Sick of reading books about dating and relationships that treat you like you’re from another planet? Tired of rubbing that “Law of Attraction” magic lamp and hoping that a love genie will pop out? Me too! So in advance of Valentine’s Day this year, I offer a review of some more “down to earth” titles on looking for love.
Ken Page’s “Deeper Dating” is a new book in the GPL collection (translation: place your request now!) and offers a refreshingly mature and practical approach to intimate relationships, free from any magical solutions, affirmations, or promises –just good, solid advice for anyone looking to escape “the dating game” and start exploring the realm of real intimacy. In many ways, this is a demanding book. It asks the reader to commit to a number of challenging exercises and ideally asks that you go through the book’s various stages with a partner –not a romantic partner, just someone who knows you well and has the same goals with respect to dating and relationships. The strategies in the book work for readers of any sexual orientation –no warring Mars and Venus metaphors to distract you. Deeper Dating reads more like a weekly class or seminar in book form than your traditional dating book; indeed Page states that he is very practiced and accomplished at leading workshops of just this kind. It is a very helpful, thorough, and hands-on book, however it may prove inaccessible for some.
Deeper Dating is not a book for someone who isn’t “ready to date” for certain reasons, and Page makes that clear in a disclaimer found in the very first chapter. For those who have trouble even defining things like “intimacy” this is not the book for you, it’s not “self help” themed enough if that’s what you need.
Bottom Line: For experienced, world-weary dating warriors, but perhaps not the wounded or the novice. Three and a half out of five stars.
If “Deeper Dating” isn’t for you, try…
David Richo’s “How to Be an Adult in Relationships: the five keys to mindful loving” and “Daring to Trust: opening ourselves to real love and intimacy” are two other books worth your time. They are both very well written, concise and organized, with practical examples and effective exercises throughout. Richo is a respected psychotherapist, teacher, writer, and workshop leader who practiced for several decades and now authors self-help books full-time.
Richo is extremely well read, and isn’t afraid to show it off, but many readers will find his references and quotations –drawn from a spectrum encompassing both Shakespeare and The Buddha– helpful, insightful, and topical. Compared to Page’s books, Richo’s are more self-help themed and less demanding, although they do provide many practical exercises.