The Best First-Date Advice Book You'll Ever Read

review rachel greenwald call back
Love, Heartbreak

A review of Rachel Greenwald's "Why He Didn't Call You Back."

Ever gone on a date with a guy, expected to hear from him but, for reasons you don't understand, he never calls you back? We're guessing the answer is yes. In fact, you've probably done the same thing—had an OK time with a guy but for whatever reason, he didn't impress you, so you never contacted him again.

Author, matchmaker and dating coach Rachel Greenwald knows a thing or two about this subject. She asked 1,000 men why they didn't call women back, and the results are in her book, conveniently titled, Why He Didn't Call You Back: 1,000 Guys Reveal What They REALLY Thought About You After Your Date.

The basic idea is that when you go on a date, people take bits of information—how you interacted with the waiter, if you offered to pay for dinner, your reaction to spilling soy sauce on your skirt—and make assumptions about your personality. If they don't like the caricature they've formed, they don't call back. The book helps you identify what suppositions people make about you, and gives you tips about how avoid being stereotyped.

The number one reason men don't call back is the Boss Lady. On a first date a Boss Lady can come across as masculine—she's competitive, controlling and argumentative. But once you know a Boss Lady you describe her as confident and persuasive. Boss Ladies often think men are intimidated by them, when in men actually see them as lacking warmth and not nurturing.

The book suggests several ways that Boss Ladies can tone down their "harsh" vibe. For example, don't talk about work. Make sure to change out of your power suit before you go on a date. Try using a "humbling words" like "I think" and "maybe."

The book contains sections for each of the top ten reasons men don't call women back, with actionable advice in each chapter. It also talks about why men do call women back, and why women don't call men back.  

Our first reaction to this book was "Ew, change to please a guy?" But after reading the book and talking to Greenwald, we realized that she means it when she says she doesn't want to change you—she just wants you to modify how you act on the first few dates. It's sort of like a job interview—you put your best foot forward, hide the negatives, and hope that once you're hired your employer will love you enough to look past your messy desk and habit of hitting "reply to all"—only in this case it's your messy hair and your habit of hitting him in the face when you lean in for a hug.

The best thing about this book is that the advice is actionable—you can actually do what she says, and if it doesn't work or you don't like it, fine. But there's no touchy-feely "have-confidence-you-go-girl"-type advice. There's an actual, useful takeaway.

Sure, there will be detractors—some people aren't open to making any modifications to their behavior. But if you're going on a lot of dates, chances are the book will be helpful. And if it is, you might need to invest in scheduling software—your calendar will be very full.

Wondering why men don't call you back? Take our quiz to find out if you fit one of the top five dating stereotypes.

Want more? Read our interview with Rachel Greenwald, here.