talking about the foundation of getting to know someone to move towards relationship material. I don’t claim to have any understanding or knowledge around fleeting sexual interests and games. You’ll have to navigate that space with your intuition when he calls under that kind of drive and desire.  

The movie also addresses “if he’s not marrying you,” using Neil’s character, who doesn’t believe in marriage. He doesn’t view organized consumerism and vowing in public as necessary means expressing love. Unfortunately for him, his partner is beginning to doubt their relationship due to his unwillingness to pop the question. She views marriage as the ultimate declaration of love and commitment because everyone else is doing it. It’s a common occurrence for women to feel like they’ve been a GIRLFRIEND for long enough and desire to be the WIFE, placing ultimatums on men attempting to force their hand in marrying them. Here’s my two cents: men will take the next step towards marriage if:

  1. My husband and I on our wedding dayThey believe in the relevance of it. Often men are looking at marriage from an analytical versus an emotional perspective. They are thinking, “How will it enhance my life.”
  2. Feel as though it will provide their partner something important. Men want to provide for their partner as long as it doesn’t go against their belief system. (this is where Neil struggled, he didn’t believe in marriage).
  3. When they feel like they can assume the roles and responsibilities of being a husband. Men often think they need to own a home, have a steady career and possibly a 401k account before standing at the altar. 

These are all great conversations to have while DATING to understand where both partners sit with marriage expectations. 

The last point I wanted to address is the role the GIRLFRIENDS play in this movie. As a girlfriend, are we supporting a narrative that perpetuates a fantasy? Or are we comparing our reality to others’, causing disappointment and envy? On the one hand, we want to support our fellow girlfriend in need, telling her that, “He’ll call,” or “Maybe he lost your number.” However, on the other hand, we support her with being potentially stuck in a fantasy world where her inner neurotic woman is coming out to play, turning the first date into an inspiration board for the imminent wedding. Granted, I’m being extravagant with my thoughts, but it’s intended to bring awareness to this all too common conversation between women. 

Reflect on how you’ve interacted with your girlfriends and what genuine support is. Avoid disappointment and envy by bringing awareness and gratitude to the ‘haves’ versus the ‘have nots.’ Everyone is leading a life with different circumstances; let’s get confident in our truths and see the ‘Neil’s’ of this world for what they provide versus expecting an event to dictate your love. 

He’s Just Not That Into You gets a 10 out of 10 from this cat. It’s witty, hilarious and brings to light many all too common relationship issues experienced by us all.