Marriage Minded: An A to Z Dating Guide for Lasting Love

Marriage Minded: An A to Z Dating Guide for Lasting Love

by Marcia Naomi Berger
Marriage Minded: An A to Z Dating Guide for Lasting Love

Marriage Minded: An A to Z Dating Guide for Lasting Love

by Marcia Naomi Berger


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From single to happily ever after . . .

Any woman who wants to marry can . . . once she learns how. Marriage Minded's A to Z format, packed with warmth, wisdom, and humor, makes the process fun and informative. You will learn how to overcome obstacles, meet men, and date constructively; you’ll read about single women of all ages who became happily married; and in Marcia Naomi Berger, you’ll have a sensitive guide to creating the lasting, loving union you’ve always wanted. After her parents divorced, Berger became a long-term commitmentphobe who stayed single for many years. Now happily married for more than thirty-three years, this psychotherapist and clinical social worker’s mission is to help others create marriages that fulfill them—emotionally, spiritually, physically, and materially.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781647421793
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 09/14/2021
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Marcia Naomi Berger (née Fisch), MSW, LCSW, leads dynamic marriage and communication workshops and is a popular speaker at conferences. In addition to working as a clinical social worker with a private psychotherapy practice in San Rafael, California, she’s taught continuing education classes for therapists at the Universityof California Berkeley Extension, Alliant International University, and online and in person for various professional associations. While employed by the City and County of San Francisco, she held senior-level positions in child welfare, alcoholism treatment, and psychiatry. She also served as a lecturer on the clinical faculty at the Universityof California, School of Medicine, and as executive director of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East Bay. Berger lives in Marin County, California, with her husband, David Berger. She gives their weekly marriage meetings major credit for their lasting happiness together, which inspired her to write her first book, Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You've Always Wanted. She may be contacted at or via

Table of Contents

Introduction xvii

Overcoming Obstacles

A is for

Ambivalence. Tips here to resolve it 1

Anxiety. Get past it to prepare to date successfully 2

Attitude: What false beliefs may be holding you back? 3

Awareness. Self-awareness makes change and growth possible 8

Awesome. Yes, you are! 8


B is for

Balance. Balancing four aspects of our lives keeps us resilient and optimistic 9

Be Aware. Stay conscious of what you want: a man who wants marriage 12

Be Yourself. Your glow willl attract men to inquire about you 15

Boundaries. Men who are right for you will respect your boundaries 15

C is for

Character. Value good character traits above other qualities 16

Chemistry. Yes, but are you compatible in other essential ways? 17

Choose. Choose someone with good qualities who'll grow with you 19

Clarity. Stay on track by keeping your goal in mind 20

Comfort Zone. To change negative thinking, befriend optimists 21

Communication. Be aware of your nonverbal messages too 22

Curiosity. Expressing it can show interest and may clear up misunderstandings 23

D is for

Deal Breaker. Know where to draw the line 25

Dignity. Acting in ways that reflect your values maintains self-respect 26

Diligence. Be thorough, persistent, and resilient 27

E is for

Easy Does It. Stay calm and receptive 29

Empathy. A key trait for a potential partner; one can learn to show it 29

Expectations (for Dating). Lower the bar if you're expecting perfection 31

F is for

Faith. Includes faith-building suggestions 33

Feelings. Yours are essential, but keep your brain in charge 35

Flexibility. Be willing to shift gears sometimes to accommodate a partner 35

Friendship. Spouses in the best marriages are lovers and best friends 38

Fun. Is the person you're interested in someone with whom you have fun? 40

G is for

Goal. Learn if he's marriage minded 41

Grace. Accept the ups and downs of dating with kindness and poise 43

Gratitude. Express appreciation to men for their good traits and actions 46

Grieving. Process feelings about a previous relationship before starting a new one 48

Grit. Show tenacity; learn to bounce back from setbacks 52

Gumption. Speak up when you have something important to say 52

H is for

Happy. Single or married, create your own happiness, and you'll glow 54

Healing. Heal from a past loss; bring your healthiest self into dating 54

Honesty. Truthfulness is a vital trait in a partner and yourself 56

Hookups. Can a hookup lead to a good marriage? 58

Humility. Knowing you can learn and grow keeps you interesting and attractive 58

Humor. It's essential to laugh about situations and yourselves, respectfully 60

I is for

I-Statements. Use them to enhance positive communication (includes examples) 61

Independent. Self-reliance makes you more attractive to yourself and others 65

Interdependent. In a good relationship, partners value each other's strengths 67

Interesting. Doing stimulating activities makes us more attractive to others 68

J is for

Journey. Be patient while finding your excellent marriage partner. Enjoy the trip 71

Joy. Do what makes you feel glad to be alive. Your radiance will have a ripple effect 72

K is for

Kindness. Look for this essential character trait in a potential partner and yourself 75

Knowing Yourself. Self-knowledge is powerful 77

L is for

Lists. Three lists are prescribed to help identify an excellent potential spouse 79

Love. Love deepens in a good marriage 82

Love Yourself. Loving yourself empowers you to love another 84

M is for

Marriage. Marriage is a journey with joys and challenges 86

Marriage Meetings. Describes the basics and benefits of holding weekly meetings 88

Mentors. Observe and befriend happily married folks who serve as role models 90

Millennial. This age group faces specific dating challenges, described here 93

Money: How Do You Relate to It? You can gain insight here about your beliefs and behaviors concerning money 97

Money and Dating. Who pays for what while dating? 101

Money and Marriage. Tells how to address the financial aspects of marriage 104

N is for

Negotiate. Fine partners talk about differences kindly and respectfully 111

No. Be willing to say no to a potential partner request that doesn't suit you 115

O is for

Online dating. Tips are given here for how to use the internet wisely and safely 116

Openness. Be the real you to know whether the two of you fit well for marriage 118

Opposites. People in good marriages choose mates with essential similarities 119

P is for

Patience. As you move toward your goal, be patient, and gain inner peace 124

Pattern. Might you have a self-defeating pattern that's keeping you from committing? 125

Plan. Good planning helps you meet men, date, and know who's right for you 128

Prayer. Many gain strength and courage via praying in a way that fits for them 130

Preconceptions. Don't let expectations about superficialities get in your way 130

Q is for

Qualify. Find out reasonably soon if someone you like is marriage minded 132

Quirks. We all have our oddities. So expect some to show up in a potential partner 132

R is for

References. You may gain reassurance from people who will vet a prospective partner. 134

Religion. People raised with the same religion are more likely to have good marriages 135

Requests. A good relationship allows for occasional, respectful, constructive criticism 136

Resilience. Bounce back and learn from disappointments along your journey 139

Respect. Notice whether a potential partner is respectful toward you and others 140

Romance. Yes, but for lasting passion, also look for basic compatibilities 141

S is for

Secrets. You do not have to reveal everything but should share certain matters 143

Self-Awareness. Self-understanding fosters authentic, empathic relating 145

Self-Esteem. Recognizing our intrinsic worth fosters healthy, satisfying relationships 146

Self-Nurture. We stay vital and attractive by engaging in pleasant, uplifting activities 147

Self-Talk. We can reverse negative self-talk with a simple process 149

Serendipity. Cultivate a receptive attitude toward unexpected occurrences 151

Sex: Different Ways for Different Women. Several women offer their thoughts here about sex without commitment 152

Sex: What Research Reveals. Three studies show how the timing of sexual involvement affects marital fulfillment 156

Space. People's needs for alone time differ. Know your own and your partner's preferences 159

Spirituality. Learn about your own and a potential partner's ideas about spirituality 161

Spontaneity. Doing something unexpected together can be fun and refreshing 163


T is for

Teamwork. Notice how well the two of you cooperate and share responsibilities 164

Testing. Test the relationship over time before committing 165

Therapy. A good therapist can help you overcome obstacles and succeed 167

Trauma. Healing from trauma helps prepare you to choose a partner wisely 169

Trust. Does he keep his word? Be aware of signs that a prospective partner is trustworthy 171

U is for

Ultimatum. You'll sense the right time to ask where he wants the relationship to go 174

Unfinished Business. Make peace with your past and move forward confidently. 177


V is for

Values. Compatible values are essential for a fulfilling, lasting union 179

Vitality. Maintain your energy by doing activities that foster aliveness in you 181

Voluntary. Strive for a relationship that respects each partner's autonomy 182

Vulnerable. Expressing our feelings, wants, and needs respectfully promotes intimacy 183

W is for

Wedding. Does an over-the-top wedding predict a good marriage? Usually, no 186

X is for

EXasperating. Accept your own and your partner's imperfections 188

EXciting. Do fun and new activities regularly, together and on your own 189

EXes. Clarify the status of a past relationship; set boundaries 192

Expectations (for Marriage). By keeping your expectations realistic, you're likely to succeed in marriage 193

Y is for

You. Nourish your individuality with the activities and people you enjoy 196

Z is for

Zest. The aliveness you foster by doing enjoyable activities is contagious 199

ZZZ (Sleep). Get enough sleep to bring your best self into your marriage 201

Conclusion 203

Appendix. Class Handouts for Marry with Confidence Workshop 205

Reading List 221

Notes 223

Index 231

Acknowledgments 239

About the Author 241

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