A dating book for guys and girls

Published: Tuesday, July 26 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

Girls dig it when guys offer them compliments, open doors and show respect.

Guys appreciate it when girls dress modestly and speak honestly.

These are among several topics examined in a uniquely formatted, two-part book titled, “What Girls Need to Know About Guys; What Guys Need to Know About Girls” (Deseret Book, $14.99).

It’s like two books in one. Roughly half of the book focuses on how young men can honor young women, then flip the book over and the other half enlightens young ladies about the divine role of womanhood and the inner workings of the male gender. The whole book is full of helpful hints, tips, warnings and great spiritual advice to help teens figure out the opposite sex.

“Guys and girls are both amazing,” said John Hilton III, one of the authors. “When we learn a few simple things about ourselves and the opposite gender, it can really help our relationships.”

The book is co-authored by Hilton and his wife, Lani, who have been married for more than a decade and have children. John, a graduate of BYU and Harvard, is an author and speaker who taught LDS seminary and institute. Lani is also a BYU graduate with perspective and experience to offer on the topic.

Over the years, the Hiltons have been invited to speak to numerous youth groups about topics related to gender roles and dating. In the process, some common themes have emerged.

“We witnessed how much the young people appreciated these discussions. They needed and accepted the message,” Lani said. “Once we saw how much they were taking it in, we thought we needed to have a wider audience and be able to reach more guys and girls.”

So the Hiltons started working on a book. For five years they developed ideas and principles that resonate with youths, recalled their own experiences, talked one-on-one with countless teenagers and wrote a manuscript that was easy to follow, full of balanced information and not too lengthy. The book also includes a dating mad lib and a centerpiece game, “Steps and Slides,” for a possible mutual night activity.

“It was a fun book to research and write. It’s a broad topic that could have gone in many different directions, but we tried to focus on the most important things to know about each gender,” Lani said.

John credits his wife for kick-starting the project. “Some of the main principles (in the book) are ones she emphasized in her talks with youth. She is really the genesis behind the ideas we had,” John said.

Generally speaking, girls put way too much emphasis on what guys think about them versus what the Lord thinks about them, John said. So the Hiltons focused on teaching young women that they are daughters of God and how young men can honor and respect women. Using the scriptures and the words of prophets and apostles, the message has a powerful effect on young people.

“When we did discuss these things, we saw some really cool things happen. When you (girls) really understand their identity, it matters a little less what boys think about you,” Lani said. “In talking to guys about honoring and respecting womanhood, we saw this amazing change — guys treated girls better.”

“When men honor women, they feel the Holy Ghost because they are doing something like God,” John said.

In addition to chapters about individual worth, there are sections in the book that discuss kissing, the dangers of pornography and potential pitfalls in relationships.

In one of the interesting chapters for guys, the Hiltons classify young men into four categories: the player, the hunter, the thief and the warrior. The player “plays” with a girl’s feelings and breaks hearts. The hunter is only interested in bagging a trophy. The thief, the most dangerous of the four, operates in the dark and preys on easy targets with bad intentions. The warrior, the ideal model, uplifts and protects the women in his life.

“Which are you?” the Hiltons ask.

Ultimately, the writing couple hopes readers take away a greater appreciation for the each gender and their unique roles in the plan of salvation.

“When you respect each other’s differences and distinctive qualities, there’s a growth and happiness that doesn't come in any other way,” Lani said.

“What Girls Need to Know About Guys; What Guys Need to Know About Girls” is available at Deseret Book. Readers can learn more about the book at johnhiltoniii.com.

Email: ttoone@desnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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