The Dating Philosophy We Should Also Be Using For Our Friendships


By now we’ve all read the book or seen the movie He’s Just Not That Into You, right? It’s a harsh but true reality: if someone truly wants to see you, they’ll find a way. All of the excuses about dead phones and having to colonize Mars are great, but they’re probably covering up a lack of interest in starting a relationship. It’s a hurtful but necessary realization.

Yet while we’ve come to terms with this concept as it relates to our dating lives, we typically don’t look at the other relationships we have with the same scrutiny. I’ve definitely been a repeat offender when it comes to accepting “she’s just not that into you” behavior from friends.

Eventually I’ll realize that a friendship I’m in is a one-way street, yet when the pal and I hang out we have a great time, so I’ll continue to carry all of the plan-making burden. I’m not totally sure why I put myself through this, especially when I have friends who really are great at reciprocating. Maybe it’s because letting a friendship fade away feels like a defeat.

And yet if this was someone I was dating, I would never accept this kind of behavior.

“He never texts me first. Well you know what? If he wants to go out he knows how to find me,” I can hear myself declaring over eggs and coffee on a Saturday morning as I catch up with friends. They would then promptly encourage me to move on and find someone who is more jazzed about seeing me.

I’ve finally started understanding that the “just not that into you” philosophy definitely applies to friendships.

Over the past year or so, I’ve let five or six one-way friendships fizzle out. That sounds like a lot and sometimes I feel this loss, but I’ve also gravitated towards people who are equally interested in building a relationship. In terms of sheer volume of friends, my number has decreased, but the quality has significantly increased. I don’t know a ton about math and economics, but I’d say that’s a major win.

It can be hard to accept that a friend simply isn’t pulling her weight in the relationship. It feels deeply personal, even if it isn’t. Maybe her job has become demanding, or she’s caught up in a new relationship. Some people just aren’t the proactive planner type, so she may not even realize she’s slacking.

It’s definitely worth a conversation if this is happening in a friendship you value, but it’s also important to know when it’s time to cut your losses. For whatever reason, she’s just not that into you.

It’s not you. It’s her. Seriously.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of fish in the friendship sea, and luckily when you’re an adult all you need are a few close pals to be there for you. There’s no need to go everywhere with your 15 best “friends” like you did in high school. And that’s a good thing, because making group plans with two or three people is enough of a challenge.

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