The Magic of Making Up by T.W. Jackson is a title that makes its training intent very clear: this is training about the period once things have gone awry. It does this with an interesting ‘twist,’ i.e. from both the perspective of the man and the woman. Unlike most training in the dating genre, The Magic of Making Up is neither overtly masculine or predominantly feminine. It even goes so far to talk in neutral pronouns at times.
This training dissects the agony and the angst of breaking up to the nth degree, as it so does too with how to get back together again and try and make it work. It even tells you what to eat and drink as you go through the motions of getting your act together after the mind-fuck that is a break-up. This is training that takes you from A to Z in the hellish netherworld that is being post-relationship, whilst trying to offer hope in the shape of reconciliation
To its credit, The Magic of Making Up could be a little guidebook sat on the side table right next to the poor guy or gal who is going through some break-up hell. It takes a person on that journey from what caused to the break up, to the actual break up to all that lies beyond, including (dare one wish it?!) reconciliation. This was credit on which a fantastic course should have been built – instead, we get something half-baked and ultimately unsatisfying.
Not to its credit, The Magic of Making Up offers the break-up journey as if it were some maudlin foot race interspersed with joyous moments of self-realization and strengthening of character. It does so in a manner too often twee and even naff that only serve to undermine the impact of what is, after all, a series of events that nearly all adults go through at some point or points in their lives. Those people deserve better than a course that may be well-meaning and on point, but never does so with enough substance and class.
The Magic of Making Up
Our Rating: C-
Creator: T.W. Jackson
Recommended: Not really
The landing page for The Magic of Making Up makes one hell of a boast: Right at the top of the page, beneath a banner of a smiling couple so generic they may as well just be facsimiles of a real couple, is the following statement: “From The Man That Has Helped 50,119 People in 77 Countries”. Think I’m making it up? Here it is:
So this Jackson guy certainly comes with a bucket-load of credentials. Well, at least his website clearly proclaims that in no uncertain terms. Or then he comes with a bucket-load of you-know-what (and it rhymes with ‘split’). It made me more eager to find out for myself what was up with this most enticing of dating courses, The Magic of Making Up. Here’s a pic of the course creator, T.W. ‘You-Can-Call-Me-T’ Jackson:
The first chapter delves into how you need to understand why you broke up in the first place. A differentiation is made between why men usually break up versus why women usually break up. The distinction between the sexes is a bit too tidy and borders on cliche, to be honest, but this course does make the distinction between the sexes in all things relationship one of its cornerstones, so we must run with it.
Bon mots litter these pages, like this one: “It’s not the attention they need – it’s the feeling that you appreciate everything they do – from the way she puts a little love note in your lunch to how she calls you at work to hear your voice”. Yip, it’s gag reflex stuff. Actually, some of the advice on offer is so sappy as to be almost toe-curling stuff, if you know what I mean. Take this little quote as an example:
So, people cheat for a myriad of reasons, according to The Magic of Making Up. The trick in not to panic – it’s also the theme of the second chapter of this manual. Taking a break and ‘avoiding avoidances’ are some of the tips suggested by Jackson. It’s a case of swim with the flow and see where it takes, even if you’re dying inside and racked with enough doubt to fill a micro-nation.
Jackson then tells you how to try and assess and ‘remove’ the so-called “splinter” in your relationship (basically, the thing that was fucking it up the most). Yip, it’s time to draw up those laundry lists of ‘positives’ and ‘negatives’ in your broken relationship – you know, the fun stuff. Cheating and lying get substantial coverage, which is probably just as well, given that many relationships get sacrificed on the alter of people not knowing what to do with their nether regions.
Re-igniting passion is the logical next step – that is, if that’s possible. Breaking old patterns is vitally important here, as is whipping your body into shape, getting better sleep, eating better – you know, all that stuff that we all think about when in the throes of a break-up and the aftermath thereof! Some of it does make you stop and wonder if people like Jackson have actually ever been through the ragged, fucked up torment of a messy break-up…
The manual then goes through a series of steps whereby dating, in one form or another, takes centre stage. That can include dating and seeing others, even screwing with others, only to make us realize how much we still miss the other person with whom we broke up (pity the saps on the other side having to put up with all these people on the fricking rebound). And then we need to date – yet again – that person whom we should never have lost in the first place.
It’s a lot of work, folks. It’s so much work to try and get back together again after a break-up that one wonders why people bother dating in the first place. At least Jackson has the good sense to acknowledge that sometimes it really is over. In those cases, the advice is to be gracious and move on – and that means ceasing to stalk the bitch or bastard who never wants to see you again! So much for all those red roses and candlelit dinners…
The Magic of Making Up offers just two extras for its users. First is Mind Magic: Psychological Tactics for Relationships. To be honest, I found it such a pile of mumbo-jumbo with lots of talk about the ‘Magic Second Chance Letter’ and other such clap-trap. I frankly found it 23 pages too long. The second freebie is The Clean Slate Method, which is basically 7 pages on how to apologize properly. It’s a bit overblown but beat the ‘mind magic’ crap by a country mile.
The Magic of Making Up offers diddlysquat else. There are no forums for users, no links to other resources or some interesting articles, no fun (or even funny) videos on how not to break up – nada. Even the email address offered seems like a tortured attempt not to get users to write: “Problems? Simply email help [at] magicofmakingupcourse.com and remove the [at] and replace with @”. Jesus, talk about calling a spade “an earth-moving implement”!
And how does it look and feel?
It looks and feels like crap. Visually, The Magic of Making Up is about as exciting as taking her out to McDonalds for a romantic making-up night out. The PDFs are mostly drab, stock photos of cooing couples and other cutesy images proliferate far too much for comfort and even the video of Mister Jackson himself is just him sat in front of the camera spouting off his wisdom. Dry, dull, boring – and don’t get me started on the tackarama that is the site’s landing page!
What’s To Like About The Magic of Making Up?
- The content in The Magic of Making Up appears well-meaning and earnest. The language is meant to be conciliatory and keeps trying to offer up hope, which is probably what people who actively seek out this training will be looking for. It is possible that in this way The Magic of Making Up is actually very smart by knowing its intended audience, right? Perhaps so.
- Most commendable of all in this training (that is, at least in the main manual) is that it literally goes from A-Z of the break up process. This it painstakingly does from the actual minutes and hours after the horrible break-up itself, though to how to pick up the pieces and get moving again, eating right, connecting with friends, etc. and all the way finally to a possible reconciliation (at best and with mountains of luck) or then calling it finally quits and moving on forever. It’s as if this is a training course tells a story (grim and depressing as it mostly is) on the break-up process, and could even act as a type of ‘guide book’ for any poor schlub or schlubette going through it all in real life. Yes, that The Magic of Making Up could achieve.
What’s Not To Like About The Magic of Making Up?
- There is a fine line between being earnest and well-intentioned and being borderline tacky and even naff. And, unfortunately, too often The Magic of Making Up meanders too jauntily into Naff Central Territory. Some of the quotes and Hallmark moments that pepper the main manual are too yucky to even enjoy quoting here – trust me, some of you will feel bilious when confronted with the levels of saccharine dished up at times. There will be some men and women out there who will be at such an emotionally vulnerable and frayed time of their life that they may respond with open arms to some of the Mills & Boon language. But I am quite sure some users may find it all just a bit too twee and insulin-inducing at times.
- There was always a potential problem with so detailed an approach to the break-up process and aftermath – it could all just get a bit too much. And it does with The Magic of Making Up. Jackson tries his darnedest to be upbeat about the whole break-up palaver, but this is difficult to achieve when the minute aspects of the ups and downs are explored in such loving detail. It all gets a bit tedious at times – not at all helped, one must add, by a layout and presentation of content that it would be kind to call dull, uninspired and pedestrian. There’s also something lackadaisical, almost slightly lazy, about the way content is revealed and the ideas that are trying to be conveyed. I cannot fully explain it, but that was slightly off-putting too.
Breaking up is never easy, that we all know. And some of us have gone through every sickening, emotionally maniacal step of breaking up. The magic of Making Up takes one on the rollercoaster ride that is breaking up and tries to dissect it every step of the way. It does so with some logic and with a keen sense of breaking up the process into incremental, closely observed parts. The overall effect, however, is a rather stale one.
A training course like The Magic of Making Up makes perfect sense – people are breaking up all the time and there will no doubt be some of you who are going through a break up as you read this and, hence, will be only too open for a training course such as this. What a pity it is then that this effort is too twee, too pedestrian and too non-engaging for its own good – or to even be considered good. There will be those, however, who will lap it up anyway.