I’m Just Not Into Him – I received a correspondence from someone who needed advice on a familiar situation.
Linda thinks that Dexter possesses about two thirds of what she’s searching for in a serious relationship, which is just right for the time being while she is occupied with graduate school and is not looking to settle down soon. She, however, wants to reserve her right not to be exclusive.
I’m Just Not Into Him
Dexter sensed that Linda isn’t too keen on him as he is with her and this made him feel insecure. The more insecure Dexter becomes, the less Linda is attracted to him, which sometimes makes her think of ending the relationship with I’m Just Not Into Him state of mind.
What stops her from doing so is guilt and fear of hurting him. She said that at this point, all she wants is just to enjoy her relationship with Dexter but is confused whether she is doing the right thing.
In my experience with single men and women, this common scenario is often played out a bit differently, with the male being less attached than the female.
This reversed case with Linda and Dexter has become more common nowadays, with the female seeking relationships where they have more power and control over their emotion and vulnerability.
Centuries of inequality and double standards among men and women may have contributed to this phenomenon, which I perceive as beneficial for both partners because they are given equal opportunity of choice.
The most ideal result in this reversed scenario of Linda and Dexter is if they manage to find equal footing when it comes to their feelings for each other. Unfortunately, this does not happen often.
Speaking from experience, here is how I would foresee this playing out:
Linda will decide to stay but tells Dexter about her real feelings for him. She’ll let him know that she enjoys his company and isn’t looking for anything more at the present time. But actually she thinks I’m Just Not Into Him.
She, however, also reveals that she wants them both to have the right to see other people when the time comes and that she isn’t given to making promises to Dexter that she can’t keep.
This revelation will then result in two courses. One is if Dexter decides not to settle for this arrangement and may break up with her. In which case, Linda is off the hook and rid of her guilt.
The other course would be if Dexter agrees to this proposal and decides to play it cool. He understands that this arrangement would be better than breaking up with Linda. This then further results in Linda getting confused with Dexter’s behavior.
Since he is not really convinced with the arrangement but is forced to agree, Dexter will try harder to be the right man for her in the hope of changing Linda’s mind.
Because Linda enjoys the royal treatment and extra attention to her needs, she ignores the mixed signals she’s been getting from Dexter.
How long will Dexter be able to keep the charade?
So, what do you think will eventually result with Dexter’s sudden change in approach and inauthentic display of attention? He’s surely not going to have his emotional needs gratified with this kind of charade.
There will always be a turning point wherein their relationship takes an unhealthy course which will be the first course or healthier ones which are the second and third courses. So lets discuss I’m Just Not Into Him course of action.
1st Course of Action
After quite some time, Dexter will start to show his insecurity by becoming clingy, soft, and yielding. This will turn Linda off and make her lose respect for him. She then begins to test how far he is willing to keep the relationship.
Deep inside, Linda hopes that her unsavory behavior toward him will make Dexter end the relationship. This way, she won’t have to deal with having to dump him. Of course, he has dealt with this scenario and will not and cannot resort to that.
She finally decides to break up with him after feeling she’s had enough of this doormat for a partner. This will result in both of them feeling resentful which will most probably affect how they are going to behave in their succeeding relationships.
2nd Course of Action
Linda decides to break up with Dexter after several months of feeling guilt and distaste for their relationship.
She feels that she does not put in as much time and energy as Dexter does and this makes her feel that she is just taking advantage of his goodness.
She’ll think that it was Dexter’s choice to end the relationship, but he seems to not be brave, self-respecting, mature, and assertive enough to do so. Given these assumptions, Linda will think that she is exploiting his weakness of heart and so see that the ball is now in her court.
She then decides to tell him that he deserves to be loved the right way, which she is not able to fulfill. After figuring that staying friends after a break-up is uncertain, Linda decides to do a clean break because she think I’m Just Not Into Him.
3rd Course of Action
Dexter decides to keep the relationship with Linda despite the latter’s emotional distance. He thinks that Linda is the most beautiful girl he’s ever been with and so he is willing to put up with her lukewarm treatment.
After several months of trying hard to be this ideal boyfriend to her, he decides that he’s had enough of her lukewarm treatment and breaks up with her to salvage whatever self-respect he has.
Dexter then dives into loneliness, despair, and self-doubt. He begins to think that he will never find someone as lovely as Linda. However, he feels that he needs to open himself again to other possible and healthier relationships because he believes in a give-and-take relationship and is willing to find out if he can feel the same way toward another again. Scary I’m Just Not Into Him condition.
What happens if Dexter and Linda decide to marry anyway?
4th Course of Action
One of my readers offered a 4th course of action where Dexter and Linda get married anyway. It may sound like a trap to be married to someone who does not reciprocate your devotion and is not even willing to try.
Here, Linda opts to stick it out with Dexter due to the lack of any other options. She justifies her decision by thinking that maybe she was just expecting too much from him and that there are worse cases than hers out there. So this is I’m Just Not Into Him against her will.
Linda rationalizes that a lot of people experience the same boredom and dullness in a marriage.
Even if neither she nor Dexter are fulfilled and happy with their relationship, Linda is encouraged by the thought that Dexter appears content with their set-up and continues to offer his undying love with the hope that she may learn to reciprocate the devotion and love he’s showing her.
Dexter asks Linda for marry him and she decides to accept on the basis that she does care for him and love him, in fact, though not in the way they both expect – perhaps not as passionately. This is classic I’m Just Not Into Him situation without alternative.
They both think that the relationship gives them the security and comfort they needed. Besides, Linda has not met anyone else anyway that will make her rethink this decision.
So, after many years of living this lie, believing that normal marriages follow this path of mostly unfulfilling sex, melancholia, and cerebral communication that ultimately leads them to give up, injuring not just themselves but their hapless children in the process.
From the beginning, this unfulfilling and inequitable relationship was doomed to fail. There is this general notion going around that there is no such thing as lifelong romance.
You’ll be surprised to know that according to a research conducted by Acevedo and Aron, there are in fact a good number of marriages where the partners experience sustained romance. I speak from my own marriage as well.
There are also a lot of people who, on the contrary, shun platonic or unromantic marriage in spite of the fact that they find stability and satisfaction from it. The worth of this relationship is just not appraised by the level of passion or excitement it brings.
For these types of long-term partnerships, not one size fits all.
Most Americans nowadays, in fact, believe that romance and friendship is what they search for in a long-term relationship and marriage. Others, on the other hand, prefer more practical and convenient unions or an uncomplicated single life.
I believe in seeking whatever rocks your boat and finding the right partners that fit their own expectations according to their needs.
Dexter and Linda both regard romance in their relationship but she lowered her expectations and decided to settle.
Under such condition, efforts by the disadvantaged spouse to please the other typically backfires.
Why do they decide to settle?
If both partners are on the same wavelength with regard to expectations about their relationship, regardless of what form or set-up they agree on, the marriage is most likely to succeed even she is in I’m Just Not Into Him state of mind.
However, in the case of Dexter and Linda, where one is not as devoted as the other is, the following justifications may compel them to marry anyway:
- Both partners believe that they will not find another better than each other.
- Both believe that although there may be better possibilities for others, it is not so for them. This shows their inferior perspective of their own desirability vis-à-vis a superior perspective of that of others.
Sometimes, this belief is justified but most of the time, low self-esteem is the reason for this underestimation of self. This inferior regard of self often distorts their self-evaluation as well as view of others.
- They can’t stand the thought of being single and alone that they are willing to settle into a marriage that they know does not and will not meet their expectations for marital happiness.
- Peer pressure compelled them to get married. Because all their friends have already married and they’re being pressured by family or friends, they succumb to it, with disregard for their dissatisfaction in the relationship.
- They fear that if they choose an appealing, dynamic, and handsome partner, they’re more likely to get hurt because their partner will cheat on them or worse, leave them.
This is a case of low self-esteem once again. This will force them to marry someone who is less than ideal to protect them from the pain of infidelity and rejection. This gives them a sense of power and control in their marriage.
- They cling to hope that their feelings for each other will improve over time during the course of their marriage. Sometimes, this can possibly happen because people and marriages evolve.
- The partner who offers marriage will compensate for the lack of romance or passion by proposing other benefits that appeal to the other at that time. These may be excellent parenting skills, attentiveness to each other’s needs, emotional security, and financial stability. These things may be enough to overlook what they know is lacking in the relationship.
This means that the proposal tends to provide the type of security that appeals to the other.
When will this partnership eventually end in divorce?
- When one of the partners eventually meets someone, who matches his or her expectation (at least, that is how he or she appears to be), appears superior than their spouse, and is also interested in them.
Harboring unfulfilled fantasies are dangerous to relationships such as these. Finding themselves in unsupportive environment such as close interaction with attractive colleagues that fit the bill, in social media, and in online interactions will greatly contribute to infidelity and eventual separation.
- The attributes that were once considered significant enough such that they were able to overlook the lack of passion or connection with each other suddenly do not seem so significant anymore.
An example is when a partner who regarded financial security of premium importance before no longer sees it as something he or she needs from his or her partner because he or she is able to achieve it already during the course of their marriage.
Although he was also hoping to marry an attractive wife, he decided that his wife was good enough, only to discover that as soon as the kids were grown, his wife no longer held the same significance as she did before, which makes him crave for the one thing that he longed for in the first place but was left unfulfilled from the very start.
As soon as he meets an attractive woman who seems to fit his model, he then succumbs and may decide to opt out of the marriage.
- Those who suffered from low self-esteem may achieve emotional maturity over the course of their marriage. At that time, he or she may then come to believe that he or she did deserve to have what they expected in marriage such as a soul mate who can match their passion.
- A partner who used to fear being alone or left out by peers and opted to settle with a person who provided them enough security, only to realize after many years, the irrationality of their fear. He or she, then, becomes the one who wants to leave the relationship.
- Couples who hoped that they would eventually fall more in love with each other after marriage discover that the opposite happened because of the humdrum and routine of building a family. This tend to pale in contrast to the challenge, mystery, and discovery that once contributed to their attachment to each other.
Unless the couples decide to work together to sustain these or make up for the loss of these, the very things that glued them may fade over time. Raising a bunch of kids is a demanding responsibility that it is sometimes a challenge for couples to see themselves as passionate lovers. So you see what I’m Just Not Into Him can cause to people…
All these scenarios seem tragic and its very roots addressed from the beginning but there are some couples who start on the wrong foot but succeed in outgrowing what they thought was lacking in their relationship and instead build a more fulfilling partnership through the years.
So, if you ask if these five failed relationships itemized above be mended, my answer is that there is always hope, but not for everyone.
Wait for my next article where I shall be talking about what spells the difference between success and failure for these lopsided relationships. Stay tuned!