Top critical review
Good but a bit of a mixed message
on May 13, 2002
If you are single and/or shy and /or unsuccessful with the opposite sex this is probably the best book on the subject. (For men, I would also recommend Jama Clark's What The Hell Do Women Really Want).
The premise of Intimate Connections is that before anyone can love you, you must love yourself. To do otherwise shows you are not thinking rationally. And Dr. Burns tries to reason with the reader--to make the reader see they're not thinking clearly. But if you're not thinking clearly, you may not be able to assimilate this advice.
Although perhaps unintentional, this emphasis on loving yourself and first having a good life on your own seems to be (wisely) creating a "fall back" position, in case, after giving it your best shot, things don't happen for you. (Or in therapist's parlance, you are unable to make the necessary changes to make things happen).
A minor point is the section where a client feels he has shortcomings that women won't like. After surveying some women, they say these things don't matter to them. This unquestioning acceptance that women know and say what attracts them is kinda naiive for such a thoughtful book.