The bestselling author of Secrets of Men Every Woman Should Know (1990) and How to Make Love All the Time (1987) now dissects bad love choices.
Quizzes, lists, and anecdotes render De Angelis's sensible material in easy-to-swallow morsels. Early on, readers are asked to make lists of past lovers' worst qualities and then to write a want ad for a partner, highlighting the common themes ("WANTED: Self-absorbed, damaged loser who has lots of potential and is doing nothing with it...."); and possible roots for these perverse attractions in the childhood family experience are then explored. Readers count off "the seven wrong reasons to be in a relationship" (from "sexual hunger" to "emotional or spiritual emptiness"); "nine fatal flaws to watch out for in a partner" (addiction, control-freak tendencies, sexual dysfunction); seven compatibility time-bombs, etc. Although the majority of the text deals with negatives, going on the theory that recognizing self- destructive habits is the major step toward overcoming them, De Angelis comments briefly on the attitudes and flexibility necessary for change. Those unsure of whether to commit may value the elaborate self-test offered here, leading to a numerical assessment of compatibility.
Given a tolerance for lists and comfort with an approach that precludes subtlety, readers with histories of unhappy relationships may gain insight from this solid, well-organized advice.