A guide for making a marriage work, author and relationship coach Chana Levitan opens by saying it is her "sincere wish that your heart will never again be broken.” With a common-sense approach to love, Levitan tells us what we all need to hear, but what we all never want to hear. This book should really be called ''He Is Just That Into You: Now Leave."
Differentiating what it means to be infatuated versus in love, Levitan surprises us with how deep infatuation can take a relationship—deep enough to get married. Laying out the differences, there were some a-ha moments in why some happy relationships fail, and why some seemingly incompatible relationships make the rest of us cringe with envy.
Not to mention, this book really kicks us skeptics out of our comfort zone, pointing out exactly why we are so skeptical about marriage. Past experiences, built-up walls and insecurities are lightly addressed, but enough to remind us that working on ourselves is first and foremost for a successful relationship. As some of Levitan’s examples note, some set their criteria list so high knowing this will cause them to be single for a long time, maybe forever, whereas some list so low, they are connected to their partner by their lowest common denominator (addictions, traumas, flaws), she says, rather than their higher potentials.
The first step, Levitan says, toward healthy intimacy is seeing and believing that it exists and that it is possible.
Levitan doesn’t let go of the reader’s hand at finding love, but follows through with what to do when one finds love, or if one is already married. “If you don’t want to be another divorce statistic, if you do want to be a marriage success story, the first thing you need to internalize is that love is an activity; it’s a verb,” she writes, explaining that love is a constant effort and growth, and not something that just happens. “Infatuation is effortless; love takes work,” she writes. Her advice is to always choose love.
Although the one big qualm about the book is the amount of times the author uses the word “infatuation,” it does a service to make us readers think about our current partner or future dates as someone we are infatuated with, imagining him or her as the person we are wishing/hoping/praying for, versus someone we could truly be in love with, and ready (willing and able) to do the hard work with.
Overall, Levitan provides a refreshing, easy-to-read guide that leaves the reader thinking twice about how he or she approaches love. If you’re really looking for it, and ready to make a few small changes in your approach, then this is the book to pick up.
"I Only Want to get Married Once:Dating Secrets for Getting it Right the First Time
Author: Chana Levitan
Publisher: Gefen Publishing House
Number of Pages: 112
Year Published: 2010