3 Ways That Elizabeth Gilbert And I TOTALLY Agree

I’ll admit, I was bracing for the worst.

It’s not always popular (or smart!) to tease your readers, but I’m glad you were able to take it in stride.

In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how many NICE things you had to say about last Thursday’s blog, which suggested that you may be holding men to a somewhat unreasonable standard:

This was FANTASTIC!! The more straight up, in your face and bold you get, the better. Great job!!!


Hi Evan,

I love this blog post… especially “Drink, Play, F-ck”! How clever!!! There was actually some advice that was helpful to me in this one. I’m dating the most wonderful man but he’s on the feminine energy side, and he’s not a brainiac, which I love. I’m trying to focus on all of his wonderful traits and how beautifully he treats me and my children – trying to re-train my dating brain. Thanks for the reality-check.


Thanks, Evan, I loved this and I cracked up over the “male” version of the movie (of which I haven’t seen yet, but now will with a more objective viewpoint!) Keep up the good work. I’d rather hear the truth even though I might not always like what I hear. I also thoroughly enjoyed your book Why He Disappeared.


Marie mentions the word “truth,” which I think is a good leaping-off point for today’s blog. Because the truth is that there isn’t always one objective truth.

As much as I may joke about Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, she’s a hell of a writer who really struck a chord.

Ready for Lasting Love?
Ready for Lasting Love?

However, the closer you can come to understanding OTHER people’s truths, the more effective you will be at negotiating the ups and downs of the world.

And as much as I may joke about Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, she’s a hell of a writer who really struck a chord.

In her follow-up book, she tried to understand OTHER people’s truths, specifically about the topic of marriage.

I read her book Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage in about 2 days while I was in Puerta Vallarta, and found myself highlighting full passages. Without further ado, here are 3 things that really struck me when reading Committed:

1) The idea that there’s no point in marriage because of the high divorce rate is a false argument. This is a perfect example of how you can’t always believe statistics without knowing the context. The divorce rate, first of all, is closer to 40% than 50%. More importantly, it’s highly skewed by young people who have no business getting married at all. Says Gilbert:

“The younger you are when you get married, the more likely you are to divorce later. In fact, you are ASTONISHINGLY more likely to get divorced if you marry young. You are, for example, two to three times more likely to get divorced if you marry in your teens or early twenties than if you wait until your thirties or forties…When we are very young, we tend to be more irresponsible, less self-aware, more careless, and less economically stable than when we are older. Therefore, we should not get married when we are very young. This is why 18 year olds don’t have a 50% divorce rate; they have a 75% divorce rate, which blows the curve for everyone else. The cutoff is 25 — couples who marry before that are exceptionally more divorce prone”.

Clearly, marriage itself isn’t a bad bet once you know what you’re doing. The issue is that there are millions of people over the age of 25 who haven’t necessarily learned from their own mistakes. Like this mistake, for example:

2) You’re unhealthily obsessed with obsession.

You love being in love. You want to have a life-long partnership, but more importantly, you want to have that FEELING — that tingly, girlish infatuation that reminds just how perfect your new relationship is.

Except, as you know, that glowing perfect relationship has NEVER worked out in your entire life. And yet, you keep on chasing it. Believe me, you’re not alone. But this doesn’t mean obsession is a good thing. Says Gilbert:

“Dr. Helen Fisher has noted that an awful lot of babies are conceived during the first six months of a love story, a fact that I find really noteworthy. Hypnotic obsession can lead to a sense of euphoric abandon, and euphoric abandon is the very best way to find yourself accidentally pregnant. Some anthropologists argue, in fact, that the human species needs infatuation as a reproductive tool in order to keep us reckless enough to risk the hazards of pregnancy so that we can constantly replenish our ranks…Fisher’s research has also shown that people are far more susceptible to infatuation when they are going through delicate or vulnerable times in their lives.”

So when you’re feeling a little weak or a little needy, that’s EXACTLY when you’re ripe for an unhealthy obsession that leads to heartbreak. You’ve seen this before.

Don’t let it happen again. Don’t partner up when you’re weak and needy.

Find love when you feel good about yourself.

Find love that’s healthy and normal, not obsessive.

Which leads us to my final point:

3) When you’re obsessed, you don’t really see the man for all that he is. This is what leads to bad relationships. You think that the “feeling” and his great qualities are enough to carry you through. What you ignore is that you’re actually miserable with him. Says Gilbert:

“People fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that…. Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to be pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.”

I can’t tell you how many women reach out to me every day to ask a question:

I know I’m going to put myself out of business here, but there’s only one thing to do when you have a man who treats you that way.


How come he doesn’t want to sleep with me?

How come he only texts me?

How come he still has his profile on Match.com?

How come he never says he loves me?

These letters are written by the kindest, smartest, most impressive women in the world, and they all have one thing in common: they’re delusional.

I know I’m going to put myself out of business here, but there’s only one thing to do when you have a man who treats you that way.

Dump him!

You don’t need to read an advice column or a blog or a book.

You don’t need to explain to me your unique circumstances about why your selfish, non-committal man is “different” and how you really think you have a chance.

You just have to observe what Elizabeth Gilbert and I have already observed.

You see your man for his good qualities and his potential, but you can’t actually live with his bad qualities, namely his lack of commitment and kindness to you. This is why your relationship is unfixable.

You can’t fix it. I can’t fix it. He can’t fix it. He doesn’t want to.

Thus, there’s nothing to negotiate, nothing to get him to change.

Find a man who you’re less obsessed with who actually WANTS to be your committed partner and you can have a successful marriage.

I promise you, it’s not just possible. If you listen to what I have to say here, it’s inevitable.