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F*ck Love

One Shrink's Sensible Advice for Finding a Lasting Relationship

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From the brilliant New York Times bestselling authors of the “refreshingly blunt” (Harper’s Bazaar) F*ck Feelings—this seriously irreverent roadmap reveals the essentials to look for when you're done being suckered by the promise of true love and want help seeking a real, lasting relationship.

Many people have opinions on the subject of romantic relationships—why they’re so hard to find, so difficult to maintain, so easily analogized to planets and pets—but the real source of trouble isn’t too complicated: it’s that we are choosing our partners based on love, excitement, lust, attraction, neediness…on feelings.

Instead of helping readers find true love (also known as “total bullshit”), Dr. Michael Bennett and his comedy-writing daughter Sarah reveal the practical, commonsense criteria for good partnerships that will allow real love to develop, even after the romance has died down or been buried completely. Finding a good partner involves losing preconceived notions about who your dream date might be, so the Bennetts helpfully appraise the pros and cons of eight traits people most commonly seek: charisma, beauty, chemistry, communication, sense of humor, family stability, intelligence, and wealth. They suggest you’ll have better luck finding a partner in a bar, online, or on a date arranged by your chiropractor if you focus on ideas like mutual attraction and respect and common interests and common goals. With helpful quizzes, case studies inspired by Dr. Bennett’s practice, and unscientific flow charts, F*ck Love is packed with enough advice and wisdom to help you avoid the relationship nightmares that led you to this book in the first place.

F*ck Love Five Reasons Good People Can’t Find Good Partners
5. You’re too nice: Again, you’d think being too mean would be more of a problem, but it’s worse if you always feel responsible for whatever goes wrong on a date, or for making sure everyone’s having fun, or for the weather or the universe in general. Then the bad dates, storms, and luck wear you down until you just want to be left alone to screw up in peace.

4. You’re a woman: That’s right—from haircuts to health care, being a woman is expensive, but your gender is also costing you a decent chance at finding a partner. That’s because there are more marriage-qualified women than marriage-qualified men—a little-known clinical fact, but an obvious fact to any woman who’s had multiple blind dates show up to a nice dinner in flip-flops—so lots of good women are left without a chair to sit on when the proverbial music stops.

3. You connect too easily or hang on too long: You’d think that being a gifted bonder would help if you’re looking for lasting love, but not if you attach too easily to people you don’t know well or hang on too long to partners who are obvious wastes of time. So you spend too much time talking to, caring for, and dating people who may be nice but aren’t your cup of tea. Then, after the breakup, you’re not just heartbroken, but are too exhausted and burned-out to get out there and search for someone worthwhile.

2. You’re an oddball: Sure, it’s easier for not-normal people to find each other now that the Internet exists and Comic Con has worldwide prestige, but anyone whose nerd-dom goes deeper than a pair of glasses and a Star Wars T-shirt can tell you that it’s never easy for an oddball living in a normal world. Even if you’re living among your kind in an artsy city such as Portland or Austin, you’re still probably better at collecting small metal figurines than making small talk. Or maybe you’re just a lady or dude of average tastes who lives in a different country, or just around a different culture, where you feel totally out of place and unable to connect with anyone, let alone someone you want to connect with in the biblical sense.

1. You’re unlucky: On the one hand, bad luck invites more bad luck, so not only do people treat you as if you were contagious and deserving of quarantine, but you’re too down to prove them wrong. When you’re already depressed, broke, or ten pounds over fighting weight, it’s nearly impossible to chitchat, laugh at jokes, or even look strangers in the eye, so meeting new people isn’t just a struggle, it’s torture. On the other hand, you can be going about your search with a positive attitude and a careful approach, and even then, your luck may be garbage and your dates total duds. Bad luck can strike any of us, no matter who we are or what we’re like, but don’t take it personally or let it push you into settling for an equally bad someone.

Dr. Michael I. Bennett, educated at both Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, is a board-certified psychiatrist, Canadian, and Red Sox fan. While he’s worked in every aspect of his field, from hospital administration to managed care, his major interest is his private practice that he’s been running for almost thirty years. The author of F*ck Feelings, with his daughter Sarah Bennett, he lives with his wife in Boston and New Hampshire.

Sarah Bennett has written for magazines, the Internet, television, and books. She also spent two years writing for a monthly sketch comedy show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City. When not living by her philosophy of “will write for food,” Sarah walks her dog, watches Red Sox games, and avoids eye contact with other humans. Somehow, she lives in New Hampshire and works in New York. F*ck Feelings, written with her father Dr. Michael I. Bennett, is her first book.

"Gives the middle finger to the self-help genre....Refreshingly blunt."

– Harper's Bazaar

"Refreshingly honest....Psychiatrist Michael and his comedy-writing daughter, Sarah, bring the funny, but they are also eminently sensible."

– The New York Times Book Review

"The Bennetts have no time for gooey motivational slogans....Together they urge readers to abandon a quest for perfection in favor of realistic attempts at betterment....The Bennetts' goal is not that you might finish the book and say, 'I am perfect,' but that you might finish the book and say, 'I am the best version of myself that I can be at the moment.'

– The New York Times Book Review

"A tough-love, irreverent take on 'life's impossible problems.'"

– The Atlantic

"Engaging...it's hard to argue with the book's advice."

– Elle

"Entertaining...refreshing...hilarious...funny and useful."

– Publishers Weekly