How to Shop for a Husband: A Consumer Guide to Getting a Great Buy on a Guy


Janice Lieberman brings her vast shopping expertise as well as her personal knowledge of the dating marketplace together to tell you how to shop for the most important “purchase” of your life—your spouse. How to Shop for a Husband uses smart shopping principles to formulate rules that will help women select a spouse and “close the deal.” This savvy shopper’s guide provides a checklist all women can use in their hunt for the ultimate bargain, and also highlights potential ...

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How to Shop for a Husband: A Consumer Guide to Getting a Great Buy on a Guy

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Janice Lieberman brings her vast shopping expertise as well as her personal knowledge of the dating marketplace together to tell you how to shop for the most important “purchase” of your life—your spouse. How to Shop for a Husband uses smart shopping principles to formulate rules that will help women select a spouse and “close the deal.” This savvy shopper’s guide provides a checklist all women can use in their hunt for the ultimate bargain, and also highlights potential pitfalls.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
For ten years as NBC's Today featured consumer reporter, Janice Lieberman has been advising viewers on choosing wisely on products and services. In How to Shop for a Husband, she applies that expertise to helping readers find a superlative lifetime companion. Lieberman knows that picking a mate can be more complicated and stressful than selecting a car or a flat-screen TV, but she also recognizes that it can be more rewarding. She takes what could be a gimmicky book concept and transforms into a readable primer on getting the best man available.
Publishers Weekly
While far from romantic, this common sense dating guide from NBC's Today show consumer reporter offers some charming-if simple-advice for spotting good deals on the dating market. For example, research on marital success indicates that "shoppers" should seek someone as similar in social status and background as possible; Lieberman makes this her Mirror-Image Rule (i.e, "Be Sure to Use the Mirror in the Dressing Room"). A chapter on "Good User Interface" asserts that "the killer app when it comes to guys is good communication." Some may be turned off by the hyper-practical (some might say "traditional") tone: "Marriers are guys who like to be married. They need a woman who will coordinate their social lives... their homes and just generally provide support." Still, Lieberman provides enough hints and data to prove she's done her comparison shopping; a careful analysis of modern methods for mate-finding (online, group events, professional matchmakers, flying solo) is exceedingly helpful and demystifying; the shocker is that face-to-face speed dating is the best option for busy professionals interested in high-quality dating candidates. Though at times familiar, this rational dating primer makes a solid, sound and self-aware alternative to The Rules.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher

"This rational dating primer makes a solid, sound and self-aware alternative to The Rules."--Publishers Weekly

"Janice really knows what she's talking about - the tips she shares in HOW TO SHOP FOR A HUSBAND are the same ones she implemented in meeting and eventually marrying her own husband!"

"Uplifting and practical."

"Janice takes a fun consumer look at finding the right guy to "walk down the aisle" - it's a technique that she admits she used herself to find a husband. The book is a savvy shopper's guide provides a checklist all women can use in their hunt for the ultimate bargain, and also highlights potential pitfalls." (UK)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312549985
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 8.62 (w) x 5.72 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

JANICE LIEBERMAN has been the featured consumer reporter on NBC’s “Today” for ten years and was previously the consumer correspondent on “Good Morning America.” Lieberman also anchored “Steals and Deals,” which appeared nightly on CNBC. She is the author, with Jason Raff, of Tricks of the Trade: A Consumer Survival Guide. She lives with her husband and two children in New Jersey.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

What to Shop For

We get it. It's easy to get stuck in the "dressing room of dating."

Sure, at first, shopping for a husband can be lots of fun. There are so many different shapes and sizes for a girl to try on! But just like any other shopping trip, if you don't get lucky right away, shopping for a guy can get pretty tiring, pretty fast.

Here's how it usually goes: this one doesn't quite fit around the hips, that one makes you look seriously frumpy, and the other one is waaaaaay too pricey. Before you know it—can somebody bring me a latte?—you've tried on more than you can even remember, and you're ready to call it a day. The pile on the dressing room floor has reached mountainous proportions and you've begun to feel as if you'll never hear the register go "ka-ching!"

Well, that's where we come in.

Ladies, it's time to shop smart. Just think of us as your very own personal shoppers in this, the most important shopping expedition of your life. We're here to teach you how to get a great buy on a guy—and to get you to that checkout counter, pronto.

So, listen up: step number one to becoming a wise shopper in today's dating marketplace, what we call the "meet market," is learning exactly what to shop for in a man.

This may seem simple, but believe us, it's not. Finding perfectly good husband material is no easy stroll through the mall these days.

A hundred years ago things were much more straightforward. A girl's parents chose for her, or she selected an eligible man from a small group, narrowly circumscribed by social class, geographic location, and the value of her dowry. Period. This is still the tried-and-true method for finding a spouse in many cultures today, including parts of India, the Middle East, and Japan (although nowadays the arranging often takes place by cell phone and instant messaging). A family meeting, a few chaste dates, and then wham! A walk down the aisle.

Are you thinking, Lucky them?

We hear you. The state of dating in America today is enough to make a girl wish that the fine art of marriage arrangement weren't a dying practice. A meddling yenta or a courtly coming-out party may sound pretty good if you've become a luckless, long-term Match ficom constituent. Okay, sure, a quick perusal of Anna Karenina's or Madame Bovary's miserable marriages will set you straight about the good ol' days, but there is something to be said for rules, criteria, parameters, and traditions when it comes to dating.

Unfortunately, in our world, all bets are off. Here's the harsh truth: it's a free-for-all out there. After all, anyone is possible dating material, you can meet that special someone anywhere, and when you do, anything can happen. Sure, your choices are almost limitless, and the male marketplace is global. This should be a good thing, right? Age, race, and social background may be a consideration, but they are definitely not the insurmountable boundaries they once were. This newfound freedom in dating is not something we're really willing to give up, but it certainly does make dating more baffling than it has ever been.

The questions abound: What should you be looking for in a man and how will you know him when you see him? What makes a guy a keeper, and who should be tossed out with yesterday's half-eaten Caesar salad?

Okay, no freaking out allowed! Let's think rationally. When the sky's the limit in choosing a husband, then you have to make your own criteria. So, let's look at this as wise consumers:

Q: What do you do when you're setting out on any other important shopping spree?

A: You make a list. A shopping list.

If you're willing to put pen to paper to make a trip to the supermarket, why in the world wouldn't you do it for a husband?

Our advice is this: make a list of the most important characteristics you are looking for in a man. Sounds good, right?

But, wait!

Before you start, read on. We don't want you to make just any list. We've seen that one: smart, funny, and handsome. Blah, blah, and blah. Just wake us up when you're done, OK?

We want you to make a list of qualities that really, truly count—your very own PGHM (Perfectly Good Husband Material) shopping list—and we're going to help you out.

We've done the legwork for you, ladies, and we've uncovered exactly what it takes to be PGHM. We've also discovered why we women so often don't recognize PGHM when we see it. Let us help you write your very own shopping list that will help you get married to the right guy, on the double.

First, we're going to tell you why you are stuck in the dressing room of dating and not hearing the register ring. Then, we'll show you what really makes a guy a keeper.

PERSONAL SHOPPER TIP: Check out the PGHM (Perfectly Good Husband Material) Meters throughout Part I of this book—they'll tell you what to look for in a guy. The higher the number on the meter, the better the husband material. Got it? Think of us as Consumer Reports meets the Love Guru.

Once you learn what really constitutes PGHM, you'll be ready to make your own shopping list in the space provided.

Then you can hit the stores.

You don't have to thank us. It's our plea sure to shop with you!


If you want to get out of the dressing room of dating, you have to learn what makes a guy PGHM. Then make your own shopping list and get ready for the most important shopping trip of your life. Before you know it, you'll hear the register go ka-ching!

Excerpted from How to Shop for a Husband by JANICE LIEBERMAN with Bonnie Teller
Copyright © 2009 by Janice Lieberman
Published in May 2009 by St. Martin's Press

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments XI

Introduction 1

Part I What to Shop For 5

Rule #1 Don't Choose a Man by his Shoes-And Don't be Crazy Picky 9

Rule #2 Trade in Being Picky for Being Choosy 18

Rule #3 Don't Settle When you Shop... but be Willing to Compromise 25

Rule #4 Choosy Shoppers Choose... a Guy With Good Guts 35

Rule #5 Be Sure to Check under The Hood and Buy a Model with a Powerful Engine 41

Rule #6 Look for a Garment-Oops, we Mean a Guy-who will Withstand the Test of Time: Seek Out a Little Black Dress Among Men 45

Rule #7 Be Sure to Use the Mirror in the Dressing Room: Learn the Mirror-Image Rule 54

Rule #8 Search for GUI: Good User Interface 60

Rule #9 Listen to the Real Experts When Deciding on the Options 63

Rule #10 Know a Guy's History-Is he a Marrier or a Player or, Worst of All, Both? 74

Rule #11 After-Purchase Repairs and Alterations: Know When the Hems can be Altered and Sleeves Taken Up 77

Rule #12 Look for the Right Fit: Must he be One-Of-A-Kind Or can You Go With Ready-To-Wear? 80

Part II Where and How to Shop 85

Rule #1 Shop Online-It Works! 87

Rule #2 Be a bricks-and-mortar dater 104

Rule #3 Speed Dating is the Way to Go 109

Rule #4 Word of Mouth: Persistence Pays 113

Rule #5 Find Out Where the Boys are 119

Rule #6 Professional Matchmakers and Matchmaking Services May (Or May Not) be Worth Your While 124

Rule #7 It's Good to Shop Alone 131

Rule #8 Your Mother and Your Friends May Not Be on Your Side 134

Rule #9 Sorry, But ... You May Need to Repackage (Yourself, That Is!) 136

Rule #10 Get Shrunk-Yes, in the Head! 143

Rule #11 Don't Let the Last Seven Pounds, or Any Other Lame Excuse, Hold You Back 147

Part III How to Close the Deal 153

Rule #1 Make Sure You've Done Your Research 155

Rule #2 Remember to Read the Labels Before You Put Him in the Wash 161

Rule #3 Dump These Guys 164

Rule #4 Don't Fall for These Scams 169

Rule #5 Let Him Think He's Doing the Shopping 174

Rule #6 Check the Expiration Date 181

Rule #7 If You Want to Walk the Walk (Down the Aisle, That is), Be Sure to Have "The Talk" 187

Rule #8 The Fine Art of Closing the Deal 193

Conclusion ... Or, How to Enjoy Your Purchase! 201

The How to Shop for a Husband Dating Glossary 207

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 10, 2009

    Shop for a husband the way you shop for the perfect fit black dress.

    This book is insightfully, witty, and gives an alternative spin on looking for a mate. I love the metaphoric use of shopping for clothes vs shopping for a husband not a boy toy. Lol, Great analogy! I think this book is a great tool if you're searching for you long lost mate. It's straight to the point and has great tips for passive women that are unsure of what she is looking for.

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

    Posted June 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Seriously good.

    I thought this was a total cute idea for a dating/relationship book, but once I started flipping through, I thought it was ingenious! Ms. Liebrman really hits the mark and tells us girl how to get our man. I would recommend this one.

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  • Posted May 20, 2009

    Great Gift --Really Cute and Informative!!

    I bought this book because it looks really cute and is filled with funny lists and it has interviews with Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry and others. It turns out that I actually learned some stuff from it--like why certain guys are more likely to stay married and what actually makes marriages last a long time and what are the most important things to look for when you get married. I definitely am going to apply my new found knowledge in my shopping process!!!!! I highly recommend this book--it is not just another silly advice book. It has real information. Plus someone should make a movie about Janice LIeberman's getting married story--it's hilarious (and it bizarrely involves Charles Grodin so you have to read it to get it). Better than He's Just not that into you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2010

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