Have you ever taken a good look at the selection of ‘mainstream’ books on relationships? You know, the type you find filling shelf space at the local Barnes and Nobles?
I have. I had a good read through the other day. And you know what? In my humble opinion, barely one out of a hundred is worth the paper it’s printed on.
This got me thinking … how come there is so little good advice to be found in all these relationship books? Because if I did not know any better, and actually followed the advice I saw, not only would I not have the type of relationship I really desire, but I’d be stuck in a kind of relationship ‘purgatory’ for months (and sometimes years) while searching my soul for the answer. I’ve seen it happen.
After thinking about this for a while, it dawned on me. They are not really out to help us at all! The majority of these books are designed to sell. And they do this by coming up with a cute-sounding pet theory, packaged with a catchy title.
Add an author with half an alphabet behind their name … cue up some generic sounding cover blurbs from the usual suspects and voila! Another hot seller.
If I sound a little cynical, I’m sorry. But the lack of real advice I found was surprising. But before you get me wrong, there were a few good titles out that actually had some nuggets of wisdom.
Sadly, none of them really rolled it all together and told the complete story of how to have great relationships.
It seems to me that most popular relationship books are really just built around one idea (then padded with filler content), so I thought I’d give you one killer relationship secret that I have not shared anywhere else.
This secret has been responsible for cutting short almost every little argument I used to have with my partner. You know the type, the trivial, annoying little arguments that pop up and grate on your nerves.
It’s so simple that I can not believe I had not heard it before. But after I read about this secret (and no, it was not in any mainstream relationship advice book). The quality of our relationship increased dramatically.
In fact, my girlfriend actually told me that no one else had ever done this for her before, and that she loved me even more for being able to do it.
But before I tell you what it was, there is another problem with most relationship books on the market today.
The problem is that the majority of them are written by purely academic writers. Now I have no problem with advanced degrees. But I do not subscribe to the idea that simply having a collection of letters behind your name qualifies you to do out advice about real-world relationships.
Again, this is not an attack on all authors. Because there are exceptions that combine real world experience with book learning. But they are rare.
Anyways, I was going to share that secret …
It’s simple really. I made a promise to my girl that if I ever did something or said something that annoyed her, she could tell me and I would never do that thing again. Now this did not mean I would let her tell me I could not enjoy a beer, or watch football. I’m talking about the little things.
For example, I had a habit of always leaving glasses that I’d drunk out on the counter. This annoyed the hell out of her (not sure why – but it did) but because I had agreed to the promise I have not done it since.
Believe me, without these small annoyances chipping away at our relationship we are much happier together. And of course, the promise goes both ways too.
Try it out for yourself. I promise, this tip alone is worth more than any fancy-pants relationship book you’ll get from the bookstore for $ 39.
If you insist on browsing the ‘relationship advice’ racks, I’ll summarize the main suggestion you’ll find in most books …
When you boil it down, most of the books come to this. When you encounter relationship problems, put aside the relationship for 30 days and ‘work on yourself’ first.
Now that you know. Save your money. Because you can learn more from the romance section than you ever could from those dry academic manuals.