He's Just Not That Into You became a bible of sorts for the single woman who didn't want to get blindsided by one more man who didn't call her back. Co-authored by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, it outlined the many things women tell themselves about dates that go nowhere, when really the answer may be. . .yeah, I won't repeat it.
The book that claimed it provided the "no-excuses truth to understanding guys" took some hits from critics who said that its premise — that women should just stifle their desires (to call first, to ask those men what's wrong, to express what they want) — adhered to an old-fashioned vision of womanhood. "Disguised as 'liberation,' " wrote one critic, in a typical slam, "the book espouses an astoundingly passive role for women in relationships: always the pursued, never the pursuer."
But in a standup routine Behrendt did in 2006, he revealed something interesting. Part of the reason he knew so much about men's excuses wasn't just because he was a man. "What I don't tell them," he says tantalizingly, about why he was the guy to write the book was that: "I'm also almost every girl in the book." To listen to a podcast of this standup and to find out what famous person he was obsessed with
Unlike a lot of douchebags out there giving advice these days (Steve Ward from Tough Love — I'm talking to you!), Behrendt admits he's been that guy, that is, just like the women he counsels who show they care too much — to someone who doesn't care back as much.
Apparently, he once fell in love with standup comedian/actress Janeane Garofalo, whom he refers to as "the female Kurt Cobain of her generation." How did he express his love? Through mix tapes, late-night drunk dialing, and a general "I'm giving you something — now give it back to me" vibe which, not surprisingly, made her respond to him by "drifting away from [my] freakiness."
This piece of information puts a refreshing spin on the seemingly gender-rigid ideas in the book that bugged critics. May I suggest something, Greg? How about an excerpt of this for an afterward to the next edition of He's Just Not That Into You? Or write a book that talks to both sexes? To listen to this revelation, go to The Moth Podcast.