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Guest Panel of Phyllis Diller, Victoria Gotti, Andrew Firestone, Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo Talk Relationships

Aired December 15, 2004 - 21:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow, he's just not that into me.

KING: So you want to know why he wasn't called? Tonight the authors of the runaway bestseller "He's Just Not That Into You" answer your calls with their controversial dating advice. They'll take questions and objections and more from other guests. Comedienne Phyllis Diller who's made a career out of joking about guys not being that into her. Victoria Gotti, star of the reality series "Growing Up Gotti, A Single Mom." And Andrew Firestone, former star of TV's "The Bachelor," still a bachelor. Broke up with the lady he picked on the show. Cads. They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: It is safe to say the hottest book in America. The book is "He's Just Not That Into You." There you see its cover. The subtitle, "The No Excuses Truth To Understanding Guys." The co- authors are Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. What did you do for "Sex and the City," Greg?

GREG BEHRENDT, CO-AUTHOR, "HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU": I was a consultant. I was the straight male consultant. They had a staff of mostly women and gay men, and they needed a straight guy. They asked me to come in.

KING: So they would give you -- say, does this situation play?

BEHRENDT: Will this work? And I would say, well, that guy shouldn't hold a purse. I'm kidding.

KING: You've gone and gotten a lot of work because mostly they were not gay guys on that show.

BEHRENDT: It was mostly girls, women. Michael Patrick King....

KING: Liz, what did you do?

LIZ TUCCILLO: I was a staff writer on the show. I was one of the six women that were writers on the show.

KING: How did this book come about?

TUCCILLO: We were in the writers room and the women were talking about their love lives. One of the writers was talking about a man that hadn't called her when he said he would. We did what we usual do, which is oh, you're so fabulous, he must be intimidated. We know he just broke up with his girlfriend, maybe he had to go out of town suddenly. Greg, who had been a consultant on the show for three years by that point, maybe had had his fill. He was like, I think he's not that into you. We were shocked and gasped and screamed.

BEHRENDT: They shrieked.

TUCCILLO: Then we started pummeling him with questions. He had an answer for every question. He started building his philosophy right there in the room.

BEHRENDT: But not intentionally. Liz is the one that said this should be a book. I told my wife, crazy Liz, she thinks we should write a book about this one thing that I said. And my wife was like, you absolutely should. It was their idea.

KING: The book is for women.

BEHRENDT: Yes, for the most part.


KING: It's telling them why the guy didn't call.

BEHRENDT: It's saying, if you're getting these excuses on a consistent basis, perhaps look at the other side of the coin and maybe he's just not that into you. Call a thing what it is. All of us have those friends, have been in relationships, that we watch them and go, come on, that guy is giving you nothing.

KING: Is that hard to know? Don't you know if he's into you?

TUCCILLO: I can only speak for myself. It's been resonating. The minute you feel the rejection or someone not into you. It's not going the way you want it to, you would think the first thing is say, he's not into me. Actually, the first thing you do is want to comfort yourself. You say, maybe he's just shy. Or maybe he just likes me too much. Whatever it is. It's just to comfort yourself. Because you don't want to know the truth. We're taking it to this crazy level.

KING: Is there a follow-up coming? She's just not into you?

TUCCILLO: No, I think it's -- really, I think we should say that obviously men get their hearts broken all the time. And women are also rejecting men all the time.

BEHRENDT: But only eight guys would buy a book. They don't care. Guys do it differently. They have a couple of cocktails and they stand on your lawn for a while.

TUCCILLO: We don't see guys sitting around in a bar going, she wrote me this e-mail, I don't know what she meant by the dot dot dot. They don't do it that way. KING: I'm going to bring the rest of the panel. We're going to take your calls. When you call, we'd like you to ask with relationship questions. Because we want to help you. So if you're women, mostly women calling in, you have questions about guys, we want to help you. Let's take a look at one of the "Sex and the City" scenes that resulted from the discussion in that writers room. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He kissed me good night at the door. I invited him up. He couldn't because he had an early meeting. We kissed again. And he said he'd call.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two kisses, very promising.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You think? Even though he didn't come up?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Definitely. It means he likes you but he wants to take it slow. That's nice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Berger (ph), what do you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really want to know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please, I would love to have a man's opinion for a change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. I'm not going to sugar coat it for you. He's just not that into you.


KING: Have you been rejected, Phyllis?

PHYLLIS DILLER, COMEDIENNE: Oh my god. Is the pope Polish? I've lived with the rejection all my life.

KING: You accept it? This is part of living?

DILLER: It's what made me funny.

KING: That's right. You've used it for a career. Victoria, have you seen rejection?

VICTORIA GOTTI, "GROWING UP GOTTI": Oh, yes. You know, it's funny. As that scene in "Sex and the City" kind of says and suggests, every girlfriend will jump in there and say, make excuses. In the end, amongst my girlfriends, the one thing we always say in the end is, if he wants you, he will find you. He will climb Mount Everest, he will go to the ends of the earth. Obviously, he's not that into you. So yes, we've all suffered it. It's disheartening. But we look to hear every other excuse when the truth is as plain as the nose on our faces. I think these two authors brought it to the forefront.

KING: Why, Andrew, did you dump the girl you picked?

ANDREW FIRESTONE, "THE BACHELOR": First of all, I didn't dump the girl. What is this? We're talking about the book, all right?

KING: All right. This book has sold -- they printed 30,000 initially. It has sold 1.6 million. 1,600,000 copies of which that girl bought 200,000. What happened?

FIRESTONE: I want to say, get this on the table here, Greg has opened up the holy grail of all male secrets. See, he has a ring on his finger. So it's easy for him to do this.

KING: You're mad at him?

FIRESTONE: A little bit. I think he should be careful walking into, like, a men's locker room or anywhere where there aren't going to be women protecting him.

KING: The secrets are given away?

FIRESTONE: A lot of them are. Women have so many things at their disposal to use whenever they want to. They can flick their hair, wink at us, all of a sudden they have us at their beck and call. We have few things. They're all in this book. Now it's for public consumption. I'm a little bit angered by this whole thing.

BEHRENDT: But they're lies.

FIRESTONE: They're not lies, they're creative excuses.

KING: Why is honesty hard, Liz? Why is it hard for a guy to say, I like you but?

TUCCILLO: I think it's hard for anybody to say, after a situation or in the middle of a situation, I'm not that into you, I don't love you anymore, I never was in love for you. I think what happens is that the female gender seems to take that lack of information and vagueness and runs with it to places of excuses and months and months of hanging on and deluding themselves. In a way that isn't really the man's fault, ultimately. It's really what they take from that.

BEHRENDT: And I would argue that this book is helpful to men who are afraid to get out of the relationship. That women will read this book and then just leave. So you won't actually have to finish it.

FIRESTONE: Not going to happen.

BEHRENDT: They will finish it for you. I think the men would rather be run over by elephants on fire than tell a woman, I'm not that into you.

KING: It's hard for a woman too.

TUCCILLO: I think so. I think that women just seem to not take the hint as easily.

KING: The mission of this book, other than to sell books and make people laugh is? TUCCILLO: For women not to waste time. That's the main thing. That's what we did it for. To stop the misery that's involved with holding on for something too long, deluding yourself. Not waste time.

KING: It's made up of questions women ask. Were these actual questions or you made them up?

TUCCILLO: We made them up based on, sadly, a lot of my life. I took a life, started with me.

KING: Have you been dumped a lot?

TUCCILLO: Well, no, not -- very few times. No, I mean, I think being out there dating, I think everybody's been rejected and had things happen they don't understand. I really saw that there was no -- it wasn't a mistake that I was in the writers room, like we have to make this a book. As I was writing it, I need this more than anybody.

KING: Let me take a break and come back. We'll take your calls with your questions. We'll get questions from Liz and Greg and Victoria as well. They may need some help. Although with regard to Andrew, I doubt it. We'll be right back, don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a lot of push/pull, a lot of mixed messages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I have to say that's all code for, he's just not that into you. I'm sorry. With guys, it's very simple. If we're into you, we're coming upstairs, we're booking the next date. There are no mixed messages.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No mixed messages?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've spent my whole life deciphering mixed messages.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow. He's just not that into me.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jen, will you marry me?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes, I will. You do it, sorry. It's so beautiful.


KING: What went wrong?

FIRESTONE: What went wrong? A lot of things. She just wasn't that into me, apparently. I guess. That's the sequel. It was a sequel. You know, it was a variety of things. It was a bunch of things. I think maybe some of the things were copied in there in the book. I should have read that a few years ago.

KING: You list the excuses men do a lot. I've been traveling a lot. I've got a lot on my mind. Things -- I just say things I don't mean sometimes. Maybe we're just different.

Wait a minute, when he says maybe we're just different, is that a sign, exit?

TOCCILLO: Well, depends on the context for that one.

BEHRENDT: Yeah. We're not saying you hear one of these and you bail. But we're saying, if you hear this stuff enough, it's got to resonate with you.

KING: Four or five times.

BEHRENDT: Exactly. Of course people are busy. Of course people are different. But if you're hearing we're different a lot and he's not calling, and that kind of thing, you know.

KING: What's the excuse you've heard the most?

DILLER: I haven't heard any lately.

KING: Back in the old days, Phyllis.

DILLER: You're talking about these lists of things people say. I think people feel -- I can't imagine you not having a gut feeling that someone doesn't like you. Or does like you.

KING: Wouldn't you have that? Shouldn't you know? You're saying no?

TOCCILLO: I think -- clearly because of the popularity of the book, it shows that we sort of lost our ability to have that gut reaction.

BEHRENDT: But I also think the reason the book's selling so well is an indication people are on to something in their heads and they think, this is going to tell me whether...

KING: It an ultimate how-to.

BEHRNEDT: The result is gut feelings. People go to the bookstore and go, I'm not sure. Get the book.

KING: Have you been rejected Victoria?

GOTTI: I'm sorry?

KING: Have you been rejected?

GOTTI: Once. KING: Once?

BEHRENDT: One time?

GOTTI: You always get that line. I think women are so tired of that line. It's not you, it's me. That's like the famous line. It's not you, it's me. Trust me, ladies, it's always you, then. It's the polite way of saying it.

You know, the time that I was rejected, unfortunately, the guy was gay. Thankfully, I was rejected.

But you know, it's just been such a phenom in this country, dating, women, men, and the amount of lackadaisical behavior, the level that men have. And I think that's something that women are finally ready to address.

KING: Also, dating is very different now, isn't it? For example, when we were younger, a girl never asked a guy out. Ever. Never. Now it's common.

DILLER: She didn't even call a guy.

KING: Never called a guy. Never.

BEHRENDT: Right. And we're saying, I just feel that since the sexual revolution, men have just gotten lazy. I think women do a lot things. They have babies, they have to menstruate, couldn't we ask them out? Couldn't we do one thing? Couldn't we do one thing? It's difficult. It is difficult to ask anyone out, you're putting yourself on the line. But if you want to be out with somebody, if you really want to be out with the, I think, ask them out. Why not ask a lady out? Why not have more guys asking women out. I don't know that they are. They're hooking up, they're meeting at a club. They're saying hey, let's booty call.

KING: Meet you at 6:00 here.

FIRESTONE: Well, it's safe. Going up to a girl that's a stranger in front of all of her friends. The girls always sort of circle the wagons. You'll see a cute girl, and he's looking at you! And then immediately they all, they circle and up you have to pry your way through and find a reason to talk to her. It's intimidating.

And the last thing you want to hear is, actually, no, I don't want to go out with you. And then you walk over to your buddies and they're like, what a loser!

BEHRENDT: Imagine watching the movie version of that. How can you argue with a guy saying, I'm just taking a big risk here, do you want to go out?

FIRESTONE: I'm going to argue with him. I'm going to laugh at him though.

BEHRENDT: Are you? FIRESTONE: Yeah. When he comes back rejected.

BEHRENDT: You're mean.

FIRESTONE: I know, a perfect world. You're married, remember. You are married.

BEHRENDT: That's true. But I didn't mind asking girls out. Trust me, I got rejected plenty of times, but I enjoyed it.

KING: When is it bad for a man to ask a girl out?

BEHRENDT: I don't know.

KING: When did that happen?

TOCCILLO: It's not bad for a man to ask a woman out. I think a lot of women, first of all in the throes of saying, we can take charge, we can do what we want, we're liberated, they've along the way to have forgotten to notice the signs and symbols of a man who's just not that into them.

KING: Dates, do people still -- thinking back to the old days -- do people still date? In other words, hello, Martha, what are you doing Friday? Nothing? Would you like to go to dinner? How about 8:00? I'll pick you up. Is that still happening?

TOCCILLO: Yes, people are still dating. I am dating. I go out on dates.

KING: A guy calls you. Makes a date. Picks you up?

TOCCILLO: Yes, people are dating. I think that we've been hearing a lot from this -- we've been interviews with journalists, female journalists, they've been saying, do people really -- do guys really ask women out anymore? I think that we've become so -- our expectations are so low, that we don't even expect it anymore. So, it's almost like a new concept. You mean, there's men out there that are going up to women and asking them out? That's shocking. It's crazy.

BEHRENDT: Because I think there's a majority of people that are text messaging Martha at 2:00 in the morning saying, can I come over? Are you around Martha? Can I come over?

KING: That's the -- impersonalize the world. Do you ask girls out?

FIRESTONE: The first time I usually do it like friends -- friends meet friends out. We'll do it as a group. Because in a group setting...

KING: That's not a date.

FIRESTONE: In this definition, it's not. But I think there is. First, you have a chance to talk. You know that you're going to get along. You know there's a mutual attraction. But the first time, if I said do you want to go out on a date? And all of a sudden sitting across from eachother and we have nothing in common, it's very uncomfortable. But by going out earlier, you have a chance to sort of find areas of commonality.

KING: I think he asked you out.

FIRESTONE: I did. And I've actually, there's a couple of gentleman suitors over there, actually, in the green room here, so I better not.

KING: Phyllis, you should be flattered.

DILLER: I am. I always had beaus, darling.

KING: Still?

DILLER: Of course.

FIRESTONE: Do they ask you out. Do you go on dates?

DILLER: Yes. Oh, at least three times a week. And I'm old.

KING: How old?


KING: So, who do you date?

DILLER: I'm not going to tell you.

KING: Are they younger or older?

DILLER: Honey, everybody's younger than I am.

KING: I forgot nobody's older.

We'll be back with your phone calls. The book is "He's Just Not That Into You." Don't go away.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I think I might know someone you'd like to meet.

GOTTI: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't have a photo. But if it's really important to you.

GOTTI: I don't like blind dates. I'm not one for looks but I need to know who I...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll get a picture of, absolutely. GOTTI: I love guys that have dark hair or salt and pepper hair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to tell you, he is bald.

GOTTI: Bald?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He looks great. You know, you have to meet the person and see them. You never know.


KING: How's the dating world going, Victoria?

GOTTI: Still sluggish, Larry. Still sluggish.

KING: Did you meet the bald guy?

GOTTI: In answer to your question before, should a woman ask a man out in this day and age, there's no man alive that, a, would say no. It's a great thing. They'd get a big kick out of it. But there's also not a man alive that would say, that is the right thing for a woman to do. They lose the challenge. They hate that they're not in control. I've experimented with that. And I've known lots of women that have. And any man that you ask, they will tell you, in truth, or truth be told, no, they do not like that. Men love the challenge. They love the hunt. They love to be the hunter.

KING: Liz?

GOTTI: I don't believe that.

TUCCILLO: I mean, I'm not a man so I don't know. But I know whenever I've tried, said I'm going to ask him out, figure out a way to meet him here, get friends to hook us up, it's never worked. Ultimately, he should be interested enough to be figuring it out himself.

KING: The man should be the aggressor?

BEHRENDT: I think so. I also think in a lot of ways, the man has control up until he asks the woman out, then she gets to set the time, the place, the way it goes, that kind of thing. Ultimately, we're giving you the power. We're saying, I saw you from across the room, I felt like taking this risk.

KING: Have you been the aggressor, Phyllis?

DILLER: Oh, yes.

KING: Even in the younger days?

DILLER: Always.

KING: You were like a liberated woman early?

DILLER: Well. I was desperate. KING: That's a different term. Part of all this is sex. You get into that in the book?

Say you're dating someone. You have sex with them. Is it OK if you have sex with someone else as long as it's just dating?

BEHRENDT: It's really up to the two women he's dating. It's up to them. If they're OK with it. Ultimately what we're saying in this book is it's what you're OK with. But be OK with it. If you're not, be honest about it and say, this doesn't work for me. If our friend over here is dating two women, he's having sex with both of them, they're OK with it, that's fine with us.

KING: Do they both have to know about it?

BEHRENDT: I think -- with sex, I'm thinking yes. With cuddling and kissing. But actually having sex, it becomes a health issue. I would guess, I would hope.

TUCCILLO: Ultimately, our book is pretty much not a Miss Manners on how you should be dating. It's mainly getting women to be honest with themselves of when they're in a situation where a guy says, I'm dating someone else, I'm sleeping with someone else, that the woman doesn't say to herself, he's going to change his mind, I'm going to be the woman that wins. A woman will want the challenge and try to fix him.

BEHRENDT: I can be very proud of Andrew for being honest with her.

KING: Do you know any guy would say, by the way, I'm sleeping with someone else?

FIRESTONE: That's even more difficult than saying you're not into the girl. But I think in this day and age, the guy would probably be monogamous. I don't see any of my friends -- I don't know anybody that is sleeping with two women at the same time. Whether or not they break up with one and go out with the other. But that's a pretty neat trick to pull that off, two different girls.

KING: Toronto. Let's go to calls. The book is "He's Just Not That Into You." Toronto, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. My question is for Greg. But I've read the book, I followed the rules, I've stopped pretty much wasting my time and getting the hint a lot faster. And I've now found myself single for the past three years. Just turned 30. So my question is, Greg, where are all these good guys that you're describing in your book? I've been holding out. And I'm not finding them coming my way.

KING: He's raising his hand, you got one here, Andrew.

FIRESTONE: We're at Beverly Hills, west Hollywood.

BEHRENDT: Andrew's your guy. Here's the thing about the good guy, this is what I have found, is that it seems like everyone's not a good guy until they find the woman that they love and become a good guy. So I think you just continue dating and eventually when you meet the guy that is really into you, he will be a good guy. But he may not have been a good guy with other people.

KING: He could have been bad with someone?

BEHRENDT: Absolutely. When I was with my wife, I became a much better person. I became a guy who wasn't duplicitous, who wasn't a liar, who was in love with her. I think because she was an outstanding person, I wanted to do whatever I could to be with her and that meant being honest and being forthright. Whereas with other people, I was like the guys in the book.

KING: So what you're saying is the right woman can change a man, the right man can change a woman.

TUCCILLO: She's asking the biggest question any woman is going to ask. The thing that makes women stay in relationships longer than they should, what's making women make excuses that they don't believe there are that many guys out there. It's a valid question when you're single and hoping to meet the guy.

KING: Is it harder at your point in life, Victoria, with grown children and in early middle age?

GOTTI: It's really difficult. I mean, it's not easy as it was, say, being younger. Early 20s and dating. It's much, much harder. You look for qualities in a man that you think your children would appreciate. Or that the man would appreciate about your children. It's much more difficult. And I think that those men that have never had children, nor ever want children, that's another telling sign, that that's probably not the guy for you.

KING: You don't have problems, do you? Young, good looking, got some money?

FIRESTONE: I've got some problems. But what specific problems?

KING: What's your number one problem?

FIRESTONE: Laundry and cooking. I'm terrible at them.

TUCCILLO: Dating problems.

FIRESTONE: Dating problems, I forgot what we were talking about.

KING: Are you a good date?

FIRESTONE: I think I'm a good date. I think like most men, I'm pretty simple when it comes down to it. A lot of girls like to play games with guys. They want to be sort of a little bit aloof. They want to be a challenge.

KING: Hard to get.

FIRESTONE: Sometimes for a guy... KING: Not Phyllis.

FIRESTONE: No, this is different. I'm in the wrong demographic. But I think sometimes girls can be so difficult sometimes that it makes it hard for a guy to pick up signals. Sometimes I don't know what I'm reading from them. I think girls can be just as complicated if not more so, than guys.

KING: We'll be back with more. We'll take more calls. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your son's the only person in the family who's spoiled?

GOTTI: Yes. Where are you going with that, Ed? Trying to say I'm spoiled because I live like this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, when you said only your sons were spoiled, I asked if there was anyone else who was.

GOTTI: You meant me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't mean anyone. I invited you to answer.

GOTTI: OK, I did, now what's your point?


GOTTI: Well, all right then. I'm going to use the ladies room.




DILLER: I love to go to the doctor, ooh!


Where else would a man look at me and say, take off your clothes?


But from then on, it's very square. Yes, he leaves the room because he's a coward.


KING: Our panel is Greg Behrendt, he's co-author of "He's Just not That Into You," former consultant for HBO's "Sex and The City."

And Liz Tuccillo, who's co-author for that book and former writer for the series.

Phyllis Diller is the comedian and pioneer of self-deprecating humor. She cracked up Lincoln.

Victoria Gotti is the star of "Growing up Gotti," the reality series that makes its season two debut on A&E, January 10th. She's columnist and executive editor at large for "Star" magazine.

Andrew Firestone, former star of ABC's "The Bachelor," who remains a bachelor after his breakup with the young lady he selected on the show as a possible partner.

Back to your calls.

Reno, Nevada, hello.

CALLER: Hi, everyone. I just wanted to thank Greg and Liz for a very honest book. I really enjoyed reading it. I just want you to talk maybe a little bit about chapter 5, there's never going to be a good reason for cheating. Because the women who haven't read the book, I think this would help them a lot.

KING: All right, Liz?

TUCCILLO: This one I think is Greg's -- Greg's much more clear on it. It's just the idea of, you know, not taking -- accepting any excuses for when a man has cheated on you.

KING: There's just no excuse?

BEHRENDT: I just think it doesn't happen by accident. You don't just slip and fall into it.


KING: ... that you would know a guy is cheating by something he says?

TUCCILLO: This is really -- the book really deals with after you found out. And women often, you'd think, would get furious and throw them out and break up with them. But often they make up excuses for the men for why he cheats.

KING: Really?

TUCCILLO: Yes. Like, well, I gained a few pounds.

BEHRENDT: Right. Or the man will somehow turn it on the woman and say, well, you know, after the baby you didn't want to have sex. It's like, couldn't you have talked about it? Wasn't there were a million things you could have done before you cheat on her. Couldn't you at least be honest with her and say, hey, I'm not feeling a sexual vibe from you, can we fix this, before you slip and fall into another woman, accidently.

KING: Did you ever have a guy cheat on you, Phyllis? DILLER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KING: Do you remember a guy cheat on you?

DILLER: Of course. Of course. Of course, I mean a club of them.

KING: Did you ever cheat on a girl.

FIRESTONE: No. I have two older sisters and -- they're much older than I am. And it's disrespectful, I think. And to cheat on somebody, I think, would -- you always get caught, first of all. But the repercussions there, I mean, you can never go back. Once you have cheated on a girlfriend, I don't think there's anyway to make it work afterwards. I mean, it would take a total understanding by both people. But I don't see anyway to go back and put that relationship back together once -- that's the ultimate betrayal.

KING: Ever cheated on anyone Victoria?

GOTTI: Did I ever cheat on anyone? No, Larry, I'm one of those old fashioned people. I really strongly believe in monogamy. And you know, men today just don't. And I don't -- you go through life and you almost get angry about it, thinking about it, because there are so many great women. And these great women are married to men who cheat. And you just can't understand. Some are very beautiful, famous actresses, and you think, well, you know what, if it can happen to her, then hey. But there is no excuse. And if someone doesn't want to be with someone, then hey, they should just say goodbye. You know what, I mean, to do that to someone, it's really, really hard on a lot of people. And they usually wind up ruining their lives and the person that they've cheated on's lives. A lot of people are pulled down by that. And I just don't get why men do. But I have to say, most men do.

KING: Detroit, hello.

CALLER: Hi. This question is for Greg and Liz. I love the book, thank you so much for writing it. I found that my boyfriend who I've been with for about two years now, for the first six months of our relationship, he did a lot of things that you listed in your book to indicate he wasn't that into me. But as I got to know him better, I found it was more that he didn't have a ton of dating experience. And not every guy does. So, do you find that sometimes it's not so much that he's not that into you, but he just doesn't know any better? And to a certain degree it takes patience and training, which has paid off for me now?

KING: Ah. Can you take the he's not that into you to yes, he will be into you?

TUCCILLO: I think our book, we would say, just no. We would as, then that's what happens, an exception. And we're saying that the last we want is for women to hear that story and be like, we need -- I'll need to train my boyfriend. I need to wait another six months, then he's going to be fantastic, I just need to put more work into him.

BEHRENDT: Because for your great story, which is certainly a great story and one that happens in the world, there will be 10 women that will try it that it won't work out. So all would we say is, and you never, ever lose by being clear. You never lose by saying, listen even in the beginning of this relationship, I would just prefer if you'd call me when you said you were. And if you don't, you know, I have let to know that these are the things I need.

TUCCILLO: In this situation...

KING: And don't ever count on change.

TUCCILLO: Well, in some situation, clearly he began to change it seems very quickly. So, it sounds like in this process of him not maybe behaving the way she wanted him to, she was communicating, he changed, and there was improvement. It doesn't sound like she was sitting bit phone and crying and calling her friends and being miserable. That would be bad. But it sounds like, if things are off in the beginning, but then you communicate and tell the truth and then there's change, I mean, that seems fantastic.

KING: Andrew, have you used a lot of excuses?

FIRESTONE: I have used excuses before. And actually, reading this book, it sort of -- I think it puts it into perspective a little bit. And I sort of think back and say, maybe I was just not that into her at the time. But I think as Greg said earlier, it is one of the most difficult things to come to that realization, because you do care about that person. You know, you spent time with them. You have things invested with them. Then all of a sudden say, you know what, I'm just not that into you. It's difficult. So, sometimes you find yourself wanting to give them excuses to turn and break up with you, almost. And...

KING: Setting it up.

FIRESTONE: Set it up. Like, you know, you don't call as much. You distance yourself. And you're almost waiting for that time when the girl says, I've had enough of you. And that takes the onus off of us.

KING: And then you see her with another guy and your ego gets carried away and the chase begins begin.

FIRESTONE: Yes, you get to watch it on ABC, which is always a lot of fun.

KING: Dallas, hello.

CALLER: Yes, my question is for Greg.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes, Greg, I have the book. I read it inside out about three times, but of course there's still always those questions. And my question is, I recently started talking to someone, about a month ago. And they went out of town. And I was on the phone with them, and all of a sudden they're like, let me call you right back, I'm at the store, I'll call you back. Obviously, I never get a return phone call. Next morning he's calling, oh, honey, I'm sorry I didn't call you back. It was I was so tired from lack of sleep. And I just don't know what to make of that. And he's constantly telling me he's so into me and I really like you and enjoy talking to you, love to be with you.

BEHRENDT: Here's what I would say, how comfortable are you with that situation? I mean, if it was just the one call, and it happened one time, you have decide if you're OK with that. Ultimately it's about what you're willing to -- not every excuse is a bad one. Every once in a while somebody is tired and they fall asleep and they can't call. Generally they would and let you know immediately, hey I blew it last night, hey I'm sorry, they acknowledge it and move on. But if it happens just one time, I would hate to tell you to throw something away.

But the reason that you're calling gives me a gut instinct there are other things going on in the relationship besides this phone call. So I would take a look at that.

DILLER: I felt that with that abrupt hanging up, the hooker had come into the room.

BEHRENDT: That's very possible.

FIRESTONE: Sometimes room service.

BEHRENDT: Sometimes they will arrive early. And a lot of times...

KING: He told her 10:00, she came at quarter to.

By the way, the series "Sex and the City" is now available on DVD courtesy of HBO Video. And don't forget that ABC's "The Bachelorette" with Andrew's ex-gal Jane Sheft (ph) will premier January 10 at 9:00 P.M. on ABC.

And look for Victoria Gotti and sons in season 2 of "Growing Up Gotti" premiering January 10 on A&E.

And Phyllis Diller is the subject of a new biography that's getting raves at all the film festivals. It's called "Good Night, We Love You." And we do. And we'll be back right after this. Don't go away.


BOB HOPE, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: Here is Dr. Phyllis.

DILLER: Oh, don't be so formal. Just call me Doc, or Phyllis, or what my boyfriends call me, "Hey, baby."

Oh, boy. This looks like some lively correspondence this morning. "My husband claims there's no excitement anymore in our bedroom. What should I do?"

Short circuit his electric blanket.



KING: This book could change your life. "He's Just Not That Into You: the No Excuses Truth To Understanding Guys." by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.

Santa Rosa, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi. First I'd like to make a comment to Victoria. I think that Ed was a total idiot.

And also, my question for the panel is, do you think that men will stop sending these mix the messages? And after maybe this book now that it's out, that they will just start saying, I'm not that into you?

KING: The book is big. Could it happen, do you think, Andrew?

FIRESTONE: well, if Greg gives away any more secrets, then we might have to.

BEHRENDT: They're not secrets.

FIRESTONE: They are secrets. If they weren't, you wouldn't have to write about them.

BEHRENDT: If you're married to somebody else, that's not a secret.

TUCCILLO: I say no. I say no, I don't think men are going to change. I think it's all about the women changing. It's about the women...

KING: What could you say? Honey, I'm going to send you a book.

TUCCILLO: That's been happening a lot. The men have not been sending women the book.

KING: Men send you this book split.

TUCCILLO: That's a bad sign.

BEHRENDT: If the women change, men will have no choice but to change. Because they'll be dealing with a different -- a whole different group of women who will be like, that doesn't work for me. I mean, I appreciate you showing up, but that doesn't work for me. Then guys would have to be more honest.

KING: Will this work in Europe?

TUCCILLO: Well, we're going to find out. It's going to be starting in January in England. And it's in Australia, doing well.

KING: Do you think this is is worldwide?

TUCCILLO: I'm not sure.

BEHRENDT: Everywhere but France.

TUCCILLO: I want to know what's happening in France. I'm obssessed a little with how they do it in France.

KING: How about China, Japan?

BEHRENDT: There's a Japanese copy out right now.

KING: Japanese guys are doing this?

TUCCILLO: I guess so. They're printing it...

BEHRENDT: Yeah. They're giving the excuses in Japanese, but they're doing it.

KING: Los Angeles, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. My question is, my mom has been engaged to the same man for about 10 years. And they've had numerous engagements. I think she's on her 3rd ring. And every time it's about a month away from their supposed date to get married, he calls it off because of something she's done, her children. The current issue is his mother's getting sick. Is he really going to marry my mom? Or should she move on?

KING: Phyllis says no.

DILLER: Never. He's never going to. She can be 200-years-old and he's not going to marry her. But keep the rings.

KING: What were you going to say?

TUCCILLO: No, I'm not going to -- I don't want to be the one.

BEHRENDT: Sounds like we wrote the entire boom about him. I mean, I -- no. I mean, 3 times at bat? He keeps getting it wrong somehow.

KING: Why do you think, Victoria, that the mother stays? Why does she stay with these promises?

GOTTI: I think she feels like -- she probably has not enough self-confidence, self-esteem. I think the women's problems today are that they just don't think enough of themselves. Women -- you know, a very wise woman taught me something, and that's Jackie Collins, by the way. She said, it's always indifference. Exercise indifference when it comes to any man. Watch and see. He will chase you and chase you and chase you.

Stop being there for the calls. Stop showing him that you really care as much about him. Act indifference. Be aloof. And you know something, so far, it's worked in I'd say seven different relationships. She has to be on to something.

KING: You know, that indifference is worse than anger or hatred or being mad at you.

TUCCILLO: For me, I don't feel -- I feel like we're trying to stay away from women doing anything to get a man. Like, whatever, manipulating a situation to get a man. Our kind of more angle is justl ike be fabulous, be fantastic in your life, have a great time, and see what good comes of that. And set your standards high. And not accept behavior that's...

KING: Both sexes are manipulative, aren't they?

BEHRENDT: I think they can be. My example in the book is my wife. Who wasn't indifferent, but she definitely wasn't going to slow down for me. And I found that to be a big turn-on. Because basically she said, I like you, I love you, but here's what I want out of my life and I'm not going to slow down to get it. So, if you want to jump on board, I'm in. But I'm not going to change my plan for you.

KING: Royal City, Washington. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, I have a question. I'm 34 and I've dated a lot of men. And at the beginning they tell me...

KING: Turn your TV down.

CALLER: They tell me everything's going well and we've gone on several dates. And all of a sudden I just don't hear from them. And I don't know what I'm doing or saying wrong to discourage these guys to continue seeing me again.

KING: It's got to be her right, Liz?

TUCCILLO: I say no. but this might be controversial. But I know that -- I think that a woman should absolutely give the time to say, is it me? Am I doing something wrong? Ask friends, what am I like in situations? Do I put people off? After that work is done, though, I think it's really lik no.

I think a lot of guys, they get into situations and you have dates and they think you're going to be somebody they want to go out with, and then you're not. I really just am into women like don't blame the victim. Like, I don't want women to beat themselves up because a guy didn't call them and obssess over why they didn't call, what did I do wrong, maybe I'm not pretty enough, maybe I was too...

KING: But if it happens tne straight guys? Maybe it is you.

TUCCILLO: I'm a perfectly fantastic person and I go on dates with men who don't wall me again. And it's just the way it goes.

BEHRENDT: I think, ultimately when two people get into a relationship, both parties are culpable. It's always good to look at yourself and assess what you're doing in anything you do. It's just like a business, you have to sort of look back and go, what did I do during this thing?

But I will also say, and Andrew will probably back me up, men get very excited at the beginning. We get really, really excited. We say things, we're driven a little bit...


REHRENDT: Yes, and it's a little bit sexual too. You're driven because the motivation for sex, and all that kind of stuff. And then we get clear on stuff later. That's why I sometimes say, if you can hold off on the sex, you'll get a little bit more clarity, even for a dude. Even with my wife I was like, I'm going to wait on this one. Because I know me. I know...


KING: How long did you wait?

REHRENDT: We made it two months. Two months. But you know, there's a lot of making out. Let's not forget how great that is. I mean, you know, savor is what I'm saying. Enjoy. Go slow through the process. Enjoy it, you know.

FIRESTONE: We're talking about at the break, I think there's for a woman to be aloof and sort of acting different, I think that sometimes isn't a good thing. I think the woman should continue to be her own person, because that's what I was attracted to in the beginning. I was attracted to that individual, as she was as an individual. I want her to be part of my life, but don't lose that individuality. Keep being your own person. And if I don't call, don't act like the world is coming down and call me 15 times and leave 45 messages. Go on with your life as it is. If I'm smart guy, I'm going to catch up with you and I'm going to make it better.

KING: Well said. We'll be back with our remaining moments. Don't go away.


KING: Alisa Viejo, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi, how are you guys doing?


CALLER: Great. I wanted to thank you guys for being available, and for taking the call.

KING: What's the question?

CALLER: The question is, I read the book. Could not put it down. I was late for work because I couldn't sleep. I wanted to find out, there was no mention of online dating etiquette. I know things have changed. Please be gentle. Do you have any comments as to what is OK in a one on one kind of conversation?

TUCCILLO: What do you mean?

CALLER: Well, you know, there's so many dating sites that you can get on. You can talk to people before you actually get together. I mean, if a guy says, here's my number, call me. And you don't feel warm and fuzzy about that. You know, what is the proper thing -- I mean, if a guy -- you have no...

KING: Is there etiquette?

CALLER: Yes, I mean, if they have good typing skills but there's more to a man than that.


TUCCILLO: We don't have a lot of experience in this area, both of us. But I would have to say, I think the rules sort of apply. In the few times that I've done it, when a guy says, give me a call, it means he's sort of being lazy. And I've also had guys -- I think it's common online where they make inappropriate sexual jokes. It seems to be like, Oh, we're being funny and groovy, and it really like turns me off. So, and I think you get a sense of the person pretty quickly.

KING: We're running short on time. Can a book like this work for gays?


BEHRENDT: We've gotten -- I've gotten a lot of letters from gay men, and they have said, thank you for the book. They've dug it, and they've enjoyed it. I mean, it's a little bit different because it's men asking men out. But I feel like -- yes, relationships are relationships.

TUCCILLO: Anybody who's interested in getting into a serious relationship, that's really what it's about. And about Setting standards and sort of figuring out what that means, that the book it helps for that. So, if you're a gay man and looking for a serious relationship, I think it helps.

KING: You can still be helped Phyllis by this book.

DILLER: Yes, I could be helped by anybody's book.

KING: At this point.

DILLER: Oh, yes.

FIRESTONE: I think even a lot of guys, single guys can read this book and get a lot out of it. Because you start to recognize, what are those trends that I'm doing? Am I one of these guys, and is it not right? Because sometimes I'll do things and not realize how it's being interpreted by the girl. KING: Thank you all very much. Terrific having you.

TUCCILLO: Thank you.

KING: Good book. "He's Just Not That Into You."

I switched a little here, sad note as we finish up tonight. Former Vice President Al Gore's mother has passed away. Pauline Gore, was widely known in Tennessee where her husband Al Senior had a long political career in both the House and Senate. She campaigned for heir son when he ran for president in 1988 and a strong supporter of the Clinton/Gore ticket in '92.

Pauline Gore was 92.


KING: Tomorrow night, a very interesting topic. What is life like in prison. People who have been in prison and who visit prisons will be with us. And Merle Haggard, who has been a prisoner, will be one of the guest. life In prison tomorrow night.

Life isn't a prison when it's time to be 10:00 Eastern time and "NEWSNIGHT" rolls around. No, rather than being a prison, life is freeing up! We all get a sense of the entire network comes alive.


KING: It's "NEWSNIGHT" time. So Aaron Brown, what's on tap tonight?

BROWN: Actually, we have one of the best stories out of Iraq I've ever seen. It's the story of a clinical psychologist who came back and sat down to write about everything that was good and everything that was bad about her time there. It was one of those stories that will break you heart and warm you heart at the same time.

KING: I should -- you're not going to leave with it though, because I have to get home to watch it.

BROWN: Well, we'll give you five minutes, hang in there.

KING: Goodbye.

BROWN: Thank you.


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