This book took me over a month to read which for me is really odd. Why I hear you ask? Because I kept stopping to really think about what he was saying and applying it to my life. I’m going to say everyone single, dating, engaged, living together or married should read this book because it is 100% worth the effort.
If you don’t have the time it’s going to take to read and understand this book then at least go watch this presentation on the main theme of the book the RAM – Relationship Attachment Model
So why am I raving about a book that took me forever to read and at times is more like a Psychology textbook than a book aimed at singles trying to find Mr or Mrs Right for them. Because this book is a blueprint for how not to let morons, jerks, psycho and nut jobs into you life and can be applied to all aspects of your life not just dating.
The main message of the book is that patterns of behaviour don’t become evident when you first meet someone but will start to show after about 3 months because by that time in any relationship (dating, friendship, housemates) the person will be comfortable enough in your company to be themselves.
This makes it sound like we all “hide” our true selves when we first meet people and to some degree we do because from the time we are children we’re told to be on our best behaviour when we’re out in public or when we first meet people. However by the time you’ve known someone for 3 months any ingrained personality traits, life long habits and quirks will start to surface both because you’ll both be more relaxed and less guarded about what you do and say but also because unless you’re a sociopath it’s unlikely you can keep up the “polite” version of yourself for longer than 3 months.
So the main message of the book is wait and watch. It’s easy when you first meet someone to go “oh wow we click so well” and let them into your life thinking that you know them only to discover you really didn’t know them at all. So before truly letting someone into your life wait and get to know them as a person, watch them in all and any social settings and above all evaluate if they are truly going to “FIT” into your world.
Ask yourself some of the following questions:
- What are they like with their family?
- How do they treat waiters in restaurants?
- How do they treat pets and children?
- Do you have similar values?
- Do they have habits that drive you nuts?
- Do they value you and your time or is it all about THEM?
- Are you their conscience – if so run you’ve just met a sociopath
These are all things we tend to find out after we’ve let someone into your lives and sometimes ended up having to kick them out of our lives because it turns out the person you thought you know was the “polite” version of someone not the real day-to-day person.
The RAM is a simple tool (see pics below). Technically if you and your partner are compatible then the bars should be even or close to even across the scale. if they are out of balance then your relationship is out of balance and you either need to work on getting it in balance or get the hell out of that relationship before you add more crap to your “omg why do I only ever end up with stray dogs, losers, psycho, nut jobs” mind map of how you view relationships.
The other tool in the book is MARRIAGE Data Files tool. Basically it makes you look at the what the pre-programmed data in you head about the 8 qualities of a partner are and sort through them for a clearer mindset of what is still useful but also what is not useful and needs to be ditched or reprogrammed.
If you do as I said read the book and love it then you might also be interested in heading over and checking out the Love Links website which has the full PICK program on it as well as a range of other tools. I’m not 100% sure what the PICK program is but it’s been implemented by the US Military as a tool for soldiers dealing with relationship and dating issues. PICK = Premarital Interpersonal Choices and Knowledge Program and it was developed off the “How To Avoid Falling In Love With a Jerk” book and seminars.
Before anyone goes – she must be being paid for this!
Nope sorry not being paid I very much doubt that Dr Van Epp and his team even know I exist or that I’m reviewing his book and telling the world to go spend some time and effort reading it. In 11 years of husband hunting, several years of counselling and life coaching plus doing a psychology degree this is the first book I’ve ever read that honestly told me what I’m doing wrong and how to do it right for letting people into my world.