Guest Author - Kristina de la Cal
In her book, How to Shop for a Husband: A Consumer Guide to Getting a Great Buy on a Guy, Janice Lieberman employs her consumer reporting knowledge to help single women know what to look for when shopping around for a potential husband. Lieberman’s goal is to help her readers snag a great deal on what she calls “a little black dress among men”. The book is broken up into three parts and their corresponding rules, all of which are intended to help single women make better choices when investing in a new romance.
The first part deals with advising readers on what to shop for and suggests following rules such as “trade in being picky for being choosy” or “be sure to check under the hood and buy a model with a powerful engine”. Lieberman also recommends that savvy singles learn to use the “mirror-image rule”, which basically states that it is best to find a partner whose interests and values are similar to your own. Another recommendation found in this part of the book suggests that single women look for potential mates that have what Lieberman refers to as GUI or “good user interface”, which is simply another way of saying that it is important to find a partner with which communication comes easily and naturally.
The second part of the book deals with where and how to shop and includes rules such as “shop online – it works!” or “speed dating is the way to go”. This section offers a variety of suggestions for where to find potential mates and considers whether or not singles should accept the help of professional matchmakers or mothers and friends in their quest to land a husband.
The third and final part of the book addresses issues related to closing the deal. The section includes rules like “make sure you’ve done your research”, “don’t fall for these scams”, “let him think he’s doing the shopping”, and “check the expiration date”. It offers advice on how to evaluate your shopping cart and head for the checkout counter.
Personally, I think that Janice Lieberman’s book is somewhat lacking in a few areas. The shopping metaphor, though initially somewhat amusing, quickly grows old. Additionally, most of the advice offered throughout the book is more common sense than it is particularly insightful and some of it, in my opinion, is not exactly the kind of advice that I would deem valuable. Take for example, Lieberman’s suggestion that women should strive to find a guy who is slightly less advantaged in the looks department, claiming that relationships tend to be happier if the women involved in them are slightly more attractive than their male companions or if the women earn less money. This, to me, just seems to be a rather preposterous method of mate selection. I think it makes far more sense to encourage single women to seek relationships with men they find physically attractive and who aren’t threatened by the idea of being involved with a successful woman that happens to have a lucrative career.
On a more positive note, however, Lieberman’s book could potentially serve as a decent guide for single women who know more about shopping than they do about dating. After all, if you are one of those women who are familiar with the trials and tribulations faced by avid shoppers, then it is quite possible that you might be more inclined to appreciate and embrace Lieberman’s consumer-based perspective on shopping for good husband material.
One of the best things about Lieberman’s book is that it is available in audio format so it’s easy to listen while you drive or you can even store it to your mp3 player and check it out whenever you’re on the go. Despite some of the shortcomings mentioned above, Lieberman’s book does have a few redeeming qualities as well. One example of such a quality is the fact that she included some interesting research findings throughout the book so that the advice offered therein is coming not only from Lieberman’s personal opinions and experiences but from multiple other sources as well.
If you do decide to check it out and follow some of these rules, I can only hope you never assume that a man will be any less likely to stray just because you happen to be better looking than he is. The truth is that it takes a lot more than any given balance in appearances to make a relationship work. More importantly, however, I hope that all of you single women out there are wise enough to know that you should never limit your own earning potential simply to help a man feel more secure about being with you. If a man can’t handle watching you be successful, then you need to move on and find one who will not only feel comfortable with your drive for success but encourages it at all costs!