Why “He’s just not into you” is a great line
Men are in a state of arrested adolescence because they no longer have to work hard for sex. In a world of abundant, free or pay-by-the-glass milk, few men need or want their own. Tweet
Remember, sex—man’s primary motivation—is no longer regulated. It's everywhere.
Men, unlike women, do not have a biological desire to have less fun.
The sexual incentive for men getting married early or at all is gone.
Throw on that half of marriages fail, and when they do, a man’s earnings are cleaved in half, and you see a “not that into you” trend line.
“He’s just not into you” is a great line and lens for thinking about guys in the 21st Century and their evolving attitudes toward women.
It’s also the title of a good book, written by two writers of Sex and the City, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.
Kay Hymowitz—the best female chronicler of the sexual revolution— wrote Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys. It’s also a good title and a great read—but the argument that men were “tuning out” and giving up because of insecurity issues with the awesome reality of the new girl seems forced.
Men are in a state of arrested adolescence because they no longer have to work hard for sex.
My view is more basic: Men are in a state of arrested adolescence because they no longer have to work hard for sex. In a world of abundant, free or pay-by-the-glass milk, few men need or want their own. Behrendt said basically the same thing, but he was nicer.
“He’s just not that into you” gave expression to how Mr. Big—and little bigs in the making—think in our Sex-and-the-City reality. The stage on which you act out your sexual pursuits actually matters. Yes, the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus idea still holds through time, but we are residing in a sexually advanced and prosperous Sex-and-the-City moment that sets the stage and tone for the Mars-Venus tango.
In Sex and the City, the world was filtered through the eyes of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), the Venusian archetype of the new world order. With Behredht, we heard from Mars. It was rakishly refreshing but short-lived. Carrie and Co. are doing another round of her menopause/you-go-girl iteration, but Mr. Big was recently knocked off his Peloton by #MeToo accusations. I wonder if Greg Behrendt went into witness protection during the whole #MeToo arc.
Here are a just a few “just not that into you” data points that show that this state of mind, while silent, is not going away.
- Remember, sex—man’s primary motivation—is no longer regulated. It’s everywhere. Or, as MBAs might put it, there’s a low barrier to entry.
- Men, unlike women, do not have a biological desire to have less fun. Men don’t feel the need for commitment and for kids as strongly as women do. This is a Venus thing.
- Women are attracted to status and men are attracted to age and looks.
- Mars and Venus are attracted to different archetypes. From 18 to 80, men like the same thing: a 24-year-old attractive blond—real hair color is not required. Men are shallow. Women, if they cannot trade up for a male of greater social status or prospect, will settle for a lateral, equal relationship. Women are status diggers. Woe unto the man who marries a women that settles. That’s not going to end well.
- The sexual incentive for men getting married early or at all is gone. Marriage is a choice fewer are choosing.
- Men are waiting longer and longer to get married. And those with the most to offer—good looks, talent, wit, charm, and let’s not forget money—have options. How do they exercise those options? They marry later and marry younger women.
- Marriage and children are, at core, female priorities. Men get married and have kids to satisfy the women in their lives. We love you. We want to make you happy. But truth be told, we are just not as into kids as women are. My evidence: there is no magazine called Grooms.
- Add to all this the fact that half of marriages fail, and when they do, a man’s earnings are cleaved in half and given to a woman who hates the smell of him.
- When you swap out contested divorce for the no-fault variety, but keep the idea of equal distribution of marital assets, the paradigm shifts against supporting the institution of marriage and towards incentivizing those who contributed less to initiate the divorce.
- Sixty-nine percent of the time, it is the woman who initiates a divorce—this is evidence of disparate impact at a systemic scale
Beth Dutton—the Nietzschean femme fatale of the must-watch series Yellowstone—reminded a fellow member of her sex of the effectual truth about where the power resides in the husband/wife dynamic: “ because you have all the pussy, and half the money. That’s why”
This is our present state of play. And yet we wonder why “He’s just not that into you.”
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