By Danielle Christopher

How to Raise A Boyfriend by Rebecca Eckler

Rebecca Eckler shows women everywhere that while they’re busy offering not-so-casual advice and reprimands to the men in their life, they’ve lost sight of an important fact: they’re not dating a boyfriend, they’re raising a boyfriend. She covers personal accounts (such as the guy who dashed away from her to cross a busy intersection without so much as a backward glance) in addition to sharing stories from friends. One friend shares how she was left at a grocery checkout, having to cope with an overwhelming shopping cart to pack in the car. Another depicts how her boyfriend forgot to meet her at the airport after a trip, prompting me to thank mymemory-of-an-elephant husband.

Then, an inescapable truth sets in: Rebecca Eckler already had a six-year-old daughter, so what was she doing with a boyfriend who was acting like a child?

As she writes, “If I can raise a child who is smart, kind and polite, surely I can raise a boyfriend, too.”

Rebecca Eckler’s work has appeared in The Globe and MailNational PostSweetmama.ca,Chatelaine and many publications. She has penned many popular books including Toddlers Gone Wild,The Mischievous Mom at the Art Gallery (co-authored with Erica Ehm), and Apple’s Angst.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

I read this book in the early years of my marriage. It is a terrific read for anyone wanting to help nurture their relationship. With more than 30 years of experience as a marriage counsellor, Dr. Chapman noticed a pattern: everyone he had ever counselled had a “love language,” a primary way of expressing and interpreting love. He also discovered that, for whatever reason, people are usually drawn to those who speak a different love language than their own.

Of the countless ways we can show love to one another, five key categories, or five love languages, proved to be universal and comprehensive. Everyone has a love language, and we all identify primarily with one of the five: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

The book has helped countless couples identify practical and powerful ways to express love, simply by using the appropriate love language. Many husbands and wives, who spent years struggling through marriages they thought were loveless, discovered one or both spouses had long been showing love through messages that weren’t getting through. By recognizing their different love languages, they witnessed the rebirth of the love they thought had been gone for good.

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