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Matthew McConaughey Can’t Face You (Seriously, He Can’t!)

When I started seeing the ads for the DVD release of this year’s Matthew McConaughey/Jennifer Garner movie, “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past,” I noticed something awfully curious happening in the movie poster, which is also evidence of a creeping trend in McConaughey’s career of movie posters: He simply can’t seem to face his co-stars! What might a pose like this say about a guy in real life if you’re looking for a relationship?

Well, I’ll give you my two cents, but first, more examples. Lest you think this is the first time Matthew has struck the pose, think again. His backhand has been at it for quite some time …

It all began in 2003, when Matthew and Kate Hudson sparred on screen in “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” The Leaning Tower of Matt symbolizes he is an equal adversary, a cunning man who won’t bend. But of course, though his hands are smugly safe in his pockets, he and his lady are touching just enough to make her want him.

But the leaning tower of Matt had only just begun …

In 2006, Matthew took on a new opponent in love in “Failure to Launch”: Sarah Jessica Parker. This time, he’s leaning so far onto her, she needs to haul ass with her full body weight to get him off of her, let alone out of his parents’ house … let alone into a movie people liked more than this one.
In 2008, Matthew joined his former ally for another McConaughey/Hudson match-up, this time in “Fool’s Gold.” The American movie poster went a different way (they actually are sort of facing each other), but we can’t ignore that the pose was struck, revealing that Matthew has, again, gone back-to-back with his female counterpart. Though he found a new place to put his hands: across his chest, symbolizing how staunch and stubborn he really is.
Even in 2008’s “Surfer Dude,” when there was nothing to love but a seven-foot piece of resin-coated polyurethane foam, he couldn’t help but turn his back on his own surfboard. Sigh.

Now, I don’t think this says as much about Matthew as it does the marketing departments working on his films. In fact, I met him and Kate Hudson at his place in Malibu last year to help arrange a Glamour interview and he was a total gentleman. He offered me a hot tea while he went to take a shower—he at no point leaned on me. Still, it made me think about the kinds of male characters he’s representing: players, usually; know-it-alls; those who are a little smug, a lot smarmy. In other words: exactly the kinds of guys single women should be wary of dating!

I mean, look at the body language. His back is to the women and his arms are either crossed or on himself—both signs of a guy who is not open to a relationship. Yes, it’s fun to take on the challenge of turning a self-assured man into a bumbling idiot in love with you, but that involves a lot of tears and frustration, and doesn’t always end happy.

Happy endings, though? Those usually involve an adoring man, on his knees professing his love and meaning it. That’s what you want, women. Keep an eye out for the guys who want to face you with arms open, who aren’t poised to walk in the other direction. The happy ending is all you’re looking for. You don’t need to wade through the ups and downs of a leaning man leading you on first. So single women, watch your backs and look for someone who’s into leaning on each other, face-to-face, heart-to-heart.

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  • Amy Spencer is the author of the upcoming book Meeting Your Half Orange and offers love positivity at TheDatingOptimist.com.

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