“He’s Just Not That Into You”
I heard about the book not long after it came out. Who didn’t, right? I can’t say I knew anything about it. No one actually elaborated on it’s contents, but rather just said it was enlightening. Enlightening? What more do you need to know than the title? Doesn’t ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ say it all? And don’t all of us women with our vast experience with men know what that means? Surely we should be able to tell the difference by now, right? I mean, how much more can a damn book teach us? Well, I didn’t get a chance to read the book; I didn’t think I needed to. After all, I’m married. I did happen to catch the movie Saturday night on cable though. The answer to what it can teach us? Apparently a lot.
I was laying on the couch wrapped up with Hound Dog nursing the double-whammy (the double-whammy being that time of the month when my menstruation and perimenopause join forces against me and wreak complete havoc on my body) when I happened upon the title on my cable guide. Eh, what the hell I thought to myself, and turned it on. It was about fifteen minutes into the show and I figured I couldn’t have missed that much. I really don’t know what, if anything I missed, but I do know within minutes of viewing it the damn thing sucked me right in. All these characters so confused about what they were looking for, what they already had, became so real to me and I related completely. I sat for the next couple of hours through a frozen pizza, nearly an entire bag of Twizzlers, big-girl size Symphony chocolate bar, and two glasses of Pepsi following their every move (I eat to fill sadness and depression, and to curb hormonal symptoms in case you’re wondering). I watched their emotions waltz around in a silent dance as their lives entwined and then began to unravel.
There was about ten minutes left in the movie when my husband entered the room, sat down in the recliner, and asked what I was doing. Ya know, cause it wasn’t obvious or anything that I was biting my nails through the ending of it or anything. I shushed him as the dramatic part was wrapping up with each seeming to find the harmony they were seeking in the decisions they’d made; listening rapt as one particular male character was professing his love for the object of his desire. They kissed; his lips lingering on hers as if they couldn’t bear to pull away for even a moment. Then the embrace came; resulting in a more passionate kiss that seemed to lift her off the floor. I felt a smile creep up and onto the corners of my mouth. I am not so jaded that I still can’t appreciate love. I couldn’t stop myself from saying the first thought that entered my mind “I miss being in love. I almost forgot what it looks like.”
I heard the old man shift in his chair behind me. The silence between us felt very uncomfortable. I knew I’d touched a nerve. I wondered what he was thinking but didn’t ask. I was too preoccupied with the thought in my head I couldn’t rid myself of: We never had that… We never did have that. Not in the beginning. Not now. Not ever. Not like that. And I know what you all are thinking: But it’s only a movie and these are only actors. It’s not real. And you’d be right. It is only a movie, based off a book, written by authors probably no different than most of us. But that kind of love is real. I know, my parents had it for the entirety of 42 years before my mother passed away. I have their relationship to compare it to. I believe that I’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced it, though I sometimes wonder now if it was merely on my end alone as the relationship ended without reaching fruition. I know what being in love feels like. I’ve had it. Just not with him.
I told him that he could have the couch; I was going to bed. I climbed the stairs leaving him sitting there with a blank look on his face as he stared at the tv screen. I went to sleep alone as I had for over a month. I felt somewhat depressed, as if I were grieving over a loss. Was loss the word I was looking for? I still don’t know, but I’ve been experiencing it for a while now. Whatever it was left me with an empty sadness. No, we may never have had that kind of love, but I knew once we had something. Now it feels like nothing at all. We’ve become so comfortable with each other and our routines that we’ve barely noticed we are going through the motions of having a life together, when we no longer want or need each other. I’ve been left for the last couple of days with the realization that my husband is just not that into me anymore. I suppose I could take it personally and have it affect my ego. I don’t. The truth is I’m just not that into him either.
Ours was a relationship started between two attractive people who fell in ‘lust’. I can admit that. He wanted me and told me everything I apparently needed to hear. Maybe he even believed some of it himself at the time. So ours was a foundation built on sand that wasn’t likely to survive the waters that would eventually wash over it, and it appears hasn’t. Lust can mask itself as love as long as the passion lasts, but can only carry you so far. So what now?
I don’t mind making sacrifices in a relationship, and have. I always said if a man truly loved me I would be willing to live in a cardboard box at the river with him if need be. I don’t want for a lot of material things, nor do I need them to please me. Money can’t buy me. If it could I’d be a rich bitch right now, because I had my share of suitors when I was younger and considered quite lovely, who were willing to move heaven and earth and give me whatever I wanted for the pleasure of my company, and wasn’t interested. All I’ve wanted, all I’ve ever sought out is that one man who would look at me the way my father did my mother, and love me unconditionally till death wrenched us apart. I thought I found it once, but lost it. After, I guess I just felt my one and only was gone and would have to settle. Then for a time after my husband and I got together I really believed that fate had granted me that second chance at finding love again, but apparently it was not in the cards as I’d hoped.
How do I know? A good sign that a man isn’t in love with you is when he can watch you cry and it doesn’t affect him in the least. You can be very ill and he doesn’t seem concerned. You have needs but are unable to meet them yourself, he has the means to help you but refuses. He’s more concerned about his relationship with other people then he is about the one the two of you share together, and is willing to risk yours to keep the other. He has a wall built up around himself and has never let you in. Most important for me: When your heart is completely broken, you’ve lost a loved one and are struggling with the loss, he doesn’t console you, nor does it appear it even occurs to him to do so. I guess that’s where I am.
I miss being in love, I do. I guess I just don’t know if it’s that important anymore at this stage in the game. I’m going to be 49 in a month, the sand is swiftly sifting through the hourglass at this point, and I’m wondering if it’s easier to accept the loss and live the lie, than it would be to strike out on my own and try to reinvent myself. Is love, emotional intimacy, sex, etc., that important anymore? What if we are only given one true love in this life…one so-called ‘Soul Mate’…and the one meant for me has already come and gone? What if it were up to me to recognize that was the only one I was ever going to get and didn’t? What if I don’t get second chances? What then?
What would you do?