In 2004, He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo was released and sparked a huge conversation in the dating world. This conversation helped them land a movie deal as well. I read this book in 2006 when I started my dating adventures after my divorce. I really enjoyed it, but something did not quite fit for me. So I put it down and went on my merry dating way.
It is obvious that Greg truly cares about women. He put out a guy’s perspective without sugar coating the whole deal. For some women, that is enough to stop being treated poorly by the men in their lives. He told us very clearly when a guy is sincerely interested in you and when he’s not. He told us to stop wasting our time with the guys who aren’t. For me, what was glaringly obvious was that he was tired of women being treated poorly because of their own illusions about romance. He was trying to save us tons of heartache by making us understand that most of the time, we are the rule, not the exception. (RULE: if he treats you a certain way, then he is not into you.)
As insightful as Greg’s advice still is, for me, it was missing a HUGE component. His suggestions eliminate a lot of men out there. For me, had I taken Greg’s advice, I would have missed the biggest love of my life. My dating adventures would have been over before they started, and my career as a dating and romance coach was unlikely to be born. I had become the exception, and now I teach women to do the same.
Greg was teaching women to have better boundaries, which are absolutely necessary when dating. For a nice dating experience, this is the best place to start. Still, I am not seeking out women who want just a nice dating experience. I want women to learn that they can be adored for the rest of their lives and know that they can almost always be the exception. To do this, you will need much more than just better boundaries.
1. You have to be willing to enjoy the adventure and quit choke-holding the destination.
Dating is a magical journey, and a few things must happen for you to fully harness the experience. Number one is that you have to make up your mind to enjoy the ride. If you go into this thinking it’s a pain in the arse, then it will be, and so will you. If you decide to open yourself up to the possibilities, then we can work with you. Number two, I want you to define the destination, whether it be marriage, boyfriend, lover, lovers, etc., and then I want you to toss the destination into the stars and say, “I’ll see you soon.” Here’s the secret: the more you are enjoying the journey and adventure, the quicker the destination will arrive.
2. If you have decided all men are cheating, lying, f*cktards, go ahead and start getting your cat collection together.
Being a man-hater severely impairs your ability to be the exception, because you, by default, are setting up every man in your world to fail with you. Likewise, if you believe that the pool of men in your age group is insanely limited, I am here to remind you that people these days are moving in and out of relationships at all times and all ages. So that means there are tons of options available. Also, I am gong to let you in on another secret: options don’t always come wrapped in perfect bows and manners. The adored woman learns how to inspire all types of men to treat her well.
3. If he hasn’t asked you for exclusivity, then quit acting exclusive.
Oh, I remember the days… going out on a few dates and then impatiently wondering when were we going to officially be an item. I would start to analyze every conversation we had, when he called, when he didn’t call…. I made sure I looked like perfect girlfriend material (scary note: I had no idea what a perfect girlfriend was). Then I would obsess some more, and almost every single time, he ended up with someone else. This, for some reason, took me the longest to understand, so I feel it’s my duty to save you from more mental anguish. If he hasn’t asked you to be exclusive, then you should be dating other men as well. No matter how you spin it, you will appear mentally unstable, needy, and clingy if you don’t keep your options open until he asks you for exclusivity and you agree. I want to be very clear that this DOES NOT mean you have to stop seeing him. It simply means that tunnel vision is not sexy or attractive. It also very rarely helps you to be the exception except with men that are unstable themselves.
4. If you are not the exception, consider it your universal protection.
Oh, it is soo, soo easy to get caught in “He is the only one I want!” I’ll tell you right now, it’s a cop-out, it’s a defense mechanism, and it’s a huge reason why you aren’t getting what you want in your love life. If you want to have your way with men, you must, must, must open yourself up to the possibilities. You must also understand that if he doesn’t end up being yours, you are being protected, whether that means he is truly not good for you or that somebody more amazing is on his way. A truly adored woman understands that she will have what she wants and trusts the process.
5. If you aren’t willing to ask for what you want, then know it is likely he will cast you aside in his mind.
Men really would like the opportunity to make you happy. You are so much fun to be around when you are happy. You are intoxicatingly delicious when you are happy. So why not learn to ask for what you want from the beginning? Why torture him by making him figure it all out, and then get pissed off at him when he doesn’t? OR, why would you be the woman who doesn’t have her own likes, dislikes, opinions, friends, and life? Remember, you are on an adventure, too, and he would like to be included. Women who know what they want and enjoy their lives are so freakin’ hot. Especially when they include men along for the ride. So the next time he asks you what you want to do, don’t you dare reply with “Whatever.”
6. If you come upon a male drought after you start your dating adventures, it means you need to stop putting all your energy on men and start upping your level of self care and fun.
Holy Moly, Jenn, it super sux when you have tons of fantastic male attention, and then nothing. (insert cricket sounds) What the heck am I doing wrong? Nothing. Well… actually, from my personal experience, I always found that my male droughts coincided with being too caught up in men and not enough of me time. So yes, it is a SIGN, that you should take a personal assessment of your life. Are you taking great care of yourself physically and spiritually, spending time with your gals, with your family, with your job… etc and so forth… or are you neglecting one or more of these things? Find the area you are neglecting and tweak a bit. After you tweak, make sure you are not doing the tunnel vision routine, and then scout out a new delicious man to flirt with.
7. When you open up your options for dating, you increase exception visibility.
Okay, I am going to say something that will probably piss a few people off. Men like their women how they like their high dollar toys: someone that everybody wants, but not just anybody can have. This is why, while dating, seeing more than one man until you have exclusivity is so important. I am NOT talking about telling him about the other men you are seeing. (I am also NOT talking about intentionally trying to make him jealous or think that you are sleeping with other men.) I am talking about having genuine options in men and genuine options about who you choose to be exclusive with. You only have genuine options when you date more than one man that you have a genuine interest in getting to know better. Jeez, that was a whole lotta genuine! The more true options you have increases his ability to see you as an exception instead of the rule.
8. The Exception always has her own rules.
The unforgettable women always plays by her own rules without being a nagging bitch. This means you always require him to honor your boundaries and still have a great time, too. Sex happens only when you are ready. He doesn’t get to go out with you that evening if he has called several hours late. Dates don’t only happen at his house. You get the idea.
9. When you encounter bad behavior from a man, change “He’s just not that into me” to, “He’s just not that into me, yet.”
I believe many women throw out a lot of great men from their dating adventures because they consider all male infractions deal breakers. With the exception of a few unforgivable behaviors (i.e. abuse of any kind, humiliation, alcoholism, drug abuse, married or committed to someone else, etc), most men just haven’t met the woman that they are ready to leave the behaviors behind for. Also, a lot of male behaviors are not really all that bad, especially when you have a very full and exciting life of your own. I encourage all of you to use this phrase when you encounter these behaviors: “He’s just not that into me, yet.”
For many people, black and white just works. Which is why “He is just not that into you” was incredibly helpful and popular. I personally find “He’s just not that into you, yet” so much more freeing. It all comes down to a choice. Do you want to be the exception or the rule? I got tired of being the rule, so I chose to be the exception by using the strategies I outlined for you. It has blessed me time and time again in my love life, and I still am sweet on being my man’s exception. So few women actually choose to be the exception that the choice in itself already makes them exceptional.
Ladies, I would love to hear your thoughts by commenting below. If you like this article, I would be tickled giddy if you shared with your girls on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc.