Dating Girl: 10 Things I Learned From @Bethenny Frankel’s New Book

Apr 29th 2015 0 Comments

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by @KimberleeVDW

I am not exactly one to read dating advice books. However, I am a fan of Bethenny Frankel. She’s been through some drama recently so I thought her new book “I Suck at Relationships”  would offer good insight. I related to Bethenny a lot on the show “Real Housewives of New York” (although I only watched Season 1), because she spoke her mind. She is a very strong woman but felt trapped to having it all together professionally but her personal life was a mess. Something that terrifies me is seeing such a successful woman not doing well with relationships.

It’s a fear of mine. 

Anyways…this is her 8th book and her others have been best sellers. It is definitely written in the Bethenny Frankel tone, blunt and to the point, so if you’re not a fan of that then maybe skip. She also had others chime in with their advice like her celeb friends and her therapist. Here are some nuggets of wisdom I took away:

  1. “Don’t make the mistake of of expecting your partner to fulfill all your needs.” Spread it around to your girlfriends, family, career and even exercise. Such a trap I see many women fall into. I’ve discussed on Dating Girl previously how you have to make yourself better before entering a relationship. Going in with the mindset that the your partner is going to fix things or fill these empty voids is not only juvenile but reckless.
  2. “Know your own personal crazy” is a great way of putting it lol. Know what your triggers are, what sets you off (jealousy, etc) and be able to discuss them when you enter a new relationship so your partner can be better equipped at dealing with them when they arise… oh and they will arise.
  3. Figure out what winning is to you. “Don’t hate the player, hate the game” is Chapter 4 and Bethenny points out that the point of any game is to win. Is it a one night stand? Is it getting his attention? Is a long-term relationship? It can also change with time. Right now you might just want to be casual so don’t lose sight of what you winning means to you. If it’s not the game you want to win, don’t play. I really hate the games so I liked this chapter because unfortunately you do have to but it can be fun as long as you set the rules for yourself.
  4. Try the Burner Method. In order to get some practice in the games, she suggests “burners” (aka men to test experiments on). This is funny because my best friend and I referred to potential mates as flames. “Oh that flame blew out” when the relationship didn’t go anywhere. She recommends not juggling more than one at a time though. These relationships are meant for you to try on different suitors and see what you like. It’s temporary.
  5. Cat and mouse games can be sexy. The thought of cat and mouse is so immature to me but the way Bethenny described it was almost sexy. She used the word tantalizing people.
  6. Sometimes you gotta lean out. We hear so much about women having to lean in. Bethenny says in relationships sometimes you have to lean out to keep your partner on their toes. But on the flip side, know when to lean in (aka be more attentive and loving).
  7. Don’t let your future control your reality. Bethenny and I relate a lot on our control issues. She told a story about how a guy talked about moving in together in the future and she panicked. I know I’ve joked that I ideally don’t want to live with my partner because I need my own space. I could relate to her story and know this is something I need to tell myself. 6 months into a relationship, I might be in a different headspace and shouldn’t turn it down immediately.
  8. Money is the root of all evil. Only half kidding. Money has been a major issue for Bethenny in many of her relationships. For women who are the primary breadwinners they tend to hold onto their money because they earned it. There’s safety and independence to money. I don’t want money to be an issue in my relationship or an item on my list for a future mate but unfortunately that’s how the world works. It’s been an issue in the past with me loaning money to boyfriends and them making zero effort to pay any of it back (not even a dollar for good karma). It is something I am more conscious of going into my next relationship.
  9. Just say no to crack. Not that kind… but cracks in relationships. Bethenny breaks down 10 cracks and offers repair strategies. She touches on a lot of issues most couples face. You sometimes forget that these major blowups start from a very tiny annoyance or frustration. It’s best to fix the crack before it leads to a crater. Don’t hold any disdain towards your partner especially if you don’t talk to them about what’s bothering you.
  10. Know thyself. Something us humans are constantly working on. In the end Bethenny makes a beautiful list of all the things she needs from a relationship. I think this is something we should all do. Remember those lists you made in middle school about the perfect guy? Now it’s time to sit down and be honest with yourself about what your needs are rather than “he has to be 6’5 with green eyes.” I also just love making lists.
Overall, some (okay… most) of the advice seemed a bit juvenile to me. I would think Bethenny’s audience would be women around her age so wouldn’t they know most of this information by now? I’m not even 30 yet and some of this stuff was like “obviously!” I think she also over simplifies men and plays into the “women are crazy” stereotype too much. You could sense some of the bitterness. However, she never directly talked about her divorce. That’s why it was helpful to have her doctor to weigh in from time to time to set the record straight.

But tell me… have you liked any dating advice books? Which ones?

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Check out more from DATING GIRL & her adventures in New York City.

Kimberlee blogs about her love of fashion and beauty at I Have A Degree In This!. She’s lived in Midtown Manhattan for 8 years and has tried it all when it comes to dating. 
 photo: Viktor Hanacek

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