Friday, 11 May 2012

'Make Every Man Want You' - Marie Forleo

Said friend who recently loaned me ‘All the Rules’ has now shared with me a little book that is it’s polar opposite. This book is ‘How to make every man want you’. Not one man. Not THE man. But ANY and EVERY man.

This is a pretty sensational promise, and if it worked, I’d have Tom Hardy, Rafael Nadal and David Boreanaz (to name but a few) clawing at my door with all the frustration and insistence that only a madman crazed by a woman can muster. But what I liked about the premise of this book was that it professed itself to be the antidote to formulaic books such ‘All the rules,’ which encourage target behaviours and punish anything free-thinking, wilful or in the moment. The issue I take with such books is that they sound like the kind of guide that would enable you to pass your exams. They are the AQA textbooks of the dating world.

In these books, X + Y – Z ALWAYS equals SSSFDFKDAS, and as we all know, all’s fair in love and war. These books try to train you to be one of Pavlov's salivating dogs. Forleo offers a different approach.

We can all conjure up a story where a woman did everything RIGHT (by rules standards) but ended up with a less than desirable result. We can also summon numerous examples of women who did everything WRONG and still landed the man of their dreams (one such fictional example that springs to mind is Gloria from 'The Wedding Crashers').

Most importantly though, unless you are inherently focused on a marriage and family in the imminent future and therefore weeding out the bad guys is an absolute necessity in time saving, WHO CARES? Love, dating and relationships should be FUN, not prisons of enforced behaviour, martyrdom, rejection, neglect, abuse and mind games. We probably all pepper and sprinkle our romantic endeavours with a FEW playful flakes just to keep the magic alive, but there’s a ludicrous gap between ‘teasing and playing’ and ‘MINDFUCKING YOU’.

I snuggled up in bed; half awake and devoured this book in a day. It was written in such a frivolous, mischievous and open manner that something about it was quite satisfying, like a tall glass of water after floundering in a dessert (after being chucked glasses of lavender juice – probably something a rules girl would drink…)

Besides, for those who have recently googled the rules authors, it doesn’t seem as if their marriages panned out too well (not to gloat at this fact). It is proven that men love challenge and mystery, but if your pre-marriage self is a constructed façade, then the reality when you marry and can finally be ‘yourself’ must feel like getting hit by a tuck. Forleo, who also consequently married her husband, takes a refreshingly ‘live in the now’ spin on her situation, explaining that she does not know what the fates have in store for her marriage, only that for now, that is the state she finds herself in.

Forleo's book encourages the following:

* Know the in's and out's of 'irresistibility 101' - being responsible and present

* Knowing the 5 truths - a relationship will not save you, relationships are spiritual opportunities, not a needs exchange, life is now - this is it, men are as-is merchandise, or love 'em and leave 'em baby and finally, if you want guarantees in love, you don't want love.

* Knowing the habits of unattractive women: neediness, insecurity, clueless communicating, unkempt appearance, a bitter attitude, cynicism and being boring in bed.

* Eight secrets to magnetizing men: to hell with the rules (amen), trash your perfect man checklist, when it's men vs. women, everyone loses, your parents didn't screw you up, drop your story, quite complaining and start engaging, get a life and keep it and perfect packaging.

It seems there are two types of girls.

There are 'rules' girls, who have been conditioned to believe (rightly or wrongly) that men and women behave in pre-ordained ways. Women must always be rescued, chased, hunted, wooed and won. Women must always be frilly, glittery and girly.

Then there are women who throw away the rules. Maybe sometimes they do it all wrong and get their hearts broken, but they are also being their authentic selves and learning along the way.

Firstly, I don't think men and women are so different. There are a few intrinsic differences, but much of what we are is what we are conditioned to be, by our families, peers, cultures, religions and societies. There is no typical man, nor a typical women, just individuals relating in unique ways. You can follow the rules and still not get what you want, or you can make your own rules. Life is for living. Nothing is forever. Furthermore, this guide is not explicitly a dating guide, but one for overall self-improvement. The advice provided can be extrapolated to friendships, business, well being and the world. It’s a giddy, girly guide that you can imagine mermaids and pixies adhering to.

I say: be a wise fool ;)