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Author Topic: He's Just Not That Into You
Michelle
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posted 14 December 2004 10:29 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So I was reading this book over someone's shoulder on the subway today, and dying of suppressed laughter. I had no idea whether "He's just not that into you" was the title of the book or the title of the chapter, so I looked it up on google, and lo and behold, there are tons of reviews of it.

Has anyone read it? The few pages I read were hilarious! I don't usually read self-help books, but I think I'm going to make an exception for this one.

quote:
It all began with a story meeting at "Sex and the City." Behrendt, a standup comic and writer, had been serving as consultant to the show. A woman on the staff started talking about a guy she liked who'd been running hot and cold. The other women launched into thoughtful analyses of the man's every action, and Behrendt just blurted out -- you guessed it! -- "He's just not that into you."

From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
aRoused
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posted 14 December 2004 11:48 AM      Profile for aRoused     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Heh. Shades of that earlier discussion on male vs. female discussion styles.
From: The King's Royal Burgh of Eoforwich | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
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posted 14 December 2004 12:00 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I gotta tip my hat to this guy. Take a bunch of tired gender sterotypes and stale "Sex and the City" scenarios, punch it out in 165 pages over a couple of lunch breaks and just sit and watch the cash roll in as the chick-lit set snaps it up. Beautiful.

I like this one:

quote:
He's Just Not That Into You if ... He's Not Having Sex With You. ("Get a big red crayon. Color in this flag. You've just made a big red flag. Good, because that's what a man not wanting to have sex with you is.")

'cos guys are horny, see? Like, they totally think about sex all the time (like every three minutes). In fact, if a man doesn't want to fuck your brains out 24/7 he's either not into you or he's gay.

Thanks, asshole.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 14 December 2004 12:08 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah...I've been reading a few reviews of the book (I haven't read the book itself) and there have been a lot of criticisms of it. Particularly of their insistence that women should never ask a man out. The idea being that almost no man likes to be asked out by a woman (because all men like "the chase"), and that if a man has to wait to be asked out by you then...you guessed it: He's Just Not That Into You. I'm starting to change my mind about reading it - or at least paying money to read it.

Still, though...this book could be a bit of a wake up call for those people, male OR female, who find themselves making excuses in a dating relationship for a person who never calls, or makes them do all the "relationship work" or first overtures or whatever. I think most of us have been there at some point or another.

[ 14 December 2004: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
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posted 14 December 2004 12:20 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm starting to change my mind about reading it - or at least paying money to read it.

At 165 pages, it sounds like something you could skim through in a half hour at Chapters.

quote:
Still, though...this book could be a bit of a wake up call for those people, male OR female, who find themselves making excuses in a dating relationship for a person who never calls, or makes them do all the "relationship work" or first overtures or whatever.

What's most annoying/frustrating/stupid about this book and it's ilk is that the behavious that it details as signs of a man "not being into you" are simply universal signs of rude behavior.

Lateness, not calling when you say you will, soft-peddling breakup lines (ie. "not wanting to ruin the friendship"), yadda yadda yadda, are by no means exclusive to men, but are signs that the indivdual is just plain inconsiderate.

It seems to me that what's required is not yet another trite dating manual, but a refresher course in politeness and decorous behavioir.

[ 14 December 2004: Message edited by: black_dog ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 14 December 2004 12:31 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That was a great episode of Sex in the City. It was an epiphany for Cynthia Nixon's character, liberating her from agonizing over men's so-called mixed signals.

Men really don't send mixed signals. When we want someone, we point right at them.

Or as Frasier Crane once said, "How can she accuse men of using sex to get what they want? What men want is sex!"


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 14 December 2004 12:41 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
But I think they pretty much say that, black dog. They're saying that instead of writing it off to plain rudeness or "he's just not into you," a lot of women go out of their way to think up extenuating circumstances, and agonize over whether some guy who hasn't called her in two weeks is worth it.

Then again, as one of those grils who, in high school, had a series of male best friends, all of whom would agonize at some point or another over whether some girl who was obviously giving them the cold shoulder, or trying to get the point across without coming right out and saying it that she wasn't interested, I'm not so sure this is a "girl culture" thing only!

I think the reason I was laughing over it on the subway is because there have been so many times where I've wanted to tell someone, "Grab a clue! S/he just isn't interested!" And yet, despite my completely clearheaded vision where others are concerned, I must rather uncomfortably admit that there has been the occasional time when I've done the same thing. Which is why the small part I read over that woman's shoulder had me grinning.

But you're right, of course. The more I read about the book from other people's reviews, the more I think that certain parts of it would piss me off. For instance, apparently they have a real "the-ultimate-goal-of-dating-is-a-white-dress" slant, which is definitely not my idea of what dating is necessarily all about. The idea being that you only want to date guys who are so crazy about you that they will eventually want to marry you. And it kind of assumes that the woman is always looking to invest a huge amount emotionally in every guy she dates, which ain't necessarily so. I mean, do these rules apply to casual dating relationships where I'm not overly committed either? Or am I just not supposed to have those kind of relationships in order to be considered successful on the dating scene?

So yeah, I see your point.

[ 14 December 2004: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
chimo
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posted 14 December 2004 01:56 PM      Profile for chimo        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
doesn't that book totally overgeneralize though? it's saying that if a guy does/doesn't certain things then he's definitely not into a girl & there's no other possible explanation for what he's doing. i hate it when a girl acts all offended if i'm really on my way to class & don't want to be late & only say hi rather than stop & make small talk, etc. yeah i should make myself late so i show up late to class. lol "he's just not into you" if he won't jump out his 10th floor window to get down to your car, because it's so much faster than the stairs. why can't girls just be more like sherry argov tells them to be in "why men love bitches" ??
From: sobolev spaces :-) | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 28 December 2007 07:31 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I bought the book yesterday because it was in a remainder bin and was only a couple of bucks. Read the whole thing last night.

It was really funny and cute. Of course, I disagreed with quite a bit in it. I also found myself blushing because I've made a lot of the "excuses" in the past about guys I've been dating too.

However, the one thing that really strikes me about this book is that what they're describing as guys who ARE "that into you" are what I would consider warning signs for possibly controlling or abusive men.

All of their points - guys who don't call when they say they will, guys who have sex with you and then don't call or e-mail for a week or two afterwards, guys who say they're not "ready" for a relationship even though they're quite happy to take what you're putting out for them, etc. - are good ones. But I don't think they're etched in stone.

When you think about the "warning signs" for controlling and abusive men (ever seen warning sign checklists put out by shelters and anti-violence organizations?), and then read this book, most controlling or abusive men would pass these dating tests with flying colours. They chase you until they get a "yes". They flatter you, tell you you're beautiful and perfect. They call you three or four times a day. They want to meet all your friends and hear about what you're doing all the time. They want to take you out on dates all the time, and show you the time of your life - sweep you off your feet, charm you. They "rush" you - want to have sex right away. They're not having sex with anyone else because they're so obsessed with you 24 hours a day that they wouldn't possibly have time for it. "He's just not that into you if he doesn't want to marry you"? No problem there - he tells you on the first or second date that he knew when he first laid eyes on you that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, and that you're the woman he wants to marry - and pressures you to make a commitment to the relationship as early on as possible.

And of course, their chapter on "He's just not that into you if he's a selfish jerk, a bully, or a really big freak" doesn't apply until after you're living with the guy, married to him, and/or pregnant, because most abusers keep the charm turned on until after the woman is in so deep that it's hard to get out. Although, to their credit, they do say that at the first sign of any jerky abusiveness, that's when you dump the guy and don't make any excuses.

So, for me, reading this book gave me mixed feelings. I recognized the jerkish behaviour they talk about, and I realized they were right about guys who don't call for two or three weeks at a time, etc. They make good points about women who put up with total bullshit from stupid guys who are using them and don't give a shit about them. But I also recognized the behaviour (which they were endorsing) of potential controllers. I've been in a controlling and abusive relationship. And the guy would have passed all the tests in this book easily while we were dating.

P.S. They're making a movie based on the book!

[ 28 December 2007: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 28 December 2007 08:10 AM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It seems to me that, like fashion magazines, the book is setting a very high bar of what "real" women are supposed to get from men in relationships, i.e. total attention, the altar treatment. They are not getting that, neither are regular men from women unless out of fear, but the book, like the magazines, functions as fantasy fodder, building up the reader as someone entitled to that much and, the downside, making her a lesser person for not getting it. (So "support our advertisers"...)
Maybe it's the "into you" metaphor that deserves closer attention. Men are not shrapnel...

[ 28 December 2007: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]


From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 28 December 2007 11:19 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I read a good review of the book at Salon.com. I think she covers your point, Martin, and I agree with you.

The review is mixed, as is my reaction to the book. It's a fun way to laugh over the foibles of "players", but I think the main flaw of the book is that the player who wrote it assumes ALL guys are "players" and have the same personality. In his world, no man is intimidated by any woman or nervous about calling her, and no man (except a lazy loser) actually LIKES it when a woman asks him out. No man is ever insecure or unsure of himself. No man ever has a hard time getting up the nerve to call - no, he's just "not that into you".

I guess the question is, do you want to land a player? And do you want to reject all men who are shy? The other assumption, of course, is that all women are looking for Mr. Right and want to get married and live happily ever after with her player-turned-love-slave-hubby. So, I guess this book is probably good dating advice for women who are looking for a very conventional dating-to-marriage relationship.

The book assumes that women aren't "players" themselves, that no women likes casual dating or relationships, that women don't like it when guys have their own lives and interests, and that women want guys to obsess over them 24 hours a day (and that we spend our lives obsessing over THEM 24 hours a day). It assumes that women don't want space and that men go from wanting lots of space to suddenly wanting none whatsoever if he is "into you".

I don't think it works that way. Most guys I've known who are the obsessively-attentive type are like that with ALL women they meet and date, because that's the way they are. Most of the guys I've known who are standoffish are like that with everyone, too. It's often a personality thing. I once dumped a guy because I felt like he just didn't pay any attention to me, and didn't want to meet my family, didn't seem to want to make what I considered a real commitment at the time (marriage), etc. He would have failed most of their "tests". And yet, when I broke up with him, he cried for days and was devastated. He was "into me," all right. He just wasn't "into" all the conventional dating stuff.

Whereas the guy who was "into" all the dating stuff and would've passed their tests with flying colours wasn't "into me" - he was just a control freak who wanted to own me. The former guy was much nicer than the latter guy, although the latter guy was much more charming.

Anyhow, speaking of players, check out the guy Oprah thinks will be helpful for women to hear from for advice on dating:

quote:
"I mean, we want to spend our time preferably with our 'Tier 1' group of women," he says. "So I'm going to call 'Tier 1' women on a Monday or Tuesday to try to setup plans. 'Tier 2' will get called on Thursday. 'Tier 3' will get called Friday, before I'm going to the club, as I'm getting dressed, just to see what they're doing. And 'Tier 4' women will get called as I'm leaving the club, already had drinks, ready to go home. You know, a 'Tier 4' woman is a booty call."

The assumption being, of course, that he couldn't possibly be a Tier 4 man, and mere "booty call" to the Tier 4 women on his list, right? Sounds a little too much like "the rules" to me.

Doesn't surprise me that Oprah endorses this book wholeheartedly. No mixed reactions from the Secret pusher.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jrose
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posted 28 December 2007 11:32 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maybe I've just always had luck in love (haha, I wish) but I've always been skeptical of books that discuss relationships, when they're all such strange little things, built on idiocincrities and contridictions and experiences. My mom was one of those people who started to use this book’s title as a catch phrase when it became popular. If my boyfriend was a few minutes late to call, or pick me up for a date, it was always “Well, he’s just not that into you.” Thanks mom.
From: Ottawa | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 28 December 2007 11:53 AM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In response to Michelle: Does the fact that a guy cries for days after a breakup mean that he was that much "into" the other person? Judging from my pathetic experience, one can let a relationship go down the tubes for lack of attention to the other, ethics, in other words, basic care and love, and still feel "devastated" when one reaps the result. So, there is something to be said for a reality check about the extent to which self-professed love is or not substantive. It's just this book's criteria that seem superficial.
A female friend of mine called out to listeners for examples of love letters - women's and men's - for a community radio program we were co-hosting in Montreal 25 years ago - seems like only yesterday, sigh... She received dozens.
It turned out that these letters fell in four rather neat categories: 1) seduction letters, 2) in-the-relationship love letters, 3) something-is-going-wrong-let's fix-it letters, and 4) hindsight I-can-see-clearly-now letters.
Guess what categories of letters the men and the women turned out to have written, in 95% of cases...?

[ 28 December 2007: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]


From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 06 January 2008 09:54 AM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by black_dog:
What's most annoying/frustrating/stupid about this book and it's ilk is that the behavious that it details as signs of a man "not being into you" are simply universal signs of rude behavior.

If he says she's just a friend, like a sister, then one day you see him up and kiss her, well he just might not be that into you.

quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
The idea being that almost no man likes to be asked out by a woman (because all men like "the chase"), and that if a man has to wait to be asked out by you then...you guessed it: He's Just Not That Into You.

Some guys would be offended by a woman asking them out, but those guys aren't worth anyone's time anyways.

What's wrong with nice guys?


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
rural - Francesca
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posted 06 January 2008 11:09 AM      Profile for rural - Francesca   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As mindless as this book was, it did wake within a lot of women, the idea that they don't have to put up with rude behaviour.

Sometimes we need to be told the Emperor has no clothes

[ 06 January 2008: Message edited by: rural - Francesca ]


From: the backyard | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
Boarsbreath
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posted 06 January 2008 02:07 PM      Profile for Boarsbreath   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey. Everything you can possibly say about romantic relationships is valid -- sometimes. And sometimes completely wrong. That's why these books and conversations and threads -- and stand-up routines -- go on forever.
From: South Seas, ex Montreal | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
TemporalHominid
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posted 06 January 2008 03:02 PM      Profile for TemporalHominid   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by martin dufresne:
...: 1) seduction letters, 2) in-the-relationship love letters, 3) something-is-going-wrong-let's fix-it letters, and 4) hindsight I-can-see-clearly-now letters.
Guess what categories of letters the men and the women turned out to have written, in 95% of cases...?


I have not got a clue. This was 25 years ago right? It's possible that people's perceptions and societies expectations re: sex roles were more rigid back then.

I find the majority of males' views of sex roles in Canada and United States are quite rigid.

although... lately I have been hearing female friends complaining more and more that it is difficult to find a man that will take the initiative to ask them out or start romance in the bedroom.


From: Under a bridge, in Foot Muck | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
martin dufresne
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posted 06 January 2008 03:47 PM      Profile for martin dufresne   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
...lately I have been hearing female friends complaining more and more that it is difficult to find a man that will take the initiative to ask them out or start romance in the bedroom.

Imagine that...!? With all these enlightened, sensitive, non sexist guys around... do you think women are perhaps being too picky? I have been hearing that lately - from men and/or conservatives. Imagine that: wanting to have BOTH respect and romance and, failing that, daring to feel that the guy may just be more trouble than he's worth.
To conclude the anecdote about my friend's research, she found that, to a tee, the letters in categories 1 and 4 were from males and those in categories 2 and 3, from women.
But you're right, that was 25 years ago, and now less and less people bother writing.

From: "Words Matter" (Mackinnon) | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 06 January 2008 05:30 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rural - Francesca:
As mindless as this book was, it did wake within a lot of women, the idea that they don't have to put up with rude behaviour.

Sometimes we need to be told the Emperor has no clothes


I totally agree. I basically took from the book what was good, analyzed what I thought was bad, and discarded it. It was a fun, breezy read, anyhow. Good for a few laughs when you recognize about half a dozen guys you've gone out with.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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