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A guide to finding the one that is “into you”

Observer Scene | Monday, February 7, 2005

Cross-stitched pillows and our mothers have always tried to communicate that, “Actions speak louder than words.” Well now there is a new voice screaming that message into the head of every woman – the voice of Greg Behrendt, co-author of “He’s Just Not That Into You.” Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo have composed “The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys” in an attempt to improve the life of every woman in the world who is stuck in a relationship where she is underappreciated, abused and simply unwilling to recognize that if he is treating her in those ways, her significant other is just simply “not that into” her.

The entire precept of the book began in the writing room for the HBO series, “Sex and the City.” Tuccillo is a writer for the show, and Behrendt is a consultant who would come in from time to time to offer a new perspective on the direction that some of the shows storylines were taking. While discussing the new and un-attentive boyfriend of one of the female writers, the other female writers were offering a plethora of excuses for the seemingly flaky behavior of this would-be boyfriend.

The woman asked Behrendt what he thought and Behrendt told her, “He’s just not that into you.”

Thus it began.

The concept was quickly written into a “Sex and the City” episode where the concept is introduced by one of Carrie’s boyfriends to Miranda while she is analyzing the behavior of the man she is dating. The idea took off and has now become a highly publicized how-to guide to dating.

The basic principle is simple. Guys are not as dumb as women would often like to believe they are. They do know how to use a telephone, and the reason he is not calling you is not because he, “just dropped my cell phone in the ocean and I lost your number,” but it is because he’s, “just not that into you.” Behrendt explains that, “When a guy is into you, he lets you know it. He calls, he shows up, he wants to meet your friends, he can’t keep his eyes or hands off you.” The simple truth is, according to Behrendt and Tuccillo, if a guy is into a woman, she will know it. She won’t need to spend time obsessing about his every action or inaction because the control will be hers when she simply walks away from a guy that is, “just not that into her.”

Tuccillo and Behrendt set up the book in a very interesting and entertaining fashion. Sixteen chapters cover any variety of dating issue from, “He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Dating You” to “He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s a Selfish Jerk, a Bully, or a Really Big Freak.” Each chapter begins with an introduction to the subject at hand by Behrendt and is followed by fabricated letters from women about the different “excuses” that women tend to make in the situations created in the letters. Behrendt answers each letter with a letter addressed to the nicknames for the excuse girl he creates such as, “Dear Pillow Talk,” “Dear Not Listening” and “Dear Let’s Get Physical.”

Behrendt’s responses are often hilariously obvious and reflect the choices that many women have been faced with in the dating world. The letters are followed by a paragraph called “It’s So Simple” wherein the points in Behrendt’s argument on the particular subject are summed up.

This is followed by a section called, “Here’s Why This One is Hard” by Tuccillo where she empathizes with the female readers of the book and the excuses that they have made; however, in the end she always agrees Behrendt is ultimately correct in his assertion no matter how hard that is to swallow.

Then a story about a real life example called “This is What it Should Look Like” by Behrendt or Tuccillo is shared, followed by a “Greg, I get it!” section where “women” share their tales of success in implementing Behrendt’s plan on the subject. “If You Don’t Believe Greg,” a grouping of admittedly unscientific polls from friends of the authors about the subjects reveals things like, “100% of men polled said that when they broke up with someone, it always meant that they didn’t want to go out with them anymore.”

Every chapter ends with a list of “What You Should Have Learned in This Chapter” that covers the main points of the letters and reflections followed by, “Our Super-Good Really Helpful Workbook” because “Hey, what’s a self-help tome without at workbook?” The workbooks are much more humorous than helpful. For instance, in the chapter about men cheating on women the workbook begins, “Here are our five suggestions on what your man could have done if he was unsatisfied in your relationship. (You’ll notice, none of them include sleeping with someone else.)” Each chapter offers new questions as to why women allow themselves to be hurt and obsessive when all they have to decide is that “He’s Just Not That Into You.”

Funny throughout, and at times hilarious, “He’s Just Not That Into You” is a must read for any woman who is active in the dating world. Initially, the concept seems harsh, but, as is explained by Behrendt and Tuccillo throughout the book, a woman realizing this is actually her taking back the power in the relationship.

No more waiting by the phone, or waiting for “Mr. Right” to appear in the guy women are currently dating; this book is the voice of a liberated movement that leaves the woman with the power to make a choice not to waste her time on the men the don’t appreciate her, thus giving her more time to find the one that will forever.

Hilariously honest and reflective of the excuses women do make, “He’s Just Not That Into You” is a book any dating girl cannot afford to go without.