“He’s just not that into you.”
Being a typical girl, I refuse to listen to my roommate’s blunt rationale. She has just discovered the book, He’s Just Not That Into You, by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. Since that fateful day, she has quoted it in response to every relationship query I have posed.
One day, after realizing that maybe she was right (and after not having heard from my “guy” in a week), I decided to read the book, inspired by one episode of the hit series “Sex and the City,” and see what made it so enlightening.
As if by intuition, I picked up the book and happened to turn to Chapter 9: “He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Disappeared on You.” I was immediately hooked.
The book has a way of saying things that all girls already know but are afraid to admit to themselves. This paragraph from the introduction sums it up perfectly:
“Move on, sister! Cut your losses and don’t waste your time. Why stay in some weird dating limbo when you can move on to what will surely be better territory? Don’t want to hear it? Fine. Here’s the answer you’re looking for: â€˜Hang in there, baby. He’s not the loser everybody’s telling you he is. If you wait and keep you mouth shut and call at exactly the right time and anticipate his moods and have no expectations about communication or your own sexual needs, you can have him!’ But please don’t be surprised when he dumps you or continues to drag you through a completely unsatisfying relationship…Don’t waste the pretty!”
At this point, I feel empowered. I can have control over my relationships. However, as I keep flipping through the chapters, my newfound power grows weaker and weaker.
The authors advise to let the guy do the asking. According to Behrendt and Tuccillo, if a guy likes you, he will ask you out. In fact, they tell girls never to ask a guy out, regardless of how much you like him. He must take the initiative.
Excuse me! Many women nowadays ask out guys. In fact, women take over guys’ roles in every other societal arena, so why not dating? This book sends the most confusing feminist/anti-feminist message one could read. Talk about mixed messages.
Moreover, the book reminds girls not to sit around waiting for a guy to call. But, at the same time, it also tells us not to ask a guy out. These pieces of advice seem a little contradictory.
However, the book exposes the truth behind guys’ excuses. For example, if a guy likes you, he is never too busy for you.
Consider this scenario: Fred meets Tina at a party. Fred really likes Tina and insists that she come over to “hang out.” For the next week, Tina comes over and hangs out with Fred. Suddenly, Fred stops making an effort to talk to Tina, and when she tries to make plans with him, he claims to be too busy. Ding ding! It is time for Tina to move forward.
The book is structured in a Q & A format. It explores every conceivable excuse given to a girl from a guy: “maybe he’s intimidated by me,” “he just got out of a relationship,” “he’s afraid to get hurt again,” “he’s just not ready [to date]” etc. The format lends itself well to the nature of the book. Nevertheless, the same point is driven into my head. So hard and cold, it is a bitter pill to take. He’s just not that into you and there is nothing you can do about it. Move on!
While this methodology might be helpful in some cases, it actually gives guys all the control in a relationship. Seemingly, girls are but puppets in the grand scheme of the dating system. Really girls, how do you feel about this scenario? The guy will ask you out if he likes you, you will go out with him until he gets tired, and when he gets tired, you as the girl are expected to forget about him and wait for the next guy to come along.
Personally, I am offended. I hope every girl sees that even though this book appears to give women the upper hand, it actually advises us to step back and let a guy tell you what to do through his signals.
However, I cannot completely trash the book for giving advice that belittles women because that is not the purpose of the book. The truth is, there are powerful statements throughout it that make a girl feel great; however, if the rules in the book are taken too seriously, a woman will end up paranoid and suspicious of any guy that tries to talk to her. These rules are very extreme. Women, follow them as cautionary measures, not as the absolute rules of dating.