He’s Just Not That Into You: Summary & Review

he's just not that into you book cover

He’s Just Not That Into You teaches women how to date better by learning to read male signals.
Its main thesis is that men are simple, and you don’t need any special skills to decode their messages.

Bullet Summary

  • No need for detail analysis: love and interest from a man are easy to spot
  • Ask yourself if he’s making you happy: a man who’s into you will want you happy
  • Is he putting effort to talk to you and be with you? A man who’s into you will put in the effort

Full Summary

The authors are Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, both of whom have been on the consulting team for Sex & The City, a show I reference quite a bit on this website.

Greg says that because he’s a guy, he knows how a guy thinks –which is irrational to say as it’s an inductive fallacy: one instance does not make the rule, but we will let it slip 🙂-.

Greg says that men will never tell you to your face they’re not into you. That’s why sometimes it can be difficult.
But they will let you know about their actions.

How “He’s Not That Into You” Started

Liz recounts the first time Greg dropped the words “he’s not that into you” it was a collective epiphany for the women in the room.
It was painful to hear, but also liberating at the same time.

No more mixed signals, no more interactions to examine… His actions will make it crystal clear whether he’s interested or not.

That moment then made it into Sex and The City in this scene right here:

So let’s see what are these clear signals:

1. He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Asking You Out

Men ask women out no matter what

Greg says women make a lot of exceptions to this rule in their minds, but they’re all made-up fantasies. If a man likes you, he will ask you out, no matter if:

  • You’re friends (guys don’t mind mixing sex with friendship)
  • He might be intimidated
  • You’re his superior
  • He gave you his number (he puts the onus on you and set himself up as the decider)

Greg admits he might need some encouragement if you’re of higher status than he is, but he will.

My Note:
I don’t fully agree here, I know for a fact many men will not pull the trigger on women at work if they are above his pay grade.
However, I fully agree with what he says later: should you want to be with a man who’s afraid of asking you out?

You Can’t Make The Move

Contrary to Hussey and Lambert, Greg says you should not make the first step.

He says the majority of guys don’t like it because men like the uncertainty of results and the thrill of the chase.
OK, he admits, a few guys might like it, but those are the lazy ones.

And if you need to be the pursuer, nine times out of ten, he’s just not that into you.

2. He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Calling You

Men know how to dial a number

And Greg says it doesn’t matter if he:

  • Is very important (are you saying you’re unimportant?)
  • Travels a lot
  • Is very busy (busy is another word for asshole)

Basically: if he’s not calling you, you are not on his mind.

And the author says it’s even more important when he actually creates the expectation that he will call, but he doesn’t.
That seems like a mixed message, but don’t get sidetracked: he chose not to. And if he slips on these small things, he will for the bigger things, too.

I especially agree with Greg when he says that “very important” is not only silly but also degrading for the woman as that also says you’re not that important.

3. He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Dating You

“Hanging out” is not dating

If a guy says he doesn’t want to be in a serious relationship, he either really means it or he’s actually saying he’s not sure you’re the right one for a relationship.

Either way, you should not waste time on this guy and go for that guy who’s aching to be in a relationship with you, says Greg.

4. He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Having Sex with You

Men who like they always want to get it on with you

And if they don’t, they either are not into you or might have other issues.

The Madonna-whore complex, for example:

5. He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Having Sex with Someone Else

There are no excuses for cheating

Greg says the cheating happened with the full knowledge that it could destroy your relationship.

He says a guy who hides his escapades is not only not that into you, but also showing he doesn’t even really like you much.

The author also says you shouldn’t think that a man caught with his pants down will improve.
Cheating is most difficult the first time out, but it gets “easier” for him after that.

My Note:
while I think it’s weak for men to get into relationships while they’re thinking of potentially cheating, I wouldn’t be so black and white.
Sex at Dawn explains we’re probably not as monogamous as we think.
And The Moral Animal shows men (and women too, in part) have an innate tendency to look at sexual prospects.

Also, for a woman sexual cheating is less damaging than emotional one.

6 . He’s Just Not That Into You If He Only Wants to See You When He’s Drunk

It only counts if he’s sober

Greg says drunk booty calls mean nothing and whatever he says while drunk means nothing too.

A solid relationship is not fueled by alcohol or drugs.
The two of you should spend -and want to spend- sober time together.

7. He’s Just Not That Into You If He Doesn’t Want to Marry You

Love cures all commitment fears

All these are excuses:

  • I’m not ready
  • I don’t believe in marriage
  • I feel rushed

Greg knows this one, in this day and age, will be controversial.

He says that while some men might have some real reserves, he still believes that if he really loves you he will want to make you happy.

And you should really make sure if he doesn’t want to get married or if he doesn’t want to get married to you.
And you should take stock of what else you have different opinions on. Because if he feels rushed but you’re comfortable, you should wonder why you’re waiting.

I also fully agree with the author when he says that you, as a woman, should not feel ashamed or “unliberated” for wanting a marriage.

My Note:
I agree feminism is taking a toll on many women, sometimes putting more pressure instead of freeing them.

8. He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Breaking Up with You

And don’t take him back

Greg says that we all want to be loved… Especially by that someone who just broke up with us.

But you should only consider getting back with him if he’s showing strong and unequivocal signs -like showing up to your door with a truck to move your stuff back in.

In any other case, cut him off and don’t contact him.

And, he righteously says, be especially suspicious of men who want you back after you start dating someone else.

9. He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Disappeared on You

He didn’t have the guts to tell you, but he’s not into you

There’s no worse feeling that not having an answer because it leaves you wondering and it feels like there’s no closure.

Your reaction will be to chase and ask why.

But no answer is your answer, and the reason why he disappeared is that he didn’t have the courage to tell you in your face that he’s not that into you.

Psychologically, the author says, is that it’s particularly painful because it possibly means the person you loved had been emotionally distant for a long time before he disappeared.

Liz says that if it makes you feel better though, it’s OK to reach out to him and ask for an explanation.

No answer is your answer -He’s just not that into you

10. He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Married

Or any other crazy “unavailable” situations

You’re a side chick.

Some men will use their wife as an excuse to keep on the sex level while they complain to you about her.
But don’t buy without full action to back it up.
Is he filing divorce papers? Unless he’s all yours, he’s all hers.

If someone is not free to love, he cannot love

11. He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s a Jerk

Or selfish, bully, abusive… 

Greg says women will stick with him saying he has many other qualities.

Of course he has, that’s why you loved him. But the question you need to ask yourself is one and one only: is he making you happy?

The author says that abusive isn’t simply beating, but it includes:

  • Yelling
  • Humiliating
  • Making someone feel unattractive

Then Greg Behrendt says what I believe is a big truth: there aren’t that many good men around.
And there are more great women than great men.

Don’t Listen to These Stories

Greg says that for all of these rules, there will be exceptions.

And there are stories of friends of friends who went ahead and it finally worked out.
But he says you shouldn’t listen to them.
Because they are the exceptions, not the rule.

Always go for the rule, because chances are that you are exceptional, but not the exception.

That’s very good wisdom.
Also, see:


he's just not that into you book cover

He’s Just Not That Into You Video

This is the video version in Sex And the City of the principle “he’s just not that into you”:

Real-Life Applications

Look At The Big Picture
The book reminds us that meaningful actions are what really matters. Instead of wondering what a text “means”, look at the most obvious signs of love and appreciation: they’re easy to spot.

Is He Making You Happy?
Finally, answering the question if he’s making you happy or not is as simple as it is enlightening. If it’s not obvious, change it to: “in the last week, have I been happier or sadder because of him?”. Does it for 3 weeks before deciding whether or not it’s time for a change.


A Bit Dogmatic
Greg tends to be very dogmatic, very black and white. It’s entertaining to read and he often nails it, but several situations can be more grey.


“He’s Just Not That Into You” is the perfect read for women who tend to wonder how much he really likes her, or who end up over-analyzing her interactions and conversations.

“He’s Just Not That Into You” will bring you back to reality by showing how a man who’s into you will really behave.

Overall, this is an entertaining read with some solid dating advice.

The overall message of “focus on the big picture and the major signs” can be a good wake-up call for women who tend to lose themselves too much in over-analysis.

Also, the fundamental truth stands in realms reaching beyond dating as well: it’s not about time, it’s about priorities.

When you’re a top priority, time is always abundant.

“He’s Just Not That Into You” is also helpful to decide when it’s time to cut ties with someone.
It will help you prevent you from ever getting strung along a dead-end relationship.

Further Reading

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