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The Normal Bar: Where Does Your Relationship Fall?

3.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  224 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Based on an unprecedented survey of the romantic lives of more than 100,000 people, most of them in couple relationships, "The Normal Bar" identifies what is "normal" for the most satisfied partners, and provides effective tools for shifting one's normal if one so desires.
This book's team of expert authors uses a powerful interactive survey tool known as OnQ to compare re
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 26th 2012 by Crown Publishing Group (first published September 25th 2012)
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Feb 24, 2013 Randy rated it really liked it
A very quick read, much faster than its 290 pages would indicate.

I was drawn to this book after seeing the authors on the Today Show one morning... they fielded a large number of surveys using an online questionnaire, so I thought there might be some wisdom in here.

The premise is similar to the "7 habits of highly effective people" or whatever the name was... ask people who are happy in their relationships about their habits, and you'll find the Magic Key to Relationship Happiness. It's very beh
Malin Friess
May 13, 2013 Malin Friess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So what is normal in a relationship? Not what is right and wrong, but what is statisically normal?
These PhD's collected data from 70,000 couples to answer that question:

65% of women would get plastic surgery if they had unlimited money (45% of men would).
22% of couples said they have never had a heated argument (48% have one weekly)
61% of men and 60% of women find their jobs rewarding
54% of couples read their partner's e-mail

The statistics goes on and become more graphic (who sleeps in the nude,
Elena (Gone Bookserk)
Feb 18, 2013 Elena (Gone Bookserk) rated it did not like it
A Gone Bookserk Perspective

'Normal Bar' whatever that means. Well, actually, the books says the Normal Bar "provides you with a compass and a toolbox so that you can get as close or as far away from normal as you see fit." What are the tools in the toolbox, you ask? They are: 1) Just You and I; 2) How Well do I know You?; 3) It takes two to tango; 4) Form a Book Club of Two; 5) Rules of the Game; 6) The Three-Prong Romance Test; 7) A Gift with a Twist; 8) Block Dating Tip; 9) Let's Bring Back t
Feb 10, 2013 K. rated it really liked it
Firstly, I'd like to thank Goodreads and everyone who had a part in the creation of this book for giving me the opportunity to win this remarkable book to read on my own. It is filled with detailed accounts, problems, suggestions and statistics. It definitely soothes worries over relationship blunders, helping the reader to understand just how common the problems are all over the world. Very conclusive, creative, touching on what must be every possible subject. This book is great self-help, leav ...more
Apr 25, 2014 Bretnie rated it it was ok
I expected so much more out of this book. The concept (thousands of people responding to surveys about their relationships) had me hopeful that the book would be more about the findings and a more scientific approach to analyzing those findings. I was disappointed that it reads much more like a self-help book with simplistic recommendations and cheesy cartoons.

The conclusions the authors make about what it takes to make a relationship work and what's normal seem overly simplistic for the amount
Mar 27, 2016 Boiling rated it liked it

The title is a bit misleading - like they want everybody to fit into the 'normal' category but it is actually not like that.

Has plenty of useful tips at the end of each chapter. Some of the questions are broken down country wise but I felt that the authors did not explore the cultural norms that may have resulted in certain answers,especially when it came to Asia. They just took the answers at face value while they tried to fit the European answers into stereotypes.

As this is a self reporte
Jan 16, 2013 Angief rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I don't know how exactly how much I believe all the information in this book but I did find it interesting and I did enjoy reading it.

I received this book free from GoodReads FirstReads program.
Feb 02, 2014 Deirdre rated it liked it
The New Normal is not asserting that their IS a relationship normal for everyone, but rather shares what other people are saying on a variety of relationship topics and where the averages lie, and what comes out as "norm" in the various results in many cases does surprise. It took me much longer to read this book than it should have, many months actually, for a variety of reasons, but that has no bearing on the quality of book this is. On the one hand its style is casual and friendly and easy to ...more
Jul 14, 2013 Marcia rated it liked it
"The Normal Bar" gives percentages of what people answered to questions such as "What kind of parent do you think your partner is?" "Do you hold hands with your partner?", etc. It covers all the normal things that effect, money, housework load, children, etc. and gives you an idea if you are in the norm or not on these issues.

I like that the book has statistics from many different countries. It was interesting to see that views on some things did vary by country.

I would say
Jan 20, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: as light reading
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 01, 2013 Ebony rated it did not like it
Shelves: relationships
Spurious. That’s the word I would use to describe The Normal Bar. First of all, bar is such a cold and unwelcoming metaphor. I hear it, and I don’t think love relationships. The “tools” at the end of each chapter are also utilitarian and kind of masculine to me. When they started discussing prongs, I was like, are we building a house or a love relationship? The metaphors were so technical. We’re talking about normality. Why not use a more accessible i.e. gender neutral i.e. normal metaphor? Perh ...more
Jan 27, 2014 Jenny rated it it was ok
I picked this up because I love statistics, and thought this would be an interesting read based on the scope of their study and their methodology. Unfortunately, it didn't really live up to their own hype. The way they said they were presenting their research wasn't how they laid it out. It was simply a presentation of facts and statistics (which isn't all bad, but not how they said they were doing it). So, I was disappointed because it really wasn't any different than what you might read in Rea ...more
Apr 10, 2013 Saralyn rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I found a lot of things in this book very interesting. But a few things really bugged me. Enough to rather turn me off to the book in general. First of all, reading the book, there were several conclusions made that seemed awfully biased. With what information they SAID they based their conclusion on, it sure didn't seem like they had enough evidence. (With some of the conclusions, I even wondered if I had accidentally skipped a page. How did they come up with that answer based on THAT informati ...more
Jun 26, 2016 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The thing I liked most about this book is that it states common relationship pitfalls, and gives you clear and simple tools to deal with the issues.

Every relationship has an everyday "normal." If that normal is no longer working, then it's time to readjust and find a new normal.

The his book reminds you to have patience as you work out what's going to be best for your relationship. By itself the books Ian of the strongest. It would be good as part of a series.
Jan 08, 2015 Nikita rated it liked it
I'm actually slightly disappointed in this book. It really wasn't what I thought it was going to be and left me wanting for sure!

I liked knowing how people answered the survey but I wish it would have done even more to provide incite into how to fix issues you may be having in your relationship than just reiterating me data I could have just read.
Dec 05, 2013 Jacinda rated it liked it
This book was informative, and it does provide some good advice on how to make a relationship stronger; however, I found the many facts and stats to be a bit dry and repetitive. I did learn a few new ideas on communicating with my partner, which is really useful. But I found that a lot of the questions in the survey had no applicable answer. So I didn't know if I should just skip the question or pick the closest answer, even if it didn't fit for me at all.
Overall, I'd say that it is great for pe
This book was informative, and it does provide some good advice on how to make a relationship stronger; however, I found the many facts and stats to be a bit dry and repetitive. I did learn a few new ideas on communicating with my partner, which is really useful. But I found that a lot of the questions in the survey had no applicable answer. So I didn't know if I should just skip the question or pick the closest answer, even if it didn't fit for me at all.
Overall, I'd say that it is great for p
Jul 29, 2014 Scott rated it liked it
A very interesting approach to a book on relationships - it's all about the data. I thought that for the most part it was enjoyable and got a few good ideas from it, however it is a very dry statistical read that the authors try to spice up with some fairly generic "Redbook" prose.
Jul 24, 2013 Janice rated it liked it
This was an interesting and pleasant book that my husband and I listened to on a trip this past spring. While the book did spur some discussion for us, it is not one I would recommend as a "marriage manual" or something to help those trying to improve or enrich their relationship. The authors merely look at what the majority answers are to all varieties of questions, and take that for what is "normal". That does not necessarily equate to what is healthy or meaningful, which can be a very individ ...more
Timothy Boyd
Jan 14, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it liked it
Good book. well written
Jun 26, 2013 Drew rated it liked it
This is a very interesting take on relationship advice: crowdsourcing. The statistics were fascinating, but they got a little overwhelming by the end. The cartoons scattered throughout were generally funny and informative, but some of the charts were a little too cute in format. The content was interesting, but the presentation was a little forced. In general, it was a worthwhile read, and I recommend it.
Mar 05, 2013 Michelle rated it liked it
Thought this would be more interesting than it actually was. The authors did an online survey about relationships and then shared with you "the new normal" and then hoped it would help you make your marriages better. But it seems to me that "normal" or "average" marriages aren't doing so hot, and I'd rather be a lot BETTER than "normal".
Jun 28, 2013 Guillermo rated it liked it
This book helps to distinguish THE norm from YOUR norm with respect to your love life. What's important is YOUR norm, how to get to it and be comfortable in it. The book is great for helping figure all of this out. It's quite interesting to read all the other norms and comparing your own norm to them.
Jun 26, 2013 Kate rated it it was ok
While I thought this was an easy quick read, I really felt like it was just 270 pages of statistics. There was nothing that really surprised me about the data, and I'm not sure I got a whole lot out of the book. Skip the 270 pages...the consensus: more sex = better relationship, duh!
Apr 18, 2013 SueDella rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thought this would be interesting and it appealed to my statistical sociology side, but this book is filled with philosophies on how the world views relationships, and lacks any instruction on how spirituality and morality can strengthen your commitment. Adult content.
Dec 02, 2013 Brooke rated it really liked it
I got this from the library and liked it. It talks about improving the "normal" in your relationship. There are easy fixes you can start making today to maybe improve things with your partner. I have started making little changes and think things have improved.
Molly Panzer
Mar 22, 2013 Molly Panzer rated it really liked it
This was very good and pretty readable. A lot of statistics that took me awhile to process. We have been married nearly 39 years and together for over 41 and I could definitely use some of the information. I, however, feel very lucky in the partner that I got.
Ashley Burton
Mar 30, 2013 Ashley Burton rated it liked it
It was really interesting to read the responses to the survey and learn about the trends in relationships both good and bad. It wasn't really a fun read though, it was basically narrating the results of the survey.
Jul 05, 2013 Kayla rated it it was ok
I was expecting more science, more data, and more studies. Instead, it was "our poll showed this, so here is our opinion."

The poll part was interesting, but the opinion part, not so much.
Apr 23, 2013 Danielle rated it did not like it
instructions.... don't work so well if you don't 'get it'. more important than this worthless book is: communication and being in love. everything else should follow.
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Have you tried the high five tool that is listed in The Normal Bar? 1 2 Feb 25, 2013 07:33PM  
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