Book Review: Meeting Your Half Orange

Editor’s note: This is the first post from our new contributor, Tahani Al-Salem. Welcome to Scoutie Girl, Tahani!

Well hello, all!

I wish I could fully express how ecstatic I am to be sharing my words with all of you amazing souls! I’ve been a fan of Scoutie Girl for quite some time now, and the fact that my words are going to be read, by you, kind of astounds me.

To start, here’s a little snippet about me: I constantly have all these thoughts bouncing around, and all this energy for life that I just want to share with others. I want people to realize the amazingness that is this life by being their raw authentic selves, owning it, and working from there. So how do I plan to tackle all of this?

Currently, I’m in school, on my way to becoming a social worker, which I hope to use to combine my love for travel, writing, and empowering others. If there is one thing that people know about me, it’s that I’m always planning and plotting new ways to touch and inspire as many lives as possible. Because to me- that’s what this life thing is all about.

Before I get to the book I’m reviewing, I should probably explain a little about why I read this book in the first place. I’m a big fan of self help books, which always seems to get me a lot of laughs, or perplexed faces. It’s not that I have several issues (although, trust me, I have some!), but that I consider it more like self-empowerment.

There is so much to gain in reading and exploring different ideas about who we are, and how to get the most out of this life we have.

So that leads me to Meeting Your Half-Orange: An Utterly Upbeat Guide to Using Dating Optimism to Find Your Perfect Match by Amy Spencer.

Now, if you’re in a relationship, or married, don’t stop reading just yet. I think this book could be helpful for you as well, as using the power of positive optimism in our relationships is something I think we could all learn from.

I don’t recall where I first heard about this book, but once I’d heard about it I was set on finding it. So much, that I skipped an afternoon class, hopped the bus, and went on a mission to find it. Once at the bookstore, I quickly scanned the shelves, and found the book in all its brightness. However, it took me quite awhile to muster up the courage to go up and buy the book. All I could think was that here I was, in my early 20s buying a book on dating optimism. Seriously? Is this what my life had come to? As I tried to muster up courage, I stood between bookshelves, opened up the  book, and began reading…

“This book is all about being picky. You’re allowed to want what you want, and you deserve to get it! And if you agree with that premise, you will do just fine.”
~Amy Spencer

And that’s what sold me. I brushed off my uneasiness and realized that buying this book wasn’t an act of desperation, but an act of hope.  And hope is something I can hang with.

Spencer spends the book working to explain how to reframe things, and take them as they are. As I began reading this book I started to realize that there was no way I was going to find what I was looking for if I couldn’t even admit to myself what I was looking for.

“It’s not your job to figure out how you’re going to get what you want. It’s your job to want it. Simply want it badly enough, focus on it with the most positive feelings you can muster, and the energy you create within and around you will bring it straight to you.”
~Amy Spencer

I’m one of those people that is perfectly capable of finding contentment from within, and being happy doing my own thing, but I’ve learned that there is a big difference between want and need. And although I may not need someone, I very much want to find someone, and that is something I need to own. So I own it, okay! I own it!

“The point is, it’s time to start looking at what kind of relationship you want instead of what kind of man you want. Because thinking about the relationship you want is something you can attach feelings to, and it’s the feelings that are important.”
~Amy Spencer

Spencer encourages readers to make a big love list of all the things the kind of relationship they’re looking for would consist of. After reading this book the first time, I started my own big love list, which now stands at six sloppy handwritten pages. So I read it quite often to remind myself of what it is I’m looking for, and every so often I add something I may have missed before.

What I love about this book is that it’s not something you can read just once, but a book that you find yourself going back to and skimming,  or reading over entirely. Because the truth is, being optimistic isn’t always easy and can take a lot of practice.

Be kind with yourself. This is a process, much like anything else.

The great thing about this  book is that it gets you to change the way that you look at things, gives you perspective, and opens your eyes to what has been there all along. Throughout the book I kept laughing to myself because the things Spencer was saying seemed so obvious, but were things I hadn’t really thought of before. I think sometimes reading things on paper helps us to realize that we’re not the only people that go through these things, and that navigating relationships is something that has no right answer, and is a lifelong learning process.

So I encourage you to make your big love list, to put down in words what your ideal relationship looks like.

I’d love to hear what you come up with!

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Meeting Your Half Orange

  1. Hi Tahani, thanks for the book tip and for sharing your thoughts on this. Writing about love and relationships five days a week on my own blog, this is certainly something I have pondered for myself. Obviously my own life experience in the form of two failed marriages plays into my ponderings too… 😛

    I used to think that I wanted an almost symbiotic spiritual soul mate union. I used to think that until I read a book called the Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships. It has been the biggest eye opener ever to me. I’m not exaggerating when I say it created a paradigm shift in my relating. I’m not currently in a relationship but I’m already relating differently to everyone around me and also to myself (yes, we have a relationship with ourselves too!).

    After reading that book, I’ve vowed to go into my next relationship (should I be so lucky), without any expectations other than to accept and be accepted. The premise of the book is to treat our significant other like an honoured guest… What a revolutionary idea when society brings us up to a) take each other for granted, 2) think that we somehow own our partner, 3) act as if they OWE us something… like our HAPPINESS (wtf?!) and finally 4) as if they should live up not only to our expectations but to some kind of fluffy Hollywood ideal of what the ideal partner/relationship SHOULD be like.

    I guess I have a question for you… Does this book create MORE unrealistic expectations that will make us want to hold our partner hostage to our happiness (in the form of our dream relationship)? Or does this book fall within the new paradigm of total freedom and acceptance?

    In my experience “navigating relationships” is best done without lists… and WITH an open, curious and accepting heart of what IS.

    The fact is, list or no list, you still don’t get to choose who you fall in love with.

  2. Tahani, you are a super star!!! I hate self help books. After reading your review I actually want to go out and read this one!

    You are an amazing woman, keep it up!


  3. Lisa,
    I personally don’t think the book creates more unrealistic expectations. However, I think the author is able to put down in words, the things that I think we all need to hear sometimes. For example, she talks quite a bit about how just because someone may be a great person, doesn’t mean that they are a great person for you. I think something that happens is that we often try and force things, and I think she reminds us that just as much as we’re allowed to fall in love, we’re allowed to not feel anything at all, and we don’t need to feel bad about it. Because like you said, we can’t help who we fall in love with. I hope that answered your question!

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