No excuses this Valentine’s Day


Consider the dread that February brings to a number of — though not all — single women. “Thirteen days until my life sucks if I can’t find him,” I’ve heard people say.

February is a time when the single woman finds herself morphing into a pile of nerves as she fights to find “the one” in a desert of no options. Never mind that for the thirteen days she spends chasing Mr. Right, he may be unaware that she exists or may not accept any of her numerous offers to spend time getting to know each other. These ladies, perhaps, need to hear from someone trustworthy that “he’s just not that into you.”

After a number of hapless women — not all of them affected by the Valentine’s disease — sent “Sex and the City” writer Greg Behrendt letters addressing their stand-offish, callous or downright nonexistent treatment by the men they interact with, he teamed up with Liz Tuccillo to pen the self-help book “He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understand Guys.”

The book forces readers to take a hard look at his — or, most likely in this case, her — situation and interactions with the opposite sex. It’s a hard slap to the face, telling readers, “You are awesome. Deal with it!” Chapter after chapter, until finally, you, as a reader, realize you are awesome and don’t need to force companionship into your life. After all, if you can see the greatness that is yourself, why can’t he?

Formatted as a series of letters and responses per chapter, followed by what can best be described as a “self-love exercise”, the book showcases the situations of women searching for the relationship that everyone seems to have but they just can’t find.

Behrendt doesn’t answer the letters with the typical “Aww, things will get better,” sympathy response that women usually receive from their friends. He isn’t afraid to say that the letter writer is either delusional or is being lied to. Sure, his message is the time old adage that no one should force themselves to find love, but, perhaps unlike in real life, readers don’t have to hear it from that one friend who has already found true love.

This book not only tells readers not to force love into their lives, but it brings to light how often women are compliant in accepting the excuses they are given by the men whom they’re drawn to.

While reading a few of the book’s letters, readers may find themselves thinking, “These letters are bizarre and over the top. There is no way this can fit my situation.” However, the book sports many relatable chapters, with names like, “He’s not calling you,” “He doesn’t want to marry you,”  “He’s breaking up with you,” and “He’s disappeared on you.” Each reader is likely to find at least one letter in there that has his or her name written all over it.

The authors perhaps aren’t miracle workers, but they take a no-nonsense approach. Not everyone writing the letters is as receptive as the reader may be. In fact, there is one recurring character who seems to need to prove a point to Behrendt in every chapter. I don’t know whether to sympathize with the ending she receives or to laugh at it.

So, perhaps before you decide to pick up your cell phone and text the young man who clearly has your number, you should pick up this book and consider if he really is that into you.

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