Thursday, May 1, 2014

Help Yourself: It's Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single

 It's Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single by Sarah Eckl
Call No.: 306.815 ECK
Find it in the catalog!

Relationship self-help books aren't really my standard reading.  But this book stood out as being a little bit smarter and different than your standard "hard truths" about why you're single.  Instead, Eckl puts a positive spin on singles and women who marry later in life.  She break downs twenty-seven common myths about "what's wrong" with singles, and shows why maybe those aren't necessarily bad things.  Eckl's focus isn't on fixing yourself to land a partner.  Instead, she shows that while being single, especially if you'd rather be coupled, might be tough; it doesn't mean that there is anything fundamentally wrong with you that needs to be fixed.

Anyone who's ever been single for longer than their family or friends deemed acceptable has surely heard some of the "wrong reasons' before.  For instance, if only you "put yourself out there" (where ever "there" is), you'd meet the perfect gent.  Or my personal least favorite, "You're too picky." Because, of course, you should be happy to spend your life with just anybody!  It was affirming to hear Eckl break down each stereotype and show exactly how stupid they are.  "You're too intimidating" was one of my favorite chapters; where Eckl points out that maybe it isn't the best strategy to downplay your confidence and accomplishments just to attract a mate. 

Sarah Eckl herself married in her late thirties, after being single for most of her twenties and thirties. This book could have been a terrible "this is how I did it" guide for the later-in-life singles.  But thankfully, Ms. Eckl didn't take that route. Instead It's Not You is an empowering guide for anyone who might be less than lucky in love.

Also recommended:  Though fictional, Melissa Bank's short stories explore similar territory.  I heartily recommend both of her short stories collections, Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing and The Wonder Spot.  Her books are funny, smart and deeply relatable.  Read them even if you are happily married!