Hattie suffers with Generalised Anxiety Disorder and having never been kissed until she was 22, she – like many others – was incredibly anxious when it came to dating. But now happily settled down with her someone special, she shares some insight into what she’s learnt over the years, through comical anecdotes from her life intertwined with practical advice and solutions for us to follow.
What I love most about this book is the author’s sheer talent for making me think she’s my friend. The witty language, embarrassing truths and comical denoting actions throughout made me smile, laugh and relate to everything she said *claps in awe*. There are also questions dotted throughout from readers (both men and women!) much like a magazine advice column and handy summarised bullet points at the end of each chapter which make for easy and simple reading.
As well as those of us with crippling anxiety disorders, I think The Anxious Girl’s Guide to Dating also works for those that are just naturally anxious when it comes to dating (I mean, who isn’t? – I’ve never understood those people who actually enjoy it non-ironically). In addition to that, it’s also for the people that have to deal with us anxiety-riddled people! The book does a great job and taking into account the other relationships in our lives – our friends and family – as well as a chapter fully dedicated to what the person on the other side of the relationship can do to make the anxiety easier (take note, Nathan).
Personally, my favourite part of the book is where Hattie discusses how we should be less negative and start replacing ‘sorry’ with ‘thank you’ more often in our relationships. Instead of ‘I’m sorry for crying too much’, we can easily say ‘thank you for being so understanding’. It’s something I’m guilty of, so this simple tip is something I’ll be carrying through into my own life amongst lots more of your suggestions – thank you for that!
By the way, I actually challenge you to read this book without once saying ‘stealing that!‘ or ‘ha! that’s so me‘ – you’ll fail, it’s impossible.
I think to write something that gives advice on dating alongside openly discussing disorders that can really limit a person’s life, and yet still keep it light-hearted and non-patronising is a tall order. Hattie fully admits that she doesn’t have the answers to everything and so it doesn’t feel like you’re reading one of those typical self-help books where someone with a million letters after their name (which make absolutely no sense to you) preaches the right and wrong ways to do things.
Instead, it’s like talking to your mate that just gets it.
The best way I can sum up The Anxious Girl’s Guide to Dating is this – it’s like serious girl power, but not just for girls. I know you’re probably reading this thinking ‘really, that was the best way you could have summed that up?’, but yes. It made me feel uplifted, stronger, and made me want to dance around my living room to the Spice Girls. But it’s just not just for us women, despite the title of the book.