Aggie Jordan, PhD., is adamant that if you accurately follow all of the steps in The Marriage Plan, you will get married to your soul mate in a year or less.
Though I am already married, I couldn't resist learning about this magic formula. I hid this library book in the middle of the stack I was checking out, secretly believing a giant LOSER alarm would go off once I hit the circulation desk. Fortunately, I got out of the building without anyone knowing I possessed this publication of desperation.
The Marriage Plan is divided into three sections. The first part is devoted to defining the term "soul mate." Jordan offers four characteristics a soul mate should have.
The author tells how she used The Marriage Plan to find her own husband. With the help of a friend one day, Jordan set a goal to be married within one year. She didn't have a boyfriend, but that didn't phase her. She was laid off one job and transferred to another state while her marriage clock was tick-tick-ticking. She finally met a man that fit her profile and they were married seven weeks later, well within the one-year goal. Uh...ok.
Part two outlines the actual steps of The Marriage Plan. There are 13 in all and range from Setting Your Goal to the final Get Married! step. Once you determine that you want to get married, Jordan says you must set a deadline. She is adamant that the wedding date be no later that one year from the day you decide you want to be married. For example, if today is January 1, then you should be married by January 1 of the next year.
"Timing is very important in The Marriage Plan. If you put your marriage off for three or four years, it isn't a priority." Uh...ok.
After you decide that you want to be married, then you go find your soul mate. Jordan provides lots of advice on how to select a mate. She emphasizes creating a profile that's broad, yet will still reflect your beliefs and attractions. If a possible suitor does not fit the profile, kick him to the curb and start looking again. Don't waste any time trying to change a possible mate, just move on. Keep your focus on the one-year goal. If it's now October 1, don't worry. Trust in "Divine Providence" and you'll meet your mate and be married by January 1. Uh...ok.
You know, I really tried to keep an open mind here. I truly wanted to accept what Aggie Jordan, PhD. was saying. I just couldn't do it, though. In the end, I had to face the realization that The Marriage Plan is a crock of phony baloney.
The one-year ultimatum is insane. I can understand a time frame if you're trying to reform a commitment phobic. But what if you meet a wonderful person in October? It is fair to demand this person get married by December 31 because you set a stupid goal? Whatever happened to taking the time to learn about each other? Is it really a good idea to rush into marriage even if you are soul mates?
I noticed that many of the couples mentioned in this book have had multiple marriages. Could it be that this need to hurry into marriage leads to divorce? Or perhaps these multiple-marriage people already have experience in commitment. Therefore, they don't need a lot of time to date, as they already know what they're looking for. Either way, is the "Plan" really responsible for lengthy, happy unions?
To the author's credit, there is some good advice in The Marriage Plan. Jordan offers a lot of topics to ponder before getting married. Religion, values, habits, children, work views and more should be sorted out before exchanging vows.
The author also gives some helpful tips on selecting a good mate. She doesn't tolerate staying in hopeless relationships. She says people shouldn't stagnate hoping things will "change." Just move on and find someone better.
Perhaps the best advice in the book is on the topic of sex. Jordan believes couples shouldn't hop in the sack until they have a ring and a wedding date. Once sex is introduced into a relationship, couples are too emotionally involved to make rational decisions about themselves and the future. A clear head will make sound choices about a mate.
Unfortunately, just as soon as I start appreciating some of Jordan's statements, she goes and makes an asinine proposition. I had to read to following passage twice because I couldn't believe my eyes:
"What happens to your sex life if the relationship doesn't develop into the commitment phase for some time? You may want to consider other sexual partners." Uh...ok.
So while you are waiting for your soul mate to commit to you, go get your rocks off somewhere else. Boy, that's a good way to solidify the union between two soul mates, huh?
The final section of the book is titled Conclusion. It includes the author's personal acknowledgements, bibliography and a short list of recommended readings.
In all honesty, The Marriage Plan just might work. If you set your mind to it, you could meet and marry someone within weeks, months, or one year. But is the time frame really a good idea? There's no way I could marry after seven weeks as Aggie Jordan did. Granted, she's been married now for 26 years, but how would the average couple fare? Seems to me Ms. Jordan should start work on a follow-up book: The Divorce Plan.