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If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path
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If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  2,278 ratings  ·  219 reviews
In this practical, playful, yet spiritual guide, Charlotte Kasl, author of the highly successful Finding Joy: 101 Ways to Free Your Spirit and Dance with Life, shows you what it would be like to have the ancient wisdom of the Buddha to guide you through the dating process. Kasl brings a compassionate understanding to the anxiety and uneasiness of new love, and helps reader ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published February 1st 1999 by Penguin Books
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 ·  2,278 ratings  ·  219 reviews

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Start your review of If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path
What an appropriate book at this point in my life. After many failed romances and at the tender age of 22, I was starting to become a little cynical. This book redirected me to a healthier and more loving place--a place where I learn to love and respect myself before getting involved with anyone else. Yes, the urge to feel loved and have romance in my life is still there but now I look at it with different eyes--now I ask myself, what is this loneliness signaling? Am I loving and nurturing mysel ...more
Geordie Korper
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
When the student is ready the teacher will appear. Thanks Kris for giving me this book all those years ago when I put it on the shelf unread.

There came a moment in my life where I needed to remember how to be authentically committed to a person without being attached to a specific result; to be in the moment with my commitments but no expectations. This book was sitting there on my shelf and gave me a little insight into how that might be possible.

It is not a perfect book but then what book is?
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A practical and thoughtful dialogue. This book has somewhat hard to swallow advice that may change your life. It is informed by various spiritual traditions, and places the emphasis of relationships toward a questioned approach. What it is that you and your partner need. What can you do to open yourself up to finding someone. Who are you? What have you not accepted in the past, what does your intuition tell you about where you are right now.

It was also helpful for me even though my focus is more
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
This book caught my eye on the shelf at an interesting time: an intriguing character had just entered my life and then left just as quickly, after entrancing me with his spirituality and shocking me with his dismissal and disappearance. A truly inspiring conversation with this person led me to consider an approach to life that welcomes the present moment and opens myself to the possibilities around me for love — in essence, the message of If the Buddha Dated.

One thing that made the material in K
Jul 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Okay, so, in all honestly, I'm really embarrassed to admit I read this book. If there are two topics of public conversation that make me squirmy it's love and spirituality. And god forbid someone see me standing anywhere near the self-help section of a bookstore. But, hey, a close, trusted friend recommended that I read this book and I'm really glad she did. It's not particularly well-written and - I say this with utter seriousness - the whimsical font/design choices really almost made me give u ...more
Jun 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is very enjoyable and supremely helpful to everyone I've known who's read it. It was highly recommended to me by a good friend about two years ago. I am about to read it again, for the third time! If you want to be open and honest with life and others, able to love them by first loving all parts of yourself and live compassionately, this book's for you! I promise it will help you to release some of your fears, false perceptions and worries. It really is so good as to make you want to r ...more
Sylwia (Wish Fulfillment)
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of my main criterion for reviewing a book is to assess how much it has taught me. For that, this book deserves many more than five stars, it deserves one for each chapter. This book clearly respects and honors love and it does it through various mentally healthy/spiritual/psychological lenses. I cried many times reading it and I feel that it has changed me. Sometimes I spend an entire day remembering a chapter. I cannot recommend this enough, to both singles and nonsingles.
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: relationships
I attribute this book to the reason I met my husband! Excellent principles on focusing on what you want and sending the right messages into the Universe!
Colleen Wainwright
I read this book every few years, usually around the time I think I'm ready for another relationship. Every time I do, I'm reminded that the relationship I'm really craving is with myself, and the All-That-Is. In other words, this is a sweet little book about traveling the Path, whether or not the Path takes you alongside someone else's Path. If it does, there are a number of lovely little essays and tools that may help you avert the crazy pitfalls you generally hit in (or out of) relationship; ...more
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Despite a chic lit-ish sounding title, this is probably the most meaningful, profound, yet simple book I've read on approaching relationships from a spiritual perspective (not just buddhism, as the author integrates sufism and quaker themes amongst others)
Ugnė Butkutė
An interesting point of view. I found some practical tasks pretty helpful. The book itself was really easy to read and understand.

However, I would treat this book more like a free time easy reading choice.
Mar 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone who ever hopes to be in a healthy complete relationship
The title of this book sounds TOTALLY cheezy, but it is fantastic. I read it as I was re-evaluating after an intense breakup and kind of messed up relationship, finding myself potentially launching into a new relationship.

The book is part self-help, part Buddhist-y, and is made up of short chapters with different lessons to learn. Meta-chapters walk you through the progression of a relationship. What I like about this book a lot is its emphasis on dealing with pain and becoming whole, in order t
Sep 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Erin by: A girlfriend
Last year (2007) when I had just moved out of my home, with my daughter and my dogs, away from my now ex-husband, my friend Cheryl gave me this book to read. There are so many great quotes in it, which I will have to add later. She told me the story of how she even came across the book. She was out of town, but in a random bookstore, and this book literally fell off the shelf into her hands. She said it was profound and when she read it, it meant even more to her. It, at the time, made a lot of ...more
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful little book that I probably never would have been searching to read. I only read it because a friend, in passing, brought it to a class to lend it to someone, found that said friend already had it, and looked at me to say, "Hey! You actually might like this!" It was exactly what I needed and not because I was looking for someone to date. It offered little pearls of wisdom along with gentle reminders about how to stay on our own path and stay true to ourselves should we enter ...more
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was an easy read, and I gained wisdom from it, I think. It discusses how to be the best mate you can be by reflecting inward and viewing the rest of the world through an eye on oneness. This type of teaching transcends just dating, and being single myself, I actually found it to be more about personal growth than "finding" a partner.

I could discuss the personal things I learned from this book, but I'd rather not put them on the internet, haha. There were certainly chapters that helped
Jan 31, 2015 rated it did not like it
I was supposed to read this book for a class. I was VERY unhappy that this was assigned reading material, as it really has nothing to do with college class I am taking, more do to with my teachers weird-ass self. I legitimately read about 10-15 chapters of it before I decided I can fake the answers to any questions/tests/quizzes/etc that I am asked about this book, and that I care more about my free time than I do about reading this stuff. The book is filled with the kind of generic bullshit "re ...more
Jan 16, 2009 rated it liked it
A good book, and a quick read -- I zoomed through it in two evenings, loaned it to a friend the next day. Good advice for weird singletons like me ;)
May 27, 2014 added it
really really enjoyed this book i recommend it for all really helps you ponder on your true self which helps in recognizing a good partner
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of the best dating books I ever read...
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
She is right, you need to find somebody on a spiritual path of their own. Healing people will gain appreciation for themselves and the others also on one too.
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good book. Guides you through authentic motions of being with someone and love. I enjoyed it.
Feb 04, 2020 added it
If the Buddha Dated is a self-help book about relationships. I know some people really love the things Charlotte brings up, but I had a problem with how incredibly outdated this work is. I didn't realize it until she used Chaz Bono's dead name in the text. I thought that was incredibly rude because I remember Chaz coming out as trans when I was a kid. Then I realized this was published in 1999 and Chaz transitioned in the 2000's. That showed me how old this work is. On top of that, Charlotte has ...more
Kimberly Ann
Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it
From the back cover:" At once practical, playful, and spiritually sound, this book is about creating a new love story in your life. Drawing from Christian, Buddhist, Sufi and other spiritual traditions. IF the Buddha Dated shows how to find a partner without losing yourself. Kasl, a practicing psychotherapist, workshop leader, and Reiki healer for twenty years, offers practical wisdom on using the path to love as a means of awakening. If the Buddha Dated teaches that when you stay loyal to your ...more
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
I've read some other What Would Buddha Do type books by other authors, and enjoyed them. This one was kind of a mish mosh, with more of a general New Age spiritual perspective rather than being focused specifically on taking a Buddhist approach to contemporary problems-- the author mentions Sufism, Quakerism, and something called Quantum Psychology as her other influences.

I do appreciate the way she stressed the value of being authentic, and I liked the quotes from Rumi and Kahil Girbran. The a
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lot of this book boils down "feel the fear and embrace it". It's about leaning into your weaknesses and doing the things that make you uncomfortable but need to be done (after all, that's how we grow). While this is a dating book, it has a lot of surprising insights on creating valuable and long lasting relationships of any kind. A lot of these relationships start from ourselves, and if we are not ready from our core, we cannot expect to be ready outside. However, we don't have to restrict our ...more
Thukten Tashi
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's a wonderful book on relationship with invaluable lessons. Always watch if our actions are harming ourselves or others. Accept impermanence, loss and joy. As stated by the author, we are often trapped with stories such as:

It's getting better.
Nobody's perfect.
S/he had a hard childhood.
I know s/he really loves me, s/he just has a hard time showing it.
S/he has so much potential. I'm sure it will get better.

If you often get bothered with these, we need to question if we would get happiness. Beh
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
...Honestly, I skipped over the sections on astrology and reiki healing. My review doesn't apply to those sections.

I read this not as a single person seeking out a partner, but as an agnostic engaged to a spiritual woman. This book had helpful thought exercises to reflect on my role as a spiritual partner, some solid perspective on Buddhist philosophy, and was in general a good reminder of the path to finding my own Beloved.

"We are at once love, lover, and Beloved." We are the same Essence at o
Greg Bem
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My therapist recommended this one to me, and I hesitated but decided to read it anyway. Turns out it's one of the most profound, important books I've ever read. The exposure to so many ideas, even just scratching their surface, has the potential to cause so much positive change, growth, healing in my life, and all from this unassuming small text. This one will have a permanent place on my bookshelf. I can't recommend it enough for folks who want to know more about themselves and the people they ...more
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked this up in a charity shop at exactly the right time; I'd just arrived in Sheffield with a head full of Buddhist philosophy and a desire to date again. I don't think I can credit this book, but midway through reading it, I met someone who I've connected with on a really profound level. What this book did do for me though was highlight exactly why my past relationships have been so fraught (the section on fusion vs. differentiation was particularly enlightening) and how I can have more mi ...more
Maggie Dziong
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very insightful book into our habits and behaviours around love and dating. I believe everyone can find something they can relate to, that will make them go "ah ha!" or "ooohhhh" when suddenly their own patterns start making sense. Go into it with an open mind and be ready to reflect a lot. It's good for dating but there is also a fair amount of advice for relationships and commitment.
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Charlotte Sophia Kasl, PhD, is a U.S. psychologist and author.

She pioneered the 16-Steps for Discovery and Empowerment as an alternative to the Twelve-step program for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems.

She wrote several books based on some aspects of Sufi, Quaker, and Buddhist spiritual beliefs and traditions.

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“Staying loyal to your journey means you never abandon yourself by compromising your integrity or discounting your intuition or the signals that come from your body—the knot in the gut, emotional detachment, or loss of energy that signals something is amiss.” 10 likes
“Our refuge is being exactly where we are - not dramatizing problems by replaying them in our heads, telling stories to our friends, eliciting sympathy and convincing ourselves that this is a very big deal. Our refuge is in the stillness of being the compassionate witness to our panic and fear - not judging it as good or bad, just accepting the what is of the moment.” 7 likes
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