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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Date & Relate > Books for Singles

Date & Relate
by Sara Hodon

Recommended Reading:
Books for Singles

I don’t usually make a beeline for the self-help section of Borders, but during a particularly low point a few months ago, I hit a wall.  I got tired of asking myself the same questions:

What was I doing wrong? 

Why couldn’t I find anyone who seemed right for me? 

What was it going to take to meet someone worthwhile?


I was driving myself a little crazy (and my friends, too, whom I’m sure got sick of hearing about all of my lousy dates!) 

One day I was wandering through the bookstore and all of a sudden, reading a little bit more about the dating game didn’t seem so silly.  I certainly wasn’t having much luck doing things my way—maybe these authors knew something I didn’t.  After all, they’d landed the book deals, not me.  So, I bit the bullet and invested in a few selections.

Below are some suggestions if you’re looking to make heads or tails of the thing called love.  One caveat—I’m sure there are dozens of other books out there that are just as helpful and eye-opening.  The ones below are simply the ones that worked for me:

Better Single Than Sorry: A No-Regrets Guide to Loving Yourself and Never Settling
by Jen Schefft. 

Schefft was the lucky winner of The Bachelor in 2003 and then appeared on The Bachelorette in 2004.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed her book—it helped me to reaffirm that, despite what I thought, it wasn’t me, it was them!  I wasn’t doing anything wrong, necessarily, according to Ms. Schefft, and I shouldn’t feel as though I was.  This was a much-needed pep talk in book form.  Jen offers personal tips and advice from other real-life single gals about surviving holidays without a boyfriend, moving beyond feeling like a “third wheel” when out with attached friends, and basically being a happily unattached but actively looking single gal.  She stresses the importance of not limiting yourself to a specific “type” of date, but not compromising your standards, values, or goals that you might have for yourself. 

As Jen herself says, “You have to leave open the possibility that the man who might fulfill your needs might not look, act, or be affiliated with the political party you always imagined.”  This was a quick read that truly did make me feel better about my single status.   It helped to know that I was doing all the right things when it came to dating—I just happened to be meeting a lot of duds, which would make it even better when I met someone great!   

The Late Bloomer’s Revolution
by Amy Cohen. 

A memoir rather than a straightforward self-help book, Amy Cohen sympathizes with all of the unattached gals out there.  Like most of us, Amy had a certain plan for her life, but by the time she turned thirty-five, it seemed pretty clear that her plan was shot to hell.  Life kind of gets in the way of Amy’s plans for herself—family issues, job issues, etc.—and love must take a backseat for awhile.  By the time Amy can get back to building the life she’s always wanted, her fortieth birthday is staring her in the face.  How’d that happen? 

Personally, I think Amy could use a dose of Better Single Than Sorry, but there’s not much more to be said when, no matter how much you think you have your life together, there are always more roadblocks up aheadI related to her self-deprecating, “hope for the best but expect the worse” outlook on life more than I care to admit.  Since this is a memoir that does reflect real life, there are no clear-cut answers at the end, but (oops) no happy ending, either. 

He’s Just Not That Into You
by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. 

I’d been waiting for the chance to read this book for a long time, so I checked it out right before the movie was released earlier this year.  I found the directness and common sense tone of the book to be wonderfully refreshing.  Behrendt, a former writer for Sex and the City, carries the majority of the book (I’m guessing he was the basis for Justin Long’s character in the movie).  He provides the literary wake-up call that all girls need sometimes—quite honestly, if the guy doesn’t call you very soon after your first date…if he’s not interested in sleeping with you…if he uses the “I’ve been so busy/stressed” excuse a little too often…then, ladies, he’s just not that into you!  Period!  Guys aren’t that complicated, though the opposite seems true most of the time.  We spend more time thinking up excuses to get out of something than to just come clean and say “Hey, I’m glad we met, but this honestly isn’t going to go anywhere.” 

And girls—we might be thinking the exact same thing, but we’re both too aware of the other’s feelings to be straightforward!  Greg helps us out, and it’s hard to not smack yourself in the forehead and say “How could I have been so stupid?” after reading some of these chapters that particularly hit home.    Liz Tuccillo, a former story editor for Sex and the City, provides some balance to Greg’s no-holds-barred approach with some girl rationale.  Man, girls are pathetic sometimes, aren’t we?  Holding on to the glimmer of hope that maybe he’ll call?  Guess what?  If he really likes you and wants to get to know you—he will!  If not—move on!  (I think Greg would be proud!)

Have there been any books that struck a particular chord with you, or that you found helpful in your search for love?


Date & Relate is published every Thursday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Sara Hodon. She can be reached at

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