Sunday, 5 August 2012

That's the book, book of love

Last year, around about this time, I was talking to a friend about my luck in love. I was, as usual lamenting the fact that I hadn’t had a proper date in four years (for the record I don’t count getting drunk with a guy then staggering back to his place. In which case I’ve done more than my share of dating - girls gotta eat. Right, girls?? Anyway...).

She said, 'Girlfriend. Call the waiter because you need to get yo'self a reality check!'. Actually she didn’t because we weren't in a Spike Lee film but she did say that I needed to turn my ‘relationship karma’ around. She informed me that I could do this or at least start the process by getting back to basics and reading a good dating book. She rattled off three or four titles which I jotted down. After a few minutes chat we finished the call and I sat and thought about what she'd said.

It took about 6.8 seconds to decide, I’m gonna buy all the books she mentioned. He’s Just Not That Into You, The Rules, Why Men Love Bitches and Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man. I devoured each book in a couple of days.
How harsh is that, you have NO new messages! Get it?
I realised that though different in style (if one of them being a bit shit can be considered a style) they all had common themes throughout. He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo is probably the best of the four. (Greg is a comic so I would say that). It’s scribed in the format of a very direct agony aunt  replying to her lovelorn readers, pulling no punches.  Read this then watch the film and it’s a second education all of its own.

Why Men Love Bitches from Sherry Argov isn’t really what it says. Exchange the word 'bitches' for 'confident women who aren't looking for father substitutes' and it’s a damn fine read and a little gentler on the ego for the more fragile among us.

The Rules (Ellen Fein and Sherri Schneider) is an interesting one because people who haven’t read it fixate on a few of the more controversial rules... i.e. don’t make a date with a guy for Saturday night if he calls after Wednesday. I know many people who scoff at the idea of this but I think it’s OK. The thinking being, if you make late dates, he'll always see you as the last minute gal. We’ve all had that set up where he rings or worse texts, after a night out with people he actually cares about and tells you to come over. But because you’re a confident woman who isn’t looking for a father substitute you think, hell no. I’m worth more than that. The next morning, as you do the Walk of Shame home from his flat, you tell yourself that is definitely the last time that happens... 

I think The Rules is a good way to bring a bit of discipline into your dating life but for me, it's too ridged and marriage-focused. I just want a date not a bloody wedding (I’m totally lying but I don’t want to sound needy in case the man of my dreams is reading this.... read on Bradley Cooper and I might mention you again).

This leaves, Steve Harvey’s Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man. This was my least favourite of these love manuals, perhaps because it felt like, though everything he said pretty much concurred with the other books, he seemed to be addressing a type of woman I'm unfamiliar with, for example he often referenced when you should introduce your new man to your kids and talked about juggling your "two jobs". This seems to be more of an American obsession (why not just get one good job). Anyway, I found this book a little condescending but apparently, the movie it inspired was well-received and all four books provided some vital, eye opening and eye wateringly honest insights into what it is us girls do wrong when it comes to dating.

Therefore, because I’m super helpful (and have a catalogue of dating devastation in my wake), I’ve put together my top ten tips for finding lurrrve (which is different and more fun that love) which I'll post next time. 

In the meantime, you might like to know that this is the fate that befell one of the The Rules authors - Enjoy! Telegraph Article

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