A Checklist To Determine That He’s Just Not That Into You, Once And For All!

woman writing a checklist

Two years ago, I met a guy online. We quickly found that we had a lot in common and conversation was easy. We don’t live far apart and made general plans to meet up for drinks after he got back from a trip. We kept in contact over the first couple of weeks he was gone, but by the end of this trip, the emails diminished dramatically. I soon found out he began dating a much younger girl (he’s 27, she’s 20, I’m 25) that he had known for a couple of years and was traveling with him. I was upset, but not at him, just the circumstances. We didn’t talk very regularly after that.

Flash forward to two months ago. I heard through the grapevine that he was having some relationship problems and was feeling down. I sent him a message to keep his head up, hoping things got better, out of concern. He soon got back to me and sort of ran me down on what was happening, asking for my thoughts. I gave him my honest “girl interpretation,” as his girlfriend has been dragging him around and couldn’t decide if she wanted to be together. (He’s been trying to win her back but has finally seemed to realize it isn’t going to work, and that he needs to move on.) He’s kept me updated and seemed to appreciate my honesty. We’ve chatted in general, and he almost always initiates the conversation. He even asked if we were going to be at the same event in a few months. I admit that my interest has rekindled, but I have kept my distance and just tried to be a sounding board for him out of respect.

My question is: do you think there’s a possibility for something there between us? With him talking to me about his currently ending relationship, I wasn’t sure if he just saw me as someone to talk with and just a friend or if he wanted to give me a little insight on himself. He told me he will “need time” to get over her and is not one to jump to another relationship quickly, fearing a rebound. That is OK (and admirable) to me. Am I just the nice girl who gives him straight answers? Or do you think this reconnection could lead to something down the line? Thanks for any input!Dyana

Dear Dyana,

If you didn’t write this letter, I would have. Your issue is so epidemic that there should be a book devoted to it. A book that says the same thing over and over and over again until the message becomes crystal-clear and it sears itself on your brain, never to be forgotten. A book called, I don’t know… “He’s Just Not That Into You.”

Self-help books are fascinating for that reason. You read them, you smile, you nod, and everything you read just goes in one ear and out the other. For me, the best example is “The Power of Now”. I “get it” but I don’t live it. Pretty much every woman who writes me on this blog “gets” the concept of “HJNTIY” but doesn’t actually realize when it applies to her that He’s! Just! Not! That! Into! You! You want to know when he IS into you?

Pretty much every woman who writes me on this blog “gets” the concept of “HJNTIY” but doesn’t actually realize when it applies to her that He’s! Just! Not! That! Into! You!

He calls to say, “when can I see you again?”

He reserves plans with you every Friday and Saturday night.

He calls/texts/or emails every single day.

He calls himself your boyfriend.

He wants to make it clear you’re not seeing anyone else.

He sleeps with you regularly.

He talks about a future.

He tells you he loves you.

If you need to print this blog post out as a checklist and tape it to your bathroom mirror to remind yourself how a real boyfriend acts, that’s cool by me. Just please, stop ignoring the list and acting like your distant guy is somehow different than everyone else’s distant guy! Seriously.

The trick isn’t in figuring out how to get an unavailable guy to want you – it’s in finding the available guy who wants you.

Men reveal themselves in their efforts to commit to you.

Anything less, you’re wasting your time.

I have had four clients in the past month who paid $250/hr for the privilege of hearing this same information by phone. Yet the story is always the same. You had a moment of chemistry – you slept together or you didn’t – he said a few nice things to you that you held onto forever – and he went back to pursuing other women. And all you can ask is: does he really like me? Why would he say that nice thing to me two years ago? Why would he sleep with me if he’s not into me? Why would he be calling me regularly if he didn’t care?

Here are the answers to those questions, once and for all.

1) Why did he say that nice thing to me two years ago?

He said that nice thing to you two years ago because he meant it two years ago. “You are extremely beautiful. We have amazing chemistry. You are one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. You’re going to make some guy very happy one day.” He meant all of it. Yet none of it means that he wants you to be his girlfriend.

2) Why would he sleep with me if he’s not into me?

Because you’re there. Because there doesn’t have to be ANY connection between sex and feelings. Which is hard to understand because YOU would never have sex with someone you weren’t attracted to or have feelings for. We would.

3) Why would he be calling me regularly if he didn’t care?

You ever have a nice guy friend who you would never date? Yeah, that’s you. You’re the nice girl who gives him straight answers – not to mention attention, concern, stability, and unconditional love. And he really appreciates it, thanks.

To sum up, Dyana – I only get agitated because it’s SO EASY to figure out where you stand with a guy. And I don’t care if it means that my blog comes to a grinding halt because every woman finally GETS it, and there are no more questions to ask the dating coach… but if you pass this along to a friend, who passes it along to another friend, who passes it along to another friend, you’ll be performing a great service to millions of women who struggle with the same issue.

Men reveal themselves in their efforts to commit to you. Anything less, you’re wasting your time.

Join our conversation (131 Comments).
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  1. 1
    Curly Girl

    When first I heard this phrase on S&TC I felt like Charlotte did–it was a big revelation. And I definitely changed my behavior toward guys after hearing it. As in, I wouldn’t see the guy if I got the vibe that he wasn’t into me as a person but into me as a past-time. I love my guy friends, so I’ve no problem if a guy isn’t into me in that way if we have other things that make the association worthwhile. I am friends with a few guys I met online (but never slept with–important).

    This insight does go against the self-help advice to women that you used to read about being nice to guys, giving them space to sort out their feelings, etc. Which usually led to your being a doormat for some guy who didn’t want you but interpreted your being “nice” and “friendly” and “understanding” as an invitation to be used. Because let’s face it–if you think a guy isn’t that into you, if you think he’s just calling every once in awhile to sniff around, you are probably not going to respond in a nice and friendly and understanding way. And then a whole lot of guys are going to be complaining on blogs about how nasty and bitter women aare and wondering why they can’t just go out and have a good time with you.

    Then there is the situation where the guy who wasn’t that into you does a reversal after you blow him off and decides that now he’s into you. Which is really annoying, because you gave him his chance and he blew it.

    And then there are some guys who are really not so aggressive at pursuing, and those guys are just going to get trammelled once all the women use the checklist.

    Still. We gals need to use the checklist. Maybe there needs to be another checklist for more timid guys who don’t know how to show a woman they are into her.

    1. 1.1

      Men are simple: Men need affection and sex, how hard is that? Women do not, and cannot love men. Women use men. Men have a natural instinct to be providers for women. Women should take advantage of that when they find a man that they can tolerate and like to suit their needs.

      1. 1.1.1

        …”when they find a man that they can tolerate”?……we either accept or reject our partner, I don’t think we tolerate…  

  2. 2

    OUCH !!!!!!!!!!

  3. 3

    I have to say that I’m not in complete agreement with Evan on this one. I actually know of a similar situation where the guy ended up with the other girl. He met both women around the same time and was dating both. He decided that he had electric chemistry with Beth and broke up with Amy. They did agree to be friends. Over the course of the next year or two, Beth turned out to be quite unstable, and the relationship was volatile. They broke up and eventually the man started dating Amy again. He and Amy have now been living together for the last 5 years, and are very happy. So one might speculate that the man initially just wasn’t that into Amy, but eventually he ended up with her. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a similar scenario played out.

    I will say that through it all, Amy kept a safe distance and didn’t allow herself to be used. When they started dating again, she asked many questions, and didn’t rush into anything. She still let the guy pursue her. So I would say that Dyana needs to set boundaries, stay in touch with this guy, but keep her options open and not count on anything.

  4. 4

    HIJNTIY is just common sense that is ignored

    One of the signs of the neurosis of narcissism is believing that reality, the rules or “the way things work” just don’t apply to you personally.

    It is my understanding that all people have a healthy amount of narcissism, but that it becomes a neurosis ( or a personality disorder ) when it becomes more pronounced past a certain point.

  5. 5

    I confess I’m baffled by someone who would initiate contact with a guy who blew her off for someone else 2 YEARS later. From the letter it sounds like they only had one date. This is just …ugh!


  6. 6

    Are there varying degrees of HIJNTIY? For instance, how about if he’s not calling/writing every single day, but he still wants to see you every week? Isn’t it possible for the guy to be interested, but not necessarily in rapid fire mode?

    I think Curly Girl makes a good point about the more timid guys, too.

    1. 6.1

      It seems that a lot of men who do what you described above are what I like to call “keeping you in their back pocket.”   They want a fallback plan and that woman who they rarely communicate with and only see once a week (usually around the same day(s) every week) are doing it to test the waters and see if their main (or whatever other situation they have going on) situation doesn’t work out then they’d pretend to pursue you.

      Red Flag on a pole

      1. 6.1.1

        Good observation. I had one clown who saw me maybe 3 times a month. Occasionally even less. I told him so long. His reply was, I am into you! Why else would I text you several times a day or call? No, that’s their method of ensuring you remember their name when they eventually are bored enough to see you, and the more choice dates are busy. Actions count. Not words!

  7. 7

    Like Ruby, I don’t think it’s that black and white either. People grow and change over time. These two people could have been in different places two years ago; maybe they’re in the same place now. The past couple of months she’s been behaving as a sounding board, not a potential date. Assuming Dyana is interested in this guy, she does need to make it clear to him. He may not see her as anything more than a friend at the moment, but he may be open to the possibility of more. Or he could run screaming in the other direction. Who knows?

  8. 8

    I guess I’m thinking about my post from yesterday, about whether or not it would be OK to contact a guy I met once who didn’t follow up even though he said he wanted to. Wasn’t a problem for me, and isn’t a problem now. But I wouldn’t label it as a HJNTIY situation. There wasn’t a blow off, there wasn’t any bad feeling during the date, etc. So, someone who doesn’t pursue, you don’t know why. Maybe HJNTIY, or maybe he would be if circumstances were different. You hear a lot of stories like that. Like with EMK, not remembering the situation exactly, where he met his wife maybe online and didn’t follow up but then a year later they met in person or something…I don’t know the specifics. But how is that not a HJNTIY situation? Maybe you can instruct us here, EMK. In other words, maybe you don’t want to shut someone out unless you have a bad experience of him using you in a dating situation. But if you have a neutral experience, where nothing happened, the chance is there that something might change in the future. So you can be open without being the doormat that Curly G. is talking about. And if a guy hasn’t hurt you and you like him and are willing to be just friends, what’s the problem? As long as you don’t get into the situation on here before, where some woman was in love with her F.B. and he thought they were just friends.

  9. 9

    I generally feel uncomfortable about leaving advice on a letter like this, because as readers, we never know the full story, or how extreme a situation it really is, or isn’t. So with that in mind, I’ll share some generalized insight that could apply universally:

    Even the guys who are timid will come after you if they want you.
    It may take them a little longer, but they’ll do it.

    They may do it in a round about awkward way, but you’ll know it’s happening when it does.

    My opinion: He’s making her the safety net. It’s way easier to end a relationship when you know there’s someone else waiting for you in the wings.

    And even though she thinks she’s genuinely being a “friend” to him now, I don’t think she is. I think she’s being the “I’ll act like a friend so that you figure out I’m awesome and cool and then you’ll fall in love with me because that’s what I really want.”

    That’s not called friendship, it’s called ulterior motive.

    And if you think I’m wrong, then why in the world would you really want to help this guy so much? Did he help you move to your new apartment and haul boxes for 6 hours? Did he take you out for drinks when you got a raise?

    You like-like him. And you want him to like-like you.
    And maybe one day that will happen.
    But for now, he sounds like a mess.

    The best part of the letter was this sentence: “He has been trying to win her back, but has finally seemed to realize it isn’t going to work and that he needs to move on.”

    Hmm. Interesting.

  10. 10
    Evan Marc Katz

    The problem, Curious, is all the wishful thinking on the part of the women who refuse to recognize that HJNTIY.

    You can even read it in these comments – “There’s one time that a guy really WAS into this woman two years later…”, “What about shy guys – maybe they really ARE into me,” “Isn’t it possible that he could fall in love with me later after being friends for awhile?” “What if he’s taking his time, seeing me once a week”…

    Everyone’s looking for the exception instead of looking at the rule. Is it POSSIBLE that the guy who isn’t calling, isn’t seeing you regularly, isn’t committing is ENAMORED with you? Yeah. But probably not.

    Fact is: if you don’t know that he’s your devoted boyfriend right now, he’s probably not that into you.

    Ignore at your own peril, my friends.

    Much love,


  11. 11

    Joe #7: Excellent point about people being in different places, but maybe meshing now due to how they have changed. It really isn’t that black and white. I think HJNTIY is a great guide, but I am not sure I would close all possible doors, provided that I curbed my expectations and emotions.

  12. 13

    What about this business of him telling her he would “need time” to get over his relationship, not wanting to rush into a rebound, etc., etc.? Isn’t that JNIY code for “I want to keep my options open being newly single, don’t expect me to date you exclusively, if at all”?

  13. 14

    Thank God for Evan. In a past post, he said Men Do Exactly As They Want To Do. And if they’re not doing it, well guess what? It’s because they don’t want to. What else do you need to know? That is such a freeing notion which has helped me tremendously. You no longer have to wonder how to make a man be “enamored” of you. They either are or they aren’t. Even they can’t explain it, but it happens pretty much right away. So move on and choose from among the ones who want you ! End of story !!!

  14. 15

    I think Curly Girl makes a good point about the more timid guys, too.

    Would most women want a guy that timid as a boyfriend?

  15. 16

    Thanks for the comment, EMK. I guess the missing piece is that these are all women who are into the guys in a one-way kinda way–and usually I’m not into people (any people–girlfriends, employers, the odd family member or two) who aren’t into me. But a lot of people interest me for different reasons, so I think I can reach out to a person for whatever reason and see how it goes. In romance, though, I pretty much sit back and wait and usually someone comes a-knockin’! (Not always the ones I want. 🙁 )

    There’s also that advice that says that your best partner prospects are guys you are friends with–that you should be friends first, lovers later. That advice usually comes from female dating advisors, though. Along with “be open to all men” advice (followed by “but don’t sleep with any of them”–which is kinda difficult to pull off because of the way guys mistake being “open” with being “willing,” as was mentioned before).

    But you know who is a real friend and who isn’t, doesn’t matter what the gender is. Guess I answered my own question.

  16. 17

    Thank you Evan for the list! I will tape it to the bathroom mirror.

  17. 18

    Most everybody makes great points. Donna said it perfectly though. It’s the rule to start out with….IF there is a chance things change then proceed and beware….go into it with your eyes WIDE OPEN. Don’t be afraid to walk away…..like buying a car, dont fall so in love with it that everyone in the showroom including the receptionist knows you can’t live without it. They got ya by the…well….they got ya. You can weed out alot of people if you use the same insight Donna and Evan are talking about. There can be grey areas but again, better know yourself, know them, and stay in reality to weather through that. Dyana, sounds to me like this guy is considering you a nice friend….note the word friend. If you let this relationship continue have no false dreams or hopes. Remember girl, stay in reality…not cold or removed…just apply the rule Evan spoke of…that will protect your heart. Unless there are definite changes towards those rules by him…be careful. Wishing you the best…consider the “list” your compass and barometer……..of sorts! 🙂

  18. 19

    I found this post interesting because for so looooong, I just didn’t get it. Maybe it’s because I had to turn 40 and I grew up a little….=) But now I regret all the time I wasted on men that really were JNTIM.

    Because I’m learning to articulate what I want and need from a man….I’m quite surprised how receptive (some) men can be. I just assumed all guys were jerks so I acted accordingly. There was nothing for a man to be “into” because I was willing to be the doormat just so I could be close to him. I’m not assuming to know any specifics in the letter but Dyan has a responsibility to be honest with “her friend”. I think Bella #9 really hit it when she mentioned “ulterior motives”. That’s exactly what it is. And we (women) can be great at justifying our actions / motives. Great post.

  19. 20

    Point taken. I’m going to cut this out and paste on my refrigerator in case I forget, try to make exceptions, or excuses.

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