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She's Just Not That Into You: Six Ways to Know When a Girlfriend's a Frenemy

Sometimes it's difficult to decide whether someone is truly a friend or may, instead, be a frenemy.
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In its debut weekend, the movie He's Just Not That Into You (based on the NY Times bestseller of the same name by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccilloiso) topped the charts at the box office. Not surprisingly, the moviegoers were 80 percent women and it was the movie's female characters that reportedly drew women to the theatres in droves.

The self-help comedy decodes the rules of heterosexual dating. But the relationship between girlfriends can be just as powerful, irritating, and unfathomable as any relationship with a guy. Here are my six ways for women to recognize when "SHE's just not that into you."

1) If your relationship with her voicemail is closer than your relationship with her

You are always the initiator of every get-together between you. She never seems to have time for you although she's fast to tell you about everything she is doing with all her other friends. When you leave a message, you never expect her to call you back on a timely basis, if at all. You've come to think of yourself as a second-tier friend whom she calls only when she has nothing better to do.

2) If you feel like you know little about her

She doesn't share intimacies with you and when she tells you things, she always speaks in only the vaguest terms. She's uptight when you're together, never lets her hair down, and is extremely secretive. She establishes a distance between you, and you sense that she may not trust you or that she has a hard time trusting anyone.

3) If you always feel disappointed by her

She's unreliable by almost any measure. You can't count on her to meet you on time or to meet you when she says she will. She forgets the important milestones in your life (like birthdays and anniversaries) and never seems to be there for you emotionally when you need her. She just isn't trustworthy.

4) If you can't get a word in edge-wise

She's a big talker, a narcissist who tells long-winded stories about herself but never listens to you. She's self-involved and her life is always filled with drama. Somehow, she always makes you feel like you are only a bit player.

5) If you feel possessed

She's controlling and jealous of you having any other people in your life except for her---including your other friends and your sister, or maybe even your boyfriend or husband. You feel like she is suffocating you because she's always vying for your time and attention. She gets huffy when she finds out you are spending time with someone else.

6) If you feel like she's always judging you

She is extremely hypercritical and is always suggesting that you change the way you look, the way you dress, the way you talk, or the way you behave. She questions your actions, ethics, and morals in a negative rather than helpful way that makes you feel badly about yourself.

Sometimes it's difficult to decide whether someone is truly a friend or may, instead, be a frenemy. Whether she's mercurial, unapproachable, self-involved, judgmental, or rubs you the wrong way in any other respect, there's a problem and you need to take action---either by attempting to fix the friendship, or by moving on because your girlfriend is just not that into you!

Irene S. Levine, PhD is a freelance journalist and author. She holds an appointment as a professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine and is working on a book about female friendships, Best Friends Forever: Surviving the Myth, that will be published by Overlook Press in September, 2009 and recently co-authored Schizophrenia for Dummies (Wiley, 2008). She also blogs about female friendships at The Friendship Blog.

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