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Looking for love advice in all the wrong self-help books

This week, I finally saw the episode of "Sex and the City" that introduced the whole "he's just not that into you" phenomenon. The show reminded me of the popular dating book, which I'd really rather not think about anymore.

"He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys" (Simon Spotlight, $21.95) by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo is one of the books that I most regret reading.

Sure, I thought it was funny when I flipped through it in the bookstore. But a year and a half after it was first published, I am still analyzing the behavior of the opposite sex based on the book.

I really wish I could stop doing that because, according to the book, no one is that into me. While that might not be true, thinking about it makes me sad, especially now, when couples around the world are wishing each other happy Valentine's Day.

Still, despite my disappointment with this relationship self-help book, I haven't given up on them entirely. Unfortunately, I have not found a volume that really speaks to me, either.

'The List'

I certainly didn't find "The List: 7 Ways to Tell if He's Going to Marry You - In 30 Days or Less" (Adams Media, $12.95) at all helpful. The book's authors are Mary Corbett and Shelia Corbett Kihne.

However, "The List" does have a pretty high entertainment value. I have enjoyed reading the more ridiculous principles in the book aloud to my coworkers.

But even if "The List" works, which I have doubts about, I am not ready to know if anyone is ready to marry me. I'm still trying to find someone who is just that into me.

"Kissing or No Kissing: Whom Will You Save Your Kisses For? A Dating Guide to Creating Your Dream" by Flechelle Morin (Cheval Publishing, $21.95) was another book for the marriage-minded. Again, this was definitely not the book I was looking for.

I was immediately attracted to the title of another dating book, however. "It's Not You, It's Him: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Dating" (Broadway, $19.95) by Georgia Witkin is an obvious response to "He's Just Not That Into You."

Ultimately, though, I found this book a little preachy. I like the premise, but still, "It's Not You" is just not for me.

'If We Ever

Break Up'

The book about love that I really like is "If We Ever Break Up, This is My Book" by Jason Logan (Simon Spotlight, $14.95). It's a collection of funny and heartbreaking drawings and observations about the end of a relationship.

The book documents the stages of a breakup, but I still found it relevant to my life. And I love the author's note at the beginning: "Not to spoil the ending for you, but everything is going to be okay."

The illustrations in "If We Ever Break Up" are pretty bitter, which is the perfect tone for my recent mood. Still, I'm not giving up on love, exactly. I am going to be taking a break from relationship self-help books for the time being, though.

My co-worker, Tori Boone, summed it up perfectly. "You can't let a book decide what you're going to do with your life," she said.

That's a philosophy that I can really get behind. Hmmm, perhaps we should write a book.

If you'd like to recommend a self-help book or other title, please e-mail rachael.mason@gwinnettdailypost.com.