When I hit 25 having yet to be in a serious relationship, I started to think something was up. I looked good, had a decent job and was a nice and fun person. I socialised and dated a lot. Yet nothing was happening for me romance-wise. Perhaps I wasn’t good looking enough. Perhaps I came across as boring. Then I started thinking it was something to do with my approach. So I started looking into dating coaching. It cost an absolute fortune. But perhaps it was worth it?
Enter this book.
When I was first introduced to Survive & Thrive: Dating And Being Single, I thought it would be more of a dating advice-style book, but it’s actually more of a self-help guide. It is produced by Boon Coaching, who are run by life coach Jennifer Boon who aims to help people who aren’t living the life they want to make positive changes. The book is split into three sections; the first two are about self-reflection and working on your life right now and any issues that may be holding you back in your dating life, and the third is advice that takes you through getting back into dating. The first two sections aren’t in the typical book format; instead of having paragraphs of prose, the chapters go through a series of exercises. These sections guide you through various topics, such as what your values are, beliefs about dating that could be holding you back, self-love and acceptance, making the most of your life right now (rather than putting it on hold for Mr Right to come along), and intuition. The third section is less thorough, but offers advice on how to date smart, internet dating, and moving on after a break-up.
The first exercise in this book was to visualize the life you want. This was an interesting one for me, as the first image that popped into my head had nothing to do with relationships. I visualized myself living in my own flat, with a more relaxed work schedule, a successful blog, and strong friendships. I wasn’t averse to a relationship, but I did make me realize I wanted to live a life I love first then find someone who adds to it, rather than focus all my attention on a boyfriend. This led me to resolve to put more effort into making new friends. But anyway, the point of that little anecdote was that the exercises in the book are really insightful, and can make you realize things about yourself that you hadn’t consciously thought about before. The part about limiting beliefs I thought was particularly useful, as it can help you break out of any thought patterns that aren’t helpful in terms of finding a partner. While reading, I did have a strong gut feeling that if I spent a grand on a dating coach, a lot of the things they’d go through would be covered in the book.
I really enjoyed the first two sections. The advice in the third section I thought was pretty sound, but it wasn’t particularly extensive, so I’d say overall the book is more of a self-help guide than a practical guide to dating. There are loads of topics such as how to write a good bio, how to screen/ pick guys before going on dates etc. which I think are very relevant to modern dating but weren’t really covered. And although I found the self-help exercises really useful, I’m pretty self-aware, so I feel like not everyone would get as much out of the book as I did. I think also the book focuses more on identifying unhelpful though patterns and building your self-confidence, so if you’re struggling with dating due to deep-rooted issues stemming from your childhood, you may be better off seeing professional help.
I would definitely recommend Survive & Thrive Dating And Being Single to anyone who is single and looking. If you’ve been single for a while and had a few knockbacks, you’re bound to have picked up some negative thought patterns so this book can be a great way of getting your head back on the right track. Even if there’s nothing particularly wrong with your outlook on dating, some of the exercises, particularly on your values and working towards your ideal life are really interesting and can help you realise things you hadn’t particularly thought about before. However- if you’re looking to work on deeper emotional issues, or find more practical advice to help with your dating life, I’d also recommend looking elsewhere.