It was a thrill and an honor to be asked to review the newest book 365 Days to “I Do” Get Married This Year by one of Atlanta’s very own. Janet Blair Page, PhD has more than 30 years in psychotherapy private practice in Atlanta and New York. She teaches at Emory University and has a very successful dating class that has been featured on Atlanta’s CNN, FOX, Good Morning America, and The Early Show.
With 2012 literally right around the corner, what better time is there than right now to pick up a copy of this book if you are in the dating game and looking to pair up for life. I mean come on, if the Turtle Doves can do it, so can we! With Dr. Page’s help you can start off 2012 looking for the right partner, and you will also get tips on how to “get to know yourself and get out of your own way” when it comes to finding love and happiness.
The book is loaded with tips and advice, but it is also interactive in that it begins with having the reader take a good look at themselves and their history in Chapter One. From that information the book has a jumping off point to help you realize and evaluate finding love and a relationship.
Here’s a sample of the many “Love Notes” that are through out the book:
“Heed the old cliche` when you point a finger, there are three more pointing back at you.”
From Chapter 3: Self-Indulgence
“Nothing dampens a love relationship faster than yelling, meanness, and overall immaturity. After all, it takes a grownup to have a good marriage: in fact, it takes two. Character assassination is not foreplay.”
As someone who’s been married for quite some time, I can say that this book is full of real, practical advice that really rings true and not just for those that are single. Sometimes in a relationship, after it has matured, you can forget some of the fundamental basics of respect and consideration to yourself and your partner. All those things you try to do while catching a partner, should be continued after you’ve snared them, if you plan to keep them.
Let’s look at one of Janet Blair Page’s lectures on dating don’ts.
By Janet Blair Page, PhD,
Dating should be more about the positive than the negative, but there are still some things any smart dater should avoid. Keep these don’ts in the back of your mind to avoid some of the most common dating mistakes.
- Don’t nag, complain, get angry, swear, or drink too much on the first date, and little if any on future dates. If that’s his best behavior, you don’t want to see his worst. And if he doesn’t care enough to be on his best behavior on a first date, you don’t want to date him anyway!
- Understand that if the other person is less-than-wonderful, they still might be a great mate. They might care, they might be nervous, they might not have had a trillion dating experiences. It’s easy to be smooth and unflappable when you aren’t invested, and you know you’re not going beyond a few dates.
- Don’t go where one person knows everyone, and the other knows no one. This could be uncomfortable for the person who doesn’t know a soul. They might feel stared at and judged — and they might be stared at and judged. They also might feel your choice is a power play. Preferably, keep it more or less equal and on mutual or new turf for the first time.
- Don’t talk too much about work on any date, even if you love your job. At least pretend you have balance in your life at the beginning. If you’re going to accomplish a good marriage in the future, you’ll need to develop it anyway.
- Don’t talk about your ex. There’s a matchmaking group in New York called Godmothers. They asked their clients what was the worst thing that happens on a first date. Almost everyone said the same thing: hearing about the ex. It’s boring. It also communicates that you’re still carrying baggage. And your date will assume quite correctly that where you’re going to dump that baggage is on him.
- Don’t name-call. As we’ve previously discussed, character assassination is not foreplay. Your date wants to be treated like a person, not immediately and verbally lumped into the “jerk” category with all of your exes and Charles Manson. If he upsets you, let him know with words — preferably ones that imply you have faith he could change — but never names.
- Don’t interrupt. You’ll never know how he would have finished his sentence, and if you always think you do, you’re delusional. Interrupting is rude, even if you think it conveys your similar thinking. All it really conveys is your poor ability to listen. Trust me, he’ll be far more impressed with your listening skills than your overly quick come-back.
- Don’t get involved with people with untreated chronic mental illness. This does not mean people who have solved problems. Given a choice, you’re better off with someone who’s had problems and successfully dealt with adversity. Nobody gets out of life without having a few problems. You are looking for somebody to marry who is good at whatever life throws at him, not someone to adopt.
- Don’t get involved with somebody whose ability to care just isn’t there. It can be great to be the initiator, the positive one, the enthusiastic one in a relationship. No relationship is precisely 50/50. But if it gets past 65 percent on your part, then you need to reassess. Hold back, do a little less, speak up a little more, and say, “Would you do this for me?” Ask for more things to find out if you can be on the receiving end and aren’t blocking him from giving. Being a giver is a great thing to be, but too many givers believe the reward is coming without any verification. Ask yourself if you are satisfied with your mate’s willingness to give as well as to take. Ask him if he is satisfied with your willingness to give as well as to take. A sense of fairness in the relationship is based on this balance and understanding.
- Don’t be rigid about rules, behaviors, or schedules. Flexibility is a wonderful, important attribute to bring to a relationship. People who are extremely inflexible are guaranteed to be problems later on. Someone very inflexible very early in a relationship can be downright tyrannical as the years roll on.
- Don’t accept an overwhelming number of idiosyncratic behaviors. At best, he will wear you out. At worst, you’ll need to commit him.
- Don’t let assertiveness turn into aggression. Assertiveness means, “I know what I want and I attempt to get it.” Aggression is when you demand, insist, bully, manipulate, and will not settle for anything other than your way.
If you are looking to have a ring on your finger this year, but don’t have the person you want to slip it on there yet, treat yourself to a copy of Janet Blair Page’s new book. Even if you are in a relationship this book has some very good introspective tips that all of us can use either as a new guide or a good “kick in the pants” reminder.
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all find love and happiness in 2012!