Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

How to Not Die Alone: The Surprising Science That Will Help You Find Love

Rate this book
A “must-read” ( The Washington Post ) funny and practical guide to help you find, build, and keep the relationship of your dreams.

Have you ever looked around and wondered, “Why has everyone found love except me?” You’re not the only one. Great relationships don’t just appear in our lives—they’re the culmination of a series of decisions, including whom to date, how to end it with the wrong person, and when to commit to the right one. But our brains often get in the way. We make poor decisions, which thwart us on our quest to find lasting love.

Drawing from years of research, behavioral scientist turned dating coach Logan Ury reveals the hidden forces that cause those mistakes. But awareness on its own doesn’t lead to results. You have to actually change your behavior. Ury shows you how.

This “simple-to-use guide” (Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone ) focuses on a different decision in each chapter, incorporating insights from behavioral science, original research, and real-life stories. You’ll learn:
-What’s holding you back in dating (and how to break the pattern)
-What really matters in a long-term partner (and what really doesn’t)
-How to overcome the perils of online dating (and make the apps work for you)
-How to meet more people in real life (while doing activities you love)
-How to make dates fun again (so they stop feeling like job interviews)
-Why “the spark” is a myth (but you’ll find love anyway)

This “data-driven” ( Time ), step-by-step guide to relationships, complete with hands-on exercises, is designed to transform your life. How to Not Die Alone will help you find, build, and keep the relationship of your dreams.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published February 2, 2021

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Logan Ury

4 books165 followers
Logan Ury is a Harvard-educated behavioral scientist turned dating coach, and the author of How To Not Die Alone.

It’s a guide to modern dating, designed to help the reader overcome their bad habits and find the relationship of their dreams, using lessons from behavioral science.

Each chapter focuses on a different decision along the dating journey, from “Am I ready to date?” to “Should we get married?

As the Director of Relationship Science at the dating app Hinge, Logan leads a research team dedicated to helping people find love.

Logan’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, TIME. The Washington Post, GQ, Glamour, Vice, and on HBO and the BBC. She is a featured speaker at SXSW 2021.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
3,122 (33%)
4 stars
3,999 (42%)
3 stars
1,761 (18%)
2 stars
355 (3%)
1 star
87 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,022 reviews
2 reviews
February 8, 2021
If the title doesn’t say it all, this is tedious and insulting to single people. Is dying alone the worst thing that could happen? Is being ‘alone’ really only define by not having a romantic partner?

Continuously positing singleness as a ‘problem’ which needs to be ‘fixed’ is one thing, but trying to attach mathematical or scientific proof points to something which really amounts to nothing more than luck and the roll of the dice is nonsensical. Marry a man like the one you were dating at 16? That would be catastrophic for most. Find out the age you ‘should settle down’ and forget about ‘the spark’? Just sounds like settling.

Rather than boiling down our complex personalities, characteristics and desires down to ‘three dating tendencies’, why aren’t we celebrating those who choose not to settle, who make the courageous decision to live life on their terms and not pin the answer to happiness and entry to ‘adulthood’ with coupling up? Haven’t we had enough of this from 90s teen magazines?

Unfortunately single women (and note this ‘advice’ is really never aimed at men), are too often belittled and when they speak up are labelled as embittered or hiding their misery behind a facade of indignity. Not so. Stop making them victims and don’t threaten that dying alone is the worst that could happen to you just to sell copies. We all die alone.
Profile Image for Haley Prasad.
56 reviews20 followers
May 25, 2021
This book was good, not great. I think the author offers a ton of really helpful and tactical steps anyone can take, single or in a relationship, to improve their chances of finding or keeping love. I love the infusion of behavioral science which elevates this book from an advice book to one that’s actually useful.

That being said, I think it’s likely a bit overkill in how pragmatic and process-based the authors recommendations are. It’s so logical that she fails to address one key factor — you can only control 50% of the relationship (yourself), and you can do everything “right”, but sometimes things won’t work out and cannot be explained because you can’t control other people. She fails to address that the other party in a relationship may not always have pure intentions, and doesn’t offer strategies for when things aren’t going your way. As a single person, I felt like the book is written as if everyone you encounter is looking for a long term monogamous relationship just like you are, and doesn’t offer strategies for when you might encounter someone else with less than positive intentions or need to weed out the “bad eggs.” While I took away a ton of helpful strategies, I think this book is much more helpful for navigating things while IN a relationship rather than when you’re looking for one.

Overall, worth a read, and I’m sure I’ll definitely refer back to certain sections in the future. But some elements of the book read as a bit naive or two dimensional.
Profile Image for Asher Abramson.
45 reviews5 followers
February 2, 2021
I got access to an early draft of this book. I'm now in the longest relationship of my life.

I'm not saying correlation equals causation, but...this book definitely had an effect. It changed the way I think about what's really important.
Profile Image for Joy.
1,048 reviews
January 8, 2023
This may be useful for people who are 18-24ish. If you’re middle-aged, it’s pretty condescending (to imagine you wouldn’t have already thought of these ideas by now). So maybe I would have liked this if I’d read it back in college?

But the premise of this whole thing is pretty obnoxious: it assumes that if someone is single, it’s their “fault” and if they would just correct some certain behavior they have, then they wouldn’t be single anymore. (Isn’t it obvious that this author who knows nothing about you or your life experiences could magically pinpoint The One Thing You’ve Been Doing Wrong All Along, and immediately cure you of your singleness?!)

I want to send Logan Ury a copy of It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single, by Sara Eckel, because her approach is completely different—affirming, and not blaming. If you found this book obnoxious and insulting, run out and buy Sara Eckel’s book from your local indie bookstore! Eckel approaches this whole concept from the polar opposite angle — she starts out in your court, approaching the topic rationally, rather than assuming you’re doing everything wrong and that everything that happens in your love life is a result of something you should have done differently…
Profile Image for Caitlin.
83 reviews4 followers
July 24, 2021
maybe i am just a bitter betty but it feels like the large part of the answer ury gives as to how to not die alone is just to simply settle. i also feels like she understates how awful and dangerous straight males can be.

additionally, based on the stats for marital happiness she gives at the end of the book -- no thanks!!! guess I'll die alone!
Profile Image for W M.
131 reviews20 followers
June 9, 2021
ok I could honestly spend a really long time railing against this book but like, what was I expecting from a book called ‘How to not die alone’?? It’s like one, super long buzzfeed article - kind of a waste of time but also a little satisfying. my intention was to use as a primer to start 🤢 thinking about 🤢 going on dates in the future as things start opening back up, and I think it served that purpose! I might also come back to some of the “exercises” that she proposed for dating/questions to ask yourself while in a relationship
Profile Image for Sara.
226 reviews29 followers
December 15, 2021
I have read maybe 3 other relationship books, but this is by far the best one I have ever read.

The advice was rather sound for finding and keeping love and she included practical exercises for working through your emotions and thoughts.

She did give me some things to think about in terms of approaching dating, deciding when to keep seeing someone and when to break up with them, bad habits in dating that you want to look out for. I thought a lot of the exercises were meaningful and helpful in building and maintaining relationships as well. I liked the chapters on "f*** the spark' for instance. I liked her anecdotes with her friends and clients on how she helped them break habits and find love or get out of unhelpful patterns.

My only critiques are: I feel like ... there maybe a bit of ageism and judgement about older women looking for love? Like she talks about freezing her eggs at 31 (as if most people can afford that) and presses readers as if they shrivel up at 35.

I didn't agree on a few points, but found the majority of it very readable and smart. It flows very well and doesn't ever get boring. I think it's a good book on relationships for singletons or people at a crossroads, though less so for people in relationships already (the last chapter is solid though). Recommended.
Profile Image for Caitlin O'Connor.
56 reviews6 followers
February 18, 2021
Wow, this book. First “page turner” I’ve experienced in awhile, especially for a self-help book! Note this is my “stricter” rating system so 5 is truly out of the park.

While this book is mostly geared towards single folk 🙋‍♀️I think it would also be super useful for folks in long term relationships (especially the third section/relationship contract/weekly check in)

It’s crazy how the patterns in my life start to elucidate themselves across different spectrum. Maximization and fear of failure definitely define me (hellooooo 3s on the enneagram) and it was great to read about it in the context of a relationship. Ury brings up a lot of psychological concepts (loss aversion, decision points, etc) + studies which just had me saying yes yes yes!! Makes so much sense 💡

Also how REFRESHING to hear relationship advice from a female that’s still assertive/successful in her career. I felt like I related much more to Logan than either 1. Male experts 2. Female experts who want a Prince Charming

This book encouraged me to get off my butt during Covid and pursue the apps again, we’ll see if it works out but regardless I know I will refer back to many of these lessons/tips during the rest of my life.
Profile Image for Amir Tesla.
161 reviews660 followers
December 7, 2022
Author tries to cover different phases of relationships from where/how to find people to meet, to how to know if you should break up with or marry your partner.

The advices are sound, and in addition to advices, she offers techniques borrowed from behavioral science to help you follow through those advices.

I didn’t give it five stars because after finishing the book I’m still single 😁
Profile Image for Afoma (Reading Middle Grade).
537 reviews281 followers
January 11, 2023
Super eye-opening and a remarkably refreshing take that highlights the work of finding and nurturing a healthy romantic relationship. 10/10 would recommend.
3 reviews
March 14, 2021
More blog listicle than book. It's disappointing that a behavioral researcher has so little to say when presumably they have access to datasets that are increasingly hidden by popular dating services.
Profile Image for Matt.
8 reviews
February 20, 2021
This book counters many toxic myths about dating and relationships and shares some important truths: relationships are not mysterious things that happen to you, rather well studied dynamics that can be built with intention and care (and require work!). The advice in here is well researched, practical, and useful to anyone.

I do want to call out some things that don't detract from the advice in the book, but are good to know going in. One is that the book's utility is limited during the pandemic (which of course it does not mention in the interest of being applicable beyond this time). I read it at the beginning of vaccine rollout, but will have to wait to put most of it into action.

Another thing is that the book speaks very much to young, childless, never married daters. If you are divorced and/or a parent everything in the book is still applicable, but you likely also have additional complications that the book does not cover. In the same vein, all the examples in the book are of young, childless, well off professionals. If that's not you the book is still 100% applicable, but you won't see as much of yourself reflected in the examples.

Overall I 100% recommend this book to anyone who is dating or thinking about dating, it's great.
Profile Image for Charly.
201 reviews56 followers
March 26, 2021
I read a lot of relationship books for a woman who’s been single since Obama was in office.

This book helped me identify that I tend to be a Romanticizer — that I tend to view my romantic arc as leading up to getting Prince Charming, and discount the effort of being in a long-term, committed relationship.

Maybe it’s because we’re the same age, with similar values, but I definitely didn’t feel shamed or condescended to. She addresses the needs of the childfree as a real dealbreaker not just a pet peeve, which made me feel seen.

I did leave the book thinking that I might not be a LTR woman. I’m not sure how to feel about this — Ury published a Modern Love column about her newlywed husband’s amputation that made me cry — because it does seem like happy marriages are all alike.

Those of us who are unhappy when we’re dating are each unhappy in our own way. I think her advice would be to be intentional even in living without dating seriously. I can’t help but think that maybe it is a me thing; maybe I’m not the person who can be someone’s “for worse.”

I’m glad that Millennials are entering this space, even if the brutal reality is that we seem to be something of a lost generation in terms of projections of how many of us are likely to find lasting love. :-/ It may be that COVID-19 will cause a seismic shift and I’m underestimating how much can change in the future.
Profile Image for Sara.
121 reviews2 followers
February 10, 2022
ok ok kinda revealing myself on this one but i think it’s a good book to read at any point in a relationship. Should you get married to bf? Should you break up? How to have a happier marriage? How to date more? I’m def gonna be rereading multiple times. A good one for overcoming any blind spots in how you are in a relationship.

Lots of hinge jokes, mentions venmo stalking your ex, and other weird dating rituals that will be outdated in 5 years. Fun!

*note: skipped some chapters (acceptable in a self help book?)
Profile Image for Kat.
3 reviews
September 17, 2021
I found some actionable advice like the 'which event should I go grid', creative dates ideas or a template text for how to politely refuse a second date. I believe there is some good advice too for people who are already in a relationship.

However, I did not enjoy that many of the advices seems like common sense to me e.g. : You should not date your prom date but focus on a qualities that will bring you long-term happiness. Or that kindness and personality matters more than looks. I agree 100% on these two but please I'm single, not immature or shallow, I know that already!

Also that title, using "alone" as it's a synonymous of "single". But I get it's for marketing reasons.

I am also concerned that advices are given in the same ways for men and women, but genders tend to behave differently in the dating and relationships process. At least where I live, maybe it's different in the US?
Profile Image for Blythe Beecroft.
96 reviews20 followers
December 8, 2021
My mother has a habit of sending me a book about dating or relationships promptly after a break up. After my most recent, I decided to beat her to the punch and pick one for myself. This is one of the better books on dating that I have come across. It is never patronizing and offers pretty practical advice. The infusion of behavioral science was interesting and I think the book is unique in its scope, which covers every stage of the relationship cycle.

I found her exploration of why people are inclined to stay or leave relationships aka "hitchers vs. ditchers" particularly interesting, as a hitcher who has dated several ditchers. Overall, the kind of book you wish everyone you've ever dated had already read.
Profile Image for Brynn | readyourworriesaway.
547 reviews125 followers
February 2, 2021
Logan Ury’s debut is a modern guide to dating. It helps you identify your dating habits and work towards finding your person! Logan is the Director of Relationship Science @hinge, so this book is filled with dating advice and behavioral science research.

How to Not Die Alone has something for everyone. You will be give action steps to ensure you head in the right direction. Ury also shares some of her clients’ success stories, which will only encourage you more to take her advice! How to Not Die Alone will guide you through the waters of dating, no matter where you are at in your relationship journey.
Profile Image for Maya.
49 reviews6 followers
February 15, 2022
DNF- I really think that Logan’s book is great but I had to stop reading for my own sanity. This drove my anxiety off the rails and wasn’t enjoyable anymore. I think that this makes total sense for people who want to date more but generally are not struggling with mental health issues. There isn’t a lot of consideration for people who’s brains function differently and these solutions aren’t as simple for us. Still, I recommend to people, at least the first half.
Profile Image for Allison Riding.
307 reviews35 followers
January 10, 2022
One of the most helpful dating/self-help books I’ve read! Turns out I’m not a perfect dater 🥲😂😵‍💫 LOL I jest. This book had great insights, super relevant behavioral psych + economics intel, and the writer wasn’t annoying or boring. What more can you really ask for?

Read this too so we can talk about it because I have so much to say.

High 4.5ish. Thanks BlyBee!
Profile Image for Katerina.
76 reviews11 followers
June 6, 2021
Great, pragmatic insight - ideal for people who want to be more intentional with going back into dating or even within the space of an existing relationship. It would make you reflect and reconsider a lot of your own dating/love/relationship patterns more honestly.
Profile Image for Girish Joshi.
116 reviews19 followers
March 28, 2022
This book has a funny name for obvious reasons. Do you know which other book has a funny name? The classic: How to Win Friends and Influence People. The moment you tell your friends that I’m reading a book with the name How to . . ., their judgement begins, they pity you—oh, poor soul, may God be kind to you. It’s not what you think NAINA. Will you cut me some slack? And you know what’s worse? Gifting such books to your friends—it’s a sure-shot way of running your friendships. No, no, no, I’m not saying Puneet that you are bad at making friends, I’m just saying, you know, with the right ideas, you can be better. Please, Aditi, listen to me, I’m not saying that you will die alone, but maybe once you read this—you might just die with someone better. Okay, I lied, we all are going to die alone, but for once let me use my poetic licence, will you?

Anyways, two friendships and a lover later, here I am, reviewing this funny book with a funny title. In my defence, I really did care about my friends. Love is a delicate subject. Some of us spend our whole lives trying to understand what love really is, and still never quite reach there. And some of us get a vague idea and ideals for love from popular art, culture, and nurture and try to spend our whole lives trying to replicate what our minds understand as love. The word itself feels so effortless, unlike calculus, which demands that you read it out of a book, practice, and yet fail in it. The word love sounds like something as we all are equally capable of giving and receiving. And while that may be true for most of us, maybe for most of us love does come easy, but then some of us do struggle in finding who to love. That’s what this book is about. How to have long-term happy relationships, how to choose a good lover and a life partner. How to not end up dying alone.

This book may not give you all the answers you are looking for on a silver platter. You make still die alone even after you will finish this book. But this book will surely give you a process to go through. And where there is a process, there is peace.

Key Takeaways:

1. Dating is harder than ever before for a number of reasons. If you are interested in reasons and you don’t believe what I have to say: read the book. Yes, I’m talking to you Future Girish, I knew you’ll come back. Yours: Lazy Present Girish.

2. People either have unrealistic expectations of relationships (Romanticizer), or have unrealistic expectations of their partner (Maximizer), or else they have unrealistic expectations of themselves (Hesitaters). Find out who you are, and then learn not to be yourself.

3. Have a work-it-out mindset instead of having a soul-mate mindset. While love may be effortless (yeah, why not?), relationships take effort and building a successful one is a process. No one is perfect, even Prince Charming has a morning breath.

4. There are two types of people: Maximizers and Satisfiers. It’s a spectrum, not a box. But try to be on the satisfier side of the spectrum. There are online quizzes to find out who you are, or you can just close your eyes, and for once in your life try to be honest with yourself. In case you want to know who Maximizers or Satisfiers are: read the book or google search.

5. Actually, there is another type: Hesitaters. They feel they are not ready yet. By waiting, they miss out on the chance to develop their dating skills and figure out what type of person they want to be with. Just a suggestion: STOP TALKING TO YOUR EX!

6. I’m not going to talk about attachment styles here: I’ve already written an article about it on my blog. You can refer it by clicking here. Spoiler alert: Try to be securely attached. Again, there are online quizzes, or you can just close your eyes. In case you are anxious or avoidantly attached: try to self-regulate yourself.

7. Seek Life Partners: people who are trustworthy and reliable and who will stay with you for the long haul. Avoid Prom Dates: fun in short term, but will ultimately let you down. Things that matter are: loyalty, kindness, emotional stability, growth mindset, ability to make hard decisions, and the ability to fight constructively. Things that matter less: looks, money, shared hobbies, similar personalities. Focus on the side of you this person brings out because that’s who you’ll be whenever you’re with them.

8. We think we know what we want but we don’t. Because apps only measure superficial traits, they suck, they exacerbate our shallowness. No, Rach, no, proper height doesn’t equate long-term happy relationship. You are not relationshopping—your dates are not potential purchases. Expand your settings to see more people, be less judgmental when you swipe, date fewer people at a time, and transition to the date faster.

9. To meet people in real life: go to events, ask your friends or family to set you up on dates, connect with people you already know, and introduce yourself to people when you’re out and above.

10. Dates are not job interviews. Be experimental. You’re mindset about your date matters.

11. F**k the spark! Chemistry can build over time. The spark is not always a good thing. That may actually be anxiety because the person doesn’t make it clear how they feel about you. Sometimes the presence of a spark is more an indication of how charming someone is—or how narcissistic—and less a sign of shared connection. Pro tip: Be afraid of charming people. Fuck the Spark and go after the Slow Burn. As Aditi says, in between Passion (Junun) and Peace (Sukun), choose Peace.

12. Don’t have a negative bias. Do not judge others the way you would not want to be judged. Be warry of fundamental-attribution-error—our tendency to believe someone’s actions reflect who they are rather than their circumstances. Try to come up with more compassionate reasons for their behaviour. Go on second dates, even if your first date sucked. Distinguish your Permissible Pet Peeves from dealbreakers, don’t write off people for silly reasons. And don’t ghost.

13. When a decision has to be made in a relationship, you will have two choices: deciding or sliding. Couples who decide tend to enjoy healthier relationships. STOP SLIDING. GIVE THOUGHTS. When you are seeing someone, don’t make assumptions about whether you’re in a relationship. You need to DTR (define the relationship) to ensure you are on the same page. It’s a deadly mistake to not ask WUWU.

14. When a relationship is not working, you have two options: end it (ditchers) or mend it (hitchers). Like ditchers, don’t confuse falling in love with being in love. Like hitchers, don’t let the sunk-cost fallacy cognitive bias have the better of you. The best way to be profitable in a loss-making trade is to get out of it as soon as possible with as little loss as possible. For ditchers, opportunity cost is learning how to make relationships work. For hitchers, the opportunity cost is to find a more satisfying partnership. Ask yourself the Wardrobe Test Question: If my partner were a piece of clothing in my closet, what would they be? (doesn’t make sense? Read the book.)

15. When you have decided that you want to break up with someone, make a plan and stick to it. Be kind and firm. Don’t break up with them just before they are about to fly, or just before a big day. Don’t be a Nice Breakup Person. Keep your distance from them until both of you have moved on.

16. Your breakup was not a loss but an opportunity for growth and learning. Journaling helps. Write about positive aspects of the breakup and negative aspects of the relationship. Participate in “rediscover yourself” activities.

17. You and your partner don’t think alike. Before you tie the knot, have a series of self-reflection activities. Have conversations about the past, the present, and the future. And it’s crucial to discuss topics like money, sex, religion, and children.

18. Seek relationships where you can learn and grow together with your partner. Have a weekly check-in ritual. Great relationships are created, not discovered.
Profile Image for H..
300 reviews1 follower
March 19, 2021
This book made my heart grow three sizes, Grinch-style. I finished it about a week ago and have already given copies to three people. Yes, really. They’re friends across the spectrum of life experiences: in their 20s and 60s, politically conservative, liberal, religious, agnostic, male, female, straight, queer, recently divorced, perpetually single, and currently in a relationship. That’s how widely applicable I think this book is.

It’s also one of the reasons I picked it up: By not having obvious “his and her”-coded toothbrushes on the cover, I felt How to Not Die Alone might be consciously LGBT-friendly, and I was right. It’s clear that Logan Ury made a real effort to reach a wide audience.

I’ve never read a dating book before because they’re often marketed in this creepy, hyper-heteronormative way that really freaks me out. Ury’s isn’t like that. She’s chill. She's everything you want from a good cognitive behavioral therapist: Her tone is humorous and light, sincere and forgiving, open-minded and compassionate. She’s teaching us about evidence-based techniques for healthy communication and translating those techniques into dating-specific advice.

Some of the studies she cites are old school, landmark studies in behavioral psychology, and I learned about them in my Psych 101 class years ago. But it was still worth re-learning about those studies because I had never applied them to dating before. A lot of the studies are much more recent, though, giving us new insight into healthy and clear communication.

The book also works for a broad audience because she talks about everything from how to find dating opportunities (both in apps and IRL) to how to maintain a healthy relationship, how to break up if necessary, when and whether to move in together and/or marry, and why people get divorced. That’s a lot for one book, and it’s so well-organized that it completely works.

More than anything, this book just healed me of a lot of shame I didn’t realize I was harboring. I feel more open to talking and thinking about dating, about potentially setting my friends up on dates, and about simply admitting that I might want a partner someday. This book singlehandedly got me over a long-term crush that was going nowhere, and it made me realize I've probably passed good potential partners by in the past (and won't be making that mistake again!). Like any good therapist, Logan Ury helps us identify our needs and communicate them openly. At the same time, I think I’m on my way to becoming a better friend to the people in my life. In the past I’ve been unhelpful when it comes to dating advice, but now I feel I have the tools to help both myself and my loved ones form more meaningful connections.

That’s pretty powerful stuff. Books are amazing. <3
Profile Image for Bhavana S.
43 reviews7 followers
February 17, 2022
I enjoyed a lot of parts of it. The advice feels actionable, and the steps feel reasonable to take-- I can totally pick a couple events to go to a month, maybe say yes to more second dates, etc. I also liked the quizzes on attachment style and dating pitfalls. I will say I think Logan could have maybe co-written with someone (or a few people) who could have also offered a different perspective on what it is like to date when may have some non-privileged or parts of your identity and how that intersects with some of the advice presented here. I also would have loved for her to touch on how the pandemic has affected dating, how it may have changed online dating, etc., too.
Profile Image for Sydney Arvanitas.
274 reviews2 followers
May 21, 2022
I love a self-help book with concrete, measurable action items! Despite being a tiny bit cringe, I learned so much and will definitely be slipping tidbits of this book’s wisdom into my everyday conversations like a parent would slip spinach into the smoothies of a picky child.

If you've read this too (@ Al, Sara, Blythe) I would love to discuss the following: Dating Tendencies, The Event Decision Matrix, The Post-Date Eight, and Permissible Pet Peeves because I think they're fascinating and applicable to relationships other than romantic ones.
2 reviews
September 2, 2022
***Imagine a Book Called 'How to Not Die Broke' That Was Written for People Earning Six Figure Incomes***

This book touts itself as a "science" book that takes a look at dating. Well as someone who keeps track of his dating life through spreadsheets and notes (for example, I know that 39.4% of the time I ask someone out on a second date, they ghost me), I was interested in what a science-oriented book had to say about dating. Unfortunately this book appears to be geared towards people having challenges for very different reasons, primarily women-oriented issues in modern dating.

Since this review will be personal, some background. I am a late-twenties man who has been single for four years, searching for a relationship. I have many 'boxes' women supposedly like to check off, like being tall, fit, having a high income, active social life, and interesting hobbies. I have had multiple ex-girlfriends who all lovely people (except for one). I get 1-2 dates a month and only one in these years led to something getting off the ground a little bit, though she coasted it back to runway very quickly. My approach to dating is to find someone who I felt a basic attraction to (lest you think I'm picky, I find the majority of women attractive) and has shared values. From there, you date to find compatibility in communication, reliability, and if things are clicking. My issue is that most women I date don't seem interested in additional dates, and the few that have gone some distance (like a month) ended from either a clash of communication styles or unwillingness for any forms of commitment. Can this book help me with my dating struggles?

Well, right from the start, Ury divides people who are struggling with dating into three categories: Romanticizers (alone because they want an instant spark), Maximizers (single because they're trying to find the perfect partner), and Hesitaters (don't feel ready to date). The book includes a quiz, and I scored low in all categories, tying between Romanticizer and Maximizer, but moreover, none of these seem to fit someone like me who has realistic ideas about building relationships, but is regularly rejected. Ury suggests asking friends if you're having a hard time figuring out what category you belong to. The three friends who I confide the most with about my dating life though all said that none of the categories fit me. Keep in mind, this is a "science book", and Ury mentions nothing about the studies she conducted to arrive at the three categories, so I'm led to conclude that she just made these up to group her clients into neat boxes; hardly a scientific process.

But according to Ury these are all just facets of the core reason people are single: "unrealistic expectations". Maybe this is true, but my own tracking doesn't support this hypothesis. 78.8% of my first dates, I'm interested in a second date (that feeling is mutual 20.8% of the time—I'm twice more likely to get ghosted than get a yes). I find most people I date to be interesting people who unfortunately do not reciprocate that interest. From talking with my male friends, my experience doesn't appear to be that unique, though I'm the only one crunching numbers. Her advice that targets those archetypes is sound, but largely useless for people like me.

From there, Ury gives some advice for online dating, how to meet people offline, and some dating advice. The dating advice is generally good, though there isn't much that wouldn't be found outside of a couple Google searches and was almost all stuff I was already doing. Find people that are actually excited about building a relationship instead of just leading you on! Great! Except I've only gone past the third date three times in four years, so it's not very pertinent. She then expands onto long-term relationship advice, which I found the most useful advice in the book (since I have the least amount of experience in this area). But unfortunately, not much that can get me through me initial hurdle of finding someone who wants to invest in me long-term.

Overall I found the book's approach to science to be very shaky. Ignoring her own highly-questionable theory that she proposes at the start, Ury cites a lot of different studies all over the place. Some are legitimate science that surface truths about the world of dating! Others, like the four-category attachment styles (that has an entire chapter devoted to it), are portrayed straight, ignoring their current disreputable status. I would firmly classify this book as pop-science, and would strongly encourage a reader to do further research on anything she cites if you're taking it as gospel.

At the very least, the book helps explain why so many women pass me over (overabundance of choice, unrealistic expectations, poor evaluative skills of what makes a good partner). But that doesn't really help me, since I'm not about to persuade someone that their approach to dating is wrong in a first date. It doesn't help me recover from the pain of being ghosted after what seemed to be a great date. These aren't easy questions to answer, but for someone trying to do all he can to avoid dying alone, I would've appreciated some thought given towards these issues.

If you are someone who is drowning in matches and people approaching you, but can't find love, you may find this book useful. If you're completely new to dating, especially online, or have taken a long break, you might find some parts useful.

For people like me, who match with 4.5% of my right-swipes (and that's over twice the male average!), this book has some good ideas and advice, but very little to help pull you out of the trajectory of dying alone if you've already done the obvious stuff any Google search would pull up and have a realistic view of building relationships. I get that the self-help market caters primarily to White urban women, so this might've been a publisher decision instead of callousness on Ury's part (I refuse to believe a dating coach is ignorant about people struggling to get dates or commitment), but it would've been nice to have the struggles a lot of men (and some women!) are having acknowledged.
Profile Image for Afton.
22 reviews2 followers
January 25, 2023
Ok this was a fun/indulgent/cotton-candy primer on dating in the digital age, but I didn't feel it added much beyond an amalgam of borrowed content (attachment theory, the paradox of choice, loss aversion, studies by John and Julie Gottman, etc.). Kinda nice to have these concepts all succinctly synthesized, but it really could have been a long form Buzzfeed article with lots of hyperlinks (do they have those??). If you’re a relationship junkie/therapy veteran/economically literate, you might find it banal.

Her audience seems to be yuppies who go to yoga, drink smoothies, and can afford to freeze their eggs and “get away for a weekend” basically whenever to resolve conflict in rships. No issue there!! But it did feel a bit ~lofty~ to be quoting the likes of Viktor Frankl and Maya Angelou to soothe the cosmetic anxieties of adults hell bent on dating 6’4” CEOs or falling in love at Burning Man. Or invoking the plight of LUNG CANCER DOCTORS tasked with deciding whether to pursue surgery or radiation (and the mortality statistics associated with each path) to illustrate how to “reframe your breakup as a gain, not a loss.” (Oh, is that all doctors need to do too!? Dark!)

I did like her section on compassionate breakups and her hearty censure of ghosting (!).
Profile Image for Julienne Reads.
155 reviews97 followers
January 20, 2023
No rating for now but will definitely give this one five stars if i get a boyfriend this year 😌✋🏻

Profile Image for Lydia Choi.
104 reviews9 followers
March 12, 2023
Honestly a pretty good read, the parts about relationships are quite relevant and useful and I think more people should read this despite the title putting people off.

At times, some of it felt slightly cringe / self-helpy and personally didn’t like the online dating section but overall, really good read.
Profile Image for Anna Dominic.
12 reviews
August 9, 2022
This was a fun read. I will be adopting a lot of the behavioral science tools outlined into my personal/academic/professional lives as well.

As for whether any of the advice actually works — can’t say yet. I will let you guys know if I actually manage to avoid dying alone 👍🏽
Plus I’ll come back and update my rating 😌
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,022 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.