The independent news organization of Duke University

New dating book rewrites The Rules

Liz Tuccillo, author of He's Just Not That Into You and former Sex and the City writer, breaks all The Rules. She doesn't assume exercise and eating well will lead her to the man of her dreams. She doesn't let the man control phone calls, dances and dates. And most shocking of all, she doesn't believe that getting married is the ultimate goal of every single woman.

Instead Tuccillo, along with co-author Greg Behrendt, provides a frank portrayal of the modern dating scene in her new best-selling advice book. While the writers encourage women to acknowledge men's primal instincts to lead in relationships, they empower women. As He's Just Not That Into You puts it, “You deserve a f***ing phone call.”

With such a bold statement, one can almost imagine Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, authors of The Rules: Time Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right, gasping with incredulousness.

Over the last 10 years, through its million-copy sales, The Rules has encouraged women everywhere to be submissive and self-conscious.

The Rules is not only a book—it has become a franchise. The amazing success of the thin advice book has spurred seminars, support groups, consultation services, tapes and even lipstick.

Husband shopping abroad? You can read The Rules newsletter in Japanese. Fein and Schneider's seemingly outdated advice has sadly become the lifeline for women everywhere.

While The Rules is based on advice passed down since the early 20th century, the guidelines presented in He's Just Not That Into You are fun, futuristic and female—with a guy's twist.

The idea for He’s Just Not That Into You was born after a behind-the-scenes discussion among SATC writers. Behrendt, responsible for the male perspective on the Sex and the City writing team, advised one of his female coworkers that a guy in her life was “just not that into her.” The line was then used on an episode of the show. On the show, Miranda was thankful for honest advice from Carrie's latest romantic adventure, Jack Berger.

One similarity between the two books is that they both discourage women from sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. The reasoning, however, is drastically different between the two works. The ladies of The Rules are all about appearance. Don't sit around staring at the receiver; that would seem desperate to any potential husband. He's Just Not That Into You, though, says that if he's not calling, he's not worth your time. There is someone out there who will appreciate you enough to pick up the phone.

Although only published 10 years apart, the books depict the major changes on the dating scene over the last decade. Technology especially has changed the way our generation approaches the opposite sex. The reason you are not waiting for a phone call is because you have your cell in your bag and you are on the go, doing whatever your demanding schedule requires. If he really wants to get in touch with you, there is nothing stopping him from shooting you a text message, an IM or a blackberry e-mail.

If he can't spend 10 seconds to get in touch, he's just not that into you.


Share and discuss “New dating book rewrites The Rules” on social media.