Top critical review
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Not the book for deep advice on dating or relationships
on 11 June 2005
A friend of mine raved about this book, so in spite of the put-down title (which I think generalizes men, and women), I picked up a copy. And yes, was disappointed. The book focuses on excuses women make to convince themselves that men are "into them" when they're "not." First, I thought the points were obvious - for example, a man who doesn't call when he says he would. According to the book, if he doesn't, he's not into you.
There could be a multitude of reasons why that aren't related to how into you he is or isn't. But that being said, the reasons may not matter. For the more appropriate question in my view is "How do you want to be treated in a relationship?" To instead ask whether or not "he's into you" is to assume that he's finding you lacking in some way. Yes, the book says you're great, pretty, etc. but if the authors really believe that, then why all the repetition of the only reason a guy isn't acting like Prince Charming is that you don't interest him enough (with the token positive comment added on after all the negativity)?
I don't think many women would want to be involved with or marry a man who treated them well only because he was "into her" and had treated other women poorly because he wasn't into them. Not me anyway - only a man who treats all women and men well is worth it, in my book.
Second, this book doesn't match my personal experience either - of a couple of men who'd told me they'd been too nervous to ask me out for a very long time, of the male friends who'd told me they'd been so broken by their previous relationships that they feared getting into another one (and I witnessed their hesitation for years - and yes - the women they married did a lot of the work in the beginning), of the men I know who have told me that they often "reject before being rejected" etc.
So what's of value here? Deciding what kind of relationship you want and seeking someone who treats you well (and hopefully because of who he is as a person, not his evaluation of you).
But there are plenty of books out there written by people who possess and offer much deeper knowledge of relationships than the writers of this book, and who offer it in a way that is affirming, rather than negative. One title that goes to the heart of relationships in a positive and clear way is "The New Couple," by Maurice Taylor and Seana McGee. A book written for men by a psychologist (also a man) but that I think many women would find very helpful is "When Good Men Behave Badly" by David Wexler (yes, another cliche title - and possibly one that's off-putting to men[!] - but the content of the book is solid, deep and respectful of people. I've found it countless times more helpful than this one). The response book to this one is much more realistic and helpful too (and humorous): "Be Honest--You're Not That Into Him Either: Raise Your Standards and Reach for the Love You Deserve"
by Ian Kerner. And finally, on a more general level, Don Miguel Ruiz's books - "The Four Agreements," "The Mastery of Love" and "The Voice of Knowledge" are helpful reminders of all the "stories" that are told in our cultures (like the "stories" in this book) - and how they distort reality and how damaging they can be to our healthy and happy functioning.
In questions of relationship, I think it's good to turn towards people who have knowledge (psychologists for example) and write with maturity in this area. The content of this particular book stays on the surface of the things, and I think is presented in a unnecessarily negative manner. Not something I'd recommend to anyone, and I'm concerned about all the hype (at least in the U.S.) over this one - for I think it can steer we women in an unhealthy direction, where we ask the wrong question - "Is he into me?" - rather than "What do I want in my relationship?"