When it comes to dating, making sense of men’s puzzling behavior isn’t always cut and dry. If you’ve found yourself analyzing his text messages and playing back his voicemails for your friends for their insights, Liz Tuccillo and Greg Behrendt, who were contributors to HBO’s “Sex and the City,” may have advice for you. Tuccillo and Behrendt were invited on TODAY to discuss the new, expanded edition of their book, “He’s Just Not That Into You.” Read an excerpt:Life After He’s Just Not That Into You
From Liz:There’s nothing like co-writing a book called He’s Just Not That Into You, to make you relive every mistake you’ve ever made in your love life and reminisce about all the wonderful men that have ever rejected you. Let me tell you, it was really fun. I came to realize that I literally made every mistake in the book. I also understood that the reason I was the one who suggested writing this book to Greg was because I was the one that needed to read it the most. (I think I figured that out when I saw the look of outright horror and pity on Greg’s face as I was telling him my approximately twentieth horrible dating story. Good times.) But the great news is that while writing it I experienced all the things that many women who have read the book told us they went through — the epiphanies, the empowerment, and the resolve that I was never going to make those mistakes again. It did change the way I dated, thought about men and handled my relationships. This book, in many ways, changed my life. So, in case you didn’t already know, and at the risk of sounding completely horrid — I am not just a co-author of this book, I’m its number one fan.
But when Greg and I were asked if there was anything more we wanted to add to this book, I knew that I did have something I wanted to get off my chest. As someone who took this book very much to heart, and yet is still out there dating, I felt that I wanted to discuss “life after He’s Just Not That Into You.” I started to experience a whole process after writing this book and implementing its basic philosophy in my life. I realized there were stages to this process, and they were very clear. I also heard and saw that other women were going through them as well. They may not have gone through the stages in the order that I did, or experienced all of them, as I have, but I have heard similar enough stories that I felt inclined to write them down in an order that made sense to me.
If you have just read this book for the first time or read the book but didn’t care for it so much, I am inclined to tell you to read no further. This section really is for the women who are fans of the book, who used it to make great changes in their lives — and are still out there dating. It is a chapter that can only come with perspective — and I don’t want you to get ahead of yourself. For that reason, if you have just read He’s Just Not That Into You for the first time, I suggest putting this section down and reading it in a year or two – and only if you feel like you need a little extra encouragement.
So here we go, the stages of Life After He’s Just Not That Into You, according to Liz.
(Otherwise known as: “He’s out of my phone and he’s out of my life!”)The first thing that often happens after reading our book, is that you realize that we’re geniuses and we’ve changed your life. Okay, maybe not. Maybe it doesn’t happen that quickly. (And maybe you don’t think we’re actual geniuses.) There might be some resistance at first. Maybe you’re still holding on to a relationship or a crush that you aren’t willing to give up on yet. For some, there can be a slight depression, looking back and thinking about how much time you may have wasted. (Trust me, I understand.) But, for many, eventually Greg’s nagging, aggressive, slightly-annoying-at-times voice finally gets through. You are unable to ignore it any longer. You get out of the dead-end relationship. You realize the crush isn’t going to go anywhere. You stop texting that guy. And lo and behold. Pretty soon, you feel better. And not just like “Wow, I feel so much better.” I mean better like when someone who has been punching you in the face for three hours finally stops — like ecstatically better. You feel lighter, so light in fact you are floating. The dark cloud has lifted off of you and you can now achieve anything, because you are, in fact, a superfox. Because you refuse to waste the pretty. You are powerful, sexy, beautiful and will not take any shit any more. The world has now changed. It is not the sad, dark place where at every turn of a corner there was that guy who was making you feel small. The world is filled with love and hope and possibility because all your thoughts and time and energy have now been freed. You are elated and ready to soar.
You may even have a nice bout of beginner’s luck. When I just had finished writing the book, but it had not come out yet, and I was fully indoctrinated into the He’s Just Not That Into You mindset, I went to a party. There was a guy there who flirted with me. Everyone around us was giggling about how well it looked like we had hit it off. At the end of the flirty night, he gave me his website address and told me to have a look at these photographs he had taken and “email me and tell me what you think.” He left, and everyone I knew swarmed around me to find out what happened. I told them, and the only person who didn’t think it was completely exciting that this man gave me his website address was me — the girl with Greg’s pesky, sarcastic voice in her head saying “A website address? He gave you his lousy website address? Wow, that’s lame.”
Lo and behold, the very next day he called me. Somehow website guy had miraculously figured out that he could get my number from our mutual friend, pick up a phone, call me and ask me out! Now, that particular gentleman didn’t ultimately work out, but it felt at the time that the great big Dating Gods were trying to send me a message that I was on the right track.
So. Step One. You see the light. You feel better. You realize we are the smartest people to ever have walked the planet. You may consider nominating us for a Nobel Prize. (We thank you for that sentiment, but feel it is perhaps over-estimating our contribution to the course of world events at this time.) But Greg and I are really glad we helped you feel better and make really positive changes in your life.
(Otherwise known as: “Great, what the hell do I do now?”)
So. You made some changes. You broke up with the boyfriend that just can’t get over his ex. You stopped seeing the guy that “just isn’t good at relationships.” You stopped emailing the guy you had one date with three weeks ago – but keeps writing that you two “definitely have to hang out again.” More importantly, you cleared out of your mind all of those excuses that you once made for men, all the ones that seemed so right at the time and now make you shake your head and think “I can’t believe I tried to convince myself of that!” Instead, all you are left with now is the understanding of what it’s really supposed to look like. You have the space to think about the great relationship you will most certainly be in. Your imagination is free now to think about that guy that will most definitely appear, now that you are so brave and strong. You start thinking about true love again. About what that looks like, feels like. You remember how much you want it and had forgotten that it was even a possibility, really.
And then it hits you. If you have deleted all those addresses from your cellphone, if you have now raised your standards so that you have eliminated the entire demographic of game-playing, non-committal, selfish, freakish, emotionally-unavailable, completely ambivalent-about-you men from your list of potential suitors — who the hell is there left to date?
When we did the Oprah Winfrey Show, there was one woman on the program that really took our advice to heart. She ended up breaking up with her no-good boyfriend. When we went back on the show, I asked the producer how this woman was doing. And the producer shrugged and said “Well, to be honest — she’s really lonely.” I understood immediately what she meant. For me, the jubilation of finally realizing what I’m worth and what I’m not going to put up with anymore, slowly, eventually moved on to utter, bone-crushing loneliness. Well, aren’t I so noble, going to another wedding by myself? Well, good for me, I get to spend Valentine’s Day with my mother (not that she didn’t appreciate it). How fantastic it is to not settle and have watched every episode of Law and Order made in the last ten years.
I don’t know about you, but I wanted my reward. A huge, seismic shift had occurred in my entire outlook on love and dating, and I believed the heavens should honor me by delivering to me a really nice boyfriend. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. Sometimes it does, and those are the stories that give you hope (and sometimes make you want to jump out the window, if I was being truly honest). But most often, the reward for feeling better about yourself and no longer letting people treat you poorly, is just that — feeling better about yourself and not having people treat you poorly.
But, I have to say, there is something else that comes in to fill the vacuum that our book creates, and it may seem like a consolation prize, but ultimately it’s everything. Replacing the mediocre relationships, half-hearted men and meaningless emails and texts is not just bone-crushing loneliness. It’s confidence. It is the miraculous emotion that rolls in to replace all the relationship rubble that has been swept away. No one is making you feel that you aren’t enough. No situation is making you feel unlovable. There is just you. There is just you and your standards, and soon enough, there is confidence. And the more of it that comes, the more positive reinforcement you will get from the outside world. And then, the more it continues to grow. No, it’s not a handsome man whisking you off your feet, but it’s the thing that will get you there more assuredly than anything else. It’s confidence. And you must not underestimate the power and gift of that.
Excerpted from “He’s Just Not That Into You” by Liz Tuccillo and Greg Behrendt. Copyright © 2007 by Liz Tuccillo and Greg Behrendt. All rights reserved. Published by No part of this excerpt can be used without permission of the publisher.