Dating For Dummies

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Say good-bye to clammy hands, stammering, and butterflies in your stomach! This essential companion for singles escorts you through the intriguing -- and sometimes intimidating -- world of dating and relationships. Through sound advice and thoughtful tips, you discover how to get more satisfaction from your dating life. Just trade in those awful pickup lines -- for Dating For Dummies!

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Say good-bye to clammy hands, stammering, and butterflies in your stomach! This essential companion for singles escorts you through the intriguing -- and sometimes intimidating -- world of dating and relationships. Through sound advice and thoughtful tips, you discover how to get more satisfaction from your dating life. Just trade in those awful pickup lines -- for Dating For Dummies!

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
While you wouldn't want to be caught dead reading either of these titles on the subway, they offer a study in contrasts. Baber and Spitznagel seem to have set out to produce a humorous look at dating and mating, but they deliver a boorish effort that will confirm a lot of women's worst fears about male dating behavior. While some might think that the "humor book" caveat makes everything okay, the overall Beavis-and-Butthead approach to the subject, which is, less dating and more sex in these authors' minds provides little in the laughs department. Men and women should avoid this book like a blind date with a cold sore, and libraries can pass.

By contrast and in keeping with the excellent For Dummies treatment of complicated subjects, psychologist Browne's book offers a professional, insightful, and very readable examination of dating. Browne covers every aspect of the basic mechanics of dating in the 1990s, from making your own personal inventory to help you discover who you are and what you want, to finding appropriate people to date, to actually conducting dates at various stages of relationship development. Nothing seems to be missed by Browne: she tackles breaking up, sex, and even the darker sides of dating, like rape and stalking. This excellent book's biggest drawback for libraries is its numerous "work form" sections, an invitation to certain patrons to make it their own. But Dating for Dummies is worth the risk; recommended for all public libraries

. David M. Turkalo, Suffolk Univ. Law Sch. Lib, Boston.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470892053
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/11/2011
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 298,713
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Joy Browne, PhD, is not only a dating guru, but also a licensed clinical psychologist who is the award-winning host of her own nationally and internationally syndicated radio talk show.

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Table of Contents


Part I: The Starring Roles: Who Am I and Whom Do IWant?

Chapter 1: Thoroughly Modern Dating.

Chapter 2: Being Confident.

Chapter 3: Polishing Your Social Self.

Chapter 4: Finding Out What Makes You Tick.

Chapter 5: The Perfect Date: Person and Place.

Part II: Setting Up the Date.

Chapter 6: Asking for a Date.

Chapter 7: Plotting the Perfect (Sorta) First Date.

Part III: The Big Day: Preparation and Action.

Chapter 8: Getting Your Outside Ready.

Chapter 9: Getting Your Inside Ready.

Chapter 10: Impressions: First and Lasting.

Chapter 11: Having a Way Cool Time.

Chapter 12: Not Having a Way Cool Time.

Part IV: The Day After and Beyond.

Chapter 13: The Next Day.

Chapter 14: The Second Date.

Chapter 15: To Blab or Not to Blab: Sharing Personal Info.

Chapter 16: Speed Bumps on Life's Highway.

Chapter 17: Getting to Serious.

Chapter 18: Breaking Up.

Chapter 19: Rebound.

Part V: Playing It Safe and Keeping It Fresh.

Chapter 20: Safety First.

Chapter 21: Dating Sight Unseen.

Chapter 22: Keeping It Fresh, Alive, and Healthy.

Part VI: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 23: Ten+ Do's and Don'ts of Internet Dating.

Chapter 24: Ten Ways to Know You're in Love.

Chapter 25: Ten Sexual Commandments of Dating.

Chapter 26: Ten Ways to Make You and Your Date Miserable.

Appendix: Catch Phrases.


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Interviews & Essays

On Friday, February 13th, on AOL welcomed Joy Browne to discuss DATING FOR DUMMIES.

RoosvltBN: Welcome, Dr. Joy Browne. We're very happy to have you here

Joy Browne: I'm very happy to be here. I'm looking forward to hearing from those of you out there.

RoosvltBN: I'm sure they're looking forward to being heard from, so if you're all set, we'll turn it over to our audience.

Question: What do you think of dating over the Internet?

Joy Browne: I generally don't advocate dating people you've met online. There's too much fantasy involved and not enough reality. Meeting someone online is okay for a bit of spice or fantasy, but to love someone you have to actually know them, not the fantasy of who you'd like them to be.

Question: How should I address dating with my kids? I'm divorced, with three kids.

Joy Browne: How old are your kids? How long have you been divorced? How long have you been dating this person? Whoops, guess you can't answer. Okay, let me give you some guidelines Browne rule (I know everybody hates it)no dating till one year from the day the divorce becomes final -- not separated or out of love, but divorced. That gives both you and your kids some time to adjust. Once you have started dating, depending on the age of your kids, it's wise to wait at least six months before you introduce. Kids don't really get dating, and they get attached and confused, and you don't want them to have to go through a second "divorce" or worry about divided loyalty to the other parent.I know it takes some juggling, but it really is the way to go. Also, no sleep-overs. Plan your dates when the kids are away. They shouldn't have to deal with your sexuality. It's okay to say you're going out with a friend, that they have friends and so do you. Go slowly.

Question: I was wondering, what is the easiest way to let someone know you exist?

Joy Browne: Make eye contact, smile, flirt -- unless it's at work, and then I would suggest you wait till one of you leaves, since work is about competence, and dating is about fun and sex and neat stuff. Try being friendly and charming rather than overly flirtatious. I'll bet they do know you exist.

Question: Hi, Dr. Joy. How long should a person wait before dating after a divorce?

Joy Browne: I know you'll hate this, but one full year after the divorce becomes final. You don't have to put yourself on house arrest; it's okay to hang out, work on your abs, join a political campaign, do some volunteer activities, hang out with friends, but no swapping spit for a year, so you've gone through one whole cycle by yourself and know you're not using another person as a emotional Band-Aid. Think about it If you feel needy and find someone to take care of you, in a year you'll be unhappy because they're so controlling. The whole first quarter of my book is about getting yourself ready to date by knowing who you are.

Question: I'm 29 and having a hard time meeting a girl my age without serious baggage. Younger girls don't seem as interesting in conversation. Any advice ?

Joy Browne: Where are you meeting people, at AA meetings? Try meeting people in ordinary places like church or grocery stores or my favorite, volunteer activities. Maybe you're asking too many questions too soon. Women trust you and may unload on you. Try lightening up a bit on dates and doing fun, casual stuff, and see if that works better for you.

Question: What do you think of "love at first sight"?

Joy Browne: I think love at first sight is lust with potential. Far be it from me to bad-mouth either, but it's not love. You can't love someone you can't trust, and you don't know someone until you've had enough time to learn to trust them. It's fun and exciting, but it's chemistry. It takes at least a couple of months to really know someone enough to know it's love, but enjoy the chemistry, just don't bank on it. It's in the book too.

Question: My boyfriend broke up with me four months ago, and he is living with another girl now. I am terribly hurt and can hardly stand the pain. What can I do to help myself? We never had closure, and I need one more time to talk to him, but he won't talk to me.

Joy Browne: Let him go. It sounds like you'd really like him back and figure if he'll just tell you why or you see him, he'll realize that he really does love you. It's not true. I know it feels really icky right now, but let yourself begin to heal. Focus on you, not him. No more pity parties. Understand women have two categories of men, okay and not, but men have three categories for women: blech, okay (I'll live with you, tell you I love you, and be nice to your mom, but you're not the one), and category three -- a Bo Derek whose father owns a liquor store and who is a stay-at-home woman who will love me like my mom did. Sounds like you were in category two. Sorry, but you'll find someone who views you as his one and only once you give this dude up and give yourself some time to recover and get on with it.

Question: I broke your #1 rule (one year). Can we make it right?

Joy Browne: Unfortunately, you usually have to take a break from each other for six months or so, so both of you can get your equilibrium back, which is really hard once you're involved. But you know more than I can tell you how important it is to heal before going into another relationship. It really is time well spent even though it's really, really hard.

Question: Are men who say they are afraid and unsure of what they want telling the truth, or just not wanting to admit that they don't care for you enough?

Joy Browne: Good question. Unfortunately, both men and women tend to focus more on attracting someone than figuring out who they are and what they really want. Either way, I think this guy is saying sayonara for now. I'd let him walk and see what happens, and in the meantime, figure out what you want.

Question: I never know whether a woman will be impressed by chivalrous behavior or if it will offend her sense of gender equality. How can I judge, on a first date, whether to open the door for her or not?

Joy Browne: When in doubt, I'd be polite. Good manners are always in fashion, and if she can't be polite enough to accept your good manners, then maybe she needs a bit of finishing school. If she grabs the door for you, smile. It's fun when both of you are trying to be really polite to one another.

Question: I have been married for 15 years.How do I get a little romance back in the relationship?

Joy Browne: I hate to plug DATING FOR DUMMIES so blatantly, but it's about dating your spouse as well. When's the last time you planned a surprise date that involved a new place or activity? When you didn't talk about the kids or work?I'm not talking about going to the movies and the local joint, I'm talking about a walk in the park or the two of you going to an amusement park without the kids or an aquarium or necking in the car. You can take turns planning fun stuff. Should be at least a couple of times a month, if not weekly. Go for it. Get creative and sexy and fun.

RoosvltBN: Is it proper protocol for a woman to turn down the first invitation for a date?

Joy Browne: If you don't want to go out, sure. When in doubt, give somebody the benefit of that doubt, but if you're playing games, playing hard to get, I think it's a really lousy idea to start off on a dishonest foot. A rejection doesn't feel very good to either sex. If you want to go, go. If not, politely decline, but no games, please.

Question: I don't want to waste time with someone if I think it's not going to work out. How many dates should I go on before I should give up?

Joy Browne: I would say a couple, at least. It also depends on what you mean by "not working out." If they make you sick to your stomach, only one. If you're curious but not turned on, I'd say a couple. If you're on completely different wavelengths, you may be able to convert them to friends or let things percolate a bit by cutting back to a couple of dates a month rather than any more frequently.

Question: What are your feelings on "open relationships"?

Joy Browne: I assume that means sleeping around, which I don't think was ever that great an idea. If you want to date a number of people sequentially, I think that's fine, but I wouldn't advocate having sex with any more than one, or maybe none as you get to narrow the field. Your heart has always been a risk, now the rest of your body is too, with all the nasty little diseases around. Keeping sex special keeps your head, your heart, your soul, and your genitals in much better shape.

Question: Dr. Joy, I dated a woman for two years, broke up, and still have remained best friends for the last year. We both have had a hard time moving on. Is this healthy? Or should we wait around and try to work things out?

Joy Browne: Sounds like you both might benefit from no contact for six months or so. That's the advantage of friendship; it can be maintained more easily over time. During the break with no contact, you can decide if you miss each other enough to try again, and both of you will have the chance to see who else is out there with whom you might have a better chance for what both of you want.

Question: Dr Joy, what do I do about a boyfriend who I love very much who is insisting on continuing a phone relationship with a serious ex-girlfriend. Am I wrong to let it bother me?

Joy Browne: If this guy is good for you, expecting him to dump all other contacts isn't wise. Think about it You have girlfriends. I know he's a guy, but either you trust him or you don't. If you don't, dump him. If you do, trust both of you a bit more. Guys tend to have friends who are girls. Don't try to possess him. It will just make him claustrophobic. I'd drop the complaining about his ex and see how things go with you two.

Question: How soon is too soon for sex?

Joy Browne: If there's a question, I'd wait. If you're friends first, if the sex is great, everything is terrific. If the sex is a bust, at least you can talk about it. Since these days you've got to talk about condoms and safe sex as well as contraceptives, you want to make sure you trust this person. My personal rule of thumb is never before you know their middle name (and no fair asking on the first date).

Question: How do you turn down a persistent suitor?

Joy Browne: I'd get a machine and monitor calls or call blocking. There was a guy in college we called Milk of Magnesia. Neither of us ever went out with him, but he asked me and my roommate out a total of 44 times. Yikes.

Question: How do you pursue someone for a date without seeming too pushy?

Joy Browne: I'd ask three times, and after that, I would say, "Look, you seem really busy, and I'd love to go out with you if your schedule ever permits, so if you ever get some free time, here's my number, give me a call."

Question: What's codependency? What are the signs that your relationship has deteriorated into it?

Joy Browne: The term is used to describe the seemingly surprising situation that when an alcoholic stops drinking, often the family structure falls apart rather than gets better. Everyone adjusted to the problem, and when the problem goes away everything tumbles. It's not used to describe any nurturing behavior (like women, for instance). I would pay very little if any attention to psychobabble. Don't become a parent in a love relationship. Both partners need to feel healthy and whole and not needy on their own.

Question: Is it worth using the personals to find a date? Are they just filled with desperate, dysfunctional people, or are there some finds out there?

Joy Browne: I know at least a dozen couples who met and married through the personals. At the very least, if you're careful, it's a good way of jazzing up your social life. Just use some good sense. Don't give out your home address or phone number; meet in a public place in daylight hours; go in your own car. Make sure someone knows where you are and the full name of your date. I sometimes have people write an ad (whether they decide to send it off or not) just as a way of getting in touch with who they are and what they want.

Question: Do long-distance relationships really work?

Joy Browne: The problem about long-distance relationships is that there is so much more fantasy than reality. If you've known each other for a long time before the separation and it's a limited separation, it may work. For anything else, I'd adopt the Clinton Plan Don't ask, don't tell, and keep in loose touch, understanding that to find out what's going on with the two of you, sooner or later you'll have to live in the same area code.... I'm not much of a fan of LDRs, since they're maximum fantasy, minimum reality.

Question: Thank you very much for joining us tonight, Dr. Browne! We've learned a lot. Any last comments for the evening?

Joy Browne: Thank you all for asking such terrific questions. Good luck, and happy Valentine's Day!

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2007

    An exhaustive reference on dating, from first-date jitters to breaking up

    Isn¿t everybody dumb when it comes to dating? Well-known radio personality Dr. Joy Browne lays out all the mistakes ¿ and many of their cures ¿ in this exhaustive manual for dating, from searching your patterns for self-sabotaging behaviors to practical tips for the first date. Find out if your dating mode is ¿casual¿ or ¿heavy,¿ and learn what to tuck into your emergency repair kit. Browne dissects every aspect of dating, from first kiss to breaking up, and offers many good tips along the way. We recommend this for anyone who recently began circulating or is skittish about dating. Rules are helpful, but remember that some rules are made to be broken.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2000

    Dating Tips?

    The book is comprehensive but I was hoping for more tips on actual, fun dates I could take someone out on. I'd suggest The RoMANtic's Guide for some great ideas for date nights.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    Dating for Dummies

    Very entertaning and informative.....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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