He’s Just Not That Into You: book review & musings on dating

Monday, January 22nd 2018 Books, Entertainment

He's Just Not That Into You Book cover

He’s Just Not That Into You. Six words that strike fear into my heart. Exactly what a woman doesn’t want to hear about a man she’s dating. The truth hurts, but sometimes it also helps. I recently read  He’s Just Not That into You: The No-excuses Truth to Understanding Guys, by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, and have been recommending it to all my single girlfriends. So of course, I have to recommend it to any of you that are also dealing with the struggles of dating.

He’s Just Not That Into You was published in 2004, when I was only 13. Fast forward to 2017, and after a few years of bad dates I decided to give it a read. This book originates from discussions around the Sex and the City writer’s room table where Greg and Liz both worked. Greg found himself giving the women on staff explanations for the behaviour of men they’re dating. This advice developed into a book which became a massive success. I had heard of it, but only just read it after having one too many frustrating dating experiences.

Like many other women, I’ve spent hours trying to create explanations for why guys are treating me like they are – “oh he’s just too busy to text me back” or “maybe he’s trying to not seem too keen”, and according to this book, the conclusion is always the same – He’s Just Not That Into Me. If a man wants to date you, he will move heaven and earth to make it happen. If he’s giving you weak excuses about why he can’t see you – it’s most likely that he just doesn’t want to make that effort.

He's Just Not That Into You movie

A scene from He’s Just Not That Into You, the movie

The opposite is true as well, if I want to see someone, I don’t care if it’s a work night, or that I have to wash my hair. Looking back over the lowlights of my dating experience really reflects the themes of this book. It’s an upsetting conclusion to come to, but Greg’s insight into the male psyche, and Liz’s advice from a women’s perspective has really helped. It is a little dated at times, written far before the advent of dating apps, just when online dating was in it’s infancy. Nowadays you can almost find a date just as easily as you can order a meal on Uber Eats.

I was in a relationship from 17 to almost 24 years old, which ended in late 2014. This means the entirety of my adult dating experience has been in the age of Tinder. Now, I have had some great times with Tinder dates, and also some bad times. A couple of years ago I was interviewed about Tinder for Radio NZ, which you can listen to and read about here My feelings are bit different now, especially as I’m looking more and more for a serious partnership. Back then I mostly just enjoyed the fun of getting ready and going on a date.

One of the problems with Tinder is because they’re a stranger to you, it can be easy to not care about their feelings. I’m sure I’ve hurt some guys feelings by not wanting a second date, or rejecting their advances. I do try to treat people how I’d like to be treated, so I’ll never just ghost someone, I always send them a nice ‘thanks but no thanks’ message. I wish I could say the same for guys who date me. Once I went on several dates with a guy, and then he just vanished. He stopped texting, stopped calling. I went crazy trying to work out what was going on. It’s hard to accept that maybe they’re just not into you, but the sooner you accept it and move on, the better.

He's Just Not That Into You Book quote-1

So many references to calls. These days it should be more like care enough to send you a facebook message

Each chapter in the book has parts written by Greg, and parts written by Liz. They will be looking at various scenarios, such as the guy who won’t meet your family, or the one who just won’t make time to see you. At the end of each chapter, there are exercises to complete. I made a point of doing them all, and I’ve already gone back to read the notes. I’ve sworn that I won’t let guys waste my time in 2018. The exercises can be hard, to think about what you want beyond just “a boyfriend”. There’s millions of men out there, but what you need is the one who is right for you.

He's Just Not That Into You Book quote-2

Again with the calling! But it’s so true,

I’ve since read It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Break-Up Buddy co-authored by Greg with his wife Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt. I also plan to read their book It’s Just a Date: How to Get ’em, How to Read ’em, and How to Rock ’em. Getting a date offline is a completely foreign concept to me. The last time that I went on a date that wasn’t initiated online was in high school. I don’t even know how to meet guys! Most of my friends are women, and the few guys I’m friends with are all in relationships. My hobbies are all female dominated, as is my workplace. I flat with 3 guys, but the number of their single friends is pretty sparse. One married friend said to me “when you stop looking you’ll find someone” and I was like, where??? I don’t know how anyone gets dates offline. If you’ve met your partner in recent years somewhere offline, please give me advice. In the meantime, I guess I’ll be reading How to be Single by Liz Tuccillo – I’ve already seen the movie and loved it.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this – who else is in this single boat with me? Or if you’ve read any of these books, what did you think about them?

He's just not that into you and my thoughts on dating - by Lena Talks

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