Author Annette Marie Westwood discovered the horror of relationships the hard way when, while carrying their baby, she walked in on her husband having sex with another woman. The author confesses to feeling traumatized by the experience for years afterwards. It’s understandable she has now written a guide depicting dating in terms of a horror movie. The comparison with horror is well drawn, but after several chapters in this vein the reader begins to wonder if there is any romance left at all in dating, and if meeting men is doomed to be a joyless experience.
The analogy with the horror genre is skillfully done. A section headed “Don’t Go Near the Clowns” gives sage advice on avoiding men who play mind games. The minefield of when to have sex is discussed in a chapter entitled “When the Lights Go Out the Terror Begins.” The author believes we should take a step back to the days when ladies were cherished and men were men. “Women have lost their confidence,” she writes, “and have resorted to chasing men — asking them out, paying for dinner…” There are many who think this is not so much a loss of self-esteem on women’s part as a gain in equality between the sexes, but the author makes a thought-provoking point that the man should always pay on the first date, since the pay gap between the sexes is still not equal.
The book contains astute comments on the way online dating has changed how we think about our potential partners. Annette Westwood mentions our unnatural search for perfection, and the feeling that if only we keep swiping right, we’ll find our ideal soulmate. On the whole, the advice in this book is excellent. We should teach our sons to respect women and teach our daughters self-respect. Some of the tips are more questionable, such as the advice to see a psychic if you suspect your boyfriend is cheating, and the tip to sit in a bath of Epsom salts to remove negativity from your body after sex.
DON’T GO IN THAT ROOM is at its best when author Annette Marie Westwood gives the type of sound, commonsense dating advice you’d want to give to your daughter or best friend.
~Eileen Hogg for IndieReader