Treat This Book Like A Bad Date: Forget It And Move On!

As a freelance writer I was recently tasked with reading and reviewing a current book on the subject of dating. I picked up Dating Makes You Want to Die by Daniel Holloway and Dorothy Robinson. By all accounts it looked interesting with the title exclaiming “dating makes you want to die but you have to do it anyway” and adds “getting through the absurdity of dating with your soul intact.” This sounds promising right? As the old saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

This dating advice book is aimed at both sexes in the late twenties and thirties age bracket. Holloway and Robinson mention that their dating audience might be dealing with baggage like roommates or divorce fallout that might hinder their dating prowess. As I read it is obvious that the tag team duo authors are trying to copy and profit with their diluted imitation of the bestselling book He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Guide To Understanding Guys written by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.

The authors try to make their dating advice fun and witty with sections of back and forth “He Says / She Says” opposing views and Quizzes that question whether you are you ready to meet the parents, move in together, etc. They hit all the dating dilemmas but desperately fall short on giving good advice.

One statement that the authors come up with is “we date for one reason: so we don’t have to do it anymore.” This trite piece of observation might be true for most people but not very helpful. Another statement that annoyed me was their declaration of “a fundamental truth about relationships: they all end.” Maybe it’s the foolish romantic in me but think about how this comes off; the reader might as well put the book down and give up already!

The most disappointing part is that this book is littered with the authors low brow attempts at humour. They poke fun at dating with slurs against homosexuals, autistics, physically challenged and Muslims. I won’t repeat the actual “jokes” since they are too asinine to put into print here. I will say however, that they suggest declaring a jihad to get out of a relationship, mock Dustin Hoffman’s autistic character in the movie “Rain Man” and insinuate latent homosexuality if you don’t want to have sex by the third date. Politically correct, I think not!

Another popular expression mentions that “there’s plenty of fish in the sea”; so take my suggestion that there’s plenty of books on the shelves. You should take a pass on this read and see what else the book store has to offer. I will suggest to the female daters that you read the afore mentioned He’s Just Not That Into You series of books spawned from the “Sex And The City” television show. These books help empower women with a no-nonsense approach to figuring out the difference between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now. If you’re looking specifically for dating advice then you might want to look for a copy of the recent book It’s Just a Freakin’ Date!: A Guide To a Sane Dating Life by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt.

Dating Makes You Want To Die is basically an insipid waste of time and money with little redeeming substance or value. The advice the authors give is more snarky than sage and might even be considered insulting or offensive to some readers. I would recommend that you save the cost of Dating Makes You Want To Die and buy a ticket to take in the movie "He’s Just Not That Into You" coming to theatres in February.

Something to think about...

Wanda Lynne Young


Susan Vanderburg-Fentie is the author of
Don't Buy THAT, You Clueless Wonder! How To Raise Your Man's Gift Giving IQ
The book is a gift-giving guide written to help communication between men and women. A Registered Nurse and co-founder of the Ontario Autism Coalition, Susan is a mother to four sons, two of whom have autism. Susan has several media credits too numerous to list here. Her more recent contributions as a TV Cogeco host, TVO producer and a research assistant for the movie Sicko show that Susan is a real dynamo! Susan is dedicated to bettering society in any way she can and believes that her sense of humour keeps her spirits alive!

How would you describe your book?

Don’t Buy That, You Clueless Wonder! How to Raise Your Man’s Gift Giving IQ is a practical yet entertaining handbook for men and women alike. Ladies can identify with the gift giving horror stories and guys can hone their gift giving abilities by utilizing the helpful how-to tips. You’ll laugh, cringe, and rejoice at the examples and information in this handy and humorous read.

What inspired you to write about the gift-giving dilemma?
I received a gag gift one Christmas. I’m a nurse and all I wanted was a plain gold wedding band to wear at work so my diamonds wouldn’t get wrecked. Instead, I got a $400 snowmobile helmet. It was addressed to me but clearly meant for him! He thought it would be funny. It wasn’t. I never did get that gold band, either!

How long did it take to research and write the book?

It took almost four years. I was on-call for work and was in the staff lounge at the hospital. I got a pen and paper, and the book was born! I came up with the title that night and it stuck. I’ve been working at it diligently in the middle of a life with four sons. Finally, I get to see it in print!

How did you go about getting published?

I have a literary agent in Toronto, and after much discussion, I decided to self-publish this book. My publishing company is Puzzle Piece Publications and I look forward to this being the first of many books to be published by them.

What kind of feedback have you received surrounding your book’s topic?

Every person I’ve discussed the book with, both male and female, thinks it’s a great idea. When I conducted my research, even perfect strangers had the same reaction. Women say, “It’s about time!” while a lot of men say, “I could use a book like that.” There’s really something for everyone in it. Many people will see themselves in the book. It’s intended to help both genders.

What advice would you give a woman who knows she has a clueless wonder for a mate?

Well, my first piece of advice is to buy my book! I have many tips on how to get through to a clueless wonder. While the stories are constructed with humor, there are some constructive tips to use as a way of getting the message across. I’ve also included examples of rather dastardly deeds that have been utilized, complete with a disclaimer. Truly, women can be very resourceful.

What advice do you have for a man who thinks he might be a clueless wonder?

Did I mention I know of a great book about shopping for women? The book has a chapter that speaks straight to the men. It’s the straight-to-the-point tips they’re looking for in order to be a success. There are stories about the guys who get it right, so they can also learn by example. My friend has already transformed from a clueless wonder to a genuine gift guru after adhering to the advice in my book. He’s reported tremendous success with his last gift purchase for his girlfriend. That’s why I wrote this book in the first place.

Where will the book be available for purchase?

It will be in stores throughout southwestern Ontario this holiday season, as well as some retailers and boutiques in the GTA. Check your local bookstores, or visit my website to order a copy today. It’s out just in time for the holidays, too. Ladies, I suggest you buy the book and then pass it along to your mate.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to continue to research and write about the male/female shopping dynamic and I’m eager for feedback from readers. They can visit my website and share their views and comments about the book. I’m also working with a couple of TV producers out of Toronto to produce a reality show version of the book, so be sure to keep a lookout for that.

Do you have any final words for those who might feel it’s just a hopeless situation?

I want people to know that it’s not hopeless if you can’t seem to get on the same page with your partner about gift giving. I saw very common themes in the way that men and women go about gift giving and purchasing, which is why I put all the information into a handy guide. It has tools to help and is presented in a really fun medium. Also, lame gifts aren’t an indication that men don’t care. They do care but they’re just “clueless wonders!” Help has arrived in the form of my book so you don’t have to suffer needlessly.