Books about dating
The following books provide interesting perspectives on dating. We strongly recommend the last two, especially for single women with children.
- He’s Just Not that Into You, Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo
- The Rules & The Rules II, Ellen Fein & Sherrie Schneider
- A Round Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance, Jane Juska (subtitle: Before I turn 67—next March—I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me. NY Review of Books)
- Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, John Gray
- 10-10-10, Suzy Welch. A strategy for making decisions: how will this work out in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years?
- The Gift of Fear: Survival signals that protect us from violence, Gavin de Becker (for adults)
- Protecting the Gift: Keeping children and teenagers safe, and parents sane, Gavin de Becker (about recognizing when your children are at risk from other people)
Books about how we make decisions
Dan Ariely, Predictable Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality. Behavorial economics, applied to life situations that anyone reading this website has probably encountered, behavioral economics conducted in a (reasonably) scientific manner, by which I mean, the studies were conducted on college freshman, not hundred of genetically identical lab rats.
Chapter 5 of Predictably Irrational, “The Influence of Arousal: Why Hot is Much Hotter than We Realize,” documents in a controlled experiment just how different our decisions are when we are sexually aroused (at least to the extent that “we” are roughly equivalent to college-age men). Many adult women know this, and design early dates with new partners so as to side-step undesired consequences.
Readers of this site who consider themselves highly rational field may find that Dan’s books can help them understand how a partner makes decisions. If these same readers instead find that they are arguing with Dan’s conclusions and methodology, just return the book to the library and try a different approach.
Books about being in a relationship
Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson, Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes. Relationship guidance for the highly rational, using generalize principles of economics to guide daily living and minor irritations. I found it interesting that the low-star reviews on Amazon primarily criticized the authors’ understanding of economics, while the high-stars praised the relationship advice elements. (Interestingly, the paperback version has a different subtitle: How to Maximise Returns on the Biggest Investment of Your Life. I wonder why the authors changed it?)
John Gottman, The Relationship Cure. Dr. Gottman is the person who figured out that he could predict the odds of a couple divorcing, based on how many times one partner visibly ridiculed the other during a relatively brief conversation. I’m imagining that a Capricorn in love might have more experience on the receiving than the giving end of Gottman’s deadly “contempt” signals (“boring”). OTOH, you might also be the partner sending them, if you tend to think your partner’s wild ideas are impractical or impossible. In either case, you may find his work useful to understand the emotions that lurk underneath our daily communication in a relationship.