Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

So let's get into it


I normally don't go for self-help books.  I don't know why - it's not like I have the best self-esteem.  Even the best of us need a little help from time to time.  I usually just don't look for it in the bookstore.

I watched the movie adaptation (a self-help book with a movie?  How nuts is that?), which I found cloying and silly, but not in the enjoyable way.  The main character, a perpetually hopeful singleton even in the face of constant rejection, ultimately gets her guy without having learned anything about love or relationships.  Ironic, considering that one should ideally have learned something from a relationship advice book.
Greg Behrendt thinks that some very nice, intelligent, beautiful single ladies are laboring under a delusion: that the guy who won't return their calls or show interest in pursuing a relationship just needs a little nudge.  Which is why these women keep calling, emailing, and basically constantly remind said schmo that they exist.  Behrendt wants us to put our phones down and stop.  Not That Into You argues that by continuing to chase a man who never responds to us - or responds too late - we are wasting our time.  Behrendt assures us that if a guy was genuinely interested, we wouldn't have to do the chasing; he will be chasing us.  By taking a look at different (and fictional) couples in different stages of relationships, Behrendt aims to convince us that a man who doesn't give us his full attention and respect is ultimately not worth our time.  Tuccillo takes on the role of the middleman - a female voice who tries to process Behrendt's advice and reconcile the female reader to it.  
It took a while for this book to win me over, or even to get through to me.  Behrendt's concise message, while at the core very good advice - is delivered in such a blunt manner that it comes off as off-putting.  He hammers it home for us that women need to stop making excuses for men and face the fact that men will do or say anything to avoid a woman he isn't "into." Then, after more than halfway through, it dawned on me that the meaning of "into" should not be taken lightly; rather, "into" means fully attentive, loving, nurturing, and attracted to a woman.  If a man can't be 100% invested in a relationship - whether it's a first date or a marriage - he is "just not that into" her.  And she should lose him.  Behrendt is convinced that any decent man wouldn't hesitate to become a devoted and loving partner, and the explicit "into" is important to his message as well as his philosophy on love.  Along with this wake-up call, we have Tuccillo who comes in once every chapter to give her take on her co-author's message.  While she usually agrees with him, there are one or two points where she has trouble processing his advice.  This is when the book has the most personality: as Behrendt's voice dominates Not That Into You, it's nice when Tuccillo brings her own ideas along to compare and contrast.
It surprised me that much of this book's advice is rather traditional.  Not only does he advise women to wait for the man to do the asking out, but he's a huge believer in marriage (don't get me wrong, as an institution I love it, but I wouldn't judge cohabitation as harshly as he does).  He tells us that "when it comes to men, [women must] deal with us as we are, not how you'd like us to be." Men are hunters, but Behrendt says that we are not prey - we can choose who catches us.  Although hard to swallow, Behrendt and Tuccillo present us with a wealth of knowledge about men and how they operate.  The book also has a sense of humor that helps the medicine go down: the "Super-Good Really Helpful Workbook" pages satirize the self-help format, adding a dose of silliness. 
Rating: 4.5 answering messages out of 5.