Dating and men… They’re often unfriendly bedfellows but just as often are necessary evils. Men would just as happily avoid the entire process, but that leaves for the potential of one too many guy’s nights out and little for long-term happiness. Daters naturally look to others for advice – especially when we, ourselves, don’t have much experience in dating. The dating and relationship books that do offer up genuine knowledge and advice are those that speak from experience and from the heart.
It’s big. Really big.
There are thousands of dating books out there, though. How can one tell if they actually ad any value and help us as singles to become smarter daters? Many of the books available are written for a female audience. Why is that? Do men not read anything other than Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated and other men’s lifestyle magazines? If the sheer volume of books and articles available is any indication, women carry a lot of irritation and frustration surrounding dating and I’ll be the first to say that I empathize! If you spend any time perusing the shelves of your local bookstore, you will soon notice that many of the titles of books and magazine covers show a trend: women are trying to figure out men, the dating scene, and learn how to take control of the situation.
But do these books really offer any benefit to women or they just a bunch of fluff? The way I see it, they’re mostly fluff and I’ll tell ya why.
Dating Book Fluff #1 – Change Yourself
Far too many books tell women to change themselves to better find a mate. There are books telling women to follow a set of prescribed behaviors and responses in order to ‘catch’ a man. For many women, mixing dating and men is laced with a sense of having to ‘do’ something to make things happen.
Feelings like, “If only I could lose ten pounds I’d find a man.” or “I have to make the man chase me to get him to like me.” run rampant in these dating and relationships books.
Dating Book Fluff #2 – Dating Secrets
Another type of book that may be an entertaining read but doesn’t usually offer up much concrete advice are the “Secrets” books. The same dating “professionals” profess to have all the answers and even the secrets to decoding gender behavior. What they’re mostly offering are shortcuts to a system that really doesn’t have any to offer. Women (and men alike) that read and follow these books are often left disappointed that they weren’t able to break the code and find themselves back at square one when it comes to their love life.
Dating Book Fluff #3 – Intentional Manipulation
This is one area of relationship and dating books that the man as the intended audience outweighs the woman. I’ve read two of the books in this category – two of what are considered to be the most popular and, quite frankly, they made me sick to my stomach. I’m convinced these books perpetuate the “game” that many daters profess to hate, and yet, some of the books are million+ sellers.
What’s that Leave?
What does all of this tell us? Women are just as perplexed by men as men are by women and there are millions of books out there to offer up as proof. The media’s involvement does not seem to be alleviating this confusion, either. Rather, it seems to be offering contradictory advice. It’s a wonder anyone ever finds a partner in this confused and convoluted environment!
The dating and relationship books that do offer up genuine knowledge and advice are those that speak from experience and from the heart. They don’t try to turn you into someone you’re not and they don’t make promises they can’t keep. The best dating books, in my opinion, are not self-help, but rather guided tours of someone’s relationship and dating experiences, point out not only the high points but the low ones along the way as well. Seeing the (dating) world from someone else’s shoes can be a rather enlightening experience! One that hopefully entertains as well as informs and prepares the reader for dates to come.