It started with a case of beer. And two mutual English classes, because when you’re in college and twenty-two that’s all you need to start a relationship with a boy. I had invited myself over to his dorm room, stomped my way into his life. I sat cross legged on his couch, with my third bottle of Heineken in hand and listened to his stories of the Inland Empire, his friends, and how his dad makes good, “grub.”
After we kissed, I was all in. He wore fedoras, and smoked too many cigarettes, and walked the world in black converse sneakers. There was something about him that I thought was great, he was different, he was quiet but friendly; I liked this world I crawled into when I was with him. I liked how far away from myself I was. To be honest I was never sure what I had with him. I met him after breaking up with the only man I ever loved. I didn’t know how to date, didn’t know what I was doing, didn’t know that I deserved better than binge drinking on the weekends, and playing with his friends, and naked and wrapped in his bed sheets, and riding my bike back to my own house, and never actually entering the real world together, and lost on an island.
After I read He’s Just Not That Into you: The No excuses truth to understanding guys, everything changed.
Eventually, I broke up with the boy but was still stunned from all of it. The non-relational feeling of the post-relationship blur. I walked into work one day and my friend Kaitlyn had brought me a book. It was pink and sitting there starring at me. “Here,” she said, as she handed it to me.
I sat down and flipped the small hardcover book open. It was immediately easy, from the inside pages, to the picture of an answering machine on the front cover with zero messages. Easier than dating at least. Each chapter is broken down into a simple title, that begins with, “He’s just not that into you if…” The first thing I did was begin to read the chapter, “He’s not just that into you if he only wants to see you when he’s drunk.” I looked up and to my right and told Kaitlyn how much this chapter was my last relationship to a t. I went home that day and read the book from the beginning and it was riveting. Life made sense. Everything Greg had written made sense. It was as though someone had taken the “stupid goggles” off my beautiful cried out face.
The other chapters cover everything from Jerks who bully you to married men to the guise of a man who gives you his phone number. Each chapter comes full circle and focuses back on you, the reader, the intelligent successful woman who deserves better and is reading this book for a reason and should never ever “waste the pretty.”
Two years later, I read the book again. And it was still immensely comforting. At some point, some idiot decided to make a movie with the same title. So whenever I tell a girl she should read the book, she replies, “I saw the movie,” with exempt authority. To which I have to rant that the book is nothing like the movie and way more applicable to life, at least for me.
And here is where I have to say, yes human beings are complex. And yes, men process many things when pursuing you, but a majority of these situations are just that simple. It’s a book written for women. The women who make excuses for the men they are waiting around for and wasting their time with. It bothers me that men argue against this book when they’ve never experienced hours of talking to their friends about their current dating situation till they’re blue in the face. Yes, human beings are complex but so are you feelings. And if someone is going to swoop in and explain with liberating simplicity why a man is not dating you, that has nothing to do with you personally, I’ll welcome it. Because the answer “he’s just not that into you”, is one I’ve come back to for multiple situations in my life (because women make the same mistakes). And just to warn you, this book and the lessons are easier to apply to your friends in their situations because no one sees clearly through the frustrating experiences they have with men. Boys. Whatever.
So yes, read this book, push it on your friends. I have a younger friend who spent a good part of a year invested in a boy who was unavailable and had a girlfriend and broke up with said girlfriend and still wasn’t into my friend. For all the times I tried to get it through to her, I couldn’t, so I bought her the book for Christmas and she finally gets it, finally sees her self-worth. Which is always worth every penny of a well written lesson.
It’s amazing to me the things people measure out their lives in. For me it is books. This post is a part of a series of careful reflection in homage to the best books I have ever read.