Saturday, July 27, 2013

What I Wish I'd Known When I Was Single

By John Bytheway

These are the hard questions of the young single adult years, made all the harder by the pressure many feel to move from “solo” to “duet” status. In this insightful book, popular author John Bytheway explores how to do life as a young adult: what to expect, how to cope, and where to turn for answers.
John offers the parable of the piano as a metaphor for the young adult experience: sitting alone on a piano bench with a piece of music, “Matrimony: A Duet,” propped up in front of you. As people come by and offer their suggestions (“You could play that music if you tried harder” or “if you had more faith” or “if you weren’t so picky”) things can get pretty frustrating. “don’t get too discouraged,” John counsels, and he goes on to offer plenty of sound advice on “getting joyfully through these in-between years.”
You’ll learn to stop focusing on things you can’t control, to play the dating game in such a way that you’ll have no regrets later, to express affection appropriately, to recognize when someone might be “the right one” for you—and when that someone might not be. Filled with counsel from Church leaders, John’s personal experiences, and a healthy dose of humor, What I Wish I’d Known When I Was a Single is a must-have guide to young adult life.

This is one of those books that I wanted to read, and yet didn’t want to read. As a young adult in the LDS religion we get hammered with the marriage talk at every turn. Once you hit age 23 the culture at large starts to worry for your prospects, and whether you’ll ever find your match. It can be stressful and discouraging. With his trademark humor and empathetic warmth, John Bytheway introduces new analogies and ways to deal with life while dating, courting, and waiting for a good match in the LDS culture. This book is not just about dating though, it’s about living life and finding happiness no matter what as a single young adult. It’s got some great advice about how to handle situations that are difficult; like breaking it off and how to handle rejection and move on, and how to handle unwanted attention and how to avoid being the person who give the unwanted attention.  It does feel slightly out of date at times, having been written more than ten years ago, but it still has some great advice in it and I would happily lend it to any single adult out there.

I give it a 3.75 out of 5

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