I Only Want to Get Married Once
Dating Secrets for Getting It Right the First Time
By Chana Levitan
Gefen Publishing House (2010), 139 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - June 2, 2010
Self-help books generally have the same easy to read format. The writers propose a list of solutions (in this case ten), cite their experience and quote authorities (she has 22 years of professional experience and quotes the books of about two dozen experts), tell stories of people the author helped giving each a fictitious name (she has interesting down-to-earth tales on virtually every page), and highlights successes (she has a lot of them). Thus, Levitan sticks to the style and offers her readers a good deal information in an interesting and clever manner.
The book focuses on how couples who are dating can discover whether their potential spouses will make good marriage partners. One of the key items that leads to marital discord is that couples become infatuated with each other and selfishly and mindlessly delight in each other's company, imagining all kinds of untruthful things about each other, without really finding out about the partner, and without realizing that infatuation, in contrast to love, lasts at best only three years.
Levitan points out how to evaluate each other's interests, values, and goals. She warns against the tendency to be unrealistic about the other's faults. She speaks about healthy boundaries, talking with friends about the person that one is dating, the need for mutual respect, how and when to be open with one another, trust, seeing if the other is bringing out your best qualities, and unrealistic hopes that one can change the bad habits of the other.
She adds a chapter of advice for couples who are already married. For example, Benji had a great marriage except that his wife bothered him with a single fault that he was unable to change, and it drove him crazy. Levitan suggested that Benji explain his problem to his wife and offer that she pick out something she does not like about him; and he will change it if she stops the habit that he can't stand. The wife agreed that if he would learn to come to places on time, she would be different. Benji changed, and did his wife.
Levitan describes many other similar ideas that make the book very worth-while for dating and married couples and for people who want to learn how to deal with others.