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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Very wise . . . Give this book to every single girlfriend [you] have.”—Marie Claire
“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
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Top Customer Reviews
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. Actually, I'd known him for years as a friend but never bothered because he didn't fit my long list (the list this book wisely advised me to throw out!) and we have been together over a year and a half and he is wonderful, we're happy, and it is absolutely the best and most loving and fun and amazing relationship I ever had in my 39 years of life. We treat each other like gold - what a joy healthy love is!!!
So... I have to congratulate the author on her wisdom.
Her book wisely advises you to stop picking apart others and look within to understand why you're still single.
Good luck in finding wonderful love. Do as she advises!
UPDATE the original review was written a while back... it's July 30, 2015 and we are now married, we bought a wonderful home, and I'm pregnant at age 41.. very healthy and feeling great, our baby is due in September! My husband is as much a joy to live with as ever, the love, affection, respect & fun we have together are still going strong.
This book gave great advice (:
But at the end of the day, the truth is this....there are a lot of GREAT people out there. And, there are a lot of not so great people out there. Sometimes, we cross paths with the right ones and sometimes, we don't. If your expectations are things that you know that you need in a partner- why would you second guess that? If you have common sense...there's no need to read this.
Can't love no one unless you work on you. Know what to look for, especially unresolved issues in your life. Complete you first.
Good read. Love her authenticity to speak the truth. Mostly to break down underlying barriers and walls of in order to get self love. One must be it live it and put it back in the universe. Jan. Thank you Terry. Beautifully said. Blessed you.