How to Raise a Boyfriend

Does your boyfriend/husband/partner royally tick you off from time to time? Does he have a bad habit that you really wonder if you can continue to tolerate? Do you think he is worth it despite all that? If that’s the case read “How to Raise a Boyfriend” by Rebecca Eckler with tongue firmly in cheek.

“How to Raise a Boyfriend” is written like a manual with tips on how to modify your partner’s behavior using the same techniques you do to raise your children. It includes tips on how to improve their behaviour and a report card so you can track their progress. It is occasionally laugh out loud funny, frequently insulting, and vulgar as heck.

Yet again I am stuck in my typical Eckler dilemma. I didn’t really like this book but I kept reading it because it made me laugh and also it was sort of like a train wreck; you can’t really avert your eyes. To her credit, Eckler is brutally honest about relationships and herself. She freely admits she has some crazy quirks and ridiculous expectations. For example she acknowledges that this is hard to live up to, but she likes her man to check in with her very frequently throughout the day. She claims this is because she tends to be a bit anxious, but to me it felt more like controlling and insecurity.

She intersperses the books with comments by “Freud” (a nickname for her psychologist), various “Real-Life Ex’s”, “Grade A Husband”, and Helena, her esthetician. Helena and “Freud” are the only ones that seem realistic in this book; everything they say rings with common sense. “Grade A Husband” is so too-good-to-be-true that I don’t believe he is real. For example, in the section about being a good date, he says, “I go out of my way to kiss my wife in public. Also if we have a lot of friends over for a BBQ or something, I’ll give her a foot massage.” Really? Ick. It was times like this that I wanted to find him (if he exists) and tell him to strap on some balls; and don’t touch my food with those hands! The “Real Life Ex’s” may be in their 30’s and 40’s but they ended up sounding as if their mental age never evolved past 18. If these are the kinds of men she’s been dating, I can understand the impetus for this book.

I find the idea that you can raise your man like you raise a child a little offensive. Why can a woman write a book like this and we chuckle but if a man wrote a book about raising a wife to, for example, be a better cook or to put out more often, women would lose their minds with rage and call for his head? It’s a little disrespectful towards our partners in life, in my opinion.

And maybe I am naive but do people seriously get bent out of shape about their husband not checking in 15 times a day, being on good terms with their ex, or snoring? I think I am lucky because despite the fact that my husband occasionally forgets to hold the door for me, is sometimes cranky when he gets home from work and has a short fuse, he has to put up with a wife who rarely tells him he looks handsome, is notorious for hating Valentine’s Day and is a terrible gift giver. Maybe I need some raising too…

How to Raise a Boyfriend is available for purchase at