I spent the last few days recovering from getting my wisdom teeth yanked (yuck), which left me with plenty of time to sleep, eat ice cream and soup, and think. While I wasn’t usually conscious for more than an hour at a time, I did spend some time thinking about this conversation I had with my 75-year-old uncle the last time I saw him. Uncle Bill is a total guy’s guy. Born and raised in the South, loves his Jack and cokes, was a police officer for many years, super gentle, just one of my favorite people in the world. So many positive adjectives. This is what he looks like:
The best, right? But though Uncle Bill is one of my most favorite people, we don’t normally spend time talking about relationships. It’s just now how it goes. However, last time I saw him, we got on the subject of how Southern people are different from us Northerners, which somehow brought us to the subject of Southern men. From there, Uncle Bill casually explained that I should remember that guys who were born and raised in the South (such as himself) often work differently than girls who were born and raised in the North (particularly New York, like myself).
Whereas I want things done immediately and I like to plan, he noted that a lot of Southern guys slow roll things. Their brains just don’t work with that “now, now, now” mentality that I’m used to. He explained that this isn’t necessarily a reflection on me or on their feelings towards me, they’re just programmed a little differently.
This led us to whole different conversation, where we talked about how people in general operate. I explained the whole “he’s just not that into you” belief that many women (myself included) tend to operate off of. Ever since that book and movie came out, we’re quick to believe that a guy who doesn’t immediately call, text, or ask us out simply isn’t feeling it. If I don’t have plans days or hours in advance, I move on and assume that he’s not looking forward to seeing me. No semi-immediate response to a text? Welp, clearly this isn’t panning out. While this can be good because I don’t end up wasting time on someone who actually isn’t interested, being so fast to assume I know what someone else is thinking is problematic.
As Uncle Bill noted, not everyone operates as quickly as I choose to. Some people, guys especially and Southern guys even more especially, need time to process. They want to think things through, they’re focused on other things, they’re not so attached to their cell phones. They’re not worried about an immediate response. They don’t know what they’re doing tomorrow yet, and they’re okay with that. This isn’t necessarily a reflection on how they feel about you, it’s just the way they see the world.
So instead of taking this slower, more analytical, less technology-obsessed behavior as an insult and a reason to move on, accept it for what it is. It doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s just not that into you. No need to chase anyone or be the one putting in all the effort all the time, but respect other people’s pacing when it comes to dating and relationships. Don’t be so quick to assume your would-be relationship has fallen apart already. Give it some time and give the other person some time too.
Are you of the “he’s just not that into you” mindset? Do you think it causes problems when you’re first getting to know someone?