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October 26, 2010

Review: Succeed with Women relies on cliches

An interview with the authors, also by Hallie Grumer, can be found here.

Sections in How to Succeed with Women Without Being Weird verge on the comically absurd, possibly as the result of it being written by two men. The views expressed about women often seem to reveal more about the psychology of the authors than about actual dating. Some of their suggestions may appear degrading or inappropriate, particularly given their often overly simplistic discussion of feminine mentality. Although generalizations are necessary for a dating guide with such a wide scope, these broad overviews diminish the usefulness of otherwise helpful comments and can make them appear insensitive.

The advice offered in each section is written in a simplistic way and provides practical solutions to problems or fears of the dating world. While the counsel given in the sections is constructive for the most part, many are uninspired, commonplace suggestions such as “be confident” or “dress well.” However, encouraging advice like this is also mixed with misleading suggestions like “be a player” or “make subtle insults.” This makes it hard to utilize the positive instructions without including negative ones as well.

While many of the tips given seem intuitive or obvious, it is helpful to remember that the book is intended for a specific audience with very little experience in the dating world. For those men who are more confident or capable in their romantic interactions, this book is probably unhelpful in that it will not offer any new perspectives or specific details. If, however, you are someone who finds talking to women prohibitively uncomfortable, this book may serve as a useful starting point for engaging in deeper, more enduring relationships. Which, at a school like the University of Chicago, can only improve a guy’s prospects. But, as they say, this is the school where the only thing that goes down on you is your GPA, so don’t get your hopes up.

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