Disclosure: I was provided a copy of the book to read and share my opinion. I am under no obligation to give a positive review. All opinions stated in this post are my own.
I was recently given the opportunity to review the book, “101 Coversation Starters For Couples” by Gary Chapman and Ramon Presson. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about the book. My feelings are mixed. I want to love the book, but I just don’t.
I’ll begin by telling you a bit about the basics.
It’s a soft cover book with 56 pages to it. The length and height is 5 ½ inches by 6 inches. It’s a small book. It’s small enough to fit inside a medium sized purse/luggage bag to be brought with you on your travels. The book has Christian religious roots, though only a few of the conversation starters mention religion.
The authors, Chapman and Presson, are said (on the back of the book) to be “marriage experts”. I looked each of them up online and found out that Presson is a marriage therapist, while Chapman is a relationship counsellor, director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, and has his own radio show on the same topic.
On one of the first few pages of the book, there is a short message titled, “Tips For Using 101 Conversation Starters”. It mentions how the book is supposed to enrich a marriage and build intimacy in a marriage. It states “marriage” in two separate areas of this small section. This leads me to believe that this book was meant for married couples and is marketed as such. This is where the problem lays.
I’m not married but have been with my partner for a little over 2 and a half years. So, it is suffice to say that the relationship is well past its newness. If these conversation starters were best for married couples, we would have enjoyed them a lot more. Unfortunately, many of them are very basic questions, with answers that you learn about your partner during the beginning of the relationship. Let me give you a few examples of these basic conversation starters…
“What is perhaps the worst movie you’ve ever seen?”
“What are two of your all-time favourite movies…?”
“Congratulations! Your boss just gave everyone a spring break. Where do you want to go?”
Now, there are some questions that have a bit more depth to them, but the majority of the questions are like the examples I’ve stated above.
The problem isn’t the book itself. The book is quite lovely. The problem is whom it was marketed to. If you’re married or have been with your partner for a longer period of time (a year or more?), this book probably won’t be of much use to you. But, if you’re a newer couple who are still learning the basics about each other, you’ll probably really enjoy this book. It’d also make a great gift to give to a new couple.
There are descriptions on various websites that state the book has “probing” questions. Out of the 101 questions offered in this book, you’ll only find a handful of questions that truly “probe” the mind of your partner. The majority of them barely even scratch the surface.