It’s been over a dozen years since I was on the dating market, so when I read dating manuals, it’s always with the question, Would this work? Often that’s followed by the question, Would I even want it to? I distinctly recall reading The Rules and throwing it across the room. I also followed my husband around a bookstore, reading sections of Fascinating Womanhood aloud and making him shudder all over. It’s in this context that I say I think The Love Gap is an excellent, very smart book that could really lead to a strong marriage, a win for both partners.
For context, I’m the sort that author Jenna Birch refers to as an “End Goal” woman. I’m a Mensan with a degree in History. As a bachelorette, I had already paid off my consumer debt, and I had a really cute apartment where I did a lot of recipe testing. I knew where my life was going, and after an early divorce, I was in no hurry to remarry. My current husband had only been divorced for a year when we met, and he was still in the midst of a custody battle. Simply put, when we met, we were on different tracks and not in the same emotional reality. The Love Gap makes a lot of sense for anyone trying to evaluate the potential of a romantic prospect in a challenging situation.
What does Birch mean by the “Love Gap”? It’s the reason why men don’t always pursue the women they claim to want, namely the smart, independent, successful ones. There’s a gap between their desires and their actions. What sets The Love Gap apart from earlier generations of romantic advice is that it holds these men accountable for their cognitive dissonance, immaturity, and poor behavior, rather than burdening women with doing the emotional homework for both sides. The major lesson of the book is in how to evaluate a man’s readiness for a relationship, and then plan accordingly. Read: avoid all the heartbreaking nonsense.
The Love Gap includes research and profiles of relationships from all levels of commitment and long- or short-term results. The premise is that a smart, independent, successful woman can be herself, live a full life, and still build a relationship without compromising, settling, or selling herself short. A marriage of equals is possible, and it’s a lot more likely when we’re not wasting our time tolerating shabby treatment. I recommend buying several copies and using them to replace any old copies of The Rules that might be lurking on a shelf somewhere.
You’re settling if you feel like you are.
...love is the most idealistic of all our goals.
If you never see a flaw, it’s not real.
If you live and die by the health of your relationship you’re not in the best position to be in one.
Least favorite quote:
“...no matter a woman’s level of physical attractiveness, the researchers found men rated optimal intelligence level to be right around 7 out of 10.” [Though I can’t blame the author for this].
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I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.