Abigail Wilentz reviews "Why You're Not Married ... Yet" by Tracy McMillan.
First things first: "Why You're Not Married ... Yet" is not "The Rules." It does not teach you how to "catch" a husband. Rather, Tracy McMillan opens our eyes to the negative habits, attitudes and behaviors that have been sabotaging the relationship you seek. There's no sugar coating here: According to McMillan, if you're not married, you're either a bitch, a liar, crazy, selfish, shallow … you get the picture.
But let's break down an example: What does "crazy" really mean? In a word: intensity. This includes "stoking lots of drama, being needy, easily hurt, jealous, insecure," and my personal favorite, "anything you can easily picture Courtney Love doing." But thankfully, the thrice-divorced McMillan says we can be fixed.
McMillan is brutally honest about the state of women's psychology — and men's as well. In each chapter she offers "Some Relevant Stuff About Men," golden nuggets of information about what men really want, how they think and make decisions. These are invaluable truths that could only have been stolen from the inner sanctum of the male psyche — vital clues worth the price of the book alone. In addition, she scatters throughout the book fascinating scientific explanations behind emotional issues, like why women find unavailable men more attractive (an evolutionary biological phenomenon called "mate poaching"), and how feeling "in love" can actually be reduced to a chemical state (these chemicals are produced in our body during the bonding process and recede 18–24 months into a relationship — when you might think you're falling out of love. Yikes.) 7 Reasons You're Not Married Yet
Reading this book was basically a series of "aha!" moments for me. Despite the controversy the more flashy pronouncements in the book have caused ("bitch," anyone?) a reader will be hard-pressed not to recognize herself in these scenarios. McMillan has done her time in the trenches and makes us laugh at the absurdity of it all. Often her advice on how to change is amazingly simple. Whether it's learning to stop dealing with men who won't commit, letting go of your list of unreasonable wishes, or paying less attention to over-demanding feelings, her proposals are completely doable. You can't help thinking: This just might work.
McMillan's life lessons examine fears and insecurities we'd rather not face, and they demonstrate how important it is to bring these to light. She proves that resolving these seemingly dark feelings can bring about change in ways you never thought possible.
Most importantly, she shows us single women that we are not alone. There is comfort in knowing that a happy ending can be in store if we take the steps leading to it. And most importantly, no matter how disastrous our past experiences, our future is what we make it, and we have the power to make it bright.
Have you read "Why You're Not Married ... Yet?" What do you think?
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