As a single female in my late twenties, I must admit dating is often on my mind. With the world around me pairing up, I can’t help wondering if and how I will meet that someone special. The good thing is I’m not alone. If the publishing industry is anything to go by, there are a lot of people out there with similar questions in their mind. To answer them, the publishing gods came up with the dating advice book.
Now, I know you may be a little skeptical. After all there are a lot of bad dating advice books out there but, if you do your research and keep an open mind, you may find some good advice.
Dating advice books have been around for ages but over the past decades they have evolved. They no longer focus solely on “getting a man” (or woman) but offer advice on how to navigate the ups and downs of relationships. They have also moved from the boy-meets-girl and vice versa mentality; there are now books geared towards the LGBT community as well as books for those interested and/or involved in inter-cultural relationships.
One of my favorite books in this topic is He’s Just Not That Into You (by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo), which was later converted into a sort of When Harry Met Sally rip-off, star-studded film. While the movie is entertaining, it is nothing like the book. With a tough love approach, the book manages to make some really good points while being hilarious. Behrendt has written two more books on this subject: It’s Called a Break-Up Because It’s Broken and It’s Just a Date.
If you are new to the process and Dating for Dummies (by Dr. Joy Browne) may be for you. This detailed manual from the For Dummies franchise has all the information you need to jump into the dating pool.
I recently discovered Much Ado About Loving (by Jack Murnighan and Maura Kelly) and loved it. This book uses examples from the classics of literature to illustrate their point. Unlike other similar books (there are hundreds featuring Jane Austen’s characters), the characters mentioned are not the example but the cautionary tale. This makes sense as many of these characters are quite miserable and unstable. As an added bonus, you get to learn a lot about the classics.
The ideal dating book will be one that you can relate to. It doesn’t have to be written by an expert (What makes someone an expert in this field?) but it should be clear where they are coming from. Look for books that focus on you (What needs to change? How are you sabotaging yourself?) and not on “tricks” to get into a relationship. Above all remember that a good dating advice book will not magically bring you a partner but give you an opportunity to reflect and get to know yourself a little better.
The Bad AND the Ugly: Books to Avoid
The Rules (by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider): Definitely a “tricks” book, The Rules seems to be stuck in a different era.
I Got the Fever: Love, What’s Race Gotta Do With It? (by J.C. Davies): A book about interracial dating. With sections like “Curry Fever” and “Jungle Fever”, this is the most politically incorrect book I’ve ever seen.
The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (by Neil Strauss): A “tricks” book for men, it encourages readers to get women by lowering their self-esteem.
Hooking Up With Tila Tequila (by Tila Tequila): Written by Tila Tequila…need I say more?
Photo by Petr Kratochvil