Screwing Up Love

or How to Make Love Grow and Last

Non-Fiction - Relationships
106 Pages
Reviewed on 03/15/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jim Downton is an award-winning college teacher and the author of several personal growth books for teens and adults, including Why Am I So DAMN Unhappy (Robert Reed Publishers, 2008) and Blooming: Teachings of a Woo Master (Humanics, 2005). Jim is also an artist, husband, father, grandfather, and athlete. He’s been happily married for over 51 years to his wife, Mary. To learn more about his creative work, visit his website:

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite

“Screwing Up Love” by James Downton, Jr., Ph.D., is the “Relationship Owner’s Manual” every married couple since Adam and Eve has lamented not having. Better known as Dr. Bob, the Love Coach, the author very cleverly has written this do-it-yourself marital guide from the negative perspective, as implied by the title, “Screwing Up Love”. Obviously nobody really wants (or needs) to be taught how to screw up love. But with half the marriages in the U.S.A. ending in divorce, it is equally obvious most people DO need to be taught how NOT to screw up love, and that is really the focus of this exceptional book. What makes a young couple go from gazing longingly into one another's eyes, to throwing books and ashtrays at each other? Why does love seem so often to wither and die after a time?

In this book Dr. Bob answers these questions, and provides valuable insight to help the victims of dying love handle the challenges life has thrown their way, with wisdom and balance. If truly taken to heart, this guide will enable a large percentage of marriages “on the rocks” recover and blossom once again into the love that first brought the couple together. This book should be sold in pairs, shrink-wrapped together, so that each partner in the marriage can have his or her own copy to read, study, highlight, mark up, re-read, and put into practice at his or her own comfortable pace. It should be mandatory reading for anyone and everyone considering marriage, as well as those heading toward divorce. I urge you, if you know of anyone who is planning a wedding, or considering a divorce, get each of them a copy of this book and give it to them early in the planning stages. You will be giving them a versatile tool to help them succeed in making their marriage a long and happy one. At the same time, pick up a copy for yourself and your mate. I don’t think you would be amiss to negotiate a “case” price with your local bookstore, so that you have a ready, steady supply of copies to give away as other people in your life approach the serious contract of marriage, or the heartbreak of divorce. This book is an absolute Must-Read for everybody who ever hopes to fall in love and get married. I cannot recommend this strongly enough: GET THIS BOOK!

Kristie Ingerto

“Screwing Up Love or How to Make Love Grow and Last,” written by James Downton, Jr., Ph.D. a.k.a. Dr. Bob, the Love Coach, is a book that will make the reader rethink his or her interactions with his or her partner. This book is divided into twenty-three chapters, each chapter focusing on a specific thing or characteristic of a person or one that may be present in a relationship. Each chapter is short and to the point, with research from various psychologists and professionals and also a dose of humor. Each chapter ends with “love coaching tips.” One chapter focuses on judging and comparing, not talking and listening to and with your mate, letting jealously be prominent and being one-sided with the workload. Dr. Bob shares his wisdom and experience from over the years and writes in a way that will have the reader understanding and recognizing areas in their own lives and relationships that can be improved upon in order to make love last a lifetime.

I really enjoyed reading this book! First of all, it was not overwhelming, meaning that it was jam-packed with long chapters and terms that are not everyday language. Each chapter is short, and I could sit down and read a chapter when I had a few minutes free. I love the layout and the fact that the paragraphs are short and well-divided. The “love coaching tips” are excellent at the end of each chapter. I have a background in psychology and counseling, so I enjoyed those aspects of the book as well. I think this book should be seen as an excellent marriage counseling resource, and one that married couples should read, spending a few days or a week on one chapter and really thinking about their relationship in the light of the specific aspect that was discussed. This book could make a huge difference for some relationships and help love to last in relationships where it may be fading.

Patricia Day

"Screwing Up Love" by James Downton,Jr., Ph.D. is an easy read, self-help book. Many times in our lives, we could make better choices and improve our relationships, if we had the right guidance. This book can fill that void with its down-to-earth, sometimes humorous contents. James Downton, in "Screwing Up Love" or "How to Make Love Grow and Last", does just that. Reading his coaching methods is like having him take our hand and say "stop doing what you are doing - it won't help. Try this instead." The choice then is to decide if we will, or if we won't, follow his suggestions. Topics covered are varied: judging others or comparing ourselves with others; revenge; words of contempt; understanding one another; manipulation; making mountains out of molehills; jealousy; unforgivenes . . . these topics and many more are discussed openly and then turned into positives. What we choose to take and use to improve where we are at is up to us.

He takes us from thinking negatively into a positive realm, where changing what we have always done can be the difference between success or failure. Choose to stay stuck in your relationships, or decide to change - even if others don't want to. It is our choice, according to James. I found the book to be a quick read, with good tips on how to change thinking patterns as well as behavior. Could be helpful for someone looking for a little help with interaction and right communication in relationships or friendships.

Jack Magnus

"Screwing Up Love or How to Make Love Grow and Last" is the work of James Downton, Jr., who is also known as Dr. Bob, the Love Coach. He coaches people who are having trouble with relationships. It may be troubleshooting the one they are currently in or figuring out why someone who wants a relationship has had a string of failed ones in the past. His book helps you do that on your own. Each chapter deals with the things people do and expect that can jeopardize their relationships and their happiness. After he introduces each topic, he gives examples and, often, anecdotes about clients he has seen. Then he gives you tips for self-analysis and behavior change.

I was quite impressed with this book. It is somewhat like having a marriage counselor in your pocket, without having the stress of actually going to one. Dr. Bob is never preachy or overbearing, and he doesn't take himself too seriously. I chuckled throughout the chapter labelled 'Make Sex into a Crisis'. But seriously, there is a lot of things anyone in a relationship can work on to make it better and stronger. Even if there is only a bit of fine-tuning that you think may be needed, you'll be surprised at how easily you can make even the best relationship even better with a few tweaks here and there and a little bit more understanding of the dynamics involved in a relationship. That is what this book can give you -- at least it did for me. I'm glad I read it.

Maria Beltran

"Screwing Up Love or How to Make Love Grow and Last" is a funny and revealing self help book that teaches us how to keep our relationships going. The book contains twenty three chapters starting with an introduction by Dr. James Downton Jr., who is better known as Dr. Bob, the love coach. With subheadings like 'Dig Where it Hurts' and 'Use Words of Contempt and Make Sex into a Crisis', the reader is taught and at the same time entertained on the subject of love. The book ends with tips on how to stay in love which is the whole point of the book. However, the reader should read the first twenty two chapters to be able to learn to do just that.

Dr. Bob, the Love Coach, is a former stand-up comedian, so it is not surprising that his book, "Screwing Up Love" contains loads of humor and wit. This is a refreshing self help book that uses satire and keen insights into how people mess up their romantic lives. Revealing that nature tends to balance the state of things, author James Downton Jr. urges us to end up with a lover who can be an exact opposite to our personality. At the current rate of married couples heading towards divorce, there must be some truth to this observation. This means that all of us can learn from this book if we want to have lasting relationships. Written in the first person singular, the book comes across as familiar, frank and conversational. This makes the process of learning how not to screw up love simple and fun. This book teaches us how to make love last without sounding authoritative and boring. It is certainly an informative and fun read!