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He's Just Not That Into You

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy concocts a myriad of excuses as to why he hasn't called/can't see her every week/cheated on her with Donna the coffee cart girl.

Then the girl discovers a handy black paperback with six revelatory words on the cover: He's Just Not That Into You.  She dumps him and moves on with her life.

Problem solved.

Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo's He's Just Not That Into You is a reality check for those girls who just can't admit the truth: this relationship ain't all it's cracked up to be.

The book, which is based on an episode from Sex and the City, has been adapted into a movie. The cast is so good looking it's impossible to imagine anyone not being into them - but that's beside the point.

Unlike the movie, which has several intersecting plots, the original book is designed as a tool to educate smart women about relationships. Each chapter includes emails from women trying to decipher their man's behaviour; the male and female perspective on the issue and a check list of things the reader should have learned.

Every possible excuse ho-hum boys deliver to girls is dissected in acerbic style, with Behrendt and Tuccillo drawing the same inevitable conclusion: he's just not that into you.

Is he tardy on the marriage proposal front?
Have things cooled down in the bedroom?
Is he too busy playing tennis/working/darning his socks/writing to his great aunt Violet to hang out?

Well girls, he's just not that into you.

Behrendt and Tuccillo are essentially trying to stop girls making excuses for their men, and to realise that these sorts of redundant relationships have no future. They're right - life is too short to waste time on someone who wants to spend seven hours photocopying on a Sunday arvo rather than taking his girlfriend out on a date.

However at times it feels like any relationship flaw could be given the HJNTIY kiss of death. He wore his 10-year-old black y-fronts on the last three dates? Uh oh... 

I'm exaggerating - Behrendt and Tuccillo never take their theory this far. However it's important to take some of the advice offered with a grain of salt.

Perhaps at times these guys are genuinely busy at work. Perhaps they really don't like the idea of marriage. Everyone knows of successful relationships which have withstood these tests.

HJNTIY is entertaining nonetheless - you'll cringe as you recognise your own stories, or laugh at those too far-fetched to believe.


He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
Publisher: HarperCollins
RRP: $24.99
Available: Now