Mars and Venus on a Date: A Guide for Navigating the 5 Stages of Dating to Create a Loving and Lasting Relationship

Mars and Venus on a Date: A Guide for Navigating the 5 Stages of Dating to Create a Loving and Lasting Relationship

by John Gray


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060932213
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/01/2005
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 94,223
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

John Gray, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading relationship experts, and an authority on improving communication styles for couples, companies, and communities. His many books have sold more than fifty million copies in fifty different languages worldwide. John lives with his wife and children in northern California.


San Francisco, California

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

Houston, Texas


B.A., M.A., Maharishi European Research University; Ph.D., Columbia Pacific University, 1982

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Mars and Venus on a Date

During my relationship seminars, single women often come up to me and describe in great detail what they thought was a wonderful date. The question that follows is almost always the same. Every one of these women says, "I can't understand why it didn't work out." If everything went so well, each wonders, why didn't he want to pursue the relationship? To most women, men are still a mystery. Their questions often reveal a complete misunderstanding and misinterpretation of men.

Women ask:

  • How do I attract the right guy for me?

  • Why do men talk so much about themselves?

  • Why don't men call back?

  • Why don't men commit?

  • How do you get a man to open up?

  • Why do I have to do everything to make this relationship work?

  • Everything is great, but my partner doesn't want to get married and I do. What can I do?

  • Why do I keep getting involved with the same kind of guy?

A woman's questions tend to revolve around one issue: How do I secure a loving, lasting relationship? Women want to make sure they can get what they need in a relationship. Men, on the other hand, have different questions. Their questions focus on making sure they are successful in their relationships but also reveal a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of women.

Men ask:

    How do I know what a woman wants?

  • Why are women so indirect about things?

  • Why do we start arguing about the littlest things?

  • Why can't a women just say what she means?

  • How do I know if she is the one?

  • Why does she always want to talk about therelationship?

  • Things are fine now, so why rock the boat and get married?

  • Why do women ask so many questions?

Although men's and women's questions reflect different orientations toward dating, they do have two things in common: Men and women want their relationships to be loving, and they definitely don't understand each other. We feel powerless at times to get what we want in our relationships.

It might seem hopeless, but it is not. Once men and women learn how they approach dating and relationships differently, then we have the necessary information and insight to begin finding the answers to our questions. Without a deeper understanding of our differences, it is inevitable that we will continue to misinterpret our dating partners and create unnecessary problems.

How We Unknowingly Sabotage Relationships

When we misinterpret each other, it can cause us to sabotage our relationships unknowingly. A woman may mistakenly conclude her date is "just another man incapable of making a commitment" and give up. A man may think his date is another woman whose needs may smother him and take away his freedom. As a result, he loses interest.

No matter how sincere you are, if your partner is misinterpreting your innocent and automatic reactions and responses, your attempts to create a relationship may be unsuccessful. It is not enough merely to be authentic in sharing yourself; to succeed in dating you need to consider how you will be interpreted as well. For this reason there are times when we cannot just "be ourselves." Instead, we must hold back our initial gut reactions and measure our responses in ways that will communicate where we are coming from.

Making sense of the opposite sex frees us to make decisions and choices conducive to getting what we want, but in a way that works. To do this, it is essential that we have a deeper understanding of the different worlds we come from. While I have explored many of these differences in my previous book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, there are many issues specifically relevant to being single that were not covered.

A deeper understanding of single men and women can be immensely helpful in navigating through the five different stages of dating: attraction, uncertainty, commitment, intimacy, and engagement. With this new insight, it will be easier to interpret each other's behavior correctly and act accordingly.

The Five Stages Of Dating

Stage One: Attraction

In stage one of dating, we experience our initial attraction to a potential partner. The challenge in this first stage is to make sure you get the opportunity to express that attraction and get to know a potential partner. With a clear understanding of how men and women approach dating differently, you will be able to put your best foot forward.

Stage Two: Uncertainty

In stage two, we experience a shift from feeling attraction to feeling uncertain that our partner is right for us. The challenge in this stage is to recognize this uncertainty as normal and not be swayed by it. To become uncertain doesn't mean that someone is not right for you. When you are dating someone who seems really special to you, it is quite normal suddenly to wonder whether you wish to continue dating that person. Without an understanding of this stage, it is too easy for a man to drift from one partner to another and for a woman to make the mistake of pursuing a man more than he is pursuing her.

Stage Three: Exclusivity

In stage three we feel a desire to date a person exclusively. We want the opportunity to give and receive love in a special relationship without competition. We want to relax and have more time to share with our partner. All of the energy that went into looking for the right person can now go into creating a mutually loving and romantic relationship. The danger in this stage is that we become too comfortable and stop doing the little things that make our partners feel special.

Stage Four: Intimacy

In stage four we begin to experience real intimacy. We feel relaxed enough to let down our guard and share ourselves more deeply than before. The opportunity of this stage is to experience the best in ourselves and our partner, while the challenge to deal with our less-than-best sides. Without an understanding of how men and women react differently to intimacy, it is easy to conclude mistakenly that we are just too different to proceed.

Stage Five: Engagement

In stage five, with the certainty that we are with the person we want to marry, we become engaged. In this stage we have the opportunity to celebrate our love. This is the time to experience our relationship joyfully, happily, peacefully, and lovingly. This is a time of great excitement and promise. Many couples make the mistake of rushing into getting married. They do not understand that this is a vital time to gather positive experiences of sharing together and resolving disagreements and disappointments before the bigger challenges of being married, moving in together, and having a family. This stage provides a strong foundation for experiencing a lifetime of love and romance.

Throughout Mars and Venus on a Date, we will explore in great detail the five stages of dating and the various questions that come up in each stage. Each chapter will provide you with fundamental insights about how men and women approach dating differently so that you can correctly interpret your partner and then choose to respond in ways that will not be misunderstood. In this way you will make use of every opportunity to create the relationship of your dreams.

Dating Can Be Much Easier

Whether you are starting over, just starting to date, or have been dating for years, one thing doesn't seem to change: Dating is awkward and has definite moments of pain and discomfort. For some people, one of the primary motivations for getting married is to avoid dating. Yet dating doesn't have to be so dreary or difficult, nor does it have to seem endless. As a matter of fact, if you are looking for that special someone, the fastest way of finding him or her -- and being found -- is to create positive dating experiences.

Knowing what to expect in each of the five stages of dating makes it incredibly easier. For example, in the first stage -- attraction -- when a woman understands why a man doesn't call back the next day, even when he is attracted and interested, it frees her from worrying unnecessarily. By learning a new approach for calling him that doesn't minimize her position with him, it frees her even more to enjoy the dating process: no more sitting by the phone wondering when he will call.

In a similar way, this understanding of our differences makes the whole process of dating much easier for a man. For example, when a man understands exactly what women need and what he needs to do to satisfy those needs, then it gives him the confidence that he can succeed in winning over the woman he wants and loves. Quite often, what he would want is not necessarily what she wants. By learning these differences, he can understand what to do at each of the five stages.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix(2)
Introduction xi
1 Mars and Venus on a Date
2 Finding the Right Person for You
3 Stage One: Attraction
4 Stage Two: Uncertainty
5 Stage Three: Exclusivity
6 Stage Four: Intimacy
7 Stage Five: Engagement
8 Making It Through the Five Stages
9 When the Clock Keeps Ticking and He's Not Wearing a Watch
10 Men Are Like Blowtorches, Women Are Like Ovens
11 The Dynamics of Male and Female Desire
12 Men Pursue and Women Flirt
13 Acknowledge Men and Adore Women
14 Men Advertise and Women Share
15 Why Men Don't Call
16 To Call or Not to Call
17 Men Love a Woman with a Smile
18 Women Love a Man with a Plan
19 Why Some Women Remain Single
20 Where to Find Your Soul Mate
21 101 Places to Meet Your Soul Mate
22 And They Lived Happily Ever After

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Mars and Venus on a Date 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Mitchell175 More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book on a whim after having recently jumped back into the dating pool after a long, self-imposed dry spell. I was feeling very down in the dumps after a "great date" that then didn't go anywhere. What is the problem? Is it me? Is it him? Did I do something wrong? Did he? This book has answers for all of that. I especially loved Gray's explanation for the 5 stages of relationships: Attraction, Uncertainty, Exclusivity, Intimacy and Engagement. What I learned is that it's all a matter of learning where you - and your partner - are in the 5 stages. It's never going to work if you're not in the same place. By being aware of what stage both of you are in, you can modify your actions and reactions suitable to the proper stage. Wish I had known that before blowing things with the "great date" guy! Now that I understand the stages, I can plan my reactions differently for the next guy. This book is NOT about hiding who you are. Instead, it's about recognizing the patterns we fall into, and offers advice for how to slow down and stop having unrealistic expectations. If your partner is still in an earlier stage, Gray's book offers advice for how to step back to the earlier stage yourself, until you can both move into the next stage together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book, it has so much information and is very accurate to the real world. I have read some stuff in this book that I know I have done in the past and sit and wonder what ever happened? Now I know. Very informational and encouraging to someone starting over or wanting to find a good man. I find these types of books are essential to starting a new relationship off fresh and on the right track.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Gray knows and understands the respect a woman wants from a man on a date.He explains what a woman needs to feel cherished and what a man needs to feel he can someday get somewhere with the woman,but on the woman's terms not his,because the man's terms will lead to sex before the woman is ready and she will feel used. John Gray takes pressure off the woman,and helps the man understand how to keep a woman's interest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Finially a book has been written that unlocks the mysteries of dating. I have been more sucessful in dating after reading this book. I definately recommend this book to all the single people in this world.
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Wow! So helpful. Every relationship-seeking being should read this awesome book.
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Maureen Ippoliti More than 1 year ago
I love this book! Made me feel better after a break up ! If u want the secrets, they are in here. ;)
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LadyJMW More than 1 year ago
To better communicate with a significant other, I highly recommend reading this book. All of the questions I ever had about Men's behavior was answered. Now I understand how to communicate for a stronger, meaningful and deeper relationship. Because I am discerning, I like that this book was written by a trained professional. Great book, I'm buying a hard copy and am definitely a John Gray fan now!
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