How To Be In A Relationship

I think I speak for everyone when I say that dating… SUCKS! It sucks. Truly, it’s the worst.  Or it was the worst, until I learned that there are actually “secrets” to doing it right.  I wish someone had told me these things oh, I don’t know… 10 years ago, but at least I have learned and I am passing that knowledge on to you my friends!

We spend our lives so focused on school, internships, jobs and friends, but when it comes to dating most of us are in the dark.  Why isn’t there a class on relationships?! Some people are fortunate enough to have this wisdom passed on to them by friends or family.  Others are naturally intuitive and just understand the “secret sauce” behind forming and maintaining healthy relationships.  Then there are the rest of us who don’t fall into either of the above categories, but do not despair! This knowledge gap is capable of being bridged, so long as there is a true desire to learn and be open minded. This process may or may not be easy, depending on where your relationship skillset currently stands- but I don’t think there is a soul out there who doesn’t have room to grow.

So without further ado, here is my list of recommended reading.  And yes, every single one of the titles is absolutely horrid and picked by the publishers- don’t let that stop you before you even start!

  1. Getting to I Do- Secrets to Doing Relationships Right by Dr. Pat Allen

Our world today likes to focus on “equality” in the workplace, in sports, in life etc.  But when it comes to relationships, there has to be a give and a take- a “yin” and a “yang” as Dr. Pat would say.  The skills that many of us (both male & female) learned and honed through years of schooling and work do not translate well into relationships. If you find that you have a hard time finding and getting a relationship off the ground, give this book a chance.  You don’t have to agree with every word, but her message and insight are pretty incredible.  This was painful for me to read because I made so many of the mistakes she describes, but it’s all part of the learning process!

2.  Marry Him- The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb

Another fantastic read with a terrible title.  This is the perfect book for those of you who just “never” seem interested in those who are interested in you. Not sure why that is? Read this book to find out!  This is a great book for any age, but particularly those under 30 and especially if you’ve ever uttered the words “there are just no good guys out there.”  You’ll learn what is truly important to you and how to be realistic.  A perfect antidote for years of Disney princess watching.

3.  Why You’re Not Married Yet by Tracy McMillan

The final book in the terrible naming series.  This book is a little hokey, and at first I felt like it was trying too hard to be the “cool friend,” but the truth is there are some really incredible pearls of wisdom contained in these pages once you get beyond the colloquialisms.  If you read the other 2 books above, this book will be a great “course summary” for you.  If you want to skip ahead and just read one, I would recommend this book (you can always go back and read the other 2 for a deeper dive).  Of course, if you are not willing to take a hard look at yourself and your actions, this book (or anything else) won’t help… but if you are willing, there will be fruits to your labor, I promise!

Happy reading! I hope that after reading one (or all) of these books you can feel a little more in touch with the “flow” of life.  There’s definitely a rhythm to it and once you stop fighting and literally “go with the flow,” relationships can really blossom.  Let me know in the comments if you learned anything from your studies here 🙂

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