You may know that Greg Behrendt is the more visible co-author, with Liz Tuccillo, of the wildly popular advice book for women, He’s Just Not That Into You. In it they tell us, among other things, that if a man you’re dating doesn’t call you at least once a day, he’s just — you guessed it — not that into you.
Additionally, if a man’s not asking to see you at least once a week, he’s not that drawn to you, as other things are taking his focus.
If you believe the book — as I have in the past — you have used how frequently a man contacts you to determine how into you he is. If he doesn’t call, text, IM or email at least every couple of days, nor ask me out at least once a week — ideally by Wed. (a la The Rules), I’ve decided he’s not into me and continue dating other guys.
There are several problems with this premise:
- In the beginning, a man may like you but not be head-over-heels smitten. He’s not sure how into you he is. Yes, there are some who are infatuated at a first encounter — or sometimes even before. But there are many who need a bit more time together to decide they want to woo you.
- Some (many?) men are single focused. If they are traveling, away on business, or just engrossed in a project, they may think of you, but not when it’s convenient to call. If his business travel is as chaotic as mine often is, I’m on the go from 6:30 a.m. until I fall into bed. When I think of my guy it may be while I have a pause during a seminar, but it isn’t appropriate to call. When there is a break, it is taken up by bio needs, interacting with participants, and returning business calls. When I get back to my room, I’m pooped so I respond to important emails, have room service, and fall into bed. I’m sure many guys are the same.
- Some guys just don’t like to talk on the phone, so they avoid it. They’ll call to set something up with you, but not to chat. So you may only talk on the phone once or possibly twice a week. Maybe he’s more of a texter, IMer or emailer than a talker. Or if he texts you more than calls then it may be because he can get away with a surreptitious text during a day-long boring meeting, but he can’t get away long enough for a call.
- Guys haven’t read Greg and Liz’s book so they don’t know what is expected of them. They haven’t been trained on how they are supposed to behave to show a woman he’s into her. Even if he has read it, he may decide that calling once a day in the first few weeks seems like stalking and he doesn’t want to frighten you away. So he makes his own decision about what seems reasonable.
When a man says he’s smitten by me yet he doesn’t call every day or ask to see me every week, I’ve learned to bring it up with him so we can clarify my expectations (thanks to the book) versus his behavior. If after a month or so, we don’t talk every day or two — even when I initiate some of the calls — I want to know if he’s not feeling it and we should just move on. I begin, “The book He’s Just Not That Into You may have led me astray. It says if a man is into you he’ll call every day. I know you’ve said you are smitten by me, but we only talk every few days. Is that more your comfort level than every day? I would like to touch base every day, but I’m also willing to adapt my expectations.” I’ve been pleased with the conversation that this has spawned.
So while I think the book did a huge service to women who make up excuses for guys who have gone poof never to return, not all of the advice is relevant regarding all men. We must be willing to interpret each man’s behavior based upon that man’s motivations, life style and preferences, and not lump them all together. We’d hate it if someone said, “All women….” I don’t have many behaviors that are stereotypically associated with women. I don’t like to shop, for example. So I get irritated if someone tries to pigeonhole me. We shouldn’t do that to guys either.