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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2009
I bought four copies of this little book for my kids and relatives. It is packed with brief, practical nuggets that are useful to consider in any relationship. Some of my favorite chapters were "Beware of the Person of your Dreams" (He/she may actually represent some unfinished or unresolved relationship from your past); "One Hardly Ever Hears 'I Wish I Had Gotten Engaged Earlier'" (You need to become sufficiently annoyed at certain aspects of your partner's personality so that you have a good sense of your partner's strengths and weaknesses.) "Dont express every random thought you have in your head about your partner" (Learn appropriate timing and context.) "Great sex will not save a mediocre relationship" but "mediocre sex can become great sex with patience and determination." This little book is worth the investment and makes a nice little stocking stuffer for close friends and relatives who are dating and/or serious about someone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2010
As a relationship coach I often get sent books by fellow authors for me to check out for my clients. Some are good and some are...well some I don't tell you about because it's not worth your time to read. One of the books I recently read, 51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged, offered thought provoking insight AND it was a quick read which you can skim in 5 minutes or dive in and spend a few hours with when you are ready to get honest with yourself. Whereas I don't agree with everything psychotherapist Michael Batshaw says in this little book, I do agree that it is important to know what you're getting into before you grab that ring. And ladies, too often you shy away from really important questions because "you're in love" and it "just feels so right." Wake up and smell the heartbreak! Pick up this book, get answers to your questions from your man (and give him the honest answers from you as well) and find out if you two have what it takes for "'till death do us part". You'll be glad you did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2009
This is truly a great book. It's amazing how much helpful advice and wisdom is contained in such a compact easy-to-tote volume. Michael Batshaw is an intelligent and gifted writer. He is cleary a skilled therapist who knows his subject matter. He is clear, concise, and insightful.

A great deal of useful information is contained within the book. Each of the 51 chapters is brief, covering just several pages. I found this format to be very helpful, as it was succinct and crisp, enabling me to easily digest key points in a brief period of time.

This is likely to be a beneficial book, not just for those considering getting engaged, but to anyone in a serious relationship.

I highly recommend this book!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2009
This book is deceptively simple in presentation, though within the short time it will take you to read it, your view of your relationship may be radically altered- for the better! It certainly caused me to do a bit of soul-searching about my current (and past) relationships. What I liked about it was that it manages, in a much more direct (and at times humorous) style than most, 'to cut to the chase' so to speak and crystalize for the reader some of the key principles behind the establishment of a trusting and loving relationship between you and your would-be spouse. For those already applying this book's principles you may find validation here that you're on the right path. For those not employing some of these principles, well get ready for some serious reassessment of your relationship! While the book is entitIed '51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged' I think it would very helpful even for those in relationships that may not yet be on the verge of tying the knot. Maybe they should rename it "51 Things You Should know Before Getting into Any Relationship Whatsoever!" A wonderful, quick and informative read. Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2009
As this little gem of a book makes clear, most of our heads are filled with a lot of nonsense about what romantic relationships are like, which cause us a lot of trouble when we enter a relationship for the long term. Our society gives us lots of advice (albeit not always so useful) about finding and falling in love. But other than bumbling through it ourselves, where do we come across real and useful advice for how to navigate the inevitable difficulties and challenges that arise in every serious relationship? This book, while small, simple, readable and straightforward, packs a punch and will probably change the way you think about your growing relationship, at whatever stage you are. It is alternately comforting and challenging, wise and playful. If you read this book, what is the value of pain it might save you, and enrichment it might bring to your life? I guarantee you it will be more than 10 bucks worth! You can't go wrong.*

*Well, there is one danger - I recently almost leant my copy to a friend who was debating whether her relationship was worth staying in. But she decided it was too risky to leave lying around the house! Then again, perhaps this is too cautious -- if you ARE going to pop the question, or break it off, the book is small enough to be easily concealed...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2011
This is a short, sharp book with 51 thoughts to consider before getting engaged.

I found the book to be very helpful. Sometimes in life it helps to be reminded of the obvious. Relationships are complex and Batshaw will help you keep it simple, stupid.

You can find out what those 51 things are by clicking on the preview and scrolling through the table of contents, so instead of tell you what you can already find out, I'll list a few of Batshaw's pearls of wisdom:

- Partners will only age well in all respects if they are taking the messages their body and mind are giving them and responding attentively to address these issues (p38).

- Kindly remember: no matter how well you strive to get to know each other, there is a natural timelin along which relationships evolve. In other words, you can't bake bread in five minutes at two thousand degrees. (p13).

- Each individual in the relationship brings a variety of perspectives and abilities to the table. Each of these differences makes up an ingredient in a complex meal. It is the unique balance of these ingredients that produces a superb dish. Not all foods and spices are meant to be combined. However, if you do a careful study of the varied ingrdients, you will be in an excellent position to know if you have the right recipe. (p68).

- As soon as you find yourself assembling your troops to attack, or planning to withdraw, take a moment and pause. Breathe and ponder something: Have you never been hurtful or said something thoughtless to your partner, or for that matter, to anyone? If the answer is that you never have, then you should be canonised for sainthood and become a missionary, because the world needs you more than your partner does. (p70).

- The most crucial aspect of an apology is the subsequent change in behaviour by the one who has apologized (p95).

- Treat your lover as you would like to be treated. This principle is so simple to understand but so difficult to uphold. However, committing to this practice daily is the easiest way to make sure you stay on the right path. (p134).
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2009
This is like the tough yet solid talk you WISH you'd had with a father, grandmother, older brother, or someone supposedly "in the know."

The advice is useful not just in terms of popping the question, but also in terms of conducting any real relationship.

Not a lot of saccharine, there is some very straight talk that you might not want to hear, but really SHOULD know about before jumping into a relationship. It's a book you can use, from which you can grow.

Delivered in short chunks, the book is exceedingly usable. That is, the content is economic, spare, and to the point. He delivers plenty of really insightful challenges and suggestions. You'll find yourself walking away from each short chapter with plenty to ponder.

I wish I'd had this a long time back.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2009
I was a bit weary of reading this since I had already popped the question. Don't be fooled by the title, this book is as much about keeping your relationship alive (and sane) and what to look out for when warning signs start showing. The good news is I think this book has been vital to keeping us together and happy. I know so many friends (and most of my family) who should have read this before they got engaged. All of the advice is really down to earth, honest, and practical. A must read if you are thinking about making the big leap.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2009
This is the best book about relationships that I have ever read. It's well written, insightful, and completely digestible. I found so much of it completely relevant to my own relationship. This is a little book with a lot of wisdom. It's a great way to get real and get clear about where you're at before it's too late.
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on December 21, 2014
This book gives you some good questions to ask yourself before you commit to your boyfriend/girlfriend. Too many times people believe love is all that matters. You do need to know if you agree on how you will handle money, in-laws, religion, politics, saving money, etc. These become more and more important as time goes by. Oh yeah, a big question is do you want children or not and if so how do you want to discipline those children. This book takes you through these important questions so that you can think about what your thought are and will hopefully encourage you to discuss them with your prospective spouse.
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