By Lindsey Palmer
Can taking a break from making love actually improve your sex life? Sex
therapist and REDBOOK Love Network expert Ian Kerner, Ph.D., proposes just that
in his new book, Sex Detox. Here, Kerner explains how it works:
"Maybe he got back together with his ex," one friend piped in.
"Maybe he was too intimidated by you," another said. "Maybe you
should call him," offered another. "Maybe he's gay," suggested yet
Or maybe ... he's just not that into you. Sure, these words sound harsh, but
according to a best-selling new dating book, these six words can save women
like Susan from a lifetime of heartache and stress.
Ever since talk show host Oprah Winfrey featured the book, He's Just Not
That Into You, on an episode of the Oprah show, it's been flying off of
book shelves and racing up the best-seller list. Its contents are discussed by
single women and their dating friends everywhere. Written by former Sex and the
City writer Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, this book debunks many of the myths
that women create about men and dating.
The bottom line is that men are not complicated and there are no mixed
messages. If he doesn't ask you out, call you soon after a date, or want to
come inside with you after a date, then he's just not that into you.
This new catchphrase actually started on an episode of Sex and the City when
Miranda (played by actress Cynthia Nixon) tells her friends that her latest
crush ended their last date with two kisses at her door but declined an
invitation inside. His reason: He said he had an early morning appointment.
Reasonable, said her friends, but then the only male at the table said ...
"He's just not that into you."
The Truth Shall Set You Free?
"Coming up with reasons that he might not have called that are not
critical of you is a natural defense mechanism," says New York City
psychoanalyst Gail Saltz, MD, author of Becoming Real: Defeating the
Stories We Tell Ourselves That Hold Us Back.
Such defenses serve a positive and a negative function, she says. "They
can keep us from being overwhelmed by negative emotions, but if you are always
in denial and your head is in the sand, that's not useful either because it
keeps you holding onto a relationship where there is none," she tells
"Hearing the words 'he's not that into you' are painful because it's
like 'what's wrong with me?'" she says. But, Saltz notes, it's not always
that simple. "Sometimes there is something going on that is not about
you," she says. "The possibilities are endless and this book is popular
because usually we don't like to talk about the possibility that you are not
The growth and popularity of Internet dating services may have fueled the
need for such advice.
"The Internet and the emailing that goes on before the first date
creates the illusion that you know the person and when they don't call you
back, it seems more mystifying, but you really don't know each other at
all," Saltz says.