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Be Your Own Dating Service:
A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding and Maintaining Healthy Relationships

by Nina Atwood


Where are all the good people to date? Why do I always end up with the wrong person? Why is love so hard to find?
Start today: learn the secrets to smart dating and change your life!

This upbeat and on-target book answers these questions and more! It offers singles a realistic dating game plan that allows for far more potential partners to choose from. It empowers singles to make wiser choices among those partners to find the love they are seeking.

Learn how to take the anxiety out of the all-important first three dates and make them enjoyable learning experiences where you are in control. Learn which qualities in a mate are most important and how to recognize them. Learn how to recognize “settle for” relationships and how to avoid them. Vitally important – learn how to make sure the person you date is emotionally available for the same kind of relationship you are seeking.

The author:

Nina Atwood has over twenty years experience as a licensed therapist. She’s written and published four self-help books on relationship issues, including the just-released Temptations of the Single Girl: The Ten Dating Traps You Must Avoid. Nina is a media resource expert on love who is frequently interviewed in periodicals such as Cosmopolitan, the Wall Street Journal, and Men’s Health, as well as on numerous regional television shows and hundreds of radio shows.


Dear Reader,

At one time in my single life, I had absolutely no dating game plan. My strategy was . . . well, the truth is that I had no strategy. I dated the next cute guy that I found myself standing in front of and who was willing to ask me out. I had no real thought or methodology that I applied to dating. I had no clearly articulated standards. I went with the flow. Where that led me was straight into a marriage that ended in divorce five years later. It’s not that I married a bad person. In fact, he was and is a great person. But he was not the right person for me.

As I was going through the painful process of divorce, I began putting together ideas for dating that I thought would make a difference in my own life and lead me to greater success, and that I hoped would make a difference to others. The result was my first book - Be Your Own Dating Service, published by Owl in 1996, which continues to sell today. You will find it in most Barnes and Noble and Borders book stores and on amazon.com.

I’ve received countless thank you letters over the years from readers who created huge positive changes in their lives as a result of using the tools in the book. Oh – and did I mention that I am now happily married to my soul partner? Yes, the tools worked for me, and they will work for you.

What readers say about Be Your Own Dating Service:

It changed my life!

The only thing I didn't like was the title. This book is so much more than how to date. I followed the suggestions to the last detail. I began by looking at previous relationships, what was good and bad about them and what happened. Then I looked at what I wanted in a relationship. I followed suggestions about increasing my network of friends and acquaintances. I paid attention to where I was in the stages of life and where the other people were. There were so many excellent insights into the psychology of relationships and how to match the physical, emotional, intellectual and not settle -- and also why I settled before and how not to. I can't say enough, and after three months I found someone so incredibly right for me I can't believe it, and she feels the same! Thank you so much, Nina Atwood, I'm telling all my single friends about your book! - Jim Turner, Tucson, AZ

The best

The best book about dating relationships I have found... and it's about much more than just getting dates. As a male psychiatrist at a major university student health service where inability to make good choices in finding a healthy relationship is a common presenting complaint I recommend this book when I feel the patient could benefit from some study concerning the matter. Ordinarily I'm not really a fan of what I consider pop psychology but this book is very insightful and gives a good framework for understanding a process that we are taught very little about but somehow we are supposed to know. The reality for most us is learning in a trial and error fashion, often blindly, without much understanding about why things are going so badly and accumulating baggage along the way. There should be a course on this in high school if education is about preparing people for life, and if so, this book would be on my required reading list. - Bradley v Williams

Insightful, useful insights into dating with a purpose

Want to pick up women? This isn't your book. Want to manipulate men into asking you out? This isn't your book. Want to date with a purpose -- to eventually find and develop a relationship that might become a committed, lifetime relationship nourishing two people? This is it!

Nina Atwood combines her professional training, personal experiences and the experiences of those she has counseled, coached and corresponded with to offer insight into the problems, reassurances that you aren't the only one having them, and concrete, achievable solutions.

While slightly slanted toward the female experience (like duh), it is only slightly slanted. The male experience, problems and point of view are clearly represented. Males can benefit not only from the direct information, but also from the subtext about what women want and expect (or at least should want and expect).
In addition, it isn't just about snaring someone. It is about living a full life, discovering who you truly are, being open and honest both to yourself and the world, and attracting someone who is like you.

I can't say enough good about this book. If you have never had problems dating, if you've never wondered why you broke up, if you and your partner always seem to be on the same page, if your relationship is going where you want, if you truly understand what the other is feeling, if you never quarrel about "nothing", you don't need this book.

Otherwise, you cannot afford NOT to buy it.


Other reader reviews >>

What the other experts say about Be Your Own Dating Service:

Ms. Atwood’s book empowers singles in their journey toward healthy romantic love.
- Dr. John Gray, bestselling author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus and many other best selling books

Be Your Own Dating Service is jam-packed with practical, down-to-earth information – a must-read for singles. Don’t go one step further into a relationship until you’ve read this book!
- Dr. Pat Love, bestselling author of Hot Monogamy, The Truth About Love, and other best selling books

Read on to discover the secrets to great relationships - how to date smart and find the love of your life!

Problem One: No Dating Game Plan =
Poor Relationship Choices

Fundamental truth: Powerful, positive plans are the foundation of any success in life, including relationships! Why is this so clear in other parts of life yet so unclear in dating? One reason is that your emotions and hormones – if you’re not careful – can rule the day, making your choices for you. In a nutshell, here’s what can happen if you date without a clear dating game plan:

  • Wishful, hopeful thinking about having a soul mate
  • Feelings of loneliness make you long for someone to love, have sex with, be a companion
  • Envy toward happy couples
  • Past mistakes that make you afraid to take a risk with your heart
  • Negative beliefs set in and begin to feel like reality, along these lines:

There are no great people to date – they’re all married or in committed relationships
It’s dangerous to give your heart away – you’ll get hurt for sure!
It’s too late for me – I guess love is not meant for me
I have tried everything and nothing works
There’s something wrong me – I’ll never have a good relationship
And on and on and on . . .

With that kind of mindset, you may develop habits like these:

  • Too much focus on work – avoiding a social life
  • Self-talk such as: “I don’t really need a relationship. I’ve got plenty on my plate between work, family, friends, and other pursuits.”
  • Denial of your true desires – to meet and marry a soul mate
  • Emotional neediness = rushing into relationships
  • Not understanding the fundamentals of compatibility, your “chooser” is broken, you fall in love with the wrong people, and get your heart broken over and over

Here’s the pattern:

You stay out of the dating game, having given up on love. But you are out in the world meeting people, and the inevitable occurs. One day, out of nowhere, you meet someone attractive. Bam! You fall in love, but with no game plan, here’s what can happen:

  • Wishful thinking that love conquers all – as long as you both feel “in love,” all the rest of it will sort out on its own
  • Belief that the early feelings of falling in love will always be the same
  • Lack of communication to clarify a common path – hoping it will magically turn out without doing any real relationship work
  • Drifting along with no stated intentions toward marriage

Then one day, one of you says something to the effect of “Are we heading toward marriage or what?” Wham! You find out you’re on two different pathways – one of you is very much marriage-minded, and the other is not. Conflict erupts, competing emotional needs puts you at cross purposes, and before you know it, you’re headed toward breaking up. Even worse, one of you pressures the other into a commitment, and that leads to an out of balance marriage that is destined for failure.

The other scenario is that you discover one day that your basic life values do not mesh. Wham! You’re now in the position of trying to “fix” or “change” the other person so that you are compatible. Conflict erupts, you’re at cross purposes, and before you know it (or after many frustrating years), you’re breaking up or divorcing.

Now you have a broken heart and healing takes time and effort. If you’re not very careful following a bad break-up you will construct thick emotional walls out of self-protection. Those walls may appear to keep you emotionally safe, but in reality they keep love out and set you up for more pain down the road.

Here’s the truth: To find and maintain a great relationship, you need to exercise certain emotional muscles. You need to be able to take healthy risks in dating. You need to develop excellent communication skills. All of that must take place on the field – out there in the dating pool, going for it! But before you get on the field, you need a real game plan, one that prepares you for the ups and downs of dating so that you are moving toward your goal. You need a guide book to prepare you for the challenge ahead.

Be Your Own Dating Service gives you all of the tools and insights you need to create a powerful, positive dating game plan. With it, you’ll discover:

  • Common myths about love that get in the way of a healthy relationship
  • The three major stages of the development of love relationships and how to navigate each one
  • How relationship choices are typically made and why they often don’t work
  • The five crucial compatibility factors for establishing healthy love
  • How to put together your own “relationship shopping list”
  • The right kind of focus to have for the journey of dating and discovering
  • How to greatly expand your social world, and thus your choices of potential partners
  • How to build your interpersonal skills while on the field and in the game of dating
  • How to ask for and accept dates
  • The power of the first three dates in establishing a foundation for a great relationship
  • What to do, what to talk about on the first three dates so that you’re moving toward a healthy relationship with commitment
  • Do’s and don’ts for men and women in dating

Problem Two: Incomplete Understanding of Real Love = Relationships that Fizzle Out or Blow Up

Most dating couples drift with no sense of direction. The assumption is that if you are attracted and if you love each other, it will all work out. The problem with that assumption is that it leaves out the importance of developing crucial communication skills early in a relationship.

Couples who drift into marriage often find later that they are unprepared for the ups and down, for the inevitable conflict, and for the daily work of maintaining a healthy relationship. They don’t know how to have constructive conflict. They don’t know how to bring up difficult issues or discuss them in a way that leads to resolution. They don’t know the positive behaviors that they must practice each day to keep love alive.

Drifting in dating, you overstep the vital stages of love and emotional muscle building that are so important in a healthy, lasting marriage.

Dating can be and should be fun! But it should also be fun with a purpose – and that purpose is to build a foundation for a loving, healthy marriage. Be Your Own Dating Service helps you fulfill that purpose. Reading it prepares you for a lifetime healthy relationship by giving you the tools to:

  • Understand the language of love and use it to build a strong relationship
  • Understand the power of courtship and use it to avoid “settling for” less than a wonderful relationship
  • Understand emotional availability, how to spot it in a potential partner, and what to do if you find yourself dating someone who is not emotionally available
  • Understand the power of attachment – what it is, how it works in love relationships, and how to use it as a positive force
  • Know how to avoid love addiction
  • Become sexually intimate only when it is appropriate so that you don’t sabotage the development of real love
  • Know how and when to discuss sex
  • Understand when your relationship needs to be exclusive, and how to talk about this critical stage of loveKnow when a relationship should end, and how to handle it powerfully so that you don’t create unnecessary emotional baggage
  • Decide whether or not the person you’re dating is marriage material, and how to move forward toward marriage

If you are ready to transform your dating life so that your experiences are positive, so that you are leaning and growing, and so that you are moving every day closer to your soul mate relationship, then buy and read Be Your Own Dating Service today. If it is important to you that dating prepares you for a lifetime healthy relationship, then this book is for you. After you read the book and begin practicing and using the tools, contact me and let me know how it has helped.

There is truly no greater joy in life than sharing each day with the one you love and who loves you. I wish for you that kind of joy and happiness!

Yours in Success,

Nina Atwood
The Singlescoach®

P.S. Get a preview of the book before you order.