Books have been written about it, movies have been made, multiple conversations have been had, and yet we’re still having trouble figuring out when a guy just isn’t that interested. I think the problem lies in the fact that sometimes mixed signals can serve as an excuse to stay with someone who is otherwise terrible for you. Despite what he says, his actions will tell a better story. Here is a real life example of when you have to look at a specific action, and not words or actions from the past (names have been changed to provide privacy):
Where are You?
Steve and Emily were dating for four months. They spent every weekend with each other. They lived an hour away from each other and both worked full time, so they rarely spent a weekday together. Still, when she would come to town on Friday he never let her go home until work on Monday. He had introduced her to his family and friends. They went on double dates with her friends, and they spent lots of time hanging out with his. He would compliment her constantly, and they never had an argument.
Although the weekends were great, she started to feel like it was odd that they never communicated during the week. The drive made it hard to see each other, but shouldn’t he call or text once and a while? She let it go, because of their busy schedules. One Friday night she went up to see him, and the next morning he was gone. She called him and he was golfing. She found it weird that he went off without letting her know he was leaving, and she felt awkward waiting around his apartment for him. She decided to leave, but later that day he begged her to come back. He said he’d make it up to her with dinner. They had a nice dinner, but when he went to pay his card was declined. Normally this wouldn’t have been a major issue, but Emily had explained earlier that day how her card had been closed for security reasons. He told her that it would be okay, that he was going to run to his apartment and come back to pay.
His apartment was only a couple blocks away, so Emily didn’t understand why it was taking so long for him to return. She finally decided to call him, and figure out what was taking so long. “Hey what’s up where are you?” Steve has the nerve to say. “What do you mean where am I? I’m at the restaurant where you left me,” Emily says. He was in a bar down the street hanging out with his friends. “Why don’t you come here?” he asked like she had just gotten into town, like he hadn’t just left her 15 minutes ago. When she asked him, What about the bill?” he said that he had left his ID with the waitress, and that he would go back and pay the waitress later. Steve had left her in a restaurant with the check without a way to pay, and had gone to a bar.
She left that night feeling angry and confused. He had been so great in the beginning. He had made a difference in her life, and she enjoyed the time they spent together. She started listing all of the reasons why he must care about her, even though leaving her at that restaurant in that way was a clear indication that he definitely did not. He called her repeatedly that night, but she never picked up. Days turned into two weeks before she saw him again. He had texted and called her consistently apologizing and begging her to see him. She finally felt as though she had punished him enough, and the honest truth was that she missed his company.
She got ready and headed over to see him. They had a great night, and she felt reassured that he did care about her. The next morning they had planned to spend the day together at the beach. He was making breakfast when she decided to make the bed. She threw the blanket off to fix the sheets when she discovered it. A pair of freshly rolled off panties that weren’t hers. Her heart dropped, but in all actuality what did she expect? All of the facts she had ignored, all of the red flags she concealed, all came back to stare her in the face.
He was a wealthy young guy living at the beach. He went out almost every night, he never called or texted her during the week, he left her in a restaurant for God sake. She was disappointed, but couldn’t help laughing at herself for letting it happen like it did. She finished making the bed, used a tissue to put the panties on top of the bed and then walked out into the living room. His roommate was sitting there and saw her exiting. “Hey buddy your girl is escaping,” he shouted to Steve who was still in the kitchen cooking obliviously. He came out into the living room, “Where are you going?” he asked. She didn’t feel like he was worth making a scene over, what would that get her? She would just look like a crazy girl in front of his roommate, and it wouldn’t effect him at all. “I have plans with my brother I forgot about, and I have to go. I’ll see you another time.”
Steve looked confused, and he kept pushing for a better answer. She walked out the door, and was already down the stairs when he rushed outside after her. “I thought we had plans? What do you mean you have plans with your brother? Why are you leaving?” Emily just smiled and said, “Why don’t you just go back into your bedroom and take a look at what’s on your bed. You’ll know why I’m leaving.” Steve asked her why she wouldn’t just talk to him, but she walked off towards her car and left.
Steve found the panties of course, and tried to make up lies. He said that they were from a long time ago, that they had been there from before he met her. “That’s even more disgusting Steve, you never wash your sheets?” she asked. He even tried asking, “Aren’t they yours?” Like she wouldn’t recognize her own. She told him that they were better off ending things, that he was young and clearly not done fooling around, and that she didn’t want to be with someone who was sleeping with other people. They had never had the conversation about being exclusive, so it was her fault for assuming they were.
Sometimes we want to like a guy so much, we give ourselves 100 reasons why he cares. We look at things he says and does, to excuse why we’re with him, even though he’s provided clear proof he’s just not that into the relationship. Time is too precious, and there are too many guys out there who would actually care, to waste your time with someone who doesn’t.