Women Men Love, Women Men Leave

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

The format of this book reverses the order of the title, with the first half devoted to the issue of how women scare away men. Whether the couple is in the dating stage or already married, males naturally shy away from certain behavior from their mates. This phenomenon, the authors explain, stems from differing “bonding zones” of the sexes and relates to how much intimacy each partner will tolerate. Curiously enough, many women will recognize themselves in this first section and may be surprised to realize that their behavior is precipitating their mate’s withdrawal, silence, lack of sexual arousal, or fear of commitment. A woman’s secret contempt for men, a need to control, the desire to give more than the man wants to receive--all of these common behavior patterns can backfire to ruin a relationship, with the woman entirely unaware of what she is doing.

The second half of the book examines the kind of behavior that attracts a man and makes him want to make a commitment to an enduring relationship. It is a positive look at positive behavior and deals with friendship and trust as well as the arousal of passion. Women who have already achieved committed relationships probably possess the qualities outlined in this section, but women who are still searching may find information of value. The eleven “Rules for Staying in Love” are a good reminder to everyone that love relationships take work to maintain.

The appendix at the end of the book contains quizzes to help a woman determine her own attitudes toward men and relate them to her success in maintaining a relationship. The quizzes are conveniently set up to correspond to designated chapters, so it is easy to refer to the authors’ explanations for certain behaviors.