I was rewatching Girls for the umpteenth time when I realized: There’s a pattern here. In this particular episode, Hannah (played by Lena Dunham), finds herself in a situationship with Adam (Adam Driver). He’s hyper-independent—always tinkering away at some obscure, metal woodworking project—and his demeanor is frustratingly evasive; she can never tell what’s really going on inside his brain. All of this comes to a boil when Hannah shows up at Adam’s front door and delivers a poignant monologue about his inability to commit: “You don’t even bother to explain […and] I don’t really see you hearing me.”
Suddenly, I thought of Brian (not his real name), a guy I dated in my early twenties, who evoked all the same feelings in me that Hannah intimated: confusion, insecurity and, my personal favorite, feeling like I’m “too much.” Brian was just like Adam, passionate yet quiet, and his inability to articulate his emotions nearly drove me to the brink of insanity. So much so, that this led to a similar interaction: Our relationship was reduced to a humiliating, one-sided confrontation (that ended with us never speaking again).
I can’t help but notice how this dynamic—one where girl chases guy, guy seems uninterested and girl is left feeling insecure—relates to the current discourse around avoidant attachment styles (more on that below). For years, therapists-turned-influencers have flocked to TikTok to discuss three psychological profiles: secure, anxious, and avoidant—with the latter being most misunderstood. Yet, it’s worth asking: Where’s the line between avoidantly attached and He’s Just Not That Into You? After all, anyone who’s watched Girls will tell you how rare (and swoon-worthy) Adam’s character turns out to be. But with a swipe-right mentality and dating culture that moves as rapidly as Amazon Prime, it’s hard to know whether a person’s *actually* interested (or simply keeping you in a rotation with three other people).
I couldn’t get an answer from Brian, but perhaps an expert could help me understand. Below, find Dr. Carolyn Rubenstein’s take on what constitutes an avoidant attachment style, plus five early red flags that say, “They’re not actually avoidant—they’re just not that into you.”