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103 of 115 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I think it's important for a book to set out clearly who it is meant for. If you write a book to help teenage girls learn how to date safely, you should probably title it SAFE DATING ADVICE FOR TEEN GIRLS. If you title it TRADITIONAL JEWISH RECIPES, then undoubtedly people who buy it will feel confused and let down.

That is part of the issue here. Kathy titles the book in a way that implies readers will learn to find their soul mate, their true partner in life. However, the entire book then seems to be about building a personal relationship with God while working on your existing marriage or relationship.

So point 1 - if you are single and LOOKING for a soul mate - or if you don't believe in God - this probably isn't the book for you. That is fair enough.

Now, on to the bulk of the book. I agree with many things Kathy says. You can't expect your partner to "fulfill you" when you're bored and cranky and desolate. That is not how life works. You need to find ways to be happy and content - and then you will be a productive half of a happy relationship. You need to work towards becoming a self-fulfilled, peaceful person. As you move down that road, you will find your life in general - and your relationship with your partner in particular - will become more and more joyous.

She explains that you can often approach a given situation from the point of view of fear, or from the point of view of love. If you choose the fear approach, you probably are going to end up disappointed. If you choose the love approach, while it might be tough, more often than not you will end up happier. Yes, it's easier to be defensive and rough, but it really is worth the effort to be nice to others and to give others that chance.

That all being said, some of her tips along the way range from strange to downright harmful. For example, she says if you're angry to go to a parked car, scream, rant and rage inside it, and then either:
1) your partner will magically become better
2) you will give up and just accept the way things are
3) you will throw in the towel and leave your partner

What kind of advice is that?? Studies show that if someone meditates and seeks calm, they tend to find a calm, peaceful response that is productive. If someone rants and raves, it builds up the anger in them and they actually become more hostile. I'm not saying to bottle emotions up. That is NEVER good! But there needs to be a healthy, productive outlet. If you train yourself to scream and yell and curse when you're bothered, that is a habit that will do far more harm than good.

Never mind that her repeated advice to "just give up" goes against everything I believe in. Yes, you can't change people. But if you are in a relationship, you are responsible for half of it. Closing your eyes and hoping for a magical change in your partner is irresponsible. In fact, she even says that staying with an abusive guy is perhaps teaching a lesson. That every relationship teaches you a lesson and is therefore good. Hah! My friend was raped. I'm sure she could have been a happy and productive adult without that little lesson. Some relationships are just WRONG and if you get into one by mistake, it is best to know that and get OUT without waiting around for magical change or for mysterious lessons to emerge.

Still, again, there are good parts here. She says, when making amends, that you should bring up past "truths" only when the real purpose is to help someone else feel better - not to assuage your own guilt at the expense of someone else's emotions. If you're upset you should not hold it in, but communicate calmly - not as a 'victim' but as a mature adult with boundaries. If you have a harmful person in your life, you can accept that you care for them but that it is time for you to move on with your path, one that does not involve frequent contact with them. You can never change another person. They can only change themselves, and sometimes they do that best without certain support in their lives.

Kathy explains that a soulmate relationship involves committing yourself to another's growth and emotional welfare *even when it's hard* and communicating proactively to sustain the connection. You need to listen - and also to be honest. You cannot make your partner guess at your needs because you're shy or because "he should know". It is your responsibility to make things clear.

But again, the downside. She says if you're really upset with your partner that it is probably your own "dark side" you're angry with, not his behavior. So if your partner hits you in the head, you're upset at yourself for having a violent dark side??

So there really is a mix here. I really like some of her comments. I really DISlike some of her other comments and feel they could cause great harm. I have to say as a whole that with all the other great books out there that take on this topic with a fully rounded set of writings that I can promote without reservations, I would probably not add this book to my recommendations listing.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
How do you find a soul mate? For that matter, what is a soul mate? As someone who was recently a single woman in her 30s, I have spent hours mulling this over with friends. Our discussions and searchings would have been richer with the help of Kathy Freston's new book, The One: Finding Soul Mate Love and Making It Last. This insightful book reminds us that what we're really looking for in a relationship is a place to become our best self by nurturing an intimate connection with another person.

And now that I'm a married woman, the "making it last" part is what counts.

Kathy Freston's book is good reading and full of practical observations about finding someone with whom you can grow and blossom, and how to keep that soul connection alive once you've found him or her.

Everyone looking for, or navigating through, a relationship should read this great new book!
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Kathy Freston impressed me on Oprah. But that interview led me to believe this book is for singles looking for the right mate, not just the best-looking mate or the one with the most money. Most of the exercises in this book are designed to do with partners. Most of the questions she has us ask ourselves are about an already existing relationship. I like Freston's point of view and wisdom so much that I tried to apply her words to other relationships in my life that weren't male/female. I finally gave up. This book guides us to see that our satisfaction in relationships has more to do with how we feel about ourselves. I have set the book aside until I am actually in a relationship. I highly recommend the book for someone who already has a mate.
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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I first heard about this book on television when the author was doing an interview and I agreed with a lot she said about how spirituality helps people to transform and find and or keep relationships. I'm in a relationship and we were not really having problems but I wanted to read this book to see how we can keep our relationship together. This book goes much deeper then just that though it's not just a relationship book it's also a spiritual book and a self-help book. It helped me to realize so much about my relationship and more then that about my self. It helped me to realize a lot of emotions and underlying things that affect my actions not just towards my partner but other people also. This is a must read book weather you are single and looking single and not looking or in a relationship weather it be dating or marriage. I've also started to read expect a miracle from the same author because I liked this book so much.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book has completely changed my life and how I approach all things, not just relationships. Kathy teaches that you can only work on yourself and continue to evolve emotionally and spiritually. As you do this, you will attract other people who are like-minded and you will draw toward you more light. This book allows me to keep focusing on my own personal growth and not worry about where others may or may not be in their journeys.

If you haven't already read Kathy's, "Expect a Miracle," I HIGHLY recommend it as well!

Much love and luck to you all on your own journey!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
This book is SO much deeper than I expected. I've spent a lot of time and energy trying to get the rleationship thing down, and this book really hit home for me.

It just rings true -- the relationship isn't going to go well if you're not well and at peace with yourself. Talks about how to relate in healthier, more loving ways. Some of it is common sense, but then it goes MUCH deeper than that. Great read. Very insightful. Best of all, hopeful!
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I'm not easily impressed by advice books such as this, but Kathy Feston has written a concise, usable, understandable guide and I highly recommend it. In fact, I'm recommending it to at least two of my female clients who are in their 30's. Pamela D. Blair, Author The Next Fifty Years: A Guide for Women at Mid-Life And Beyond
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have never been a relationship book reader until this one. It is inspirational and I want all of my friends and family to read it. I have never been so personally affected by a book until now.
I will read parts of this book forever to help me with day to day relationships of all kinds!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Interesting read and lots of food for thought. I especially liked the prayers at the end of each chapter or segment. Would have given the book a five except for the fact that I'd have enjoyed more depth and examples.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
There are two types of books out there that offer relationship advice. The first type really doesn't do anything except make us women feel better about ourselves and give us tips and exercises that, if we are honest, really just make us feel better. This is one of those books. I admit, I feel like the advice will help when I read it, I feel good about the author, she makes me feel good about myself, but when I put it away and really think about it, there's not much actual practical information in this book. Books for women have been doing this for years, just rehashing the same advice over and over every so many years. We keep buying them, big shows like Oprah keep pushing them, and nothing really changes. A few years later, a new book with the exact same advice comes along and is pushed on us. Funny thing, if the last book worked so well, how come we're still unhappy about our dating lives?

The second type of book is much newer. These books present practical tips in the practical world and don't worry about making women feel good; they focus on making us focus on the honest, real world. Two of the books that do this really well and impressed me were The Manual: A True Bad Boy Explains How Men Think, Date, and Mate--and What Women Can Do to Come Out on Top and God Is a Woman: Dating Disasters. Both books are written by men and offer much insight into the workings of a man's mind, honestly and unapologetically. I urge all women to read them.

"The One" is good for helping you know where you want to draw boundaries and knowing yourself, but not much in practical advice in the real world of dating.
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