Review: The Gaggle: How the Guys You Know Will Help You Find the Love You Want by Jennifer Massa

The Gaggle: How the Guys You Know Will Help You Find the Love You Want by Jennifer Massa
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Pages: 288
Source:  Publisher

Who cares if he’s just not that into you? You’ve got a gaggle.
It’s easy to feel like your love life is nonexistent. You know you’re great, so why haven’t you been on a classic dinner-and-a-movie date since . . . well, forever? Because as it turns out, you are now living in a post-dating world, where the old rules for sex and relationships no longer apply. Suddenly, everything and nothing is a date. But this means that you have much more going on in your love life than you realize.

Think about all the ambiguous interactions you have with guys: from a brainstorming session with a coworker, to a drink with an old friend, to a late night Skype session with an ex who’s still in your life. Once you open your eyes, you’ll see that you’re already exploring all sorts of connections with the men in your life via these non-dates. And who are all these guys you’re non-dating?

Say hello to your gaggle.

The gaggle is the group of guys in your life who play different roles, fulfill different needs, and help you figure out who you are, what you want, and what kind of relationship you ultimately desire. Though no two gaggles are alike, there are ten types of men a gaggle might include, such as the Ego Booster, the Hot Sex Prospect, and the Boyfriend Prospect. Romance, excitement, self-discovery, love . . . all this will be yours, once you stop stressing about dates, labels, and expectations and start thinking of each man you know and meet as a potential guy in your gaggle.

In this clever and groundbreaking debut, based on interviews with women and men across the country, Jessica Massa reveals the ways in which the potential for love is all around you. The Gaggle is the ultimate guide to figuring out what you want—and finding your match—in a world that has left traditional dating behind.


Review: I admit, it was the title that caught my attention. Since I have many men in my life – who I am not romantically involved with – I thought, “Why not read it and find out how all these men can help me?” Not quite how it works though.

Turns out that your Gaggle is made up of men who have the possibility of being romantic interests. There are ten types of men who can end up in your Gaggle, and each of those must appear attractive in one way or another. Not superficially attractive but attractive to you, whether it’s because he’s intelligent, fun, or a great storyteller.

So. Back to my (lack of a) romantic life. In viewing the possibilities for my Gaggle, I find I have The Super Horny Guy Who Happens to Be Around a Lot, The Guy Who Just Blew You Off, The Unavailable Guy, and The Ex-Boyfriend Who’s Still Around. Hmmmm… Not looking too good here. But the beauty of a Gaggle is that by using each of the men in yours, you can increase your Gaggle. For instance, let’s say The Guy Who Just Blew You Off brings a friend to your next softball game and you two hit it off. Bingo! The Boyfriend Prospect! Or maybe he’s The Hot Sex Prospect. Wherever he falls, you’ve filled another place in your Gaggle.

And it doesn’t stop there. Each member of your Gaggle has the potential to turn into The Boyfriend Prospect. Let’s say you have a good connection with your Accessory (he’s the guy you call when you need a plus-one for that business dinner or your cousin’s wedding). You laugh, commiserate over past loves, you like the way he makes you feel. The Accessory could turn into The Boyfriend Prospect.

What don’t I like about The Gaggle? First off, it’s geared for something called “the Millennium Generation”. The oldest person mentioned in the book was 34; the youngest was 19. (I happen to be 50.) Yes, I know, self-help books are geared toward one faction or another but the advice here is applicable to all age groups, not just young professionals.

Which brings me to number two. All of the interviewees quoted were young professionals. There was not a single waitress, construction worker, barista, or store clerk among them. Not even an office administrator. I found that very biased. Let’s face it; we all need advice in the romance department at some time or another.

The basic idea of The Gaggle is to get more men in your life. They may not necessarily be The Boyfriend Potential, but they could introduce you to one. In my day, we called this widening your circle. Now it’s a Gaggle. But the advice given seems, to me at least, solid and well founded: Increase your Gaggle and you increase the possibility of finding the right man for you. So now I’m on a Gaggle hunt!