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5.0 out of 5 stars Keep your pencil handy; you'll want to take notes
Heard the taped version of MARS AND VENUS ON A DATE
by John Gray . . . extremely informative (at least to me) tour
of the five stages of dating: attraction, uncertainty, exclusivity, intimacy, and engagement.
Gray presents ideas on how to find your soul mate, as well
as thoughts on how to create a loving and mutually fulfilling
relationship...
Published on June 27 2002 by Blaine Greenfield

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dating advice for traditional men and women
I borrowed this book from my brother about four years ago. Four years later I have been married for three years and decided to finally read the book.
Summary:
The basic idea of the book is that there are five stages to the dating process:
1. Attraction
2. Uncertainty
3. Exclusivity
4. Intimacy
5. Engagement
The rest of the book is...
Published on Jan. 28 2003


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dating advice for traditional men and women, Jan. 28 2003
I borrowed this book from my brother about four years ago. Four years later I have been married for three years and decided to finally read the book.
Summary:
The basic idea of the book is that there are five stages to the dating process:
1. Attraction
2. Uncertainty
3. Exclusivity
4. Intimacy
5. Engagement
The rest of the book is a collection of insights on how to make relationships successful or how to recognize when it is time to end a relationship.
My Comments:
First, I must admit that being involved in a traditional relationship (I am a married heterosexual) the insights in the book seemed fairly relevant and well designed. But, this is also one of the problems I see with the book. The book is designed exclusively for traditional, heterosexual relationships. If you are not a man or a woman looking for someone of the opposite sex to marry, then this isn't the book for you. The ultimate goal, as defined in the book, is marriage. If you are not looking to get married, then this isn't the book for you.
The book is written from a very traditional perspective. With the increase in non-traditional relationships (homosexuality, bisexuality, cohabitation, etc.) this book could alienate a lot of people. Also, there are continual references to God throughout the book. These references often coincide with a concept the author calls 'soul mates'. There is a trend in American society away from the traditional view of God, specifically seeing God as an active force in people's lives. As a result, this book could also alienate those people that don't believe in God or don't feel that God is active in their lives. And the idea of soul mates (as Dr. Gray outlines it in the book it is the idea that there is one special person for you out there) is, in my humble opinion, very outdated. Perhaps Dr. Gray isn't arguing that there is only ONE person that you could marry, but he seems to think that there aren't very many - if there is more than one - and that they are hard to find.
Another major problem with this approach to relationships is that Dr. Gray presents relationships in a very functional sense. Let me explain... Instead of saying that perhaps the way people approached romantic relationships in the past (pre 1990) may not have been the best way to do it (men calling women, being responsible for everything that takes place, women being receptive rather than aggressive, etc.), Dr. Gray incorporates all of these things into his theory about how relationships and dating are supposed to work. He seems to argue that because these behaviors exist they must be necessary. This is a circular argument from which one cannot escape. They are necessary so they must exist. They exist because they are necessary. I would argue that the traditional dating patterns of bygone ages are outdated and anti-modal. Sure, he offers ideas and thoughts where men and women can change, but he also seems to be arguing that a lot of things should just plain stay the same. I disagree out right with this idea. We live in a different time.
I should also mention that the version I read is 370 pages long. It could have been condensed to about 150 pages and still covered everything he wanted to say adequately.
On the positive side, because I am in a heterosexual relationship, I did find some of Dr. Gray's insights helpful. However, the one's that I found applicable to my relationship I found by sifting through the broad, sweeping claims he makes about genders and in between comments about how God will help us find our partner and how we can find a soul mate; all of which I thought was worthless trash.
Overall, this book would be useful to someone that firmly believes in God, wants a traditional relationship with a woman, and believes that the old way of dating/courting is still the right way. If this describes you (it probably describes over 60% of the U.S. population, meaning Dr. Gray understands there is a market for this type of stuff) then this would be a good book. If you don't meet this criteria, look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars oh dear, Aug. 10 2000
By A Customer
The people John describes are not people I recognise from my world. His men, for instance, only talk to each other when there's a problem. His single women are looking for marriage, whereas all the single women I know want to avoid it.
He gives gender-specific advice. He says that the man's role in dating is to make the woman happy, and that the woman's role is to acknowledge that the man is making her happy. He says that women shouldn't pursue men; he doesn't give a reason, which is a shame, because a rule like that is a constraint on a process which is already hard. He says that men should apologise more and should make a point of calling back; politeness is a good thing, although I've not found it a gender issue.
I disagreed with most things in this book. What bothers me is that John is a relationship expert while I am anything but, and that a lot of people have found this book useful. Maybe I am missing something. Maybe it's a cultural thing. It may well be that I'm delusional and the world really is as John describes it; although if it is, I don't think I'll be doing any dating - it doesn't sound much fun!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Moronic, Sept. 12 1998
Whatever credibility John Gray had is shot with his inclusion of a list of 101 places to meet your soulmate. I thumbed through the book at a co-worker's desk and couldn't believe what I was reading. (Neither could she.)
Most of the suggestions are so preposterous that I could read them verbatim at Open Mike Night at a comedy club and bring the house down. Some gems with my comments in brackets:
"If you're a woman in a restaurant, go to the rest room repeatedly so you can catch the eye of men." [And hope that a convention of urologists is in town?]
"If you wear a uniform, wear it when you're off duty because people will approach someone in a uniform." [I'm sure the meter reader from the local utility company is besieged with offers in between houses.]
"If you don't attend a church or synagogue, go to the one where there are the most eligible people." [Hey, who's got the best babes, the synagogue or the Episcopalian church?]
"If you don't like a museum, go to one and ask an art lover questions." [Allow me to display my total ignorance and annoy you. Two surefire ways to get you to spend the rest of your life with me.]
Finally my favorite of the list I've read so far:
"If you go to a bar and drink alcohol, go to a place where they don't serve alcohol. Your soulmate might not drink." [As opposed to 'If you don't do crack, go to a crackhouse because your soulmate might be a crackhead.']
I wish I were making these up, but I'm simply not that clever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars OK at first, then offensive, May 15 2004
By A Customer
The first 2/3 of the book was OK, with balanced "points of view" and "how-to's" for both men and women. Some of the information was interesting, explanatory, and useful; some was not.
But then the author began giving unbalanced treatment, primarily telling women how they ought to behave and what they ought to say. The message was that a man has a large and fragile ego, and that a woman should support his ego. She should never disagree with him, except "playfully". In public, she should paint him as a white knight, regardless of what really happened.
Perhaps it was just the author's writing style, but most of his examples, supposedly of real couples he'd observed or counseled, seemed made-up.
Finally, at the end of the book, the author insults the reader's intelligence with an idiotic, redundant, and unnecessary list of 101 places to look for a mate. Very patronizing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yuck!, Sept. 16 1998
By A Customer
Stay away from this one! I read the whole thing, including the 101 suggestions mentioned by an earlier reviewer. I considered a few of his suggestions to be common sensical, but they were unfortunately few and far between. Primarily, he promotes tired sex-role stereotypes and preachy, opinionated pop-psychology. IMHO he creates more problems than he solves, suggesting that you present a fairly artificial side of yourself until the person you've attracted has committed to you for life. Following his formulae are sure to leave both you and your partner bewildered later, as the true nature which you withheld from each other emerges.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars promotes stereotypical behavior, Nov. 11 1998
By A Customer
This is a rehash of his first book, with "tips" on how to attract a date. However, his system seems to be based on antiquated, stereotypical, gender-biased behaviors that i believe are destructive and deceptive. For example, he recommends being cheery and upbeat at the beginning of a relationship then-whammo!-letting your true self out after the attraction is established. Not good advice, if you ask me! Stay away from this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!, March 14 1999
By A Customer
John Gray is laughing all the way to the bank as he continues to crank out book after book that says the same thing. Everything he knows about realtionships, sex, men and women could have been put in his first book. He couldn't care less if you're helped by his book- he's just gouging people who roam the self-help aisles looking for a quick fix. There were some good points in his first book, but enough already!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Solid, but a minor warning to shy readers, April 10 2004
By 
DBW (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
John Gray's "Mars and Venus On a Date" is a solid piece of work, with well-reasoned insights into the dynamics of male-female romantic relationships.
One note, though, to men who are shy, and might see the book as a guide to learning how to get dates more easily. Shyness is not really addressed here. This is by no means meant as a criticism, but given the notoriety of the "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" books, many men may wonder if this kind of help is being offered here.
The closest Gray comes to touching on shyness is when he says that many men get tongue-tied when approaching women they're attracted to, and that usually the best advice is to say the most simple thing ("Hi, I'm John," etc.). He also briefly touches on the various ways women might flirt, and the ways to tastefully send out non-verbal cues that you're interested. This territory is covered in a total of maybe three paragraphs, at different points in the book. One of the last sections touches on dozens of places to meet your soulmate.
The book is great for people who don't have any trouble in the initial, attraction phase. But for those who can't get to that first approach, this may not be the best place to start.
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4.0 out of 5 stars All Stages Are Necessary, Aug. 22 2003
The book describes the five stages of courtship: attraction, uncertainty, exclusivity, intimacy, engagement. Although different people have called these stages different things, the second stage is the one that is unique to this book. When a couple begins dating, there is inevitably a period of uncertainty. Even if someone expresses his undying love on Friday night (and really means it), he can change his mind by Saturday morning. This period of uncertainty can really throw the other person off. "How can he possibly not love me today, when he loved me yesterday? What happened? What changed?"
As a dating expert, I know first-hand that people are most confused by this period of uncertainty. And John Gray uncovers another gem-much uncertainty is caused by rushing intimacy. Once you understand this concept that, your next relationship will have a much greater chance of success if you follow the five stages of courtship in the order they were intended.
This book is more like reading Shakespeare than flipping through the pages of Cosmopolitan. John Gray's writing style reflects the fact that he spent many years in school, writing thesis after thesis. Although it may be more fun to watch Sex and the City, reading this book will be a lot cheaper than reclining on a therapist's couch. Plus, you'll be one step closer to a lasting relationship.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but form your own opinions..., Aug. 10 2003
By 
K. Fulton (Colorado) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book has some good points and bad points. Like most relationship guides (i.e. The Rules), if you agree with what the author is saying, it's a good book. If you don't agree with them, it's a bad book. I think the point to take away with this book is that John Gray has talked to a LOT of people about relationships and the suggestions and information in this book is based on what he learned from talking to real people.
For example, he talks about why men don't call after a date. I had no idea that if a man didn't call you, it doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't like you. It's good to know the other reasons why he's not calling, and that not only is it okay for you to call him, but you SHOULD call him because it'll let him know that you're not mad at him for not calling!
He does have some very old fashioned views, such as, the man should always pay for the dates. Nevermind if the man makes $25K a year and the woman makes $70K... now-a-days that kind of thinking is just not practical. He also says some strange things like, if a man opens a car door for you, you should not reach over and unlock his door because that will take away all the pleasure that he got from opening the car door for you.
All in all, it's a good read, has some good information about the five stages of dating, why men and women act the way they do, how to talk to each other, and how to act. Take what you agree with and use it, but form your own opinions. Don't follow it like it's a bible.
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