Most people believe you learn by doing.Jay Hurt believes you don't have to make the same mistakes others make.In his book, "The 9 Tenets of a Successful Relationship," the author offers relationship advice based on mistakes he's seen others make.After a significant breakup in his life, Hurt said many female friends approached him asking relationship advice. "The more I heard these questions and commentaries, the more I felt that there was an opportunity to address issues we all face in relationships," he said. "Once I started to study and compare situations and outcomes, the same principles came to light in each of the situations. This is how the '9 Tenets' were developed."Communication is a key element in a successful relationship, Hurt said."Women often communicate through context clues," he said, explaining women's communication tactics are often not direct enough for men to understand. "Sometimes, a woman is anticipating a man to discern her wants," he said.While Hurt said most women he's talked to are unhappy in their relationships, those same women are unwilling to leave the relationship because they believe their partner will change for the better.Men in Hurt's experience also are unwilling to leave a negative relationship, but for a very different reason.
"The men I talked to seemed to think this is where they were destined to be at this time in life and until a supermodel came along to give them something better, there was no sense in leaving," Hurt observed.Hurt said he hopes readers of his book will consider their own situation in the context of the advice he gives to determine if they are in a relationship worth salvaging."There's no sense in 'waiting it out' or waiting for it to get better. It's not going to happen," he said of people unhappy in their relationships. "People waste far too much time on bad situations. ...We deserve to have someone who wants to spend time with us. We deserve to have someone that wants to cook for us and take care of us when we are sick. If you believe you deserve something special...you're right, you deserve a great relationship!"But he added a good relationship takes work from both parties.While the book targets singles, Hurt said married couples could benefit from some of his advice."There are a lot of bad traits and habits which we have in our relationships prior to marriage. We can't expect these things to change after we are married," he said, adding singles shouldn't expect their partner to change once they're married, nor should he or she expect to be able to change his or her partner.
"When you see there's a "deal-breaker" you really can't live with, remain single until you find the right person for you," he said.
Hurt said he believes the "good man is hard to find" syndrome is especially prevalent in the African-American culture, but he said he believes that's not true.
"There are still great men out there. Ladies don't have to settle for the first thing to show up with all of their teeth. THINK about what you want. Guys need to do this as well," he said, but no matter who your partner is, having a healthy and satisfying relationship takes work.
"It's not about how much you love (an activity) -- it's about spending time with each other discovering new things. Successful relationships don't happen, they are planted and cultivated."