Relationships and dating don’t come naturally to everyone. Most men and women have completely different ways of coping with life situations and each other. We have compiled a list of the best relationship/dating books for the young professional that may make your life a little easier and provide some needed perspective in dating, love, marriage and everything in between.
For the YP Lady…
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment by Steve Harvey
In Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Harvey lets women inside the mindset of a man, providing them with a dose of reality and sometimes-needed tough love. Harvey’s approach assumes most men are inherently ill-intentioned and that women are not setting tough enough standards in handling men by freely giving away their social power on a platter and selling themselves short in their dating and relationship habits. The book is designed to teach women that expecting a man to respond to them the way another woman (whether best friend, mother or co-worker) would is never going to work. In terms of relationships, Harvey says women historically can’t figure out what makes men tick because they ask other women for advice when no one but another man can tell provide them with the inside information on how to find and keep a man. Harvey says dealing with men on their terms, on their turf, and in their own way can get women exactly what they want and that men are “simple.” According to Harvey, women will not be first in a man’s life without understanding and accepting that men are driven by who they are, what they do, and how much they make.
Why Men Marry Bitches: A Woman’s Guide to Winning Her Man’s Heart by Sherry Argove
This book is a bible for any woman looking to go from a “doormat” to a “dream girl” and promptly dispels the notion that a man is looking for an easy-to-please pushover. According to Argove, “bitch” is not meant in the derogatory sense of the word, rather as a term of endearment (yes, that’s right) to describe a headstrong, no nonsense, independent woman and one that certainly won’t put up with any mistreatment from anyone. Why Men Marry Bitches outlines how to transform a casual relationship into a committed one, with chapters of intrigue like “Make Him Chase You Until You Catch Him,” which reveals how the bitch gets him to drop his guard; “Female Button Pushing: A Time-Honored Male Tradition,” which dispels why men deliberately annoy women to figure out where they stand, doing things like using another woman to try to make them jealous, making off-colour remarks or testing their limits; and, perhaps most telling, “Breaking into the Boy’s Club,” which reveals first-hand information men will only share in the company of other men.
Deal Breakers: When to Work On a Relationship and When to Walk Away by Dr. Bethany Marshall
Dr. Bethany Marshall reminds women that personal relationships, not unlike business relationships, are deals. She speaks of “deal breakers” in the business world, the one non-negotiable term that, if not agreed to, dissolves the deal. In terms of relationships, deal breakers are necessary to judge if you’re working too hard to make your relationship work and are subsequently stuck in arelationship purgatory. Identifying your deal breaker helps you to understand where the relationship is going wrong, the changes that need to be made to repair it, and when to end it because you are working harder than him to fix it. Deal breakers differ among women as every one has a different set of values and expectations, but in general refers to what Marshall calls “a character flaw or emotional stance that significantly deteriorates the quality of your relationship.” Dr. Marshall offers a deal breaker cheat sheet/set of criteria: you work harder than he does to fix his problems or to make the relationship better; you keep asking yourself, “Is it him or is it me,” especially when you don’t feel it’s you; you and only you are unhappy.
For the YP Gentleman…
Letters To Philip: On How To Treat A Woman by Dr. Charlie W. Shedd
Comprised from a series of letters Shedd had written for his son, Letters To Philip is filled with timeless and easy-to-read advice from the best-selling author, who also wrote Letters To Karen for his daughter earlier. First published in 1968, the book is broken into 29 letters, each of which is intended to provide a detailed breakdown for Shedd’s son on how to develop and maintain a successful relationship. Although over 40 years old, Letters To Philip remains relevant (and a bestseller) today due to its core lessons and principles surrounding everything from communication to dealing with each other’s families and bad moods. After all this time, it turns out that the basic elements to make a woman happy remain the same. Shedd’s three daily rules? Tell her you love her, do something nice for her and pay her a compliment.
For Young Men Only: A Guy’s Guide to the Alien Gender by Jeff Feldhahn and Eric Rice
This book offers inside insight to the female species, providing first-hand feedback based on a survey of more than 1,000 women. The survey included a range of women from all backgrounds, so regardless of your “type,” you will find her included in these pages, which reveal the secrets, thoughts (and sometimes surprising) desires of women as they fit neatly into eight chapters. An enjoyable and informative read, the book is full of laughs, statistics and real life stories and examples.
The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss
Strauss, a writer for the New York Times, was given an assignment to write about the underground pickup artist community. Skinny, balding, overly intellectual and awkward, Strauss wasn’t exactly a favourite with the ladies until the assignment, when he studied with some of North America’s most suave men, including “Mystery,” who is widely considered to be the most preeminent pickup artist in the world and comes with a $2,250 price tag for a weekend pickup workshop. Strauss’ pickup approach, as well as his life, was transformed and he spent two years bedding some A-list and otherwise beautiful women following the advice learned by Mystery. Among his many words of wisdom, Mystery’s main rule is FMAC: find, meet, attract, close, and advocates the three-second rule; always approach a woman within three seconds of first seeing her in order to avoid getting cold feet. Other master tricks to picking up women include: pretend to be unaffected by the charm of her beauty, never hit on her right away and smile. Though directed more at the YP looking for something a little more “casual,” and thus slightly controversial, The Game is a greatself improvement book for the man in need of the development of confidence and personal worth, two criteria definitely required in order to succeed at the game.
Photo: Neil Strauss