For ages women have come together over coffee, cocktails, or late-night phone chats to analyze and obsess over the puzzling behavior of men. Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo are here to say that—despite good intentions—it’s an utter waste of time. Men are not complicated, although they’d like women to think they are. And there are no mixed messages. The truth may be: He’s just not that into you.
Straightforward and sensible, He’s Just Not That Into You educates otherwise smart women on how to tell when a guy just doesn’t like them enough, so they can stop wasting time making excuses for a dead-end relationship.
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Comedian Greg Behrendt was a consultant for three consecutive seasons on Sex and the City. His acclaimed stand-up comedy has been seen on HBO, Comedy Central Presents..., The Tonight Show, Late Show with David Letterman, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.
Liz Tuccillo was an executive story editor of HBO's Emmy-winning Sex and the City and has also written for Off Broadway. She is currently living and dating in New York City.
Chapter One: he's just not that into you if he's not asking you out
Because if he likes you, trust me, he will ask you out
Many women have said to me, "Greg, men run the world." Wow. That makes us sound pretty capable. So tell me, why would you think we could be incapable of something as simple as picking up the phone and asking you out? You seem to think at times that we're "too shy" or we "just got out of something." Let me remind you: Men find it very satisfying to get what they want. (Particularly after a difficult day of running the world.) If we want you, we will find you. If you don't think you gave him enough time to notice you, take the time it took you to notice him and divide it by half.
Now you begin the life-changing experience of reading our book. We have put the stories we have heard and questions we've been asked in a simple question-and-answer format. If you're lucky, you'll read the following questions and know what they are: Excuses that women have made for their unsatisfying situations. If you're not so lucky, we've also included handy titles to clue you in.
The "Maybe He Doesn't Want to Ruin the Friendship" Excuse
I'm so disappointed. I have this friend that I've known platonically for about ten years. He lives in a different city and recently he was in town for work, so we met for dinner. All of a sudden it felt like we were on a date. He was completely flirting with me. He even said to me, as he was checking me out, "So, what, you're working the whole 'model thing' now?" (That's flirting, right?) We both agreed that we should get together again soon. Well, Greg, I'm disappointed because it's been two weeks and he hasn't called me. Can I call him? He might be nervous about turning the friendship into romance. Can't I give him a nudge now? Isn't that what friends are for?
Dear Friendly Girl,
Two weeks is two weeks, except when it's ten years and two weeks. That's how long ago he decided whether or not he could date a model or a girl who looks like one. Can you be a pal and give him a nudge? Nudge away, friendster -- but watch how fast that nudge doesn't get a return phone call. And if your dinner/date did feel different to him, it's been two weeks and he's had time to think about it and decide he's just not that into you. Here's the truth: Guys don't mind messing up a friendship if it could lead to sex, whether it be a "fuck buddy" situation or a meaningful romance. Go find someone that lives in your zip code who will be rocked to the core by your deep conversation and model looks.
I hate to tell you, but that whole "I don't want to ruin the friendship" excuse is a racket. It works so well because it seems so wise. Sex could mess up a friendship. Unfortunately, in the entire history of mankind, that excuse has never ever been used by someone who actually means it. If we're really excited about someone, we can't stop ourselves -- we want more. If we're friends with someone and attracted to them, we're going to want to take it further. And please, don't tell me he's just "scared." The only thing he's scared of -- and I say this with a lot of love -- is how not attracted to you he is.
The "Maybe He's Intimidated by Me" Excuse
I have a crush on my gardener. He's been potting the plants on my patio. It was hot, I saw him without his shirt on, he was hot, and now I'm hot for him. I brought out some beers and we talked. I think he wants to ask me out but is afraid, because he is my hired man. In this situation, can't I ask him out?
Dear My Secret Garden,
He's capable of asking you out. Haven't you ever seen a porno? Hope he gets there before the pizza guy. But seriously, if he didn't pick up the vibe after the beer garden, it has nothing to do with you being his big boss lady. Time to stop and smell the bad news: He's just not that into you.
Let me say it again, sexual harassment rules and workplace memos notwithstanding, a guy will ask out a woman of higher status if he's into her. He might need a little more encouragement than normal, I'll give you that. You might have to lead Johnny the Office Boy or Phillipe the Exterminator to water, but you better not help him ask you out. Once again, ladies, a wink and a smile will do it.
By the way, why are you dating the exterminator?
Just kidding, he's a good guy.
The "Maybe He Wants to Take It Slow" Excuse
There's this guy who calls me all the time. He's recently divorced, and in AA. We got back in touch recently, had lots of phone calls, and then hung out twice in one week and it was real cool. No flirting or making out or anything, but fun. Since then, he calls me all the time but doesn't ever suggest we see each other in person again. It's like he got scared or something. I would understand if because of the divorce/alcoholic/starting-a-whole-new-life stuff he wanted to take things slow. But he still calls me all the time to have long heart-to-heart talks. What the hell should I do with this guy?
Dear Pillow Talk,
Sadly, not wanting to see you in person is massive as far as dating obstacles go. And as far as the recently divorced/newly sober/starting-a-new-life parts, blah blah blah, I'm getting sleepy, it's hot, I'm going down for a nap. When I wake up from that nap I'll probably thrill to the news that your friend is taking control of his life. You, however, will still not be going on a date, because despite all your excuses for him, he's still not asking you out. Now, if you're a person who enjoys a slightly satisfying phone relationship, talk on! But at this point it seems like he's just not that into you. Be his friend if you're at all interested on that level, but move your romantic inclinations onto a more suitable future husband.
If a guy truly likes you, but for personal reasons he needs to take things slow, he will let you know that immediately. He won't keep you guessing, because he'll want to make sure you don't get frustrated and go away.
The "But He Gave Me His Number" Excuse
I met a really cute guy at a bar this week. He gave me his number and told me to give him a call sometime. I thought that was kind of cool, that he gave me control of the situation like that. I can call him, right?
Dear Control Freak,
Did he give you control, or did he just get you to do the heavy lifting? What he just did was a magic trick: It seems like he gave you control, but really he now gets to decide if he wants to go out with you -- or even return your call. Why don't you take Copperfield's number, roll it in a newspaper, pour milk in it, and make it disappear.
"Give me a call." "E-mail me." "Tell Joey we should all hang out sometime." Don't let him trick you into asking him out. When men want you, they do the work. I know it sounds old school, but when men like women, they ask them out.
The "Maybe He Forgot to Remember Me" Excuse
Okay, Greg. Listen to this one: I was at a conference for work and met a guy from another branch of my company. We hit it off immediately. He was just about to ask for my number, I swear, when the Big Blackout of 2003 happened. In the mayhem, I didn't get to give him my number. I think the Big Blackout of 2003 is a good enough excuse to call him, don't you think? It's only common courtesy for me to check up on him, right? If I don't call, he's probably going to be all sad thinking that I'm just not that into him.
Dear Judy Blackout,
The city blacked out. He didn't. You said you work for different branches of the same company. Certainly he wouldn't have to break a sweat to scroll through the company staff roster or interoffice e-mail listing to find you. And should he not be as resourceful as you are...I imagine that he has a mother, sister, or female friend that could show him how, if he was really interested.
P.S.: Shame on you for using an eastern seaboard disaster as an excuse to call a guy up.
Have faith. You made an impression. Leave it at that. If he likes you, he'll still remember you after the tsunami, flood, or Red Sox loss. If he doesn't, he's not worth your time. Know why? You are great. (Now, don't get cocky.)
The "Maybe I Don't Want to Play Games" Excuse
This is dumb. I know you're not supposed to call guys, but I call guys all the time because I don't care! I don't want to play games. I do whatever I want! I've called guys tons of times. You're such a square, Greg. Why do you think we can't call guys and ask them out?
Because we don't like it. Okay, some guys might like it, but they're just lazy. And who wants to go out with Lazy Guy? It's that simple. I didn't make the rules and I might not even agree with them. Please don't be mad at me, Nikki. I'm not advocating that women go back to the Stone Age. I just think you might want to be realistic in how capable you are of changing the primordial impulses that drive all of human nature.
Or maybe you're the chosen one.
Men, for the most part, like to pursue women. We like not knowing if we can catch you. We feel rewarded when we do. Especially when the chase is a long one. We know there was a sexual revolution. (We loved it.) We know women are capable of running governments, heading multinational corporations, and raising loving children -- sometimes all at the same time. That, however, doesn't make men different.
IT'S SO SIMPLE
Imagine right now that I'm leaping up and down and shaking my fist at the sky. I'm on my knees pleading with you. I'm saying this in a loud v...
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