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Relationship Advice from Literature

I should preface this post by saying that I have never been a fan of self help books.  The only ones that I have ever read have been on social anxiety (something that I have battled my entire life.) In December, I even made my roommate give me her copy of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus because I knew it would just feed into her theories on the workings of male-female relationships.  It’s sitting on my nightstand, unread.  That being said, when I was at the library earlier, getting far too many books, I was browsing the new releases and saw Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not-So-Great Gatsbys, and Love in the Time of Internet Personals by Jack Murnighan and Maura Kelly.  I was intrigued because I had been thinking earlier in the day that novels and fanfiction have been detrimental to my view of dating, love, and men in general.  I have read so many pages of bad guys and good guys, bad boys with hearts of gold, sex gods, emotional guys, and so on and so forth that I think I’ve lost track of what men are actually like.  It doesn’t help that I don’t date much so my experience with men is mostly my many guy friends, none of whom come close to the guys in the books.  So I was pretty skeptical when I saw this title on the shelf and proceeded to pass it by in order to look for something else.  I couldn’t get the title out of my head, though, so I checked out the book.

So far, I’ve read the prologue, and the gist seems to be that it is written by two perpetually single people (Maura and Jack) who have found that many of the popular classics, like Pride and Prejudice and War and Peace, deal with same relationship issues that singletons do today (minus the technology issues.)  The authors admit that they are not married and have had many (failed) relationships, but they don’t feel the need to make excuse, as far as I can tell.  I’m going to read it and see what I think.  Maybe I need to change my reading habits in order to find some useful relationship prototypes.  Or maybe I need to stop reading and start doing.


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