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March 2, 2015 / 11 Adar , 5775
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Title: Guide For The Romantically Perplexed

Title: Guide For The Romantically Perplexed
Author: Lisa Aiken, Ph.D.
Publisher: Devorah Publishing.
Jerusalem. 424 pages

You probably know or perhaps are a single Jewish adult who needs this book, and here it is. Popular author Lisa Aiken examines the range of issues plaguing the aging Jewish singles community and she presents the solutions to them. Her “Guide for the Romantically Perplexed” is an easily read, easily understood manual about dating, marriage and remarriage that’s full of
psychologically sound and Torah-true advice.

Aiken opens her book with documented evidence that many spouses lack the necessary skills and attitudes for contributing to a healthy marriage. Her book is designed to help Jewish singles (and spouses) to avoid preventable problems. Simple, profound explanations regarding the fundamental differences in the way men and women perceive the world and the varying
contexts of male/female emotions are among the strengths of the publication.

A list for identifying desirable character traits that will enhance married life and undesirable character traits that “are likely to cause unbridgeable problems” is part of this new manual for creating and sustaining a stable, happy marriage. It could prove invaluable to a conscientious Jew seeking a suitable marriage partner.

Case histories abound (with names changed in order to protect the privacy of the individuals involved), letting readers vicariously see how Aiken addresses their hang-ups or mistaken concepts. When Aiken examines the fundamental drives for companionship that lead to marriage, she demonstrates the foibles of romantic (i.e., unrealistic) fantasies with a mock classified ad. “Multimillionaire, dives Jag, ffb, 6’2″, dark, muscular, and extremely handsome, mid-30′s and semi-retired, seeks heimishe knockout with a Raquel Welch look…” illustrates how and why animal magnetism isn’t the stuff of happy, enduring relationships.

Advancing on to the means and methods for preparing oneself for marriage, Aiken teaches the importance of “Taking Stock of Ourselves” and the concept that marriage is a relationship of mutual effort and satisfaction rather than the degrading use of someone for egotistical pleasure. Passages that explore intimacy, commitment and ethics focus on trust. The line “Contrary to
popular belief, the largest sex gland in the body is the brain,” makes buying the book worthwhile all on its own. The crowds of wistful singles at public (and private) gatherings can go straight to this page and stop mourning their loss of direction in the marriage market.

Aiken makes it clear that “rejecting the secular norms that almost mandate” premature intimacy is part of the path to choosing the right person to be one’s spouse. As to common concerns that a fiancé might change over time, Aiken assures the reader that “No decisions about marriage come with a 100 percent guarantee that everything will work out as you hope. Throughout life, we make decisions based on the best information that we have,” and that a competent counselor can address lingering issues.

The only drawback to the book is its lack of advice on how to help singles over 40, who suffer a paucity of advocates willing to help them to find a suitable spouse. Divorce, custody, fixing troubled marriages, and remarriage issues, however, are all covered in this 424-page hardcover book. And lest the buyer wonder if Aiken views marriage as all work and no fun, know that she also writes about “lightening up,” and “replenishing good feelings.”

A former chief psychologist for Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, Aiken has written on a vast range of human issues and remains one of the most popular of Jewish authors. A Devora Publishing edition (Jerusalem, Israel), the “Guide for the Romantically Perplexed” is a must-have for communal and private libraries.

About the Author: Yocheved Golani is the author of highly acclaimed "It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge" (http://booklocker.com/books/3067.html). It addresses and solves many needs of disabled, ill and recovering readers.


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