In her debut self-help-styled book Bari Lyman offers the dating public something to be excited about: practical advice from her first-hand experiences of years of dating and remaining single.
Lyman offers readers insight into their own barriers, blocks, and unsorted baggage that prevents most people from finding their appropriate and true match. With hope amid the tension, she reveals:
“If you desire a loving relationship, a relationship designed to last a lifetime,it needs to begin with you, too. It is not only possible to attract the kind of person you want and desire, but it is 100 percent attainable. It will take an open mind, a new, refreshing, principled approach, and a simple paradigm shift. This is the philosophy and the mantra of this book: to find the one, you needto be the one…It was this realization—that I was in charge of my thoughts and I could create my own reality—that was to become the next phase of my continued lifetime journey of personal change. This ultimately led me to meeting and marrying….”(Meet to Marry, Preface xv)
Lyman utilizes the expertise of scholars and coaches and personal anecdotes that combine for a practical, step-by-step process. She reminds the reader of this process, a bit too often, and includes worksheets to guide the reader through the process of self-reflection and identifying and clarifying those issues preventing one from finding the perfect mate. Lyman also includes a wide variety of sources of relevant information and reflection, including footnotes for reference and additional reading resources. The goal is to ensure one is prepared, open, and ready when the reader meets him or her.
Lyman continually stresses that to FIND the perfect match, one needs to BE the perfect match and that this starts TODAY. This does not begin once you are living with or married to that person. The book is essentially a dating workbook where Bari encourages the reader to join her on a process of discovery that will result in dating smarter and more efficiently by clarifying goals, purpose, and perspective.
Although the book gets top marks for content, it could use some technical improvement in the areas of editing, formatting, layout, and presentation. The worksheets would be more accessible if they were all in one location, and the book could be about twenty pages shorter if it were written more concisely.
While Meet to Marry directs readers to the website, very little additional information is presented for the reader and little incentive is offered to continue to peruse the site. Special access to readers of the book with additional and updated cutting-edge dating advice, a blog column, or Twitter feeds could prove useful.
Bari Lyman offers a well-devised process for the journey of dating and a confident and supportive tone. She encourages every person to have a positive outlook and to remain hopeful and upbeat, and she offers her voice and personal stories of struggle and success as clear proof that meeting to marry IS possible. Bari guides the reader through the journey of preparing oneself to date to marry—to meet to marry—and the title of her book reflects the content within.