He’s Just Not That Into You (2004) by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo is the book the film of the same name is based on.
The book basically is a dating advice book for women who date men. It is light and funny in parts and that’s the good bit of it but I wasn’t crazy about the book. It felt like people were being put into stereotypical roles based on their gender instead of being fully rounded people with emotions, feelings, hopes and dreams. The idea represented in this book is that people should not change themselves for their partner. So far so good. But then the book encourages readers to change their partner. It puts that across as powerful but there is nothing powerful in the second part of that. I think the first part of that advice is excellent but the second part of that should be the same. We are all looking for mutual respect in a relationship and for people to love us all for who we are. That goes both ways. The idea that in order to build your own confidence up by tearing away someone’s else’s confidence feels very ugly. As I said the book is very stereotypical and puts people into boxes. Every woman wants something serious, every man doesn’t. The book never takes into consideration that women date for a variety of reasons (men do too but the advice is for women) and that at different times in a woman’s life a woman might not always be looking for love so I think the book should have made clear that it was for a woman who was looking for something serious. The advice really felt very dated. The advice isn’t bad if you are in a situation like what is described in the book but it felt like it was being put across as advice which applied to all situations where a woman and a man were dating and that is simply not true. I think if someone followed this advice in quite a lot of situations I think they could throw away something very good with someone.
I felt like women who dated men were all made out to be waiting by the phone for the man to call all day and constantly were thinking about how to make it work with the man. Meanwhile the man wasn’t thinking about them at all. Women who date men have other things in their lives bar thinking about whether a man is into them or not and that wasn’t really taken into consideration. It felt like women were being made out to be damsels in distress who hung on every signal the man gave out but never understood any of the signals right. And then on the other side men who date women are always doing things out of badness. It never is even considered that there is introverted men who date women in the world and that some of things might not be as easy for them, that it doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t into the woman. Women also apparently shouldn’t make the first move with a man which I don’t agree with at all. The book even suggests domestic violence means the man isn’t into the woman which of course is true but is a very serious situation. To dismiss it as he’s just not that into you as opposed to saying there is a problem with him does feel like domestic violence is made out to be a smaller thing than it obviously is and that it is in situations where in reality someone who does that to a person will do that to the next person too because they are abusers. The book claims to be helping women take control of their relationships but it is repeated in the book that “if a guy wants you he will make it happen because guys get what they want” so it seems to contradict its message. That sounds like women are being put in a passive role where how they feel about the man doesn’t matter and that’s supposed to not be what the book is about. There is some good advice in here if a woman is dating a man who is a player and very obnoxious but the advice doesn’t help in any other situation where a woman is dating a man. It is really old-fashioned advice and very out of place for a modern world where everyone should be treated equally and not stereotyped.
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