I’m a sucker for a decent chick flick, and I really enjoyed the film version of ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’, so when I saw a copy of the book at a boot sale at the weekend for 20p – well, what could I do? We know I need all the dating help I can get.
The premise is this – if a man wants to ask you out, he will ask you out.
That’s it really. (I never said it was complicated). The authors claim that if a guy really likes you, he will find a way to get in touch, he will call when he says he will, he will want to have sex with you and he will ultimately want to marry you. If he fails to come good on any of these points, ever, then you face the facts – he’s just not that into you.
Because according to the book, men will do absolutely anything to avoid actually saying that to someone’s face. They will lie, cheat, ignore you… whatever it takes to avoid directly having to say something that might upset or offend. It’s the crying apparently. They show us their disinterest through their actions, not through their words, and hope that we get the message.
There are no excuses – the book just doesn’t accept that a man could be shy or intimidated, and Mr Right is definitely not allowed to be busy, be influenced by issues from his past, be concerned about spoiling a friendship, or be distracted by work or family commitments. If he wants you, he will find a way to make you his. Under no circumstances are you allowed to make the first move, pursue a man, or tolerate any kind of lack lustre behaviour. The message is underlined throughout by the reader being told how gorgeous and desirable she is.
Now on the face of it, I love this advice – it’s simple, and it does take the pressure off me as a woman. I’m supposed to just happily go about my business, ignoring the phone, enjoying life, waiting to be ‘chosen’. It’s also fantastic to think I am so fabulous that the right man only has to meet me once and he will track me down. It’s a proper Gavin and Stacey style love affair isn’t it? We meet once and you won’t be able to help but drive all the way to Barry Island to meet me off the coach at the other end.
But is this real life?
What I really admire about the book though is the way it is written, so that questioning its message is in fact questioning yourself. If you are in any doubt as to the point they are trying to make, you are, the book claims, simply doubting your own desirability, undermining your own self-esteem. See what they are doing there? Clever huh? Basically if you don’t believe the book, you’re a fool, with no sense of self-worth. And if you do believe it? Well, then you’re probably also a fool, but this time the kind that believes everything you read in a cheap book.
It’s a dilemma isn’t it?
Now I know I have quite a few male readers, so I thought we needed a man’s eye view on this one – if you meet a woman, and you like her, do you always find a way to ask her out? Really? Always? And if you do, and you find yourself in a relationship, how do you behave? When you realise you’re just not that into her, do you tell her to her face, or do you make excuses?
I want to believe the book is totally right – it would be amazing to discover relationships really are that simple, but I have suspicion they’re not. Or maybe I’m just thinking that because of my low self-esteem?? Who knows, I certainly don’t…