I bought Love Smart to see if it contained any advice that a young male friend of mine could use to find more suitable woman to date who might turn out to be marriage material. From the title, I thought that the book was aimed equally at women and men.
But what do I know? This book is for women who aren't having much luck attracting the right kind of marriage candidates. So if you are a man looking for such advice, skip this book.
If you are a woman who wants to marry and raise a family, read on.
Love Smart is the most unusual book about attracting marital candidates of the opposite sex that I have ever read. Here are some of the many perspectives the book brings to this issue:
A discussion of how to develop a realistic set of attributes to look for . . . rather than assuming that you are going to find and marry a perfect Prince Charming. This section read much like a marketing guide for how to find customers for your network marketing business;
Practical advice on how to screen potential partners . . . and move on as soon as you know you haven't found one who works;
An updated version of how to be yourself and play hard to get . . . and make that interesting;
A simplified overview of male psychology that argues that men are not only interested in sex; and
Ways to build a strong marriage (with recommendations to use Dr. Phil's book Relationship Rescue as a resource).
I thought the book worked best at a highly general level. Many readers, however, won't find their situations captured here.
The best parts of the book were those that encouraged women to be themselves rather than pretend to be someone they think men want to marry, the explanation of why you will have to accept some bad characteristics along with the desirable ones (otherwise, you won't ever meet anyone who works), encouragement about what to look for, lists to guide your thinking, warnings about where not to hang out and what not to do, and encouragement to move on if a male candidate isn't working out rather than wasting years with someone who isn't ready.
Ultimately, I think though that this book would have been better if written by a woman . . . or at least co-authored by one. Dr. Phil can philosophize about feeling the biological clock ticking and then tell you not to act desperate . . . but his advice seems awfully intellectual rather than practical as he does so.
Here's my favorite explanation of why you cannot be too choosy (although, of course, my wife is perfect!):
If you want someone who is in the top one percent in intelligence, that means that you only meet five candidates for every 500 men you consider.
If you also want someone who is in the top one percent in being kind, that means that you only meet one candidate in every 1,000 men you consider.
If you further want someone who is in the top one percent in being a good father, that means that you only meet one candidate in every 10,000 men you consider.
I'm sure you get the point.
I always tell my children to pick no more than three important attributes to look for . . . and be happy with the top quartile.
May you find a wonderful husband and father!