Winters’ debut dating and relationship guide teaches women that it’s important to love yourself before you can find love with someone else.
The author wrote this book after ending a two-year relationship. She admits that her qualifications as a dating expert are limited to “a desire to learn from the past” and having spent “hundreds—no thousands—on CDs, books and videos in an effort to improve [her] relationships and become smarter about men.” However, readers who pick up Winters’ guide may feel they’re getting a bargain. While her advice may not be revolutionary, it provides a kind, practical kick in the pants for any woman unlucky in love and feeling down on herself. At just 99 pages, Winters’ “man-ifesto” can be read in one sitting and gives the comforting impression of having an extended conversation with a trusted friend. Her tone is funny and self-deprecating, a key element for a book that aims to build women’s self-confidence, and she never comes across as scolding or condescending. The book’s general message—that women should find a partner who can appreciate, rather than complete, them—feels refreshing and modern. Winters suggests that readers learn how to “date themselves” by going on weekly dates alone to the movies or a favorite restaurant before searching for a partner. She encourages readers to explore online dating and offers several tips for anyone venturing into this world for the first time, including why it’s best to avoid chat requests and why it’s a waste of time to exchange too many emails before meeting someone in person. In the weakest sections of the book, the author attempts to bring in the male perspective by quoting men she knows, but their comments aren’t particularly useful or insightful; readers may feel they can trust Winters’ warmth and humor, but they’re less likely to listen to someone identified only as “Joe, 30s, married.”
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