Monday, August 20, 2007

He's Just Not That Into You

I consider myself some what of a Christian dating book connoisseur. I've read a lot of them, ranging the gamut from how to find a man, how to be datable, how to make your dating relationship work, what it should look like, and of course how to be a content single. I think my interest began with a search for information and education on the subject, but has since turned into a more morbid curiosity as to what people are actually suggesting. And besides, as a quarter century single myself, I have some personal interest. :)

A couple of weeks ago I was at Barnes and Noble just hanging out, and I sat at a table that had the book "He's Just Not That Into You" by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. I'd seen the episode of Sex and the City that spawned the movement, and I'd heard a little about the concept of the book, so I was intrigued.

It's a small book with big print, so I was able to breeze through it pretty quickly, and let me tell you, it is now a book that I would recommend first to my single female friends. Essentially, the book's point is that women try to over-examine men and their response to them. As the book's title makes fairly clear, in many cases when a woman tries to explain away men's strange behavior with excuses about "fear of intimacy", career stress, being afraid of their own emotions, family baggage or what not, it's often a simple case of the "he's just not that into you"s. It's kind of the whole principle that a man would cross any mountain, swim any sea, or trek across the desert to be with the woman he wants.

It sounds harsh and unkind the first time you hear it, but the way Behrendt writes and explains it, it is quite empowering! It frees women from wasting time from anguishing over gray or muddled relationships and recognizing that they're worth being with someone who won't put them through emotional warfare by being noncommittal and wishy washy.

The book's not written from a Christian perspective by any means (for example, I would hope that most mature Christians realize that "He's just not that into you if he's having sex with someone else" or "if he only wants to see you when he's drunk"), but the overriding principle is applicable for so many single women I know. And moreover, even being the crazy liberal that I am, I do believe strongly in traditional gender roles within relationships, especially romantic/familial (i.e., the male is the pursuer, the female the pursued), and that is really a strong foundational philosophy of this book.

All in all, I highly recommend this book for any single woman, especially those struggling with iffy relationships or unrequited love. Too bad there isn't a simple equivalent for men. :)

And what do you guys think? Is this a common misconception women have about men, or are men more complex than Behrendt would have us think?


Anonymous said...

i totally agree with you, ann! so much needless analysis could be avoided. and it really NEEDS to be avoided if we are to fully let go and wait to be pursued. and this applies IN marriage too! it feels the most secure when i dont force grady into anything he's "not in to" but instead wait and not analyze or worry (but often pray!). then if he comes around i totally know he's "in to" it and there's no doubt that i manipulated or forced it on him. but man, is it hard for us females to live this way sometimes-!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the book yet, but does it take into account how a woman treats a man?

Women don't necessarily know how to treat men well.

If a man approached a woman, and then is wishy washy, it could be that the woman didn't adequately meet his emotional needs (but of course it could have been just his issues).