Anthony Buono, President of avemariasingles.com, recently wrote a book titled, Would You Date You? I decided to break this book review into several parts because I had so much to say! Before I share my thoughts on the book, let me tell you a little about Anthony.
A Gracious Man
My husband and I met on-line over 11 years ago. We are so thankful for visionaries like Anthony who started the Catholic on-line dating sites. Gregg says we met through catholicsingles.com (I don’t remember) although we were both also members of Anthony’s site, avemariasingles.com.
Back then, there was a monthly membership fee. At one point, I was thinking of ending my membership with both sites because I was just not meeting quality guys. The ones who were contacting me were sort of lame (details are found in my soon-to-be-hopefully-published book) and the whole experience made me feel like the on-line thing was a hopeless waste of money.
Anthony from avemariasingles.com reached out to me and encouraged me to stay. He told me that having girls like me on his site was a benefit for him and, if I remember correctly, he gave me (something like) 6 months free in order to show his appreciation. He won me over! Back then, the online dating thing was not as popular as it is today and it was still sort of taboo. Anthony is smart and knew that sometimes a business man has to take a small loss in order to establish a firm foundation for his new product. So, my impression of Anthony is that he is a very sweet and gracious man.
I also contacted Anthony recently and again he was very gracious and encouraging. He asked me to write a review of his book on Amazon.com and after months of considering it, I decided to write this review instead.
Anthony’s book is very practical and full of truths that are good for everyone, not just singles. It takes the reader through an analysis of 10 different, what I would describe as, life goals: Become Heavenly, Become Humble, Become Prayerful, Become Pure, Become Charitable, Become Merciful, Become Detached, Become Self-Aware, Become Flexible and Become Practical.
Then, he helps the reader analyze if there is room for improvement in these areas. The idea being that in order to attract a wonderful person, you have to first be a wonderful person. Hence the title, Would You Date You?
Although I found a lot of truth in his book, I came to the conclusion that Anthony and I have two different perspectives on the vocation of marriage simply because of our very different paths and life experiences. Also, Anthony is a male so naturally and thankfully his perspective will be different from mine.
Anthony’s perspective is well founded. He has been in the on-line dating business for over 15 years. I am certain that he has seen and heard it all!! Oh my goodness, can you imagine?! In addition he has been married a lot longer than I have and has 7 children. His life and experience, and therefore his perspective, will be different from mine. He seems to have a more practical view and approach to dating and marriage advice than I do.
In a way, Anthony is like a heart doctor. Every day he sees us out-of-shape patients (really, no one is perfect) who cannot figure out the reason behind our condition. He may be tempted to say to all of us, “If you would just eat right, exercise and take your fish oil, you would be healthier!”
While I agree that a healthy regimen is critical, I also think that, if we follow the heart condition analogy, “genetics” play a bigger role than Anthony lets on. In other words, you can do all the right things and still die of a heart attack. In the same way, you can do all the right things and be the right kind of person and still be single. I am sure that Anthony knows this.
Anthony’s book emphasizes the practical side of being a healthy potential mate and for the most part, I agree with him. However, we differ in at least two areas:
1. Whether God arranges marriage, and
2. If God has a specific person in mind for us when it comes to marriage
Our Different Opinions
I believe that God arranges marriages and has a specific person in mind for us. My opinion is based on scripture as well as my own experience. Anthony’s perspective is different and equally supportable. In one of his online articles, he states:
“...the fact is God is helping us come into contact with good prospects, but he does not have just one person set aside for us. We do the choosing, God does the blessing of the choice.”
Please know that as you read this review, the Catholic Church does not have an official doctrine that supports either opinion. Rightly so, the Church understands that God is a mystery and figuring out His will is not an exact science.
Where We Agree
Both Anthony and I would agree that being your best self is spiritually and mentally good for you. Being your best self spiritually should mean keeping yourself in tip-top spiritual condition with good habits. It also means eliminating habits that negatively affect more than just your love life.
Now that I have presented this introduction, I will provide the details of my book review in Part 2. Stay tuned!
God love and bless you!
** Next week: Mythbuster #4: Men/Women Are Defective
** Two Weeks: Book Review: Would You Date You? Part 2
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