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A Practical Handbook for the Boyfriend

December 16, 2008

From the Publisher:13720744

Most dating books are written for women — what a mistake that is. Women know how to date . . . It’s men who need the help! At last: a blithe, bold, and bawdy guide to building a better boyfriend

At some point, every guy — player, geek, mama’s boy, “regular Joe” — meets a woman who makes him want to be a boyfriend. A good boyfriend. Problem is, unless he’s had some first-rate training (by a previous girlfriend, a sister, a mom), he probably doesn’t even know what that means. Felicity Huffman and Patricia Wolff come to the rescue with a rollicking — and whip-smart — handbook to navigating the minefield of male-female relationships.

Directed at men (though of course it’s women who’ll buy it, then leave it at their boyfriend’s place — accidentally on purpose), A Practical Handbook for the Boyfriend lays out the many steps involved in becoming a good boyfriend, while still maintaining guy-dignity. It covers issues like:

-Who decides when you become a boyfriend (answer: She does.)
-How to look like you’re listening, even when you’re not (If you’re busted, just say “You’re so pretty, I’m distracted.”)
-Ten things never to say on the first date (#4: “I just did that to freak you out.”)
-Finding the middle ground between too cool (think third grade) and too eager (think surprise visits)
-Why becoming a good boyfriend is a lot like training for the A team

Filled with humor, ribaldry, common sense, and assorted outdoor skills, A Practical Handbook for the Boyfriend is the next dating guide to dominate the bestseller lists.

Felicity Huffman won an Emmy in 2005 for her performance on Desperate Housewives, and a Golden Globe in 2006for her lead role in the film Transamerica. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, actor/director William H. Macy, and their children. Patricia Wolff is a producer of movies and plays, including the world premiere of David Mamet’s Oleanna Off-Broadway and the film Bring It On, which starred Kirsten Dunst. Wolff lives in Los Angeles.

Review and Grade: A

I bought this book for my last boyfriend, but before I had the chance to give it to him, I realized he wasn’t likely to make the cut. I stashed it for a while then displayed it on a bookshelf, where it attracted a lot of attention. The best part was when my current boyfriend was wandering around waiting for me to be ready for one of our first dates and he VOLUNTARILY picked it up and flipped through. I didn’t comment and waited to see what would happen. To my intense surprise, he sat down and started reading it. In the midst of my scurrying, I watched him nod, grin, shake his head, even chuckle at parts of the book. Now, whenever he comes over and I’m not paying enough attention to him, he picks it up and reads the most relevant chapter to what is going on with us and tells me about it later. This has to be a good book.

This book is more than a dating guide. It really applies to any male-female relationship, so any woman who deals with men on a daily basis should at least flip through this book. Let’s be honest, most men won’t go out and buy this. Most men won’t even voluntarily read it. However, all men should and the book is entertaining enough that men and women alike will appreciate it. It’s fun, it’s amusing and best of all, its all too true. After reading it, my own behavior makes more sense and I can tell you that my boyfriend is doing remarkably well.


From Just What I’ve Always Wanted pg 130 and pg 139

“For the perfect present, go to chick stores, not hardware stores. Jewelry is always a big winner, but forget the friendship or commitment rings. The first time she should open that little ring box is when you’re asking her to marry you. Clothes are always a good idea, and if she doesn’t like what you got her, you’ve given her a legitimate excuse to go shopping to exchange it. Feel free to ask her girlfriends; they will know what she likes. Shoes, too, are always welcome. They may seem like a very specific, personal, and somewhat utilitarian present, but to your GF they are a never-ending source of joy. Just check in her closet for her size and favorite designer.”

“You may consider yourself God’s gift to women, but we still want presents. Here’s why: we girls talk to show our feelings (over and over and over). It is how we connect, how we show we care, how we share ourselves with those we love. You guys don’t communicate in the same way, but we’re good at adapting. We remind ourselves you can’t get water from a stone or long-winded answers from the average heterosexual male. As a result, we look for the input from you in other ways. That’s why it’s not about the price tag of the gift; it’s about the priceless quality of your attention and connection.”


To anyone in any kind of male-female relationship, at least flip through it. You may not agree with me, but I think you’ll be hooked. Keep in mind that this isn’t for kids or even young teens (if you’re thinking as a gift), because of language and a whole chapter on sex advice.

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