NEW YORK (AP) – So you’ve been dating this guy, and it seemed to be going so well. Long dinners. Cuddly walks in the park. Flirty text messages. And then, suddenly, he just stopped calling.

Your mind races for an explanation. Is he lying in a hospital bed? With amnesia? Did his house burn down with his address book inside it? Or maybe he’s wounded from a previous relationship and just needs a little time?

Oh, for heaven’s sake, say the authors of a hugely popular new book. Enough with the excuses! Face the truth, girlfriend, and the truth will set you free:

HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU.

With that simple message, emblazoned on the cover of a slim, pink volume, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo have shot up best-seller lists. Launched in September with a printing of 30,000, “He’s Just Not That Into You” is now in its 14th printing, at 1.2 million copies and counting. It’s been featured (twice) on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” with Winfrey shouting over and over to dating-challenged women in the audience: “He’s Just Not That Into You!!”

So what, you might ask, is so revolutionary about advice that’s so common sense it could be coming from your mother?

“It’s just a wake-up call,” says Tuccillo, a former writer for “Sex and the City” who also happens to be single and dating in New York. “It’s just a clear-as-a-bell, funny, simple wake-up call.”

It all began with a story meeting at “Sex and the City.” Behrendt, a standup comic and writer, had been serving as consultant to the show. A woman on the staff started talking about a guy she liked who’d been running hot and cold. The other women launched into thoughtful analyses of the man’s every action, and Behrendt just blurted out – you guessed it! – “He’s just not that into you.”

“We all started shrieking!” Tuccillo says. “Because women never talk to their friends like that. We started playing ‘Stump Greg’ … like what about the guy who’s caring for his sick mother? And he answered, ‘If that was me, you’d be the bright spot in my day, and I’d make sure you knew it.”‘

As die-hard “Sex and the City” fans know, the incident became a much-discussed episode, with Cynthia Nixon’s character, Miranda, on the receiving end of the blunt verdict delivered by Berger, a boyfriend of Carrie’s (Sarah Jessica Parker).

But even more important, Tuccillo says, it became obvious that this should be a book. Behrendt recalls that he went home and told his wife, “You know that crazy Liz? She wants me to write a book with her on this. And my wife said: ‘She’s right. You should.”‘

It is not like most self-help books you’ve seen. Only 165 pages, it is funny and blunt. Its cover delivers the message succinctly: an answering machine, set to a big fat zero. There are pithy chapters on all the ways a man can show you that he’s just not … well, you know.

• He’s Just Not That Into You if … He’s Not Calling You. (“With the advent of cell phones and speed dials it is almost impossible NOT to call you. Sometimes I call people from my pants pocket when I don’t even mean to.”)

• He’s Just Not That Into You if … He’s Not Asking You Out. (“Sadly, not wanting to see you in person is massive as far as dating obstacles go.”)

• He’s Just Not That Into You if … He’s Not Having Sex With You. (“Get a big red crayon. Color in this flag. You’ve just made a big red flag. Good, because that’s what a man not wanting to have sex with you is.”)

The book also lays waste to some tried-and-true excuses women often let men get away with. Like, he’s just too busy. (“The word ‘busy’ is the relationship Weapon of Mass Destruction. It seems like a good excuse. …”) Or, he doesn’t want to ruin the friendship. (“Unfortunately, in the entire history of mankind that excuse has never ever been used by someone who actually means it.”)

And, not to focus solely on male behavior, it leaves women with some key advice on how to act when feeling hurt and angry. “One simple rule, ladies, always be classy. Never be crazy. It will ensure that you never have that awful memory of cutting his clothes in half or leaving his dog by the side of the road.”

Although Behrendt and Tuccillo say they’ve received mostly excellent feedback, inevitably some people don’t like the book. They don’t get the humor, they don’t like the title, they don’t like the tone. “But hey,” Behrendt says, “it’s just advice, it’s not a mandate. I’m not a doctor or a therapist.” Though, he adds, some therapists have praised the book, too.

And asked why the book is directed only at women – hey Greg, aren’t there guys out there who need to hear “SHE’S Just Not That Into You?” – Behrendt has a simple reply.

“Sure, we could have written that book,” he says. “And about eight guys would have bought it.”


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