Thursday, July 20, 2006

The unGuide to Dating

The unGuide to Dating by Camerin Courtney and Todd Hertz, 2006, Revell

As a 32 year old man who has never been married, I must admit that I find the general American Christian church's approach to singleness to be disheartening. This is because the standard approach treats us all as glorified youth, and most Christian leaders simply can't imagine what our lives are like. The dating "advice" that they give is also really aimed at teenagers, and not at adults. Hence, the opening for a book such as this. Written by two magazine editors in their 30s who have never been married, the book focuses on the adult dimensions of the dating game. However, it isn't a dating guide as such, hence the rather odd title. I didn't like the title when I first encountered this book, but after reading it I must admit that it is rather apt.

Secular dating books will try to teach you how to be more attractive to the oppostite sex, or great pickup lines, or places to go to meet single people, that kind of thing. This book doesn't do that. This book focuses on how to approach relationships (including potential romantic ones) in a Christian way, as well as relevant topics such as should the man or woman make the first move, body image, inter-gender friendships, and so on. Interestingly enough, while many questions are raised, almost no answers are given. At first blush this might indicate that the book is failing. On the contrary, most of the questions don't have one set answer to begin with, and each individual must answer the questions for themselves.

The book itself is only slightly over 200 pages, and there is liberal use of white space, so it reads pretty fast. Overall, it does a good job with its topic and should prove useful to its target audience.

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