Overview of your Book, Main Points Discussed
Greg Behrendt’s and Liz Tuccillo’s He’s Just Not That Into You is a book that takes the form of a dating guide that targets well to do women who want to get married. Through the structure of the book, the authors provide the readers with chapters that describe the problems that they have identified and an advice column with questions from women concerning the issue. The authors also empathize with reluctant readers who only perceive relationships as social activities that are defined with difficulties. By exposing women to the ideal and real situations that define heterosexual relationships, Greg and Liz succeed in liberating women from dysfunctional relationships by providing their indicators.
Critical thematic issues that underpin the information in this book include emotional immaturity and the insecurities that follow. These themes seem to have been developed based on the assumption that the target reader is at the center of her paramour’s world in which she is unwilling to accept unfulfilling relationships. This explains why the authors advise women that if a man seems to be engaging in multiple relationships, it would be advisable for the women to leave him. From the authors’ perspective, communication between a man and a woman in a relationship is critical, and the man must thus use established platforms to communicate, which leads to the rules that define the communication process. For instance, Greg and Liz advise that if a man is unwilling to make a telephone call to ask for a date, but he uses email, then the woman should not accept the invitation. A man that does not pressurize a woman for sex is having sex with another woman hence he should be dumped.
Financial wellbeing is also an important issue that the authors seek to address in this book. According to Greg and Liz if a man does not have a job that can pay the bills or questions the pairs of shoes that a woman has in her closet, then such a relationship should be ended. That should be the case because a man who is in love should be able to provide for the needs of the woman in ways that make her feel secure and loved.
The book makes a deliberate effort to make its readers question their roles in their relationships. For the authors, women should be cautious if the men they are in relationships with are not making the first moves. A man who loves should always be focused on seeking ways of improving his relationship. In situations where men begin to fail in making first moves, the woman should begin questioning herself on the kinds of signals that she may be sending about the relationship. By providing such advice, the book succeeds in espousing a passive role for women in any heterosexual relationships because of it advices that women should always ensure that they are pursued instead of being the pursuers. Doing so would help them to avoid the possibility of being involved in abusive relationships because they will have understood the attributes of the men they are dating. A successful relationship is one in which the man is always concerned about the well-being of a woman. If such concern is limited, then it can be an indication that he is focusing on someone else.
Assumptions about Sexuality
The book seeks to portray men as individuals whose love for their women can be demonstrated by their actions, especially on issues of sexuality. For the authors, a man will only pressurize a woman that he is dating to have sex with him if he has some affection for her. This approach to sexuality seeks to establish a connection between love and sexual relationships in men. For the authors, a critical way that men show their love to women is by providing satisfying sex. From the mentioned assertion, it can be argued that the book neglects other aspects that may be definitive of heterosexual relationships because while the issue of sexuality is necessary for determining the strength of a relationship, it cannot be sufficient in deciding whether a relationship is bound to fail or succeed. Instead, the focus should be on other personal issues that may affect the level of affection in any relationship. The idealized approach to sexuality that the authors use denies the reader an opportunity of recognizing the essence of other factors that affect the success of relationships. The book provides a critical examination of development periods that define sexuality as a critical aspect of societal development. This is because it explores the values and feelings about sexuality and ensures the development of an understanding of how beliefs about sexuality are formed by women and men in the society. the book addresses the perceptions about sexuality in a way that enhances the realization of a healthy behavior, functional relationships and self-conceptions.
The book details issues of gendered expectations. It seeks to present men as the dominant force in the society whose responsibility is to love the woman. For the authors, women should not lie to themselves about their relationships in the belief that they can do better. This leads to the assumption that women will always be required to evaluate their man regarding their ability to ensure that they can provide a satisfying love. While the book recognizes the role of men as pursuers in relationships, it seeks to improve the position of women in the society. It does so because while advocating that they should take a passive role in relationships, the authors also insist that women should realize that they deserve to be respected by contending that their men should love them (Abowitz 277). If they do not insist on being loved, then the man will fail to show them the respect that they deserve.
A definitive aspect of the book is that it seeks to communicate gendered expectations through the techniques that the authors use in communicating the socially constructed differences. Greg asserts that women have the right of experiencing fabulous love lives, but the men are opportunist and exploitative such that if the women do not address any defects in their relationships, they risk being in lonely and abusive love lives. From a gender relations perspective, women appear as the weaker sex that must institute different measures to establish their position in a male dominated society.
Men are perceived as predators that use women as prey for the satisfaction of their desires. For the authors, a man’s desire in women can be short-lived if the effort is not taken by both parties to improve the terms of their relationship. Through such improvements, it becomes possible for the women to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the men in ways that will provide for additional learning opportunities. Women are intellectuals who can notice when a man is unfaithful. Their intellectual capabilities are demonstrated in their abilities to notice the actions that their men undertake in the process of expressing their love to them. The social ills that place women as the subordinate gender in the society can be eradicated if women recognize their worth in any relationship. Through such recognition, they will earn respect and love that they deserve from the men.
The book presents numerous complications to the audience because it has high expectations of relationships considering that by expressing the challenges that women face in relationships, it recognizes that people are often fallible thus they make mistakes in relationships. The authors view the audience as people who cheat on each other, engage in the irresponsible consumption of alcohol, neglect their responsibilities, and undergo personal crises. While recognizing these challenges, the authors do not advise women to exercise any tolerance for the men. Therefore, if the audience were to apply the advice provided in this book, it is most likely that most of the women would leave their men and find other lasting relationships. While the book appears to be having an idealized perceptive of romantic love and possibility of developing a perfect relationship, its dependence on the old-fashioned approach to understanding the differences between men and women introduces some concept of feminism. The assertion that women deserve to be treated with kindness and respect implies that the society has been with heightened brutality and disrespect. The book fails to realize that as people get into romantic relationships, they develop emotional connections that are vulnerable to any pressure. It assumes these emotions by providing its readers with their minimum requirements that they should accept in the attitudes of their partners. Doing so denies the possibility that true love will triumph amid such demarcations. By taking a strong moral stance, the book denies its readers the opportunity for committing mistakes and seeking forgiveness form their partners, yet they are human, therefore, bound to err.
Abowitz, Deborah A. “Beliefs about Romantic Relationships: Gender Differences among
Undergraduates.” College Student Journal, vol. 43, no. 2, June 2009, pp. 276-284.
Behrendt, Greg and Tuccillo, Liz. A pocket guide to he’s just not that into you: The no-excuses
Truth to understanding guys. New York: Simon Spotlight Entertainment. (2004).