She’s Just Not That Into You – for Lesbians
I have a guilty confession. After a breakup a couple of years ago, I binge-listened to the cheesy hetero dating advice book (on audiobook) “He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys” by Greg Behrent and Liz Tuccillo. It’s strangely comforting and compelling after a breakup, to hear absolute, black and white explanations for why an iffy relationship is best cleared off your plate completely.
The book itself is very (very) hetero, cowritten by a hetero woman and man team. The guy of the team (Greg) is framed as an expert on how to identify men that ‘just aren’t that into you’ and why women who date men should clear them out of their lives. This, of course is about as condescending and mansplainey as you might expect, but again, compelling in its razor sharp black and white boundaries, hence the guilty confession.
Based loosely on the wisdom according to Greg, and updated with almost 30 years of lesbian community experience, here’s my lesbian version.
A disclaimer: Yes, I know that real life often feels, and is, greyer than absolute version below. I’ve chosen to preserve the starkness of the hetero version, not because I don’t appreciate (and value) the grey, but because I think we (I) can often get stuck in it. To paraphrase Tuchillo and Behrent, most people are the rule, not the exception. Take what is useful to you and leave the rest.
She’s just not that into you if she’s not asking you out on an actual date
Between women, ‘let’s hang out sometime’ is ambiguous. If you want to be sure a woman is actually interested in you romantically or sexually and is available for a relationship, ask her out on a date. Use actual words including the “D” word, such as “Would you like to go on a date with me on Saturday?” Yes, I know it’s scary, but it’s the best way to know for sure. If she balks in any way at you calling it a date, she’s just not that into you.
She’s just not that into you if she doesn’t have sex with you
This is for my sisters who are in short to long term relationships. Yes, I know lesbian bed death is a thing. It’s a bad thing. Particularly if you’ve been together less than two years. If she’s not keen to get wet and slippery with you on a regular basis – and you are – then she’s just not that into you (or she’s asexual).
Regardless of how long you’ve been together, if your desire for sex, or each other, is radically mismatched, do you want to live the rest of your life that way? Or wouldn’t it be better to find someone more compatible? Talk about it, and if she’s not wanting to take concrete steps to change things, what you might have is a good friend.
A corollary to this is the ‘girlfriend experience’ – a woman who hangs out with you, goes out with you, but all you end up doing is cuddling. This often happens with women who are new to being with women, or ambivalent about their queerness. Just like the “D” word needs to be said, so does the “S” word. Let her know you’re attracted to her and would love to have sex with her. If that’s not what she wants, again, you’re friends, not potential lovers.
She’s just not that into you if she’s sleeping with someone else
Consensual polyamory or open relationships work for some women. However, cheating is a deal breaker. Any woman who sleeps with another person while in a monogamous relationship with you (or outside the bounds of what you’ve agreed when in an open relationship), is doing so with the full knowledge that she is violating your trust and could lose that relationship. If she does, she’s just not that into you. You deserve better. Go and get your gorgeous self to someone with integrity who adores you.
She’s just not that into you if she stays married
She’s got a husband. She’s questioning her sexuality. She wants you. She’s in love with you. It’s extremely tempting and compelling to be the one a woman comes over to the dark side for. Watch out.
Is it you she’s into or the idea of being with another woman? Is she brave enough to deal with coming out?
Here’s how to find out. Stop seeing her as long as she’s married. If she gets herself available and leaves him, great, perhaps you were meant to be and she’s willing to come out. If she doesn’t she’s just not that into you and you’ve saved yourself a world of heartbreak.
She’s just not that into you if she tells you she’s not available for a relationship
Players gonna play. If a woman tells you she’s not available or ready for a relationship (and you are), then she’s just not that into you. If you think it’s truly a temporary thing, tell her to look you up if she becomes available. But don’t wait. Move on to someone who sees the gift that you are.
Here’s another guilty confession
We often feel guilty about setting limits about what is and is not good enough for us. (Or maybe that’s just me…) Female socialization, yadda yadda. And that’s not unique to hetero women. Let’s not feel guilty about moving on from partners who don’t want to be with us enough. At the very least, let’s not let guilt or false hopes stop us from moving on, and finding a woman with whom we feel adored.
You are wonderful. Find a woman who is completely into you and worthy of you.
by Sophia Kelly for Lesbian Quarterly, (c) 2018