When I picked up (pun not intended) Daphna Levy’s “Picking Right”, I expected to discover a book about how to find the right match. What I found was much more. “Picking Right” shares the crucial ingredients necessary for a healthy and happy relationship, not only in the immediate present, but in the long-term. It challenges the current myths out there: namely that a good mate is hard to find. She reminds us that there are 7 billion people out there and that a relationship is a creation, not something that just happens to you. Levy reminds us, without beating around the bush I might add, to simply trust our own judgment and shows us how to avoid common mistakes. Finally, she points out what to watch out for and helps us identify the red flags we should never ignore.
The power of this book is also Levy’s use of real-life examples to further explain her point of view. Rather than only using one person’s experience, she reveals short examples of different people’s lives and relationships. Her anecdotes and observations are not one-sided, contrary to so many other dating and relationship books; she is equally critical of men and women in abusive or dead-end relationships.
Often, reading a book about dating and relationships can be a passive experience, one in which we allow the focus to remain upon the author and individuals mentioned. Levy prevents us from doing this. Through powerful and practical exercises at the end of each chapter, she forces us, the readers, to stop and analyze our own choice of partner and further understand the status of our relationships. The author encourages us to challenge our own beliefs of what a positive relationship encompasses.
One of her exercises, for example, delves into whether or not the relationship we are in truly enhances our lives. She provides a relationship-math equation that should be obvious to us all, but can often prove to be ignored: “When the Pick is truly Right, 1+1=3 or 4 or more. Both people thrive in the relationship. They are happier and more fulfilled than before. They accomplish more, both individually and as a team”. She argues that if your partner and you add up to 2 or less than 2, you are not truly picking “right” as that person is not bringing any real value to your life.
Throughout the book Levy says things as they are: “This mushy emotion called “sympathy” is an unhealthy ingredient in a relationship. Use it to save a dying person or rescue an animal, but please don’t marry someone for whom you feel sorry!” If you’re not a fan of tough love, “Picking Right” isn’t for you. However, if you want to ensure that you’re choosing the right partner and you are committed to building an honest, trust-worthy and long-lasting relationship, this is the book you need on your nightstand.