(photo credit via handmade charlotte)
Last month I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Karin Anderson Abrell, a renowned psychologist, relationship expert and author, for a Toronto Sun article. She was lovely to work with and kindly offered to send me a copy of her new book, Single is the New Black: Don’t Wear White ‘Til it’s Right to review (Thank you!) However, since I am currently trying to wrap up edits on my own book, I handed off the task to SD contributor Vendredi. Take it away, V!We’ve all been through the dating jungle. You go on date after date with no real prospects. After several dates, you want to throw in the towel because you’re so frustrated with the fact that love is just not coming your way. Then comes the negative self-talk – are you good enough? Or is there something wrong with you as you’re single and pretty much everyone else is dating. And really, why wouldn’t you think that? The media, friends and family perpetuates relationships stereotypes and makes you feel like a leper if you’re single.
Single is the New Black: Don’t Wear White ‘Til it’s Right, the new book by Dr. Karin Anderson Abrell debunks all conventional ideas as to why you’re still single. Instead of telling you exactly how or whom to date, this book encourages you to be yourself, and keep that glimmer of hope alive because, if you’re still single, it just hasn’t happened for you, which doesn’t make you “lesser than.” All it means is that it’s just not your time, which is probably one of the most important things we need to hear when we’re trying to navigate through the dating jungle.
What I did like about the book:
SITNB is honest.
Reading this book made me feel like I was talking with my true friends. Sometimes the truth is hard to swallow, but like a good friend the book told me the truth, not things I needed to hear to make me feel good about myself.
The book didn’t act as a self-help guide to find a relationship.
Never did it once mention tips or advice on landing the perfect mate. We’re all aware of the societal pressures about dating/marriage, and several dating books seem to hone in on finding the perfect soul mate – often relaying messages that are pejorative to women. This book debunked the myth that there was nothing wrong with being single, and most importantly nothing wrong with you.
Abrell kept it real.
The chapters were all broken down in the same way making it an easy read. Two particular sub-sections really resonated with me: “Guy Talk,” where she offered weird and wonderful male perspectives and, and “The Awful Truth”: what women really think/feel about women who are single. These sub-sections not only offered multiple perspectives, but kept it real for the readers.
What could have been improved:
In attempts to offer encouragement, Dr. Abrell seemed to only trivialize singledom.
She seemed to make being single seem like a trendy phase. On the one hand, she’s saying “ don’t settle, stay true to yourself, as you are smart, sexy, savvy “catches” who will eventually get “caught” so there’s no need to settle for anything less than a stellar relationship.”
However, on the other hand, the book made women seem incomplete without a relationship. This was articulated in her intro. She knew there was nothing wrong with herself prior to finding her match, but yet felt more at peace when she found a man. For women who have been searching for their right partner for a long time, the fear of being along is real. For these women being single is not trendy, it’s certainly not the new black…it’s their reality, so please don’t trivialize it by throwing it back in the reader’s faces that you’re in a stellar relationship when others aren’t.
The book an easy read, but too basic.
I’m all for easy reads, but I literally felt like I was reading Seventeen magazine (all I needed was acne medication ads and colour photos of prepubescent models to boot). I totally understand she was trying to keep it fun and flirty, but in actuality it was almost too juvenile for such a sensitive topic. I appreciated the chapter break downs and how the book was segmented, but it was too superficial for my liking I felt that it catered to an early to mid 20- something audience.
She kept reinforcing that you don’t have to change one bit to find a relationship.
I don’t know if that’s necessarily true. Sometimes changing yourself is good for a relationship—in fact; perhaps necessary because relationships are based on compromise as there is no such thing as a “perfect fit” between people. And while it’s definitely not recommended to change your morals and values, or the person you are, dropping negative traits or bad habits is change for good in relationships.
I would recommend this to my friends if they were looking for a good laugh or an easy read, but definitely not as a guide to relationships as there was no real advice to offer.