7 Ways To Tell If He Plans To Marry You

7 Ways To Tell If He Plans To Marry You
"The List" offers simple, no fuss signs for deciphering if he's that into you.
"The List: 7 Ways to Tell if He’s Going to Marry You—in 30 Days or Less!" It sound like a dream come true. Is it possible to date without playing games? The book claims it's easy to read a man's intentions and see if he's that into you or not. 7 Reasons You're Not Married Yet

For a book that promises to "change the face of man-hunting forever," The List: 7 Ways to Tell if He's Going to Marry You—in 30 Days or Less! (Adams Media/$12.95) is deceptively simple. I'm not ruining anything by disclosing the seven ways here (they're on the back cover of the book itself): 

• He'll make the first move.
• He'll call her within 24 to 48 hours to set up a first date.
• He'll make the first date easy and fun.
• He'll call her within 24 hours to set up subsequent dates.
• He'll want to talk to her every day and want to spend all of his free time with her.
• He'll demonstrate unconditional loyalty.
• He'll talk about marrying her in concrete terms and he'll propose—or will let her know his intentions.

It sounds like a dream come true. And I guess that's why I like this book by Mary Corbett and Sheila Corbett Kihne. As did He's Just Not That Into You, it challenges women to simplify a seemingly complicated situation: dating. The premise is basically that if he thinks you're the one, he'll know it, you'll know it, the world will know it because (here's the fast-ball) he acts like it! Desperate Debbie & 9 More Women That Turn Men Off

Moreover, like another best-selling manual, The Rules, it gives women willing to play by these (admittedly stringent) rules a measure of self-esteem along with a bunch of practical advice. If he calls outside the first 48 hours, you're instructed to give him a polite brush-off. If he wavers in his commitment to you and doesn't seem undyingly loyal, it's so long Charlie. If the first date is a He-Date (loosely defined as all-about-him), give him the boot. Because you deserve a List Man, a man who knows that he wants you and will do most anything to convince you that you want him, too.

Many women will recognize a List Man as the type they've trampled as they ran after a "real man." You know, the "real man" who will invite you for drinks along with all his work buddies and then leave you languishing at the bar while he plays another round of pool. Ah, the allure of the unattainable.

The up-side of the List was obvious to me, but I can hear the protestations:

* Doesn't it leave him holding all the cards? (Not if you're the one enforcing the rules.)
* Doesn't it strengthen the societal pressure to marry? (My advice: don't read it if you're not interested in finding a husband; the pressure's been there and it's not going anywhere. Either you've dealt with it or you haven't.)
* Isn't it simplistic? (Yes, and isn't that glorious?)

My problem with the List is more mundane. Let's just say for the sake of argument that I've signed on to the List philosophy. How exactly do I meet Mr. Wonderful? If I'm an online dater, I have to wait for him to make the first move (how retro!). The authors seem to imply that by simply reassessing my goals and figuring out what it is I must have in a man, I'll unleash a torrent of List-worthy prospects. I'm not so sure. I can see their point: he may not look or act the way I expect Prince Charming to look or act, so I need to keep my eyes and ears open, but still, it seems like quite a leap of faith.

That said, since having read the book, I find myself much less tolerant of sluggish dating behavior. If a guy doesn't perk right up and show interest in me, I'm more likely to give him the shake. No more settling for half-hearted, weak-kneed attempts to woo me. Clearing the decks, so to speak, inspires confidence. And, in my experience, confident women rarely have trouble finding men. So if that's the only way reading The List affects you, it's well worth the $12.95 cover price.

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