This marvelous romance is filled with dating advice and universal words of wisdom for life in general. I was sometimes surprised by which characters were sage enough to come up with the comments, but the messenger doesn’t spoil the message. At first, I was going to put these in the review, but decided there’s enough of them to warrant their own post.
1. Treasure Doesn’t Do the Hunting
Men, I really want to read your comments to this one as I’ve frequently debated with one of my male coworkers as to whether or not a woman should ask a man out. While I’m sure it varies somewhat for each couple, I have personally decided that if a woman is interested, she should let me man know, but it’s his job to do make the official move and ask her out. Not saying the man should always take the lead or be the one to call, but he should always be the one to do it first. Sexist? Maybe. Like I said, this is just personal experience talking.
2. If You’re Happy With Your Life Before Comparing it to Others’, Stop Comparing
This is one I’ve been working on myself, so I was able to relate. Boyfriend and I have been together long enough that people ask me when we’re getting married or worse, tell me I need to push him to make a move, that “wow, you’re more patient than I would be,” or “it didn’t take me that long to get a ring.” All this does, is make me feel bad about my relationship. I know they all mean well and think it’s somehow helpful, but it’s not.
Every relationship is different. You may have known your spouse was or wasn’t the one in a year, but you know who has a say in how fast my relationship progresses? Me and my boyfriend. That’s it. I try not to get defensive about it, but I’ve learned something very important. I’m only upset with my relationship when others are passing judgement on it or I’m comparing how quickly other people have gotten married (usually before I also watch them get divorced.) As soon as I blocked out all of the comparisons and evaluated my relationship on its own merit, I realized, I’m happy. I like where we are. Is it slower than average? Sure, but we’ve had milestones and speed bumps that other couples haven’t faced. If it takes us longer to figure out our lives, but we actually stay together because we took our time, then it won’t matter to me how many years of dating it took to get there. And if we break it off later, then I don’t feel like I wasted my time because the time I had with him was special. If you think breaking up means you will have wasted time on someone, then you’re not with the right person to begin with.
Evaluate what you have, where you are in life, etc. without comparing it to others. You shouldn’t need other people to have less than you to be happy, so why let others having more (or what you think is more) make you upset?
You know that “grass is always greener on the other side” phenomenon? Here’s another way to look at it: “Don’t be jealous of anyone. I guarantee you, if everyone walked into a room and dumped their problems onto the floor, when they saw what everyone else’s problems were, they’d be scrambling to get their own problems back before someone else got to them first.”
3. There is an Apology that Works for Everything
“Clearly I have done something to upset you, and obviously I am remorseful of this and need to make it up to you. And what can I do that will show you how sorry I am for whatever I have done to wrong you?”
This is not a get out of trouble free card, but it’s a good start. You will eventually need to figure out what upset your partner so that you can address it and, more importantly, avoid that land mine in the future. Even if you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong, it puts the ball in their court and shows them you want to make amends. While I doubt men will respond to this apology as well as women, you can always try it.
4. Don’t Be So Upset Over One Piece of Life You Fail to Appreciate the Rest.
Life is a difficult balancing act and most of us haven’t gotten it right yet. Maybe you have a loving family you wouldn’t trade for the world, but your career isn’t where you want it to be. Maybe you have the career and incredible friends, but no significant other. It’s easy to dwell on what we don’t have, but we can’t neglect what we do.
Charlie’s grandmother tells a long winded story I’ll have to paraphrase here, but you’ll want to read the whole thing. Charlie’s sister once tried to collect a set of cards that fit together like square puzzle pieces that when put together, created a full picture. Despite her best efforts, she could never find the final piece, so she was always missing Smith’s hat. Don’t spend so much time upset about not having that final piece that you don’t admire the rest of the puzzle.
5. “What’s Your Favorite Book?” Is a Completely Appropriate First Date Question.
You can learn so much about a person by their favorite book. Two men swinging their proverbial swords around while discussing literature was hotter than Fifty Shades of Grey. That’s my new fantasy. Two men trying to impress me with what they read.
Life’s Little Truths
1. Pregnant Women With Insomnia Have Extra Time to Plot Revenge
You don’t want to piss off a pregnant woman, never mind that’s easier said than done. Just don’t do anything on purpose, like put them in a salmon bridesmaids’ dress. Even if she’s already married and therefore cannot return the favor, don’t think you’re getting away with it.
2. Unless You See a Baby Crowning, it is Not OK to Ask a Woman if She is Pregnant
I would like to modify this to include implying that she is. Do not ask her if she should be drinking “in her condition.” Some women just don’t want a long engagement, others have a few extra pounds in the mid section and bad posture. It is never okay to ask a woman when she’s due. Unless her water breaks, she lays down on the floor, and you see a baby coming out of her body in front of you, keep your questions and concerns to yourself. I thought this was common sense, but it is not.
3. God Has a Sense of Humor.
Charlie had a full day of romance planned but when confronted with a crush so hung over, he was literally green, she remarked, “God has a sense of humor. Don’t believe me? Just look at a zebra and tell me what was going on in His mind that day.” We used to have a magnet on our fridge that paraphrased her predicament nicely. “We plan. God laughs.”
Gotta say, loved this book. Full review to come.