Yesterday I blogged about what struck me as a great new book,  He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth About Understanding Guys, by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, both veterans of “Sex in the City.” (See my “Rules” Guys, Aug. 30.) Berendt’s thesis: Gals, when a guy doesn’t call you, it’s not because he’s shy, commitment-phobic, and so forth. It’s because he not that into you. So don’t waste your time on him. Hold out for the guy who’s willing to chase you–because he’s the one who’s that into you. From my own experience with the dismal dating scene before I found my dream man, I’ve got to say “Amen” to everything Berendt says.

But Inky reader “Alec” e-mails to tell me I’m dead-wrong:

“Women want a challenge, a man who has self-control, someone that they can look up too. And they don’t look up to men who run around chasing them, holding doors open for them, complimenting them all the time (’I love you’ should be rationed) and essentially spoiling them. It’s never good to spoil a woman–while women might fancy the male that chases them around, they quickly grow tired of him and give him the boot. Ever wonder why nice guys finish last? First, they’re weak, and second, women don’t like men who aren’t a challenge, and its hard to look up to a man who doesn’t have his emotions in control.

“Women say they want a male who gives them a lot of attention, but they end up sabotaging their own relationships. Why? Because they’re unhappy with a man who scurries around after them. A confident, aloof male exhibits confidence, respect, and dignity; he shows he cares, not by lavishing the woman with praise all the time, but by simply being there, paying for the meal, and not asking for sex afterwards. By keeping it lighthearted and positive, he shows that he doesn’t want her around so he can dump his bad feelings on her. By being honest and direct, he shows he’s trustworthy.

“If women want to attract men, they should act (and I know this is going to rile women up) more restrained. Most women dress like hookers, talk like construction workers, and still — somehow –manage to think, in their enormous self-centeredness, that they’re acting like ladies and should be respected.”

Alec, I agree that some women’s fashions have gone a bit far of late (although I predict a backlash)–but on the larger issue of male-female courtship, who’s right, me (and Greg Behrendt) or Alec?

Do gals want a guy who almost never says “I love you” or a guy who (like my husband) says “I love you” almost every day? Should he open doors for you (which I love, so gentlemanly!) or remain “aloof” and let you pry the darned things open yourself (you’ve got two hands, don’t you?)? Compliments all the time–or no compliments? Inky readers, male and female, let’s hear from more of you on what women really want from men and what you think the best strategy might be for getting them.

And here’s more on the subject of breastfeeding in public, another hot InkWell topic. (See the Mailbag for Aug. 30, and The Double Latte Wars, Aug. 11.) This Charlotte’s well-publicized stance: Breastfeeding good, breastfeeding in public tasteless and offensive to many unless discreetly covered up.

Inky reader R.W. e-mails:

“I whole heartedly agree with you on the issue of breastfeeding. But we all have to live together so here is my compromise: I don’t mind them breastfeeding next to me while I am trying to eat if they don’t mind me throwing up on them.

“The smell of breast milk and baby spit-up has caused me to throw up for as long as I can remember. I don’t know why and don’t care. The fact remains, it happens and anyone not courteous enough to take care of private matters in private is at risk.”

Fair enough, R.W.