Synopses & Reviews
Why am I still single?”
If youre single and searching, theres no end to other peoples explanations, excuses, and criticism explaining why you havent found a partner:
Youre too picky. Just find a good-enough guy and youll be fine.”
Youre too desperate. If men think you need them, theyll run scared.”
Youre too independent. Smart, ambitious women always have a harder time finding mates.”
You have low self-esteem. You cant love someone else until youve learned to love yourself.”
Youre too needy. You cant be happy in a relationship until youve learned to be happy on your own.”
Based on her popular Modern Love column, Sara Eckels Its Not You challenges these myths, encouraging singletons to stop picking apart their personalities and to start tapping into their own wisdom about who and what is right for them. Supported by the latest psychological and sociological research, as well as interviews with people who have experienced longtime singledom, Eckel creates a strong and empowering argument to understand and accept that theres no one reason why youre singleyou just are.
"'Being single is not a condition to be cured'-especially when the remedy possibly means riding a marry-and-divorce roller-coaster just to avoid loneliness-says author and psychotherapist Ford (Wonderful Ways series; Between Mother and Daughter, Getting over Getting Mad). Instead, singles (this book is ostensibly written for all, but may resonate more with women) should reject the lonely and pathetic stereotypes this status usually carries and embrace life's most lasting relationship-the one with themselves. While some may dismiss this advice as a desperate mantra, Ford skillfully uses her own story and others' anecdotes to show that it's possible to be single and content. As a once happily married young woman, a sudden widow at age 29, then a miserably remarried woman, and finally an abandoned divorcée with a baby and an immense debt, Ford knows how precarious it is to put her happiness in the hands of another. In amusing lessons divided among six sections, she counsels readers on how to marshal their singleness to confront whatever adversities they may be forced endure. This fundamental wisdom should not be lost on couples either; after all, everyone must tread solo sometimes. Ford's playful poking at her own past misadventures in love and denial (like when she went solo to a movie and ordered drinks and popcorn for two) will endear her to struggling singles and inspire many to rejoice in life's singular potential." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Praise for Its Not You
"In this comforting love letter to single women, journalist Eckel tackles 27 common criticisms trotted out to unmarried ladies of a certain age—and sets each of those chestnuts on its ear. Advocating for the women who want to marry but havent yet found their match, the author picks apart clichéd observations such as “youre too picky,” “you should have married that guy,” “you have low self-esteem,” and “youre too desperate,” offering sensible responses for when these questions inevitably come up. Eckel sagely points out that “when you stop picking apart your personality and endlessly replaying the game tapes of your previous relationships, you clear a lot of mental space,” and she rationally discusses why each of these “truisms” are utterly wrong, funneling many through a Buddhist viewpoint while sharing her adventures with meditation and her own stories about dates gone wrong. Eckel also encourages women to examine whats right with their lives, rather than whats wrong—something very difficult to do when society is passing judgment, she acknowledges, but a necessary step nonetheless. A must for any single womans personal library, this book will lend hope to the millions of unattached women who want to believe love is on the horizon." --Publishers Weekly
"What makes Its Not You stand out amid myriad dating guides is Eckels tone: devoid of sass for sasss sake, calm without preaching." -Elle
“Its Not You provides a cheering reminder that life is complicated, and so are people. Instead of torturing yourself with a self-improvement checklist, she asks, why not see yourself 'as a flawed but basically lovable human being?'” --The Boston Globe
“Its Not You masquerades as self-help, but its really a manifesto, a radical declaration of truths that shouldnt be all that radical but somehow are nonetheless. Sara Eckel does what no one writing about singleness has yet had the guts to do. She points out that coupling up is often nothing more than a matter of luck and that conventional wisdom about love is no substitute for real wisdom about life—something she has in spades.”
—Meghan Daum, author of My Misspent Youth
“Finally! Someone said it: Being single does not mean youre broken. Thank you, Sara Eckel, for speaking up and turning the tables on anyone who dared point their needling finger at poor old singletons negotiating the process of looking for love. Its Not You is a smart and sane respite from the incessant chatter of relationship self-help that places the single person in the middle of a perpetual makeover project. Eckel deftly argues why you dont need any of it, and shell make you think about dating in an entirely new light. Her book is fresh, relatable, funny, and empowering, and Im only one percent mad at her for not writing it sooner. Mostly, I just want to hug her and so will you.”
—Rachel Machacek, author of The Science of Single
“Debunking the myths and well-meaning advice lobbed onto single women today, Sara Eckels Its Not You is like soothing guidance from a best friend in book form. Fearless, funny, and wise, its a reminder to single women everywhere that the best antidote to the overwhelmingly negative dating feedback that prevails is self-compassion.”
—Ava Chin, “Urban Forager” columnist and author of Eating Wildly
“Sara Eckel has composed an electrically charged response to a world still eager to tie a womans value to her marital status. Its Not You is a thorough and thoughtful debunking of the myths of blame routinely foisted on women who have not (yet or ever) found mates. Eckel is funny, compassionate, and righteously resistant to the lies women are told about how personal shortcomings have damned them to singlehood, while smartly standing up to assumptions that theres anything wrong with unmarried life to begin with.”
—Rebecca Traister, author of Big Girls Dont Cry
“Its Not You is a funny, thoughtful, and long-overdue response to every well-intentioned tool who insists single women are single because theyre ‘too something: picky, available, desperate, intimidating, nice, negative, attractive, or, I dont know, averse to clog dancing. Instead, she assures us were fine. The only problem? We simply havent met the guy of our dreams yet.”
—Diane Mapes, author of How to Date in a Post-Dating World
“Sara Eckel counters prevailing myths about dating and marriage, and offers solace and very helpful advice to those who feel pained by prolonged singlehood. Above all, this book will resonate with readers because of the way she shares her own struggling, vulnerable heart.”
—Gabriel Cohen, author of Storms Cant Hurt the Sky
“Part Buddhist teacher and part social critic, Sara Eckel tells single women what we older-to-marry folks wish we could go back to say to our own younger self-doubting unmarried selves.. . . This book is a refreshing study of women realizing the best potential of feminism: to realistically accept both the challenges, and the triumphs, of living life on ones own terms.”
—Paula Kamen, author of Her Way, All in My Head, and Finding Iris Chang
...not a condition to be cured...it's just as natural as being part of a couple. Its wisdom is contagious. Its message is powerful.
...a one-of-a-kind book that speaks a universal language to single women everywhere.
...a sometimes funny, sometimes, touching, and always uplifing collection of true-life experiences and practical wisdom that helps you celebrate your single status.
Single is about upholding the most enduring relationship of all: the one we have with ourselves.
About the Author
Sara Eckel has been a freelance writer for more than fifteen years. Her essays and reported pieces on personal growth and mental wellness have appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Nerve, Glamour, Self, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Forbes, Martha Stewart Living, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her short fiction has been published in Speakeasy and Sanskrit. For five years, she wrote a nationally syndicated opinion column on political issues that appeared in more than 200 daily newspapers. She has been awarded writing residencies at the Ucross Foundation, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, as well as grants from The Hershey Family Foundation and the Jerome Foundation.