I married my excellent husband relatively late, after a long search that yielded me a long and colorful dating life. In those dating years, it was my girlfriends who kept me sane, who provided perspective, who built up my courage and confidence and self-image whenever they started to flag as I—like many women—experienced nearly every relationship pitfall there is.
In 2005 I read Greg Behrendt and Liz Tucillo’s He’s Just Not That Into You—and it quite literally changed my life. The prototype of pretty much every guy I and my girlfriends had ever dated was in there—the one who never actually asks you out; the one who’d rather drink (or get high) when he’s with you; the one who cheats; the one who comes on strong, then disappears. The “This Is What It Should Look Like” sections opened up a new idea to me—the things my friends and I were accepting as part of normal relating between men and women didn’t have to be part of our equation if we didn’t want them to be. There were good men out there; it did look different when a guy was really into you—I mean really into you—and we deserved to have it.
My dating life changed almost overnight—I didn’t even bother anymore with anything less than someone who seemed to really like me, to want to get to know me, to give me his full attention when we were together, and not play games or hide behind “fear of commitment” or “having been burned.” In 2007 I met the man who is now my husband, and it really is as simple as Greg and Liz said—if a guy is into you, you know it. He shows you, all the time. Now that I am in a healthy and happy relationship, it’s kind of stunning to me that I and almost every woman I know, of every age, go through a period when we don’t realize this simple fact, and we explain away behavior on a man’s part that’s negligent at best, appalling at worst, with ridiculous excuses like “he’s just afraid” or “he’s been burned before.”
I still pass along He’s Just Not That Into You to every woman I know who’s dating, from my teenage niece to my mom when she went back into the dating pool, because we all deserve to know our worth and there’s no need to accept anything less than a guy who is really, really into us. That’s what the Breakup Doctor series grew out of. I wanted to share with every woman everywhere all the wisdom and kindness and common sense in that book, and I wanted to write stories. Most important, I hope that the series is as fun to read as it was for me to write. But it’s also my dear hope that women might read the books and see themselves, and begin to believe that there really is better out there than what they might have found, and that they deserve it one hundred percent.
I’m not usually much on book dedications, but I dedicate these wholeheartedly to Liz Tuccillo and Greg Behrendt, the loving, protective older siblings that every woman should have. I dedicate them to my husband, who was so, so worth waiting—and wading—through every other relationship to find. And I dedicate it to women. Because you are beautiful, and strong, and smart, and worthy. And if you’re not quite ready to believe that yet, then until you are, along with Brook, I will believe it for you.