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96 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was LIFE CHANGING!!!!!!!!!
This was a great book! It changed my life! I read it after getting involved with someone who admitted that they were 'commitmentphobic.' For whatever reason, even after knowing this, I still got involved. I felt drawn to this person like never before. Anyway, I was crushed when the 'relationship' suddenly changed and ended. I was left feeling very confused by their...
Published on September 27, 2002

versus
146 of 157 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a completely useless book...but close.
This book starts out well enough, it defines the word commitmentphobic (anyone scared of a commitment) and then discusses active and passive conflicts. It then talks about characteristics of each type -- things a person with active conflicts typically does in relationship, and the same for those with passive conflicts. You'll probably start to see some familiar...
Published on August 15, 2007 by R. Doyle


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96 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was LIFE CHANGING!!!!!!!!!, September 27, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships (Paperback)
This was a great book! It changed my life! I read it after getting involved with someone who admitted that they were 'commitmentphobic.' For whatever reason, even after knowing this, I still got involved. I felt drawn to this person like never before. Anyway, I was crushed when the 'relationship' suddenly changed and ended. I was left feeling very confused by their behavior, as well as by their reappearances in my life. I couldn't believe after reading this, how acurately it depicted the events that took place between my partner and me. It felt as if the authors were writing my dating biography.
Well, I now realize that my partners weren't all to blame. I kept choosing partners who weren't completely available for a long-term commitment. I longed for love, and yet kept running the other way, wanting "my space", when any relationship I was in got too 'close'-- or when it seemed like the other person wanted more than I was willing to give. Thus, unintentionally, I began to seek out persons who simply couldn't give the time or consistency to a warm, honest, and balanced relationship. You may think, like I used to, that you just haven't found "THE ONE". But trust me, if you have gone from relationship to relationship; if you or your partner suddenly have ended things and gone the other way; you have to come to realize that the issue is much deeper than it may seem. This book forces you to look at yourself in the mirror! Don't read this, if you want to continue pursuing 'fantasy partners!' Only read it if you want to GET REAL with yourself and your dating history!!! Get real..so you can get the real and committed relationship that you desire.
Also recommened: Men who can't love. ( Same authors )
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146 of 157 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a completely useless book...but close., August 15, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships (Paperback)
This book starts out well enough, it defines the word commitmentphobic (anyone scared of a commitment) and then discusses active and passive conflicts. It then talks about characteristics of each type -- things a person with active conflicts typically does in relationship, and the same for those with passive conflicts. You'll probably start to see some familiar behaviors here. Then it'll explain how everyone has commitment issues to some extent, both passive and active, and how it's only a problem if it interferes with your relationships.

You say to yourself, great. This is all very reassuring. So what do I do about it?

For the next 200 pages (it's about 300 pages total), the book offers NO practical advice. Instead it begins to use "commitmentphobic" as a dirty word, and starts to tell stories of relationships. You read story after story thinking "Hey, I see some of myself here, I wonder what they'll recommend to resolve this situation...". You get to the end of the story and there's no advice, just another story. You get to the end of the chapter and there's no advice, just another chapter full of stories. And regardless of what they say, not all the stories are of commitmentphobic people.

The book also practices a lot of tough love. In several cases it appears to be saying "Anyone who is willing to commit to you is the person you should commit to. There is no perfect person, no person of your dreams, no one you should be holding out for. Growing up means giving up on your dreams and settling down."

Finally, the last few chapters of the book attempt to give some practical advice, but it ends up being contradictory. Here's what one of the last chapters said, boiled down to a few sentences.

Acknowledge you have commitment issues, but don't talk to your partner about them. Ok, do talk to your partner about them, but don't cry. Actually, don't talk to your partner about them because that'll create more intimacy. Wait, do talk to them about it, but only when you're ready to break up with them.

What????

In the end the only real practical piece of advice they give is to get counseling. Not very useful after buying the book and reading 300 pages.

I'll save you trouble and give you the good stuff out of the book. Notice how short it is.

Active avoiders pursue hard at first and then draw away, putting up boundaries. Passive avoiders fall hard, but always for the wrong people (active avoiders). You're falling for those people because it's "safe" to love them, because you know it won't turn into a real relationship. No one necessarily falls into one camp or the other, you can switch between relationships or during a single relationship.

Everyone has commitment issues to some extent. If your issues hurt your relationships, take a cold hard look at your patterns and try to manage them. If you can't, seek counseling.

See? I did all the whole book in less than a page.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only I had known...., October 31, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships (Paperback)
Had I read this 2 years ago, I could have saved myself a lot of time, demoralizing heartache, frustration, and yes, money (living up to a committmentphobe's fantasies not only deflates your self-worth, but your bank account as well). Finally someone explained to me why after ending a relationship with a man who set up unreasonable boundaries, evaded talking about the future, withdrew emotionally, and maintained "friendships" with ex-lovers...I STILL COULDN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS JERK! I knew that the fact I had not been able to let go was my problem and not his, and this book explained it very clearly: I'm just as afraid of committment as the obvious "committmentphobe", and it's been the emotional hook that's kept me from detaching. The chapter on Runners and Chasers could have been written about me and my ex, and I was the passive and willing participant in the push/pull dance.
I can congratulate myself for getting out after only a year of this nonsense. Moving on has been hell, but finding this book has been a huge help in taking the first step in resolving my own fears of sharing life with another person.
I hope that Carter and Sokol write some follow-up books to help those of us who truly want committed relationships but are afraid to realize them.
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95 of 112 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cites the symptoms, but not the solution!, May 25, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships (Paperback)
Buying this book to fix yourself or your relationship is like fixing a ramshackle house with rubberbands and duct tape. Here's why:
1) These people are not scientists, sociologists or therapists. They are the equivalent of emotional "trainspotters". They went out into the world and found many examples of people who are scared of commitment and made correlations and assumptions based on very little other than loose commonalities.
2) Of course you're scared of commitment! Who isn't? Duh. This book never gets to the reason WHY. Instead, it tells you to "examine yourself" (on your own) and force yourself to make commitments without ever getting to the reason why commitments create such anxiety for you. Even after reading this book and relating to it completely, I still acted out the same old patterns without a clue as to why.
3) These people have no training in therapy or psychoanalysis, and they say as much. They approach the issue as if it were something that started in adulthood, instead of examining the roots of all our problems: childhood, and the need to bond and separate with our parents.
A MUCH, MUCH better book is John Wellwood's "Journey of the Heart". Wellwood successfully addresses in one chapter what this book attempts to cover in 200 pages, but fails. Wellwood will get you to think about why you fluctuate from "abandonment panic" to "engulfment panic", recognize what's going on, and most importantly, teach you how to overcome your fears so you can lead a more fulfilling life. Pick it up and read the chapter "Obstacles to the path", and you'll get it.
PS. The idea that "Men can't love" (their other book) is pure hooey! (and I'm a woman, FYI)
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Been There, Done That, November 26, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships (Paperback)
I found this book as I was browsing for something to help me understand why my boyfriend of one year had suddenly and without warning broken it off. I couldn't put the book down, and read the whole thing in one night. I felt the authors had been spying on me & my mate for the past year. Every time I found something that sounded familiar, I got out my yellow highlighter. Before I was finished, 3/4 of the book was highlighted. My boyfriend broke things off just when everything seemed wonderful, just before the holidays and just before the one year anniversary of our first date. Unfortunately, I did not follow the book's advice to get away from this hurtful person. After six months with no contact whatsoever, he called one night and spent the following weeks declaring his undying love and his new understanding of what he wanted in life, which was a relationship with me. I fell for it, and now, three months later, (just before the holidays) it is over again because he's not sure this is what he wants. This time, I am following the authors' advice, and not letting this hurtful person in my life again. P.S. I did buy the follow-up book and sent both to him. Hopefully, he will read and learn.
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47 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for diagnosis, Lukewarm for Treatment., August 13, 2004
This review is from: He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships (Paperback)
In my life, I've been an passive commitment phobic person and later an active type. Yes, I run, I break hearts, including my own. This book helped me to own up to the fact that this is the game I'm playing. It really hasn't helped me understand the underlying causes or how to rescue myself from the behavior. I think it's fair to say that the authors make a point of seeking professional couseling. I will likely do just that, because I don't think a book is going to solve the problem. I want to fix myself, and there's some work to be done to accomplish that. I'm sure it took years of psychological damage to get like this, it's unlikely to unravel overnight. So ultimately, I think this book is a stepping stone to identifying and solving a problem.

I would like to add that it's not fair to categorize those of us with this phobia as losers or unworthy. I am worthy of love and I am a good person at heart. So many women here feel justified by this book. Have some compassion, this problem often stems from traumatic and abusive childhood experience. It's not fair to burn us at the stake for it. We need help. I know I will turn this around with God's help and my own desire to change.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should Be A Reading Requirement, July 24, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships (Paperback)
for online dating! This book was mentioned to me by a guy friend who said he'd read it because he has some committment issues. My gosh, I wish I'd read this 10 years ago. There is was, line for line-a description of some of the most frustrating men I've met and been baffled by, even to the part about offering lavish gifts or outlandish vacation offers, as a way to get a person's attention early on. I laughed my sides off.

It was liberating. I don't care that there were no real "solutions" other than the few offered. The main thing I heard, and heard loudly was...run! Don't take it personally, it's not about YOU, it's about them and generally the man (or woman) described was pretty miserable about being so unable to work thru this problem, and without couples counseling, personal counseling will probably not help them much. I found some of myself in the book, too. Funny thing...it clicked when the authors mentioned "claustrophibic" as being a sometimes trait. I'm mildly claustrophobic, so I started to really read on.

I loved it. Thank you, thank you thank you R!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first step to Stopping the Pattern, March 5, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships (Paperback)
I wanted insight on how to spot people with comittment problems. Well, I didn't think I was one of them until I read this book. I always thought it was the other person. I couldn't believe how well the book profiled my feelings/reactions and my partner's actions/reactions during the course of our relationship. I mean almost to the "T." It oulines all the techniques people use (both active and passive comittment avoiders) to create distance in the relationship and when they tend to use them. I recognized nearly every one of them and felt as though the authors had actually been there experiencing them with me. The book helped me realize I wasn't crazy since "good" events tend to trigger the fear and the subsequent actions. I like the level of detail provided because being aware of how these relationships begin, play out, and end is the first step to stopping the pattern. Don't be surprised if you go through a range of emotions as you read the book. Anger may be the most prominent one, if you are the "Passive Avoider." What helped me through my anger at my partner was thinking back on how I played a role in allowing the relationship to unfold as it did, and thinking about why I was vulnerable to the behavior patterns of the "active avoider." By the way, I have played both roles. Taking accountibility for my part in the destructive pattern actually helped enable me to feel empowered that I can/will change the pattern. Reading the book hasn't made it any less difficult to let go of my feelings about my current partner, but it has helped me understand it is essential to let go, and I can't pretend "not to know" anymore. If you have a pattern of relationships that just haven't worked, I strongly, strongly urge you to read this before you inflict further pain on yourself or another.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars clears up the confusion, November 20, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships (Paperback)
It was a great relief to find this book, after being in a relationship with someone who changed their mind about me overy other day. I was so confused, but after finding this book, I suddenly saw it all there on the page; this person had severe commitment conflicts. The book goes into great detail describing the traits of a commitmentphobe, and how to spot one early on, but for the reader who is already hooked on one, the only advice given is to "get out" as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the authors don't tell enough about how to gather the strength to do this, though they admit that relationships like this are a "living hell to kick." Intermittent reinforcement is one of the post powerful and destructive emotional tools, and a commitmentphobe is a master of it. This book shows you how to spot the subtle mixed messages, pursuit-then-panic, and other signs of a commitmentphobe well, and how the passive partner plays into it and unintentionally makes things worse. If you are involved with someone who is constantly going back and forth with you, someone who tells you they want to marry you and then runs like hell as soon as you agree, buy this book immediately!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some glue for my shredded heart..., January 18, 2000
By 
Julia (Philadelphia, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships (Paperback)
SOS! If you are looking for one last reason to finally make the break from that one "on again/off again" person who has made your life miserable, this book will empower you - or, at the very least, give you a great deal to cry about. Because you DO deserve better! I have been involved for 5 long, sad, painful, happy, loving years with a man who will NEVER commit to me. It has been on and off for so long. One minute he tells me he loves me, the next he has disappeared into never never land. He is a runner, a dreamer, a liar and a deceitful wretch and I am worthy of so much more. Alas, I was certain that I would be the one to rescue him from himself. Not a chance. Last July, while being stood up for a night out after having been apart for 6 months, I meandered to the local mall and found "Men Who Can't Love." I read it cover to cover and then gave it to him the next night. He broke up with me only to come back months later begging for mercy. I fell again. The man gave me 24 hours last year. Last Christmas, he professed his undying love for me ... four days later, when I pressed for a commitment... well, I haven't heard from him since (3 weeks). If this sounds like you, read this and GET OUT! And then send the highlighted copy to your commitmentphobic begging him to seek help before he hurts the next person. Great examples in this book. It was as if the authors had a direct line into my world. A good buy - better than therapy.
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He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships
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