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​The Real Reason He Can Walk Away From You Like It's Nothing

Find out what you can do and if your relationship will last

Dating

Remember that movie He's Just Not That Into You? It's actually based on a 2004 self-help book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo and turned into a film of the same name in 2009. However, the phrase first appeared in a 2003 episode of Sex and the City ("Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little"), where Carrie Bradshaw's then-boyfriend, (Jack) Berger offered unfiltered to advice to her friend, Miranda, about a guy she was dating. It was a revelation.

Are we in a “relationship”?

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While the self-help title has gone on to be coined as a no-nonsense guide to understanding men, there are a number of other resources that exist to help explain why it's so easy for some men to walk away from a relationship. But before I get into that, I would like to preface this article by clarifying the word "relationship". Merriam Webster defines the word as "the way in which two or more people, groups or countries, etc., talk, behave toward, and deal with each other"; "a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealings; a romantic or passionate attachment".

The reason I chose to insert this definition here is because men often scurry around this word, as did my former lover when I asked him if a particular woman that had surfaced during the course of our affair was, "someone whom he was dealing with, sleeping with or in a relationship with," to which he replied, "No, I'm not in a relationship with her but she is someone I was dealing with." As if this wasn't the same thing.

Men often designate the term "relationship" for exclusivity in order to reserve the right to "deal with" whomever they choose, when the reality is that these words are synonymous. Whether or not a commitment has been explicitly communicated can be a convenient technicality for a man to fall back on, but I digress.

A more scholarly expression for the phrase he's just not that into you is known as relationship investment which combines psychological, sociological and communicative components. The investment model of relationships, as it is also referred to, examines three primary factors that influence the likelihood of commitment in romantic relationships: satisfaction level, quality of relationship alternatives and quantity of investment or size.

What makes a man invest in a woman?

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Yes, of course good sex is one reason, but there are several other factors that contribute to one being invested in a relationship. According to Caryl Rusbult's model of investment, top indicators include the idea that the rewards of a relationship are greater than the costs (satisfaction), the caliber of other options (alternatives) and the amount of resources being put into the relationship (investments).

For romantic couples, rewards can include having someone to do fun things with, feeling connected on a deeper level and having a family unit. Costs may include having arguments, having to do additional chores around the house or having a partner who is hard to communicate with.

To maintain satisfaction in relationships, rewards need to outweigh costs.

How can you get your man to invest in you and your relationship?

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Considering that relational satisfaction is a major drawing point for staying together, identify ways in which you can contribute to making both you and your partner more satisfied in the relationship. This is a great way of exchanging conversation for pillow talk that may just lead to a hot and heavy session in the sack, if nothing else. Otherwise, you could try asking your partner, "What can I do more to make you happy in this relationship?"

Understanding that it goes both ways, you can subtly remind your partner of ways you appreciate them while communicating what your needs are.

For example, if you desire more quality time but your boo is more into "paying the cost to be the boss", you could lead with this: "Babe, I love how you work so hard to take care of me, but it would mean a lot if we could have a date night next week." And if that doesn't work, then take a page from Beyonce's book (see above).

To get him to be more invested in the relationship, become the MVP (Most Valuable Partner)

The investment model suggests that over time, individuals will seek outside "investment opportunities'' when they become unhappy at home. Your goal is make sure your partner not only wants you but, to a certain degree, needs you. That's right, in order to be valued, you must be an asset to your partner. This dynamic is most evident in traditionally heterosexual relationships in which the man (husband) is responsible for bringing home the paycheck while the woman (wife) uses the money to care for the home.

From a financial perspective, when partners enter into a business relationship, one party will typically have a set of duties they are responsible for and vice versa for the other partner. In this way, the relationship is mutually beneficial for them both and they depend on each other to make it work.

In these terms, what makes a partnership desirable to an investor? The potential of an attractive return on the investment.

Will your relationship last?

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By now, you may be assessing the status of your own relationship. And scientific studies aside, you can evaluate the status of your relationship by recognizing how much you and your partner are contributing to each other's needs. Is there a joint effort between the two of you? Or is one of you more generous than the other? Keep in mind that investments may look different depending on how you express your love for one another.

For example, words of affirmation like saying "I love you" may be something that you prioritize in the relationship while your partner prefers acts of service, such as making sure the bills are paid. It's important to recognize that people express love in different ways, but while these expressions look different, the efforts should be the same.

What does it all mean?

Although this model can't be used as a crystal ball to predict the future for each and every relationship, it has been successful in projecting whether couples will split or stay together in studies, ranging from seven months to 15 years long.

Investments often lead to more commitment in a relationship. Resources given such as time, money and affection can all be considered investments. People tend to invest in relationships that they have a favorable outlook on.

The size of an investment correlates with the level of commitment in that high investments are more difficult to walk away from. So, something like having children with someone may be more of an incentive for some people to stay. For other people, the amount of time, effort or emotion they give in a relationship influences their perception of that relationship. When you've invested more, it becomes more valuable to you.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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