Thinking with You
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Best Dating Books

I would honestly say that at least 50% of my relationship success (yay, I’m married; it is possible girls!) came from reading and applying the home truths in some of the best dating and relationship books.  Which makes sense.  Think of any uni degree – most of it is really just reading textbooks and reams of content, then applying the information.  Dating isn’t much different!

If you are still single, chances are you are at the more intelligent end of the spectrum.  The reality is, guys prefer girls who have a touch of the ‘damsel in distress’ going on (which is most young women!). And if you are a very intellectual and accomplished woman who is getting older, you probably handle things in life quite adequately by yourself.  Which probably makes a lot of guys look fairly sub-par to you - and makes you a little intimidating to guys. But being smart is not all bad! Let’s use your intelligence to your advantage.

You know how to study.  You know how to research.  You know how to experiment, evaluate, and recalibrate.  (Yr 9 science, anyone?)  So let’s do that with dating.

I was pretty clueless when it came to dating.  I really think I was a late bloomer in matters of the heart.  Honestly, in my Yr 12 photo I look like I’m about 12 years old.  And I didn’t go on a real date until I was about 25.  The things is, some girls have it, and some just don’t.  This probably has to do with your emotional intelligence, family culture, emotional and relationship training (or lack of) from parents, exposure to good and normal men, the dating culture in your friendship group and church, and what type of books you read and movies you watch. 

I didn’t have a clue.  So I got onto some of these books in my late 20’s, and read them over and over.  It took a few years for me to get my head around some of the ‘rules’ they suggested, because they seemed so foreign to my normal MO.  But I started to apply them, like a science experiment, and they actually worked!  I couldn’t believe it.  Now I am a big advocate for these books, and many of my friends have found relationship success from applying the concepts. 

There are a few types of dating and relationship books.   There’s all the hardcore theological ones, and the fluffy Christian super-spiritual ones.  (Someday my prince will come!)  Then there are the helpful Christian ones that actually give you some guidelines for what to do when you have a relationship.  Then there are the secular ones that give solid tips about how to play the game. 

I would recommend that you read as many of them all as you can.  But knowing the deep theology of marriage is not going to get you a date.  So at this point, you need to start with the direct dating tips.  Here are my fave books for that.  And if you never read this blog again, or do anything else to improve yourself, the one thing I strongly suggest is to read ‘The Rules’.  It will change your life.

Ruth’s Fave Dating & Relationship Reads (click on the link to buy):

1.     The Rules by Fein & Schneider

2.     The New Rules (for the digital generation) by Fein & Schneider

3.     Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey

4.     Why Men Love Bitches by Argov

5.     He's Just Not That Into You by Behrendt & Tucillo

6.     Boundaries in Dating by Cloud & Townsend

7.     Safe People by Cloud & Townsend

More marriage-related, but always helpful:

8.     Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by Gray

9.     The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by Gottman

10. His Needs, Her Needs by Harley

11. The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Schlessinger

12. The Meaning of Marriage by Keller

13. Real Marriage by Driscoll

That should keep you busy for a few months.  Read, read, and read again!  Try applying a few new things – and don’t be scared of doing things differently.  If you want different results, you have to do things differently!

Love Ruth xo