103 of 107 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 1999
A friend of mine is always encouraging me to go for what "cooks me". Well this book cooked me.
First off, I am a guy and this book is definitely written to the female audience. So I had to keep transposing and interpreting as I went along. As I read it I found that I was having all kinds of reactions ranging from HECK NO! to DARN RIGHT!
One of my first reactions was to a subheading in the first chapter DO YOU WANT IT ALL, OR ARE YOU WILLING TO COMPROMIXE TO GET HIM? that really pushed my buttons because one of the issues that I am working on in my life is not settling.
What kept me going through the book were the examples and how many were true for my life. One of the best insights in the book for me was that rejecting someone can be an act of love. The author advocates either accepting or rejecting someone, both are acts of love. What is not an act of love is to tolerate someone.
I think that many of my concerns with the book could have been alleviated if the material in the chapter FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES, which is at the end of the book, would have been placed at the beginning. For me, it sets the context in which the rest of the book is written rather than being a summary. It directly addresses many of the concerns that I had as I read the rest of the book.
There is much of value in here, and even though it is written for women and I don't agree with everything in the book, I'd recommend it to anyone interested in improving relationships in their life simply because it is so thought-provoking.
136 of 145 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2006
I'm what you call a serial monogamist. I have always had boyfriends. Some for a year, two years, etc. I have a great social life, I am successful and very attractive. I have never had a problem meeting, dating or having long and honest relationships with men. But, something happened in my late 20's. There I was, 27, single (for a minute), living in New York, working in the fashion industry and my clock went off-I wanted to find a partner for life, I wanted to find my husband. Now, this was very different than having a boyfriend, this was the big leagues. I didn't have any clue how I needed to go about this.
"Getting to I Do" catalogued various relationship scenarios, where the authors pointed out what worked and what didn't. I have to be honest, being a self-supportive "modern woman", I at first thought that the simplistic illustrations of male/female dynamics were really old-fashioned and that I might as well just talk it out with my grandmother. But, the book went way beyond just designating roles. For me it helped me to embrace the woman I was and to understand the relationship dynamic I wanted to have.
The book is terrific. I read it and applied it to my next relationship-someone I fell in love with and wanted to marry. I went through the "phases" as stated in the book and when it got down to the "negotiation" phase, my boyfriend wanted to move to France, with me. Great! But, not without an engagement. Turns out he was not ready to be married. It was a very painful to think about being without him. To have my dreams of being married to him dissolve. Fortunaltely, I had learned that I would be putting myself through so much more pain and anguish if I had up-rooted my life without any commitment other than being a great boyfriend. So, I let him go.
Thanks to "Getting to I Do", painful decisions became easy to navigate because I knew I wanted to find the person who wanted to commit to me, who would not stand to see me go without the emotional commitment I needed. Two years, and couple of boyfriends later, at age 34, I have found the man of my dreams and we are getting married in Septmeber.
"Getting to I Do" has tought me to never compromise my feelings and that you don't have to argue in order to communicate. I am really thankful and grateful that I recieved this book, it has been a blessing!!!
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2013
This book has been the 'magic key' I had been desperately searching for in a pile of self-help books and hours of therapy. For the past 2 years I had been obsessively trying to figure out 'what was wrong with me' (and him) that caused our really wonderful, fulfilling relationship to deteriorate into a devastating mess and failure.
Our relationship failure didn't look, sound or feel like any of our friends' relationship failures. Theirs were obvious: cheating, alcoholism and marrying for reasons other than love in the first place were some of the 'normal' and understandable reasons to end a marriage or relationship. Ours was not like that. We had all the right elements: incredible physical chemistry, humor, affection, mental compatibility, emotional compatibility, similar values spiritually and socially, you name it, we had it. We enjoyed doing many of the same things, we enjoyed one another's company and there was no cheating of any sort. So what on earth happened to us? Losing that relationship when it had so many wonderful elements was absolutely the worst pain I have ever experienced, and I knew I had to dig deep and figure out how it happened because if I didn't, I wouldn't survive the pain again. Since I am not the type to turn bitter and just buy a cat, I delved into the bottomless pit of the 'why's...until I finally found the answer in this book.
The basic premise is really simple: There MUST be a 'masculine energy' person (who gives, protects, and is RESPECTED) and a 'feminine energy person' (who 'gives back', receives joyously and is CHERISHED) in order for the relationship to work. If you both want to be in charge, you will fight for the masculine position. If you both want to have your feelings cherished as your top priority, you will fight for the feminine position. If you must be BOTH respected for your mind and want to lead AND insist on having your feelings cherished--that is the epitome of NARCISSISM, and Dr. Allen believes you will be UNABLE TO MATE SUCCESSFULLY. I agree with her. You must ultimately choose between the two energies or live alone.
So many reviewers seem to have missed the point of the book by having their feathers ruffled by the concept of submission to the male that they also missed the hundreds of times she reiterates that you can CHOOSE which energy to be, and you can also NEGOTIATE with your mate after the relationship is established for role reversals in areas that both of you agree to. She is NOT in any way suggesting that we as women should suppress our minds or needs or feelings in deference to the male. We can and should express our FEELINGS to our masculine mate. As the man, he should express his THOUGHTS to his feminine woman, and ASK HER HOW SHE FEELS ABOUT THEM. Dr. Allen teaches us how to do this so as to actually get our needs met. The male MUST cherish the female's feelings above his own, and HE MUST DO THIS FIRST because a woman will be UNABLE to feel safe submitting to him and UNABLE to show respect for a man who has not FIRST shown her she is safe to do so. If a woman loves her man more than she loves herself (my problem) he will use and abuse her because she allows it.
Of course, the more frustrated and 'uncherished' I felt, the more resentful and angry I became, not understanding that I would never be able to give him enough love, generosity, effort or sacrifice to get him to meet my needs. What I was doing SEEMED to me to be feminine and loving, but it turns out those things were actually the masculine trait of selflessly giving. No wonder I didn't like being in that role! A successful relationship is like a battery: there needs to be a positive giver (male) and a negative receiver (female) in order for there to be a 'charge' or connection. It won't matter how hard you try, because without both ends of the battery, you will never get a darn thing from it.
This was the problem in my relationship. My boyfriend, who appeared very cherishing, giving and protecting at first, gradually slipped into his more feminine self and revealed what he was to me: a narcissist who would not give OR give back. He needed to have BOTH energies (my respect and also my cherishing) being given to him. I did it as long as I could, but despite the fact that we had all this 'wonderfulness' and commonality, he simply couldn't take the full masculine role I needed him to, and he left. Of course this left me absolutely AGONIZING over what more I could have done (actually, as Dr. Allen points out, I needed to do much LESS) to save our relationship.
I really must express my deep relief and gratitude for this book. I am naturally a feminine energy person, and instinctively behave in feminine ways so I got a lot of it 'right'. But when it came to asking for things I wanted or needed, I did it completely WRONG and was totally baffled as to why my asking was met with such resistance. Men take requests as attempts at control, even when they aren't. Dr. Allen shows us a better way.
I needed HONEST ANSWERS about what causes relationships to fail or succeed, and how to get my needs met by my man, and also meet his. She also showed me that what I thought a man wanted was not the case at all. I am so glad I now know this information. Thank you Dr. Allen. I am certain you have saved me from another round of hideous pain.
84 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2005
I usually totally despise self-help books of the 'how to get a man and keep him' type, but this one, although like most self-help books pretty silly, does contain some quite sensible advice.
Dr. Allen's theory is that everyone is either a 'feminine energy' person or a 'masculine energy' person. The masculine eneergy personis the leader who cherishes his mate, the feminine energy person is the follower who respects her leader. Dr. Allen doesn't think it matters whether the man or the woman is the leader or the follower (this makes her more flexible than the authors of most such books), but she maintains that you must have one of each, she doesn't think 'equal' relationships can work.
If you decided to be the 'feminine energy' woman (as she thinks most women will probably want to be) you let the man make the running, make the decisions (so long as they are not unethical, immoral, or something that can harm you or your children), and accept what he gives you graciously (that includes accepting things you might not particularly care for, like unwanted advice). You always give back less than you take, because a feminine energy woman must love herself more than her man.
One of her theories is that men want to marry virtupous women, so you must not sleep with a man until he has 'committed' to you, if you want to marry him. I don't know how true this is generally, but it certainly wasn't true in my own case, I slept with all the men I went out with before they'd 'committed' to me, but nevertheless some of them did want to marry me.
The part of this book I enjoyed the most is the chapter called 'Finding the Toad in every Prince' in which she describes how you cope when you discover the things about your prospective mate that you don't like. she says "There is a prince in every toad and a toad in every prince. But does someone fall in love with the prince part of a person? No way. They fall in love with the toad part. It's the idiosyncracies and weirdness that really endears someone to you, the part that makes you say "Oh, that's just him" and you love him anyway.
I tell women if they are still waiting for the perfect man - mentally, physically and emotionally he's not coming.
I feel that if you get someone who is 51 percent or better, keep him. That is to say, if you like more about the person than you don't, then go for it. Because odds are that if you don't, and you go out looking for a better deal elsewhere, you could end up with someone who is only 49% or worse."
I thought this was very sensible advice. One of the things I like about this book, is that Pat allen does not recommend a woman making herself into a doormat, or behaving as if only what the man wants matters, she believes that a naturally 'masculine energy' man will want to keep his wife happy and give her what she wants.
Not everything in this book made sense to me, but I did think some of the advice was quite sensible, and you might find it helpfull. It certainly didn't induce in me the feelings of nausea that other books of this kind have done.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2011
Two years ago I was an absolute mess about love and I could not see a way out. I was in my late twenties and certain I wanted to get married but just felt hopeless that I'd ever find someone.. my dating history was full of jerks! I picked up Getting To I Do in that dark place and I can't express with words how grateful I am that I did. This book COMPLETELY changed the way I date. The advice seems old fashioned and is not for feminists but it really, truly works. Six months after reading this book I met the love of my life, who is an absolutely incredible, dream-come-true-of-a-man and I have never been so happy. We got engaged last month and I can't wait to marry him. I've never even written an amazon review before, but I know I'd never be where I am without this book so I felt like I had to share my experience. I tell all my single girlfriends who feel unlucky in love to read it. I'm telling you... get this book, give her advice a try, and get ready to feel completely secure and confident in love!
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2001
Watch out, this is a very deeply provocative book. I wouldn't call it spiritual, but would say that it honors an enduring psychological energy exchange that is very real yet confounds most of us as we bumble along wondering why the things we are doing in our relationships aren't working. This is a very intelligent yet practical treatment of how this energy needs to be exchanged in relationships. I have being reading this book over and over for the last year to get it's principles into my mind. But the payoff has been tremendous. Its provocative content forced me to take a doubletake. I just couldn't believe what she was saying, yet something about it spoke to the part of me that always worked hard to be independent and do the right thing by being an equal in a relationship.The book encouraged me to cherish the feminine side of myself. Those of you out there with low self-esteem know how difficult this is to maintain. Read the hostile reviews and you'll see that some find it impossible to cherish themselves. Applying these principles, although they may seem simple, is not easy. The negotiation strategies, for instance, take practice -there has been an ongoing learning curve in my case. The author shows what to do in painful situations where some of us get reactive and defensive. (See her "5-step clean up" strategy.) The neatest thing is that the responses to this approach are loving and cherishing. The cherishing is what I have always wanted and now know how to get. It's what makes the relationship a romantic love affair instead of a business deal type partnership. And it brings out the best in my boyfriend, a maturity, that he never knew he had. Of course there are times when we switch roles and he shares his feelings and I share my thoughts. In my opinion, any person who says the author does not advocate this role reversal at times just did not sincerely look for the balanced approach that is here in this book, and that's not a fair treatment of her philosophy. If you want to grow up in a relationship, this book will help point the way. In writing this, I am "casting my bread upon the waters," in hopes that it will give someone else a chance read it and to experience what the book has given me.
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2001
This book is phenomenal. I attempted to read it about 5 years ago and became angry with the book, put it down and never thought of it again. I am now 29 and ready for a committed, leading-to-marriage relationship. So, I decided to give it another try. Thank goodness I did!
I couldn't put the book down! I read it in 2 days & feel like I have never had such clarity concerning male-female energy relationships. As I read it, I found that often I sabotage my own relationships by not being true to myself. This book shows me how to 1) figure out WHO I AM AND LOVE MYSELF 2) how to demonstrate my true energy in a relationship 3) when to decide to have sex & why it's so incredibly important to do EXACTLY AS THIS BOOK RECOMMENDS!
I recommend this book to every strong, over achieving, female energy that strives for EQUALITY. Why? Because it will shake up your definition of equality & force you to look at yourself & your current actions/beliefs!
I also recommend this for those of you who are tired of sticking it out in those relationships with the guy who "will come around" to marrying you. Maybe, after reading this, you (like me) will figure out that you haven't been with the man who really fits you at all. NOW'S THE TIME TO DISCOVER HOW TO LOVE YOURSELF & THEN FIND THE MAN WHO WILL LOVE YOU THAT WAY TOO!!! Read this book...and keep an open mind because what you read is nothing like what you've heard about equality!
Try to give it a fair full read even if it makes you angry. Anything that makes you angry is hitting something passionate inside of you and could change you forever! =)
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2000
the title of this book does it a disservice. It categorizes it with all the other silly dating and relationship books which focus on an expectation of GETTING a man. The truth is, that human relationships are hard, and confusing, there are lots of reasons for this. The core reason is that for so many valid reasons, we are scared of being receptive, or taking the lead graciously. Patricia Allen has given the gift of clarity and wisdom to the entire question of what are naturally the needs and inclinations of the masculine and the feminine energies within a relationship. Not a male or female bashing, or manipulation strategy, this book guided me back to the feminine in me that was so brutalized as a child, by showing me how to come from the receptive and this has liberated the masculine in my wonderful husband. I always thougth I had to go out and ask a man to do, be and give. But I have learned that a respected man loves to be, do and give to his feminine woman. I work less, feel cherished and feel less neediness. Today was a great day as I applied a lot of what she explains... I hope you all have the relationship of your dreams. I believe with her help we have a terrific chance of growing old together. Her other book, "staying married and loving it" is even more fun, as she goes into more detail about switching back and forth, allowing real liberty/liberation without destroying the other person. I learned the tender side of the masculine and feel so much more loved by myself and others, this book brought a message of real healing to me. And for those of you who have read "The Rules " and were disheartened by the warning that a marriage that did not start with the rules will never be a rules marriage. This is bunk. Being treated like a special person by your husband or your wife even if your beginning was based on an imbalance of the masculine and feminine energies (i.e. not a rules courtship) is possible. Patricia Allen shows the way. Why the Rules work, is based on mutual respect and self care, Dr. Allen provides the philosophy, the real wisdom of the masculine and feminine dynamism. Don't ignore this book.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 1999
I honestly believe that between this book & "The Rules" book, which seem to stem from the same ideas, (1 difference I noticed is that 1 says to wait a while to have sex & this book seems to believe it is in a womans best interest to wait until she gets a commitment -) that I have an advantage in having a good romantic relationship that I did not have before. The concepts may not flow with a lot of feminism ideas or "we've come a long way baby" style of thinking - HOWEVER - how many men do you hear say "OOH look at that woman - I want her because she's so succesful - & way more assertive than me - now I have someone to tell me what to do" The book explains why it is more sexually attractive to a man for a woman to be more on the passive receiving side than the aggressive side. If we REALLY take the book's advise & just listen to our feelings & stop behaving like a man - like we might need to do in the work place (use our male energy), it actually makes life better (for myself anyway). It's nice to feel that it's ok to stay home with our children & depend on a man (if we can afford it)- an idea that modern thinking is wiping out - even scoffing at. I'm coming from an environment where most of my friends have masters degrees or at least bachelors degrees & staying home just seems like an unspoken no-no - like you've waisted your college education & that you're just plain lazy if you don't "strive for the best" I needed this book. I like the concept of female & male energy - I've used the ideas on my boyfriend & I feel a natural good flow between us. Sex REALLY is better when your man initiates it. & when we do things HE initiates it feels like our connection is stronger in the romantic sense. I wish I could go around telling all of the women in my life about the book & the concept of female passiveness/receptivity - but it's hard to preach to someone when you think they won't understand or believe it. I highly recommend this book to all women - who are frustrated with their relationships with men or just want a really honest viewpoint on how romance & relationships really work & why.
44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 1999
After years of throwing caution to the wind when it came to my romantic relationship I've finally realized that something I was doing and not doing were holding me back from being truly happy. This book helped me find out what the problems were and sometimes still are. With the help of this book, I set upon a strategy to make my romantic prospects flow smoothly, therefore, making every aspect of my life flow just as well. With this book I learned why I felt strangely about one situation and content with another. I realized what would truly make me happy, and choosing the feminine energy works for me.
In the past, I felt I could cushion the blow of rejection and meet a life partner by displaying the masculine energy, which only caused turmoil when in a relationship with a masculine man. A masculine man is what I want. THIS WAS THE NEGATIVE APPROACH I LET RUN MY LOVELIFE FOR OVER TWELVE YEARS. Now I choose my dates and/or partners much more carefully and I'm happier for it.
There are many books telling men and women how to pick up one another, how to have sex, wear clothes, apply makeup, etc. There are many books telling you how to do everything under the sun, but not how to love yourself, and therefore, start loving others. Its what all of us have been hearing for most of our lives, but never really knew how to do so, like with everything else we need a step-by-step plan.
This book show us how and why we have to experience temporary pain to make the rest of your lives peaceful. This book is for anyone who wants to know how to relate to the opposite sex.
This book is NOT a quick fix. I first read it over three years ago, temporarily practiced the principles, then fell into my bad habits, but with constant reference and study I've learned the principles work.
I recommended this book to everyone I knew, male and female, who are having romantic problems. None have read it, laughing and saying, "No thanks." But go on crying for months and years, paying therapists outrageous amounts of money talking about someone who is not interested in them. Wondering why things don't work out. It's sad that people choose a life of confusion.
I don't agree with everything in this book, but I do agree with 98% of it and it does work. It may sound old fashioned for some, but we all learn from history. Don't be afraid to look into the past to make the future better.
READ THIS BOOK!