The “Self-Help” Books We Wouldn’t Touch With A 10-Foot Pole

Ok, so, can we talk about something? Self-help dating books for women. Why. Are. They. So. Dumb? Self-help books can have their place, and can be an effective method for finding some perspective and self-awareness without shelling out major dough for a therapist (or annoying your friends to death with endless discussions of your problems). But, come on. Make Every Man Want You? Why Men Love Bitches? The Power of the P*ssy?! We just…we can’t.
These books treat women like we’re all weepy doormats and the only "problem" we have that needs solving is the lack of a man in our lives. Not to mention the fact that they treat relationships like they’re something for women to “figure out,” rather than an equal partnership that requires effort from both parties involved — because that would just be lunacy, obvi.
So, without further ado, here is our round-up of the worst, cheesiest, most laughable self-help books for women. The scariest part of this, in our minds, is that these books are bestsellers, meaning that smart, logical, well-educated, beautiful women actually buy into this junk.
True, there may be some lessons to be learned in a few of these books, but the fact that they’re packaged in these generalized, insulting, heart-cat-and-lipstick-adorned covers is ridiculous, and we won’t have it. We're also not sure what's worse: The male authors telling us what's "wrong" with us, or the female authors who just further ridiculous gender typecasting by writing this drivel.
Click through, have a good laugh, and amaze with us over the fact that yes, these books actually exist.
1 of 11
Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate, by Patti Stanger

Ah, Patti Stanger. We will totally admit that in The Millionaire Matchmaker, you created some pretty ridiculous/entertaining TV that was known to play on repeat in our college dorm rooms. But, this book. Here’s how it’s described on its page: “To every single woman sitting home alone wondering, ‘Where are all the good men, and why isn’t a gorgeous one standing shirtless in my kitchen mixing me up a pomegranate mojito?’ [Patti] says, ‘I hate to tell you this girlfriend, but it’s your own fault.’”

Hmm. That guy standing shirtless in the kitchen mixing a pink cocktail sounds suspiciously like one of the gay BFFs on Sex and the City, not any kind of man we’d like to marry. Patti, we love you, but your advice is way too antiquated and superficial to be anything more than entertainment.

$10, available at Amazon.
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The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman's Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible, by Dr. Ali Binazir

Wowzah: This is a dating book written by an advisor at Harvard (that was apparently the bestselling dating book on Amazon for 62 weeks). Really, dude? You don’t have anything better to do with your career than tell women how to be hot (because we’re obviously not good enough)? But, we digress. Back to the book.

Listen, this book may be totally valid and helpful, with “heart-centered, science-based” dating advice. But, Dr. Binazir, please excuse us for our shocking confidence here: we don’t need your pretentious guide to “being irresistible.” We already are, thankyouverymuch.

$30, available at Amazon.
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The Vixen Manual: How to Find, Seduce & Keep the Man You Want, by Karrine Steffans

So, here’s a really good one. The Vixen Manual (written by rap-star queen Karrine Steffans) is where you can learn all sorts of useful things, such as how to “Never Let Him See You Sweat,” and the all-important “Encouraging His Manhood.” Delightful.

But wait, if that wasn’t enough, you can buy this book as a package set alongside Confessions of a Video Vixen (where Steffans suddenly goes all Debbie Downer about how her glamourous rap-video-star life really involved sexual abuse and drug addiction) and The Vixen Diaries (where, according to Amazon, “Karrine Steffans continues to dish out juicy gossip and the much sought after details of her star studded lifestyle and the celebrity men that helped her get where she needed to be”). Wonderful. This is a triology we can’t wait to hand down to our daughters.

$13, available at Amazon.
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Make Every Man Want You: How to Be So Irresistible You'll Barely Keep from Dating Yourself! by Marie Forleo

And then there’s this. We kind of think the title says it all.

$12, available at Barnes and Noble.
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How to Make Someone Fall in Love With You in 90 Minutes or Less, by Nicholas Boothman

How romantic. “Nice to meet you, handsome date. Let me start my stopwatch, so I can force you into a relationship in an hour and a half. Can I order you a drink?” That’s exactly what we all want, right? Right.

$9, available at Amazon.
6 of 11
The Power of the P*ssy: How To Get What You Want From Men: Love, Respect, Commitment and More! by Kara King

The exact reaction that our senior beauty editor had when we sent her this option was: “NO. EFFING. WAY.” Yes, this exists, and it can be all yours for the low price of $12 and all of your self-respect.

$12, available at Barnes and Noble.
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Deal Breakers, by Dr. Bethany Marshall

Again, the content of this book is not the issue. The question of how difficult a relationship should be and how hard we should work on it before walking away is a valid one to explore. But…what the heck is that image on the cover? Oh yes, we’re going to flick the miniature men out of our lives? And why must it be hot pink?

This book is a good example of halfway decent advice (it is based on a Tina Fey catchphrase, after all) that for some reason is presented to women as if they’re femmebots in relationships with disposable men, and dammit, it’s annoying.

$13, available at Barnes and Noble.
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Why Men Love Bitches, by Sherry Argov

This is what bothers us about this blockbuster: no woman should aspire to be a bitch. You know why? The true bitches we know are bitchy because they are insecure and unhappy. Yes, it is important to stick to your values in a relationship, know what you want, and know what to ask for. But in our minds, finding that strength does not require you to get in touch with your inner bitch. Nor does asking for what you want make you a bitch, any more than being kind and accommodating makes you a doormat.

In our minds, finding love shouldn’t require you to change your personality. If you’re a sassy, outspoken lady, your man should appreciate that just as much as if you’re the caring, nurturing type. Your love should fit you and your partner, not the other way around.

$10, available at Barnes and Noble.
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Why You're Not Married...Yet: The Straight Talk You Need to Get the Relationship You Deserve, by Tracy McMillan

Yet another romance-killer. Not to get all Twilight here, but we like to believe in something called serendipity. Yes, to be in a successful relationship, you need to avoid selfishness, shallowness, etc. But in our experience (and that of the people whose relationships we admire), finding love with the right person is what helps make you a better person. Maybe you’re not a selfish jerk. Maybe it just isn’t the right timing. Okay, Tracy McMillan? Yeesh.

$16, available at Amazon.
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How One of You Can Bring the Two of You Together: Breakthrough Strategies to Resolve Your Conflicts and Reignite Your Love, by Susan Page

We love this one because it’s essentially telling women that men don’t get it, so we have to do all of the work in our relationship. Fun times. First of all, this doesn’t give men any credit, as they are just as capable of intelligently and determinedly working out relationship problems as we are. Second of all, this book isn’t doing marriage any favors by making it seem like relationships are all about women bending over backwards while men sit idly by. Hmm, maybe that’s why women aren’t married…yet. Doesn’t sound very fun, does it?

P.S. Oh, and let’s not miss the fact that the author of this book also wrote this one. Again, we cannot make this shit up.

$11, available at Amazon.
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You Can Be Right (Or You Can Be Married), by Dana Adam Shapiro

Oy, vey. Another book that could possibly include helpful advice (the author is an award-winning documentarian who spent four years interviewing divorced people), packaged with a simplistic, belittling title implying that women need to submit to the man if they want to be married.

Let’s not forget that the invitation to the book party for this one included: “a panel discussion, lingerie shopping, and free psychic readings.” And there it goes, the last of this book’s credibility, out the window.

$13, available at Barnes and Noble.