Dating advice abounds. There are DVD’s, e-zines, e-books, books, magazine columns, sexperts, online dating gurus, PUA’s, professional coaches, rulebooks and friends. What there isn’t much of among the literature are self-examination and instant replay. The field also suffers from a lack of research and observation. Typical of the Western approach to most subject matter, there’s far too much “how to” and not enough “who am I?”. Yet the door to happiness with others is happiness with oneself. Southern California-based dating expert Jennifer Kelton takes a refreshing look inward in her, Don’t Use My Sweater Like a Towel. Her take is much different than the self-help articles with catchy titles that beep at us from the covers of Cosmo and Glamour. Kelton doesnt live in Manhattan, has held real jobs in the restaurant and entertainment industries among others, studied spiritualism in Siberia and South America, and the prism through which she largely explores the science of relationships is herself.
Most chapters focus on a stage or male partner during a period when the author pursued dating as a personal science project. To that end, she also covers the hormonal influence in our behavior, in a chapter entitled Like, Love or Dopamine. Another chapter details The Pheromone Factor. You guys could learn a lot from Kelton’s balanced look at the roles of chemistry and emotion. What differentiates this work is the specifics that attracted her to each man cited, whatever the level of their relationship, and the factors that eliminated most from being keepers. Of particular interest, given that Kelton wrote most of the book shortly before turning 40, are the men for whom she was willing to overlook annoying shortcomings because there were overriding factors that made them sexy. From gas, to rotten teeth, to mental midgets, some guys scored nonetheless. If a fellow is in the right place at the right time, mood and libido trump “Mr. Right”.
The men fortunate enough to have participated in this year-long experiment knew their date was working on a book. Readers will learn how insensitive, available, magnetic, and conflicted some men can be. The book’s title stems from an incident that was equal parts thoughtless and gross. Few works are this honest about the dating cycle, Kelton is accountable, human, impulsive, and liberated. She is a grown woman, making adult decisions- readers gain a rare insight into the pro’s and cons while she is weighing them.
Online dating, humans and monogamy, attraction surveys- they’re all here. In her chapter Dating Books Debunked, Kelton challenges specific principles taught by books such as How to Make a Man Fall in Love With You, Date Like a Man, and that notorius bestseller/bible, The Rules. This is a must read for aspiring ladies’ men, pickup artists, or any man seeking a better understanding of the feminine thought process. Don’t Use My Sweater Like a Towel is a fun, frank, fly-on-the-wall look at who we choose and why we dump.