A couple of months ago I read a popular book called "He's Just Not That Into You," which is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek advice guide that spun off from a "Sex in the City" episode. Normally I'd ignore such pop-culture trivia, but I read a couple of good reviews so gave it a chance.
In a nutshell, the book advises women who are struggling with boyfriends who consistently exhibit lukewarm or otherwise troubling or confusing behavior to realize that rather than expend a lot of energy to figure these guys out, they should consider the possibility that the guy is simply "not really that into" them.
The authors contend that if you consider that possibility and then decide that's the explanation (apparently many guys agree that this in fact is the case), it's easier for women to let go of unrewarding relationships with men quickly and with little or no acrimony.
If you can set aside the book's monogamy/marriage tunnel vision, it's pretty interesting.
Anyway, one part of the book which seemed important, but which wasn't explained, is this.
(Paraphrase, since I can't find the exact page right now:) "The last thing in the world he will tell you is that he's just not that into you."
OK, I've experienced this firsthand -- struggling on for months or years with guys who just won't admit that they don't really want to continue a relationship with me. I've been emotionally abandoned and abused, criticized, guilt-tripped, etc. in this process. It just yielded a lot of hurt feelings and wasted time. And for me, a lot of wasted effort trying to figure out what I/we could do to make things better.
This was frustrating enough when I was shooting for monogamous relationships (before I knew poly was a viable option). But to me it seems absolutely unconscionable, even disrespectful, in a poly relationship.
So my question is this: As far as I can tell, the authors of that book generally seem right on that point -- that most guys will go to amazing lengths to avoid admitting they're just not that into a woman they're dating.
Why is that? I really, really don't get that behavior. What is so hard/scary about admitting that you're just not that into continuing a relationship? Personally, I would probably react better to hearing that truth early on than dragging on and on while the guy denies it.