Knowing my already ambivalent attitude towards men in the context of a romantic relationship, my friends were the first to tell me to stay away from this book. A long history of disastrous (non)relationships and unrequited whatevers, watching the romantic disasters befalling my friends, and being around "real guys" much of the time have turned me into too much of a cynic as it is. The last thing I needed was more fuel to the flame - and "He's Just Not That Into You" is just that.
Being the contrary person that I am, I read it anyway.
Often times harsh, occasionally laugh-out-lout funny, but always very honest, Greg Behrendt decodes the motives of guys who disappear, guys who don't call when they say they do, guys who just "want to be friends" but with benefits and other variations on the same theme and give us puzzled women the bottom line in no uncertain terms: "He's just not that into you." Liz Tucillo, who co-authors the book and stands for all the other single women who have ever been in this boat, tackles the reason why it's so hard to swallow Greg's advice - and why we should.
It's a "he-said-she-said" approach that is no-nonsense and gets the message across. And, when all is said and done, the real message that they want to send across is that women should not "waste the pretty."
As I flipped through the pages of the book, I couldn't help a wince here and there as I recognized myself not just as a person on the receiving end of "he's not just that into you" behavior, but as the friend who has spent hours on end with another friend analyzing her relationship problems and throwing out myriad, hope-inflating what-if speculations. True, even before the book, I was always more the hold-your-horses-are-you-sure-you-can-trust-this-guy devil's advocate when my friends would gush to me about guys they are excited about, but being a closet romantic, I was capable of optimism.
I may be a master of not getting my hopes up, but this book sort of sets the standard to an all-new low.
I think women have always really known the bottom line, we just haven't been happy to accept it. So there is a certain degree of freedom gained by being slapped all of this in the face and seeing everything in black and white. Then again, there's always something to be said about living in denial - it's a lot less painful there.
Okay, okay, I know relationships are a lot more complicated than that, it's impossible to generalize, blah, blah, blah. Maybe your guy has a good excuse for not calling. Or maybe he really just isn't ready to put a label on your whatever-it-is. But I think that this book's premise is worth looking at specially if you've been putting your life on hold for a good long while - it just may give you a new perspective.
I, for one, am planning on getting some post-it, writing "Don't waste the pretty" on it, and putting it up somewhere I can see it every day. Maybe if I repeat it to myself often enough, I'll get it.