For many years I taught a course on how to be more successful in selecting dating partners and ultimately marriage partners.Most of the people who took the course had had enough negative experiences in dating, hoping to find out what they were doing wrong. Most of these people had also read lots of advice columns and even relationship books hoping to become wiser and more skilled in the selection of dating partners and in having dating life be a wonderful experience rather than hurt and disappointment. Having been a psychotherapist for number of years, having taught thousands of college students and being familiar with the material available for someone searching for answers, I quickly came to believe that what was missing was basic information about how and why dating was done the way it was. I realized that most dating, romance and relationship books didn’t start with the basics but started at least at the intermediate, if not the advanced, level. It was rather like picking up a book to help you understand the American pastime of baseball, only to read 300 pages about the selection of wood to make bats or what type of clay was best around home plate. Reading many books like this would hardly equip you to understand the game or to play it better. So, in this course, I started with the basic idea that the American method of mate selection is dating. This seemed obvious and yet is a recent phenomenon in the whole sweep of human history and is an especially American approach to this very important decision.
I have now written a book using the same basic concepts I used in teaching that course. My purpose is to make what I consider valuable information available to a much larger audience than can be reached by teaching the course locally. This book is also written to be easily understood without having elaborate explanations by an instructor. I use illustrations from real life and many quotes giving wise, and frequently humorous, perspectives on this most enjoyable segment of human life.
Since you will be picking your own dating partners, instead of skipping dating and simply having your parents pick a spouse for you at the appropriate time, it’s crucial that you become sharp in reading people as you meet them, in knowing who they really are in a very short time.I use the analogy of the traffic light to simplify categorizing potential dating partners and to understand clearly what is happening in the relationship as it develops. The red light means stop and go no further if a person has these characteristics. The yellow light means there are issues that the two of you need to share with each other in order to not cause unnecessary stress to the developing relationship. The green light means that things are proceeding as they should at this stage in the relationship and, with eyes wide open, you probably should continue as you’re going.
I also emphasize that, in the partner selection process, equals attract. This means that it is quite important for you to maximize your appeal to the opposite sex in order to attract someone you would really be pleased with. This doesn’t require an enormous amount of work, just being clued in to upgrading your behaviors, to create a more appealing and competent you.
The book is written to appeal to people who are just beginning to enter the dating world, who likely see themselves as needing no help in selecting and attracting dating partners or in running a romantic life. People who are older than that probably don’t need to be convinced of the value of such a book, having experienced enough of life to know how complicated romance can be.