So I heard about this book called The Technique of the Love Affair, first published in 1928 anonymously to protect the identity of its twenty-something author Doris Langley Moore. It’s both a parody of Plato’s Symposium (a dialogue in which ancient philosophers, including Socrates, discuss various topics) and a pragmatic guide to “conduct[ing] – with grace and restraint – successful love affairs”. I had to read it!

It’s actually quite entertaining and, sadly, something that I wish I’d read earlier (it might of saved me a lot of heartache as a love-sick teenager). Although some may argue that the main character, Cypria, treats love affairs (this term for her includes relationships that are strictly flirtatious and platonic as well as love and marriage) with a cold and calculating distance, she’s actually quite astute at pointing out some behavours typical of the male and female genders and how they can work in your favour or, in many cases, result in disaster. Think of it as He’s Just Not That Into You from the perspective of a flapper from the twenties, and yet somehow more empowering than the former could ever be. Yes, despite the encouragement of “traditional” female behaviours (acting dumb and flighty, liking and wanting pretty things, playing hard to get, etc), Cypria serves as a stronger role model for female ingenuity and strength than anything published today. Funny that.

I won’t reveal any of the tips and tricks to landing and keeping a man here, as my husband reads this blog and I don’t want him to suspect when he’s being “played”. But trust me – it’s worth the read!