He Texted: The Ultimate Guide to Decoding Guys by Lisa Winning and Carrie Henderson-McDermott

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He Texted: The Ultimate Guide to Decoding Guys by Lisa Winning and Carrie Henderson-McDermott

Category: Lifestyle
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Zoe Page
Reviewed by Zoe Page
Summary: Boys are tricky. This book helps to explain them, and how to spot your players from your platonics.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: April 2014
Publisher: Century
ISBN: 978-1780892078

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Let me tell you in a nutshell the story of how I met the Boy. It involved an internet dating site followed by some online stalking. I tried and failed to find him on Facebook so looked him up on Companies’ House instead (the perks of dating a director). We didn’t text much before we met up, in fact his first message to me was a rather bland one to tell me he was just getting off the tram and heading to the venue of our first date, and since I flew to Amsterdam the next day I then went out of contact for almost a week. We weren't really playing by the rules, if such rules exist. That was 2012. Fast forward to now, and we share everything from a home to our hobbies (though I’m pretty sure I ‘won’ that one, since I now get to go on exotic snowboarding holidays while he is allowed to spend long weekends in the audience at cheerleading competitions resolutely not looking at any scantily clad pretty young things except the one he lives with). I tell you this in part to emulate the smug (quasi) marrieds of Helen Fielding characters but also to illustrate that it would seem as far as I need to, I can decode guys, or this guy at any rate. So I suppose, I didn’t pick up this book for tips, I picked it up for validation.

This book, despite the title, is about more than texting. It is about the whole digital world and how guys and gals interact within it (Companies’ House stalkerage aside). From how long to wait to text back, to how to respond to friend requests and what to do with the power when you’re unleashed on his Facebook wall, this book promises to provide hilarious and essential advice on how to navigate the perplexing world that is trouser-shaped.

So who are the wise women doling out advice here? Well first there’s Carrie, who used to work for my favourite US magazine, Glamour. Seriously, I like it so much that for years I have subscribed to it and had them ship it over every month, even though a not entirely dissimilar UK version is also available. She’s also married. Bear that in mind. It may be important later. Secondly, there’s Lisa, an Aussie export to NYC who is, as per the final pages, still single. Something else to bear in mind. Assisted by a team of (male) Bros, they sound off on a wide range of topics, supported by extracts from their website hetexted.com where users post details of texts they’ve received and others weigh in on whether or not the guy is into her or not. Some are obvious while others are up for debate.

In the book, the advice is condensed into themes for each chapter, where discussion and analysis is followed by bulleted lists – things you want, things you don’t want – and advice on how to ‘autocorrect’ your behaviour to be more appealing and/or less desperate. So for example in the chapter on Facebook, we’re warned we shouldn’t be the girl who ‘likes’ too much and we should set time limits to imply, rightly or wrongly, that we have better places to be, better things to be doing. Most of it is common sense, but equally a lot of it is things you might need to be reminded of anyway. I don’t know any girl who hasn’t rung her own phone to ‘check it’s working’, while she waits for a call that hasn’t come, or resent a text ‘in case it didn’t get through the first time’. This is crazy behaviour and you know that…but you do it anyway.

This book is about modifying behaviour rather than stopping or starting it entirely. It’s more about how to make the most of your encounters, be them text, Twitter, or Facebook, and how much to read into the responses, or lack thereof. It’s hard to say how good the advice is. It’s certainly an easy to read reminder to keep your cray-cray (their word) behaviour in check, but whether or not you’ll go from depressed singleton to smug married by the time you reach the final chapter is still up for debate. Lisa says she keeps this book by her bed to keep her on track and remember the advice they drafted. I wonder if she’s still single.

As for me, I read parts of this book out loud to the Boy. His verdict? Irrelevant paranoia. Bless. But then he is a boy, and just like an understanding of how long it takes to achieve that not-wearing-any-make-up look, you must admit they don’t always know the effort that goes into being aloof and that perfectly crafted not-put-any-thought-into-this text. I used to count and calculate the correct number of kisses to respond with. I’m pretty sure he just pressed xxx until his thumb got bored. I’d associate it a little with a parenting manual. You can raise happy, successful kids without a book, but one read and you might wonder how you managed since you did it all ‘wrong’. Equally you can, and clearly most people do, meet someone without the tips and tricks in this book, but if you are after a bit of guidance, what they are saying makes sense.

It’s definitely a book for the girls, not the boys, and I think their market has to be teenage through to college age ladies, but it’s funny and easy to get into and whether you read it to laugh with them or at them, it is worth a flick through.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

The entries in Soul Mates: True Stories From The World of Online Dating by Sonali Fernando are a mixed bag but some are gems, and it's worth a flick through while They Call Me Naughty Lola by David Rose (Writer of Humour) is all-round ace.

Buy He Texted: The Ultimate Guide to Decoding Guys by Lisa Winning and Carrie Henderson-McDermott at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy He Texted: The Ultimate Guide to Decoding Guys by Lisa Winning and Carrie Henderson-McDermott at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy He Texted: The Ultimate Guide to Decoding Guys by Lisa Winning and Carrie Henderson-McDermott at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy He Texted: The Ultimate Guide to Decoding Guys by Lisa Winning and Carrie Henderson-McDermott at Amazon.com.


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