Are you a woman? Single? Looking for love? Regardless of your age or previous relationship history, Paul Carrick Brunson seeks to guide you along your dating journey right into a healthy relationship. It’s Complicated ( But It Doesn’t Have to Be) is the gentleman’s guide to dating – for women.
With 21 chapters of advice meant to nudge you in the right direction, the book seems to be geared toward those who have been out of the dating scene for some time and, only those serious about finding a companion. But if you’re a serial dater or just want to learn how to date better, It’s Complicated is a great read. However, be prepared to do more than read because each chapter comes with homework that requires you to dig deep emotionally and confront those things that are holding you back from finding love.
What holds you back from finding love? The answer is, of course, unique to each individual, but based on Brunson’s research I have narrowed down four key issues that complicate our dating and hinder us from finding and keeping love:
- 1. How we view ourselves
- 2. How we present ourselves to the world
- 3. What we fear
- 4. Who we allow to influence us
1. How we view ourselves
“Check yourself!” reads the subtitle in bold print of Chapter 3: “Love Yourself Before Someone Else.” It starts from within. Searching for a man to validate you or for a relationship to sustain you is foolish. Brunson explains that self-love should reign before we link up with anyone. In addition, knowing who you are, what you like, what you add to a relationship, what you want out of a relationship are incredibly important when considering pairing with another. Knowing the answers to those questions can prevent a lot of stress and bring you closer to your goal: a relationship.
It can be nearly impossible to know what you want without first knowing who you are. Having a positive self-image is important because it contributes to your level of confidence in yourself and in the relationship you are building. Chapter 1’s homework asks, are you the marrying type? Its okay if you aren’t, but you need to know. In Chapter 4, Brunson urges you to take your relationship vitals; figure out what your values are. Your life doesn’t have to be perfect before you can start dating, but some things should be in order. “If you find your mind wandering into negative territory, ” warns Brunson, “stop and ask yourself where is this coming from, then refute the negative message with a counter message of self- worth.”
2. How We Present Ourselves to the World
Perhaps you think highly of yourself? That’s great! But do you look the part? Do your Facebook photos confirm the YOU that you want people to see? Do you wear a smile or too much makeup? In Chapter 7 titled, “No Mean Muggin,” Brunson relays a story about a girl from the Midwest who moved to NYC and found herself garnering the attention of numerous men. Why? Simply because she smiled. Well, there’s more to the story than that, but the moral is, how we present ourselves is key. Yes, what you wear, the attention you give to your hair and your body language are all important factors in dating. Here are a few tips Brunson offers:
- Stand up straight
- Wear clothes that fit
- Look those you greet in the eye
- Show a little personality and have fun
3. What We Fear
If you can get over the word no and the fear of rejection, you can be successful at just about anything. Fear of rejection is the number one reason most people choose not to do something. We’re afraid that “hearing someone say no is a declaration of your irrelevance,” shares Brunson. “But no is just another way of saying, ask someone else. The word no doesn’t control you.” So don’t let it. The more “No’s” you hear, the closer you are to hearing yes, To encourage you to get comfortable asking the question Brunson challenges readers to go on ten dates in thirty days! No excuses.
4. Who We Allow To Influence Us
Your friends aren’t relationship experts warns Brunson in Chapter 14. But you knew that already, right? Our family and friends, with the best intentions, often give us some really bad advice. Taking advice from loved ones is a bad idea because their opinion isn’t objective. They want what’s in the best interest of YOU, which may not be for the good of the relationship. Secondly, their advice to you will be clouded by their own experience, for better or worse. Lastly, they aren’t you. They do not think like you nor have they experienced what you have in the relationship. It is best to share with family and friends only what you want them to know. Brunson encourages creating a “no -prying” policy so you can share only what you are comfortable sharing. Set boundaries and limit introducing those you date to your close friends and family.
While this book offers many practical dating tips, none of it works unless you do. If you are serious about being in a happy, healthy relationship, I encourage you to pick up It’s Complicated ( But It Doesn’t Have to Be).
It’s Complicated (But Doesn’t Have To Be) receives a PAR
About Paul C. Brunson (www.paulcbrunson.com)
In the last 3 years, Paul Carrick Brunson (also known as The Modern Day Hitch) has become internationally recognized as one of the most successful matchmakers and relationship coaches. As a pioneering African-American matchmaker in the world, Paul has served over 400 clients directly and collectively through live events and social media, matched over 3,000 people on dates.
Paul’s unparalleled ability for successful matchmaking and coaching comes from really knowing and understanding his clients and their needs. Like his clients, he is cultured, well-traveled, well-educated and trained – he holds a graduate degree from a top business school, as well as additional certifications. His professional career started as an investment banker and most recently included a senior position with a top international firm. He is also a philanthropist who co-founded and chairs a foundation that focuses on school rehabilitations in the U.S. and Jamaica.
Understanding that a matchmaker is truly a guide to help clients achieve self actualization, Paul received his life coaching certification. Next, Paul further immersed himself in the art and science of matchmaking by training with Harvard Business school graduate, New York Times bestselling author, and matchmaker, Rachel Greenwald. Lastly, to ensure he was as knowledgeable as possible about the dynamics of human relationships and love, Paul undertook a literary review of hundreds of books and academic journals on psychology, sociology and behavioral science. Paul then put his acquired learning to the test by practicing pro-bono throughout 2009.
Paul’s expertise and unique understandings of love and relationship have made him a sought after expert on dating, self-actualization and relationships. Paul’s understanding and insights into romantic and lasting relationships have been featured on Dr. Drew’s LifeChangers, ANDERSON, the Washington Post, Essence, Extra, The Root, The Grio, AOL Black Voices, ABC news and Hot 97. In addition to participating in numerous relationship and community-focused panels, Paul also served as the first male speaker for the 2011 Black Enterprise Women of Power Conference and was the keynote speaker for the 2011 iDate Matchmaking Conference, the largest internet dating conferences in the US.
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