Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-settings.php on line 512

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-settings.php on line 527

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-settings.php on line 534

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-settings.php on line 570

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Page::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1199

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_PageDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1244

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Category::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1391

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_CategoryDropdown::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 1442

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 306

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/cache.php on line 103

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Object_Cache in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/cache.php on line 431

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/query.php on line 61

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/theme.php on line 1109

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Dependencies in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/class.wp-dependencies.php on line 31

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class WP_Http in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-includes/http.php on line 61

Strict Standards: Non-static method gdsrFrontHelp::detect_bot() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/class.php on line 1295

Strict Standards: Non-static method gdsrFrontHelp::detect_ban() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/class.php on line 1296

Strict Standards: Non-static method gdsrBlgDB::check_ip_single() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/blg/helpers.php on line 90

Strict Standards: Non-static method gdsrBlgDB::check_ip_range() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/blg/helpers.php on line 92

Strict Standards: Non-static method gdsrBlgDB::check_ip_mask() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/blg/helpers.php on line 94

Strict Standards: Non-static method gdFunctionsGDSR::prefill_zeros() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/class.php on line 1709

Strict Standards: Non-static method gdFunctionsGDSR::prefill_zeros() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/class.php on line 1710

Strict Standards: Non-static method gdFunctionsGDSR::prefill_zeros() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/class.php on line 1711

Strict Standards: Non-static method gdFunctionsGDSR::prefill_zeros() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/class.php on line 1712

Strict Standards: Non-static method gdFunctionsGDSR::prefill_zeros() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/class.php on line 1713

Strict Standards: Non-static method gdFunctionsGDSR::prefill_zeros() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/class.php on line 1714
Breakup Girl » Best relationship books of the ’00s?
Strict Standards: Non-static method gdsrFrontHelp::ie_opacity_fix() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/class.php on line 1415
Home
Advice

Comics

Animation

Goodies

Big To Do
MORE...
About Us

Archive
“Saving Love Lives The World Over!” e-mail e-mail to a friend in need

December 30, 2009

Best relationship books of the ’00s?

Filed under: Advice, books, media, pop culture — posted by Paula @ 8:52 am

Strict Standards: Non-static method gdFunctionsGDSR::get_caller_backtrace() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/class.php on line 1826

Strict Standards: Non-static method gdsrBlgDB::add_new_view() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/class.php on line 1837

Strict Standards: Non-static method GDSRDatabase::get_post_data() should not be called statically in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/cache.php on line 107

YourTango’s Best Relationship Books of the ’00s list — while not a complete disaster — strikes me as funny for two reasons:

  • The coveted top two spots are occupied by books written by…comedians.  Hey, if I want to be lectured by some smart-aleck goofball about my love-life, I’ve got my bathroom mirror, thank you. The credentials of the other authors are a little shady, too: reporters, secrets-revealing “playas,” and Harvard MBAs, but only two actual relationship counselors.
  • Only a few of these “relationship books” are about, well, relationships. The bulk are basically how-to books (for straight women) to snag a mate, please a man, or foil those slippery guy-tactics that, allegedly, all men employ, at all times.

A decade is a long time, and surely there have been more subtle, less condescending, and more realistic books written about love that don’t nakedly play into women’s fears and insecurities, nor into the myth of male weakness that says all straight guys, harboring endless secrets, are afraid of women. So! What are your favorite relationship books of the past ten years? (Aside from THE OBVIOUS, of course.) Alternate perspectives (LGBT, non-marriage-oriented, bridge-lovin‘) encouraged! My list would include:

So what else, bookworms?


Strict Standards: Non-static method GDSRDBCache::get_comments() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/gd-star-rating/code/class.php on line 1962

8 Comments »

  1. Although not non-fiction, I think “The Time Traveler’s Wife” (2004) is the perfect paradigm for modern relationships. Guy drops in and out of your life whenever he feels like it and expects everything to carry on as if he’d never been gone. Girl sits and pines for his next visit. All that time traveling is just a barely disguised metaphor for philandering, which is a genetic condition and therefore can’t be helped. And of course, New York Times bestseller lists and film rights follow, but the movie’s never as good as the book…

    Comment by Bina — December 30, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

  2. Interesting–still haven’t read this one. Sounds like it’s worth a read?

    Comment by Paula — December 30, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

  3. It’s definitely a memorable book, relationship paradigm aside.

    Comment by Bina — December 30, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lynn Harris, Breakup Girl. Breakup Girl said: Best relationship books of the 00s? Cast your vote! http://bit.ly/4SS0W7 [...]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Breakup Girl » Best relationship books of the ’00s? -- Topsy.com — December 30, 2009 @ 4:47 pm

  5. I think Eat Love Pray is great. I know it’s not exactly a new release (or a big secret) but it’s a great story of how just learning to be happy by yourself opens you up to being ready for someone else to enter your life. It’s focused on putting pieces together, not trying to give “tips” on how to find someone.

    Comment by Lucrezia — January 2, 2010 @ 7:07 pm

  6. “Only a few of these “relationship books” are about, well, relationships. The bulk are basically how-to books (for straight women) to snag a mate, please a man, or foil those slippery guy-tactics that, allegedly, all men employ, at all times.”

    True word on that. You sure columnist Susan Dietz didn’t write any of them? She fancies herself a singles advocate, but check out her prejudices in this email exchange with her:

    A few years ago I read “Quirkyalone” after a very interesting friend - who later got married to herself (although she didn’t invite me, which I still regret). I am never-married, so far by choice, child-free, and heterosexual, which makes a difference, because gays are still fighting for their rights to marry, which I’m behind, while straight women are still fighting off everyone else’s expectations that they should marry. So I’m a woman among a sea of dime-a-dozen divorcees. I’m a singles advocate who has read Bella DePaulo’s, Kay trimberger’s, and Diane Mapes’ books. Here is my email exchange with Susan Ditz, whom I find sappy and presumptuous about singles, seemingly assuming they are all still hell-bent on dating, mating, breeding and foaling.

    On December 16, 2009, Susan Deitz, in her column “Single File”,  wrote in an answer to a single father who wanted to meet women: “You look good, and your earning power is adequate, but — gasp — you come with three little souls in tow. It’s a mixed blessing in minor ways but an enormous chance to separate female fluff from substance.”

    Being never-married and tired of ASSumptions about “marrieds know best” and “parents are more responsible and have lives”, I wrote her:
    —————————————-
     ”Your assumption that people who choose not to be parents are not mature, self aware, ethical,
    principled, and are “fluff” (fluff is lightweight, insignificant, has no intelligence or ‘weight’ of
    its own, and is easily ‘blown off’ without any qualms of conscience about one’s own rudeness,
    because it’s merely fluff) is egregiously off-based, presumptuous, insulting, prejudiced,
    narrow-minded, and, of course, wrong.

    Specifically, a woman who is uninterested in the single father may be far more mature and
    self-knowing and responsible and intelligent, thoughtful and principled than your prejudice is
    capable of giving her credit for. That should go without saying just as much as a defense that a
    person of a certain race is intelligent, mature, principled, etc., should go without saying. But
    though degrading to have to defend someone who shouldn’t need defending, apparently it needs to be
    said.”
    ————————————————-

    She replied:
    ————————————————
    From: Susan Deitz
    December 16, 2009

     Many thanks for the comment , and the chance to dialogue with you. It’s always a  good thing to hear the reverberations of my advice. (Since I don’t reside on Mount Olympus with the gods, my humanity makes me fallible - and open to readers’ criticism. Yours, in particular.)
     My advice about single moms hesitating to marry a single father revolves around the concept of  children as litmus test, a significant (but not the only ) way to tease out from one’s dating life people with parental inclinations from the rest, i.e., people not interested in parenting children who aren’t theirs, or those not interested in having children, even their own. The “fluff” I refer to isn’t meant to be tainted with either bigotry or prejudice, VJ, It’s simply colorful shorthand for those in the dating game who single purely for romance or relationship or something else but definitely not for family life.
      By the way, VJ, my concept of children as a litmus test applies equally to single men. Thanks for the chance to explain myself.
    Susan
    ——————————————————–

    That was adding inflammation to the existing prejudice.
    I waited a few days to let my rant cool, thought about not sending it, then replied (admittedly bluntly):

    ————————————————————
    Thanks for the reply.  If you really are a singles advocate, which is still unsure (as opposed to just another dating and mating advocate), you might want to read “Singled Out” by Bella DePaulo, Ph.D. to see how prejudice filters in to people’s language and assumptions. Things they just accept and don’t even think about, and your statement was an example. She calls the bigotry “singlism”. I see plenty of it in your statements. My writing is not always concise; here is my original and perhaps wordy rant, aged for a few days:

     You said:

    “It’s simply colorful shorthand for those in the dating game who single purely for romance or
    relationship or something else but definitely not for family life.”

    There’s the problem. Let’s deconstruct the assumptions in that. What’s wrong with being in
    relationships purely for relationships? What else is there but relationships? How are they
    valueless? How are they valueless if people are in them “ but definitely not for family life ”? What
    about all those people that Alternatives To Marriage champions? How are they fluff unless they get
    with it and make the goal of their relationships “ family life ”? How are their relationships not
    “ family life ”? What would it take to make them acceptable and legal and qualifying as “ family
    life ” so that their relationships can be accepted as real and unfluffy? An intention to get married
    later? An intention to breed children later? Living in the same apartment? A binding, notarized
    legal agreement with heavy penalties for early withdrawal? (Such as the one called “Marriage”.) What
    about levels of friendship, intimacy and lack of intimacy? What about the people who couldn’t be
    happy living together and intimate, but have great fun as fishing buddies? What about people
    learning to relate to others by relating in many ways to many people in their life? You just don’t
    get it: someone who chooses to be single and/or child-free IS in relationships, “ but definitely not
    for family life ”. (Now there’s a big “Duh!”) Who are you to call them fluff?

    Just today (December 18), you again said in your column that marrieds are now in the minority. And
    your column asks the rhetorical question, Is it just a passing fad? By which you mean: it probably
    isn’t; societies and the way people live are changing. So if people are no longer jonesing to be
    married, why do you make the assumption that people who are in relationships, ” but definitely not
    for family life ”, are in some inferior relationship? Why do you assume that it’s “fluff”? You
    yourself write about how relationships and “family”  structure (which according to Alternatives To
    Marriage, of course includes people’s non-”family” living structures) are changing, and that many
    people are single. 

    So, what the bejeezus IS your definition of “family life” anyway? Does it exclude single people?
    Does it exclude child-free people? And why do you even assume that people even have to live in
    families? Aren’t you contradicting yourself, by writing how single people are the majority and can
    stand up and be counted… UNLESS they are in relationships that they do not see as a precursor to
    someone else’s definition of “family life” - THEN they’re ‘fluff”? Aren’t people who are single, and
    not interested in changing their single status, families? Aren’t their relationships real
    relationships? I’m going around and around in the self-contradiction in what you say.

    And what you say is: Society is changing; the majority of people are in relationships that aren’t
    traditional marriages and families anymore, and it’s time for them to be counted; BUT people who are
    in relationships which they don’t want to lead to traditional marriages and “family life” (oh, you
    must mean breeding children!) are fluff; BUT hey, check out Alternatives To Marriage: a majority of
    people aren’t living the traditional marriage and family anymore; BUT people in the relationships
    that don’t lead to families (traditionally defined as marriage and/or children) are
    fluff…………. isn’t all that self-contradiction going to blow itself up somewhere? 

    That said, the single father is a family, even by your constricted nuclear-family definition, and
    needs to stay that way. But who are you to say that those whose lifestyles and relationships aren’t
    like his little nuclear unit are light fluff, and his legal, fairly traditional, child-breeding
    nuclear unit carries the REAL weight, and hey, can’t all of you just see the difference between a
    REAL FAMILY and all those flaky single people who have the gall to not reproduce, like the
    difference between heavy metal (oooh, families are pure gold!) and dandelion seed and dust blowing
    in the wind?
    ——————————————————–

    She replied:
    ————————————-
     ”There’s so much vitriol in your worldview that it’s difficult - no, impossible - to inject reason
    and logic (and kindness) into a response. You seem determined to resent every word of mine, to
    contort it into some hateful connotation. That makes me more determined than ever to bring my view of singleness to those people with open minds willing to listen and consider.  You twist every one of my words into some negative, spiteful and evil intent. And no, I’m not a dating site or a meting site, but a nationally syndicated advice columnist, author of tow books (writing a third), and a biography literally crammed with achievements, all focused on single life. My mission is to prepare men and women to live on their own or as part of a couple, whole and self-sufficient but not at all insular.

    The invectives you weigh in against me reveal so much about you and your reading of my advice. 
    Perhaps if you continue reading “Singe File” you’ll come to appreciate its essence. If not, well, I
    wish you well and hope you straighten out your thinking. You must be very unhappy. 

    ———————————————-

    Can you believe it? She said I need to straighten out my thinking! And because I disagree with her
    and called her on her unfaced bigotry and ASSumptions about single people, she said I must be
    unhappy!

    I’m blunt. (Is it obvious?) I say things (”you’re not supposed to say that”) and alienate people. But it’s after a lot of thinking, reasoning and challenging, as opposed to the people - many women - who think being a strong person means being an asshole who blurts out any old crap, regardless of whether it shows self-examination or merit.

    So I alienated Susan. (I’ve already told people that my nickname for “Ask Amy Dickinson” is “Breeders’ Digest”.)  But she isn’t a singles advocate. That would be socially acceptable - as is Breeders’ Digest - if she didn’t also *pretend* to be a singles advocate and didn’t have the gall to delude herself that she is forward-thinking. She’s a dating-and-mating lonelyhearts columnist! And, as I have experienced, a spiteful, hostile one.

    Deitz refers readers to  Alternatives to Marriage Project, and on Amazon I said that its director, Nicky Grist herself, would probably laugh at her ASSumptions. I also said Deitz really needs to read Bella DePaulo’s, Kay Trimberger’s, Diane Mapes’ and Sasha Cagen’s books. Supposedly they are her “fellow” singles advocates - but the word “fellow” requires that she be one herself. And with prejudices like that, she is NOT a singles advocate.

    But you know what else? I think she’s jealous of them. I’ll bet she refuses to read them. She certainly isn’t one of them.

    Comment by VJ — January 5, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

  7. VJ: That’s quite an exchange. I’ve not read Ms. D. myself, and for the record I’m not 100% convinced her choice of the word “fluff” was meant the way you received it, but your broader points (re: bias, “family,” etc.) are well-taken. As are your shoutouts to Diane Mapes and Bella DePaulo, who are super-excellent Defenders of the Single. Did you read Single State of the Union?

    Comment by Breakup Girl — January 7, 2010 @ 10:12 pm

  8. For special Valentines Day ideas, lovers can log on to a variety of internet sites and borrow ideas too incase they run out of original ones. These sites apart from offering ideas also assist in helping people in implementing them for minimal charges.it is a great factor to remmeber your loved ones so do all it takes to show love.

    Comment by Dewey Pirkl — December 2, 2010 @ 1:55 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

**Mean or otherwise out-of-line comments will be deleted. That’s just how we roll.


Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class sk2_plugin in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/SK2/sk2_plugin_class.php on line 45

Strict Standards: Declaration of sk2_captcha_plugin::output_plugin_UI() should be compatible with sk2_plugin::output_plugin_UI($output_dls = true) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/SK2/sk2_plugins/sk2_captcha_plugin.php on line 70

Strict Standards: Declaration of sk2_pjw_simpledigest::output_plugin_UI() should be compatible with sk2_plugin::output_plugin_UI($output_dls = true) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/SK2/sk2_plugins/sk2_pjw_daily_digest_plugin.php on line 277

Strict Standards: Declaration of sk2_rbl_plugin::treat_this() should be compatible with sk2_plugin::treat_this(&$cmt_object) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/SK2/sk2_plugins/sk2_rbl_plugin.php on line 342

Strict Standards: Declaration of sk2_referrer_check_plugin::output_plugin_UI() should be compatible with sk2_plugin::output_plugin_UI($output_dls = true) in /home/cdkalb/breakupgirl.net/blog/wp-content/plugins/SK2/sk2_plugins/sk2_referrer_check_plugin.php on line 78
[breakupgirl.net]

blog | advice | comics | animation | goodies | to do | archive | about us

Breakup Girl created by Lynn Harris & Chris Kalb
© 2008 Just Friends Productions, Inc.
| privacy policy
Cool Aid!

Important Breakup Girl Maxim:
Breakup Girl Sez

MORE COMICS...

Powered by WordPress