Finding love starts out with introspection
"It's Complicated (But It Doesn't Have to Be)" by Paul Carrick Brunson. Gotham Books. 2012, 304 pp. $22.50.
By Terri Schlichenmeyer
The Bookworm Sez
When you think about your future, you can see yourself clearly.
You'll have a great place to live, filled with all the things you love. You'll work a job you enjoy, maybe travel a little, and spend time with family. One day, you'll even retire somewhere warm.
Yep, when you think about the future, you can just see yourself.
Unfortunately, that's the problem. You can just see yourself.
You don't want that, though. You want love, someone to grow old with, marriage, a lifetime companion. And you can find the map to that journey by reading "It's Complicated (But It Doesn't Have to Be)" by Paul Carrick Brunson.
Throughout your life, you've had plenty of opportunity to date and find a mate. You've hooked up, dressed down, and met a lot of clowns but you haven't found a keeper and it's frustrating. Men are all afraid of commitment. Women are all shallow.
And there's Problem Number One, says Brunson: the word "all." Not "all" men are this. Not "all" women are that. You're a unique individual and so are each of your prospective mates, so eliminate "all" from your vocabulary.
Next, get to know the individual that you are. You can't find love, says Brunson, unless you know and love yourself. Be aware of your own personality type, recognize your values, and understand that you have to be true to you.
Chances are that you're meeting plenty of people, but finding someone to spend your life with means knowing the difference between wants and needs and remembering that there is no "perfect." You might have a list of things you want in a future spouse, but are you really going to turn away someone who fills your soul if (s)he doesn't entirely fit your criteria?
You also have to know if you really want marriage or if you're looking for love because you think you should.
Keep in mind that your friends are not dating experts. Get over the word "no" because it's just another word for "try something else." Learn how to flirt. And in the end, if nothing works right, know when to stop trying and move on.
When it comes to matters of the heart, it seems like everything should be common-sense ... but it's not, which is why you need books like "It's Complicated (But It Doesn't Have to Be)" to find love.
Author and matchmaker Brunson doesn't mess around in this book. He tells readers, straight-up, what they need to know to find love and keep it. He offers tips, reality checks and homework, but he's not above telling readers that there are times when he can't help - which is what makes this book refreshingly different: While so many how-to-date guides seem to put outward focus on prospective mates, Brunson advocates self-examination and introspection first.
If you think strong, solid love is what other people have, this book could change everything. "It's Complicated (But It Doesn't Have to Be)" might be something you should see yourself reading soon.
The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 13,000 books.