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Dear Harlan, How do I find a date? How do I find love? How do I find happiness? Harlan Cohen, author of the bestselling The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run into in College shares a 5 steps approach to finding the love and answers the most commonly asked questions in his syndicated advice column, on his college tours, on his website, and in his newest book for Gen Y. He helped a generation make the most of college life, now he'll help them find the love of their lives. * The Naked Roommate is the #1 book on college life and has sold over 250,000 copies.* Harlan's syndicated advice columns appears in 20+ local daily and college newspapers and reaches over a million readers weekly. His writing has been featured in the: NY Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, and dozens of publications. * Harlan is a highly sought after public speaker who has spoken at over 400 college campuses and delivers 50+ speaking events a year.* He is a household name for Gen Y-of which there are over 30 million!* NAKED DATING is for relationships what THE NAKED ROOMMATE has been for life in college.
Harlan Cohen is a nationally syndicated advice columnist, speaker, and author of the bestselling advice book for college students The Naked Roommate, now in its fourth edition. Harlan has been on Today and has been quoted in The New York Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Visit him at www.helpmeharlan.com and www.nakedroommate.com.
Table of Contents
“The dating manual everyone should read—I only wish I’d had it sooner!”—Miss Marm, SparkNotes.com
We Learn … Sharing Our Feelings Is Stupid (or Just a Very Bad Idea)
It all starts with a first crush. That’s when we first smell danger. It’s also when we first learn that sharing our feelings is a VERY BAD idea or just plain stupid. From the first “like” our knee-jerk reaction is to avoid letting anyone know. We might confide in a friend or two, but the only way we are willing to openly share our feelings is if we are 100 percent certain the person we like will like us back. We’ll flirt, ask friends to ask questions, creep on Facebook, ogle, Google, and investigate, but rarely say what we feel. We get as much information as possible without letting the people we like know we like them. We want to know if someone is available and interested. We ask friends to do our dirty work for us. The reason we use friends is so we can distance ourselves far enough to deny our feelings ever existed should the person we like not reciprocate or others find out about them. Technology and friends give us a safe buffer to cast blame and run like hell should rejection or humiliation find us. As a result, we have imaginary relationships with people who don’t know they’re in relationships with us (thank you, Facebook). We get jealous of people who like the people we secretly like. We have friends find out information about the people we like, which inadvertently gets the people we like interested in our friends because they are the only ones talking. Most friends won’t date the people we like, but some will. It’s difficult not to blame them. It’s hard to meet people. If we do share our feelings and our crush shares our interest we breathe a sigh of relief. If a crush doesn’t share our feelings the results can be devastating. It only reaffirms why it was wrong and stupid for us to share our feelings in the first place. We quickly learn that sharing our feelings and not having them reciprocated is about the worst thing that can happen. We can’t stand the pain of not being liked by the people we like. If other people find out it’s that much more humiliating. So we learn to hide our feelings and run like hell when we smell rejection coming. * * * Step 1will give you the power to say and do what you feel without the fear of being rejected and/or humiliated. My biggest hang-up was me. I was so worried about how I was perceived by other people that I didn’t get involved. It was self-preservation. —Heidi, twenty-six, married