Remember when you were in school and you had a close friend who was into a certain guy? She would do special things for him, fret over his slightest woe, talk and think about him incessantly and think the sun rose and set on his head. But she would tell you confidentially that nor matter how much she adored him, he never wrote, rarely called and seemed so well… inattentive and busy with his own life. Remember when you had to pull her aside and tell her the brutal truth: “He’s just not that into you.”
There has been much debate over on Servetus‘ blog about discussing sexual fantasies and Richard Armitage. (Frenz makes a statement about fans who don’t fantasize about him here.) Discussion has been thought provoking. Some commentators gave me pause with their noteworthy points. However, on the way to sorting out my own thoughts, I noticed a pattern in the replies of some of the more skittish fans, that in some way, some how, no matter how remote, RA will be hurt and therefore it’s best not to do X, Y and Z. Attached is a corollary that somehow one can control what other people think, say and do.
Is that really true? I mean, seriously? Let’s take the corollary first. Richard Armitage is an actor, a public figure who is aware he has a fandom and status as a heartthrob. Given some of his roles, he must also be aware that some fans sexually fantasize about him. Fans talk amongst themselves privately and publicly. Would he actively solicit it? I don’t think he’ll ask whether we fantasized about him last night, but he knows his heartthrob status is integral to his image as a leading man, which is how he’s currently being marketed. So, yes, he is indirectly acquiescing. I’m sure he’s savvy enough to realize there is no way he can control what his fans think, say or do. The reality is that he can’t really give a damn what fans say about their fantasies as long as we keep them away from him; anything else is crazy-making. We must stay in our world, and he stays in his.
What about the possibility of harm by what fans say? As one of his much less ardent fans listening to more ardent ones fret over this question, I have to suggest that any “harm” sounds interesting on paper but doesn’t work that way in real life. When RA first garnered attention, he was thrilled to have fans. In the flush of newness, he became quite involved by sending relatively frequent chatty messages. It was all quite naive and sweet but he quickly learned that such closeness brought expectations from fans, and so he distanced himself. He realized he had to stay in his world. He stopped visiting forums and reading about himself. He stated this. He’s kept his word. He’s now a very busy actor, totally immersed in his roles and career. He’s disinclined and has no time to sit in front of his computer googling himself, fretting about what fans think. As a friend recently pointed out, he’s happy not to think about his fans now, aside from feeling very appreciative and knowing he is beholden. Hence, he doesn’t call and he rarely writes, as it were.
I’ve noticed, especially during this drought, that fans have taken on the role of the adoring girlfriend who thinks her beloved is as obsessed about her and she is about him. From what I’ve observed about RA, that’s just not so. Also, the uber-protectiveness advocated by some fans is misplaced. He knows where he wants to stand in relation to his fans; he can protect himself. That’s not to say he doesn’t care; it just means he’s busy with his own life, and it’s not his fandom.
It’s simply he’s just not that into you.