In the early stages of dating, there’ll often come a point when the initial chemistry of a new romance starts to flag. You might have been on a few dates, slept together once or twice, and then he suddenly becomes distant and elusive. Those keen, flirty texts he used to send you dry up without warning, and although you know he’s been doing nothing other than watching Big Mouth and drinking his furlough away, somehow he’s had such a ‘hectic’ few days that he hasn’t had the chance to reply to your messages.
Ladies, what we have here is a man who isn’t that into you. He hasn’t been slammed with a job that doesn’t exist, or fallen back in love with an ex who dumped him four years ago. The fact is that he’s decided having multiple orgasms — all his, by the way — just isn’t worth the effort of talking about you for more than five minutes. He’s realised that asking you questions is dull and tiring, and to be honest he doesn’t see why he should have to just to get laid. Dating different women in rapid succession will be both easier and more fun for him, because by the third rendezvous you stopped agreeing that his parents did indeed ruin his life, and started to talk a little bit about yourself.
Suggesting you weren’t his therapist was your first mistake. But don’t worry, because men who clearly don’t want you anymore shouldn’t be seen as a lost cause. Didn’t you put on your CV that you’re a problem solver who likes taking on new challenges? Well then, why should your love life be any different? When he either deflects or straight-up ignores your suggestions to meet up, this is a great opportunity to prove both to him and yourself that you’re worthy of his affection. So rather than moving on to the literal thousands of other mediocre men near you, you should just pull your goddamn socks up and chase after him as if he stole your bag on the tube.
Grafting your self-worth onto a guy who doesn’t like you that much can be a powerful way to both motivate yourself and make yourself feel good. Because when we set ourselves goals that are unattainable and pointless, we become so scared of failure that we prioritise nothing else, which means that our productivity skyrockets as a result. And when he says he might — at a push — be able to see you next week, you’ll get that sweet rush of dopamine which will temporarily cure your depression and abate your niggling fear that you might in fact be unlovable. There’s no better way to deal with your childhood insecurities than projecting them onto someone who isn’t bothered about you, because even if he does dump you outright, you’ll then be able to blame him for the emotional meltdown which will inevitably follow.
Your mum will probably tell you to forget about him, because placing too much importance on a disinterested man is both unhealthy and a waste of your time. But hun, your mum also told you that Ugg boots and jeggings were an acceptable fashion choice, so she’s almost certainly wrong about this, too.
By Izzie Suckling