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Review of “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Online Dating”

Posted Mar 14 2009 3:16pm

41ejv3qrcl_sl500_aa240_The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Online Dating by Dale Koppel, PhD.

Dr. Koppel has combined two short books in one. In fact, she’s printed her book so you read it one way to get her story, then you turn the book upside down and you get her advice. But she repeats large parts in both sections, so really it’s more like 1.5 books.

Despite dating over 100 men in three years before finding her Mr. Right, her advice is really pretty light on how to navigate the online dating game. In fact, she recommends lying in your profile. Her logic makes sense and she says she discloses her lies quickly in email, phone or the first meeting. She was nearly 60 when she began her quest, but she put her age at 57 to make herself searchable to men in her target age group. This is a common online dating strategy, but I think it makes the man wonder, “What else is she lying about?” Some even asked her that outright.

She also lied about where she lived and her drinking preferences. Again, she had logical reasons why she chose to lie. The logic makes sense, but I don’t support lying in profiles. But then I’ve not had to deal with the reasons she chose to lie, so I can’t say what I’d do in similar circumstances.

I’m unclear why this is “the intelligent woman’s guide” since some of her advice does not sound like an intelligent woman’s decision making. For example, she shares her cavalier attitude about asking her lovers about STDs, getting blood tests and using condoms. While each person has to make their own decisions about these issues, I think it’s irresponsible for an author — who is then considered an “expert” by the media — to say, “I let the man decide if he wants to use a condom or not.” That is essentially endorsing unsafe sex and letting someone else decide if you will contract a deadly disease. Spencer Lieb, senior epidemiologist at the Bureau of HIV/AIDS at the Florida Department of Health, states “the number of HIV and AIDS patients in the over-50 crowd nationwide had grown in recent years.” I think we who have a platform need to encourage only safe sex practices, no matter what we chose to do in our own relationships. Disclosing that you’ve only used a condom once with a series of lovers is irresponsible to readers, even if it’s true.

The thing we agree on is to look at each interaction as a learning experience and to use them to grow.

For people who like reading other people’s dating stories, I suppose this can be an interesting read. But for those wanting more solid, extensive advice on how to navigate online dating sites, I’m afraid there are other more useful resources.

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