Full disclosure: I don't like dating self help books. On the whole I think they're based on bullshit as their main job security seems to be gender stereotypes, and the insecurities of others.
So then why bother reading one if I'm not going to like it and just complain about it? Why should I step out of my comfort zone and read something I know I probably won't like? And why give my obviously biased opinion on the internet? Honestly?
That and I was curious. Maybe I'm wrong about these "Date like I date. Fuck like I fuck. If it fails then you're the loser for not being like me. Enjoy your lonely life with your fifteen cats why no I'm not manipulating you like your last boyfriend did AT ALL! By the way, you're fat." guides. And since I received this book for free I figured it would be no big loss.
So I downloaded my ebook, did my best to erase my mind of any preconceived notions, and started reading to try and figure out why so many people are into these dating guides.
I still don't get their appeal. But I could have ended up hating this a lot more than I do. I'm not as angry as I thought I would be right now.
Before I start with the things I didn't like, let's start with the positive things I was able to find in this book. I liked how the book mentions that it's important to do what's right for you and to know what you want. That yes, things like self worth, having a life, not being clingy, not having unrealistic demands, not tolerating jerks, not settling for less, not needing a man to complete you, not compromising your standards, and taking control of your life are very important things. I also liked that they reminded readers that most dates/relationships won't work out. That doesn't mean it was bad or a complete failure. It just didn't work. It happens. It's life. It's just a fucking date, after all.
Good job, Greg and Amiira. This is how you got me to not hate you.
Seriously, I was impressed. Didn't see that coming.
Here's the thing though. There's only so many times you can repeat those things before I start to wonder if you think your more loyal fans are complete idiots. Because after so long of being reminded of the same things over and over again, I started thinking this:
And there's really only so many times you can remind me to stop looking so awful and put on some make up because if you look good you'll feel good without me eventually thinking this:
This is when they start playing into unrealistic beauty standards to remind you how your job is supposed to sit there and look pretty so that a man can "chase" you. But, judging by the endless section about how you should not, OH MY GOD, absolutely SHOULD NOT be clingy, I think they figure sitting and being pretty is about all they can handle. Because apparently all their readers do this on the first date:
Look, women are not human decorations/antelope hybrids of insanity.
Oh, and the whole "Should I ask him out on a date?" question.
Men don't like it when you out right ask them out! It will make them shit their Batman pull-ups and then he won't feel like a big boy anymore! Men like the chase! Like you're playing African safari, you pretty little prey you! Men are told they're supposed to ask women out! No guy is told to just be pretty and wait for a girl to ask them out! We all fight gender stereotypes but I follow them because it makes me money! I know it's unfair but oh well!
1. If a guy gets that offended about you asking him out, you just dodged a very insecure whiny bullet.
2. I'm not just pretty. Thanks.
3. Get a grip and loosen up the rules a bit.
But a small amount of credit can be given to Greg by admitting that if asking guys out works for you, then hey, go for it.
Points were unfortunately lost by me having to endure pages of cutesy "I'm not really asking you out but I'm going to try to convince you to ask you out by essentially asking you out but gently and all coy-like TEE HEE!"
At the end, the underlying message seemed to be "You do all THIS work because you do this and this wrong because it's a woman's nature. I don't know why. I just made that up." while men don't have to do all that much because "It's men's nature to do it. Sorry, kitten/hot stuff/Ladybug." and that self-help dating rule makes me tired.
Oh, and about thinking calling your readers kitten/hot stuff/Ladybug is funny or whatever?
The thing that earned them the extra star is that, really, I do think they care. I find their condescending repetition and adherence to gender stereotypes that do not apply to everyone insulting. But I can't outright call them assholes.
But, here's the thing. The good parts of this book? Us women folk will get it the first time you say it. And if some of us don't, we probably need therapy.
*I received this book for free on netgalley*