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Why You're Not Married . . . Yet: The Straight Talk You Need to Get the Relationship You Deserve Paperback – March 26, 2013
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What inspired you to write the Huffington Post essay that eventually landed you a book deal?
One of my TV writer friends suggested I write and perform an essay for this popular Los Angeles staged-reading series called Sit-n-Spin. I was trying to figure out what to write about, and I went back to the old writer's maxim: write what you know. It's always suggested that you write something that only you could write. So I asked myself, what can only I write about? And the answer was: Well, you've been married three times, you could write about that.
And it was true. I know all about choosing and building the kind of relationship that leads to marriage. And I saw a bazillion girls who seemed to HAVE NO IDEA how to do that. So I wrote a funny, biting, satirical, tongue-in-cheek, but super-true breakdown of why I felt chicks weren't getting married. And I called it Why You're Not Married. Eventually, I decided to publish it in the Huffington Post. I was shocked--and not shocked--when it went massively viral. I'm just saying what millions of people--including chicks who aren't married--already know.
Why do you believe in marriage?
I think relationships in general--and marriage in particular--is the ultimate yoga. Nothing challenges a person to expand like being asked to love an actual, real-live, totally flawed human being. And marriage makes you do that. (It's what makes parenting so challenging, and valuable, as well.) But, just to be clear, this book could just as easily be called WHY YOU'RE NOT IN A LONG-TERM, COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP… YET. I don't think there is necessarily anything more awesome about marriage per se. I'm not a fundamentalist in any way.
What I'm talking about when I talk about marriage, and the thing I really believe in, is that something psychological that happens--for better or for worse, depending on the character of the people involved--when you take away the "outs" in a situation. People are tested. And there is something about commitment itself that actually creates the possibility of success against very tall odds. It's the difference between, say, swimming in a pool and swimming in the ocean with a shark after you. In the shark scenario, you're going to try a teensy bit harder.
You say that you wrote this book while you lived this book--can you explain?
I got into a new relationship shortly after the piece in the Huffington Post appeared. I hadn't been in a relationship in more than a year and what I got to see first-hand is that no one is just "finished" being a bitch, or crazy, or shallow, or anything else I talk about in this book. It's more like each chapter is about a different pitfall that most women will face in their relationships--yes, some chapters apply more than others, but still. We all have all of this stuff. A person has to practice not being a bitch--I have to wake up and practice it again today just like I have to brush my teeth again today. And tonight. That's also why this book is not about being mean to women--it's about being honest with ourselves about the kinds of attitudes and behaviors that block our ability to love ourselves and other people more fully.
What do you think is the #1 thing women do wrong out in the dating world?
Probably the number one thing women do wrong in the dating world is lie to themselves about what they really want from a man and whether they can really date a guy casually. In my experience, about 93% of the women over say, 27 who are having sex with a guy would actually like to be in a relationship with that guy. But if there's a sense that the guy is not open to that, they'll often just jump in now and hope he'll eventually commit later. I don't see this happen very often. In the process, the woman often ends up getting really hurt--though it can be hard to admit that. We wish we could just date and have sex casually, but many many of us just can't. It has nothing to do with morality, we just don't seem to be able to. And there's nothing wrong with that.
What's the best dating advice you ever received?
No one really told me much about dating. I sort of figured out a lot by trial and error. But probably the thing that has helped me the most is when I started being really honest with men. Especially about the friends-with-benefits situation. I learned how to say, I would LOVE to just be friends with benefits. But I've come to the conclusion that I can't. I will be drunk-dialing you for sure about three weeks after I start having sex with you. So if you're not interested in that, you should probably pass. Of course, some dudes PASS. And that was painful, especially in the beginning. But the good news is that a lot of them don't. And the ones who don't, you know are at least somewhat willing to entertain the notion of a committed relationship. It's like getting pre-qualified for a mortgage. Not approved. No one's actually giving out the hundreds-of-thousands of dollars. But you know that, somewhere down the line, you might.
If women take away one thing from Why You're Not Married... Yet, what would you want it to be?
Hope. I think a lot of women feel upset and a little hopeless about why it is they haven't been able to create the partnership they desire. I can guarantee this book will give you insight into what's going on in your relationships. Whether you're single, married, or a man! But even more importantly, I'll give you a way to get from where you are, at least one or two or seventy baby steps toward where you're going. Because I really believe that every woman who wants to can start building a wonderful relationship from where she is right now. That's what this book is all about.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Hilariously irreverant . . . a shrewd guide to relationships.”—Elle
“Turns the stereotype of the find-a-man book on its booty.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Why You’re Not Married . . . Yet is funny, smart, and so, so true. Equal parts BFF, boot-camp instructor, and relationship guru, Tracy McMillan will change the way you think about yourself and your relationships. This book is for every woman out there who wants to have a great marriage.”—Ricki Lake
“Tracy McMillan is a hero and visionary. Through her book I realized about myself things people I pay a lot of money have been trying to tell me for years: that I’m a bitch, a slut, a mess, and that I hate myself. She gives solutions on how to heal, grow, and get what you want in life in a funny, inspiring, personal and very rare way. This book is an empowering way to take control of your life and become the person you want to be. So basically, she shows you how to be the opposite of me.”—Actress and comedian Whitney Cummings
“As someone who has been married for twelve years, I love to give advice to my single girlfriends. Now, thanks to having read this book, I’m actually qualified to give it.”—Heather McDonald, regular on Chelsea Lately and bestselling author of You’ll Never Blue Ball in This Town Again
From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Here are examples of Tracy's brilliance (excerpts from the book) from the first three chapters I read:
* Crazy is about intensity. It's about being out of control emotionally; acting against your own best interests in your relationships; stoking lots of drama; being needy, easily hurt, jealous, insecure, and/ or in other psychological states of being that men are not looking for.
* At the bottom of every crazy thing you do is a story that casts you in a victim role. And who wants to marry a victim?
* Nice is the alternative to bitch energy. Men call this "sweet."
* How do you forgive? The best way is to change your story. Change the way you think and talk about what has gone down in your life--especially the things that have disappointed you or made you angry. It is imperative that you shape your story in ways that empower you, not piss you off or turn you into the victim.
* The things that attract and bond people to you have way more to do with what is unconscious and unhealed than what is conscious and totally not a problem. The aspects of your life that you are careful to keep at the edges of your awareness are like the moon acting on the tides - they exert a powerful pull in your relationships.
Second only to The Hunger Games, I've never wanted to buy a book that I sampled more. You could actually just read this book for fun. (Have you ever *wanted* to read a self-help book? Ever?) More importantly, McMillan shares her own experience, and like a good shrink, doesn't claim to have the answers, but is pretty sure that you do (and suggests you'll figure out the chapters you actually need).
Don't let the title turn you off, or make you think this is a guide "to landing a guy" or "how to act until you bag a fella," in the Introduction McMillan writes: "But let's get one thing clear right away. This is not a book about finding a man. In fact, it's hardly about men at all." ..."This book is about you."
MacMillan shares about her three failed marriages and certainly doesn't think that's how women "get whole." For those of us who are interested in exploring the only common factor in all our failed relationships (ourselves) the author has a sharp, clear mirror she'd like you to look into.
Even while peddling away on my elliptical and giggling aloud in front of strangers, McMillan also punched me in the gut (the answers to tough questions can hurt when we're honest). Do you know how hard it is to do before the end of chapter 1?!
Regardless of whether or not I get married, this book offers some serious guidance toward "accepting your own dear self." And that, friends, might be miraculous, for anyone.
(PS - If you have any question about whether or not this book is right for you, check out her 38 question quiz. You'll get a sense of her humor, and the entire book.)
THE GEM I got from this book was this. THROW OUT the list of all the things you need or want in a man! This author advised to forget the advice to make a list of all the traits and characteristics etc that you want in a partner. She advised that you just find the TOP THREE things that were important, indispensable to you, and junk the rest because it just doesn't matter.
Eureka! After all my worrying over everything my Mr. Right had to have (meanwhile I dated Mr Wrongs left and right and was quite lonely) somehow that struck a chord with me. The light bulb went on in my head and I thought "HEY! I can do THAT!"
This was my list for my man:
#1) He & I like and love each other deeply, mutually, lastingly.
#2) He & I are deeply, mutually attracted to each other emotionally, mentally, physically and sexually - lastingly.
#3) We gladly commit to each other and marry for life.
Voila! I no longer had to worry about all the particulars! If we loved each other well, that's good, right? And I didn't have to nitpick on his looks anymore because if we're mutually attracted then whatever he looks like, I guess I'm satisfied, right? And if we're both happy to commit to each other, then we must be doing something right.
Well, friends, not too long after this eureka moment brought about by that one gem contained within this book, I found him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Every woman rather in a relationship or not should sit down with a cup of hot tea or coffee and read this book. Awesome!!Published 6 days ago by Diva 1
Good read. Hard to keep my attention. Reminds me of things I know but may not be recognizing.Published 10 days ago by Alecia
Engaging, funny, and brutally honest. Probably a good read for anyone looking for a satisfying relationship with another human, regardless of gender.Published 22 days ago by Amanda
Loved it so much! Tracy intuitively has grasped and now shares the universal wisdom about basically how you should approach your life, your path. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Pari
Well written. Full of humor, insight, personal examples that don't leave you feeling judged. Just helped. Easy to read and re-read!Published 1 month ago by Lisa Perry