Why You’re STILL Not Married

Tracy McMillan, a writer for TV’s Mad Men, has four new reasons why you’re still single.

She writes “Yes, I have “failed” at marriage — a lot. (Actually, I like to think of failure as “pre-success”.) But who better than a three-time divorcee to lead a discussion about the stupid stuff women do in relationships? At least you know I won’t go all sanctimonious on you. Because dude, whatever it is, I HAVE DONE IT. I’ve just decided to love myself anyway.”

You may remember her Huffington Post article last year, “Why You’re Not Married” that listed the six reasons why you’re single. Here’s a refresher:

1) You’re a Bitch (“Here’s what I mean by bitch. I mean you’re angry.”)

2) You’re Shallow (“When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man’s character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you’re not married, I already know it isn’t. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.”)

3) You’re a Slut (“Since nature can’t discriminate between marriage material and Charlie Sheen, you’re going to have to start being way more selective than you are right now.”)

4) You’re a Liar (“It usually goes something like this: you meet a guy who is cute and likes you, but he’s not really available for a relationship. You know if you tell him the truth — that you’re ready for marriage — he will stop calling. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun! You love having fun sex! And you don’t want to get in a relationship at all! You swear!”)

5) You’re Selfish (“If you’re not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds.”)

6) You’re Not Good Enough (“Oh, I don’t think that. You do. I can tell because you’re not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job.”)

Is Ms. McMillan a bit harsh? Sure. Controversy sells. She got a book deal off of this article, with a title (Why You’re Not Married…Yet) that is remarkably like my second book (Why You’re Still Single). But I’m guessing it will sell as well as my second book (which is to say, not very much) because people don’t really want to hear those tough answers. They’d much rather hear “don’t waste the pretty” from Greg Behrendt in He’s Just Not That Into You, or that you can manifest your man from thin air in The Secret, or that The Problem With Women…Is Men, which squarely places blame on men for sucking.

My advice – and I’m guessing Ms. McMillan’s advice – is this: LOTS of men suck. Don’t date them. Now that you’re not dating awful men, be the best person you can be and you’ll find love.

Click here to read Tracy McMillan’s four all-new reasons why you’re (still) single on the Huffington Post. Lemme know what she got right…and what she got wrong.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    david

    actually, I just bought her book and she doesn’t really talk about sucky men too much — her advice is very aligned with yours — about changing yourself, your perspective, your “man goals”, give the “Maybe Guy” a shot…a lot about stop deluding yourself (You deserve to be with a 10, you are too intimidating / fabulous, too hot to handle, etc.)

    It’s really good — read in about 2 days….

  2. 2
    Lady K

    Sooo, yeah. I hated the original article and the second one even more so. As a fellow writer, I am a big fan of Ms. McMillan’s work. She’s clever, funny, snarky, and her writing makes for a great viral article. As a woman, I am completely irritated by the presumptions she’s making. I have a rebuttal article in mind entitled: Why You are Still Saying Yes to Marriage Proposals When You Should be Saying “No”. And the follow up one: “Ho, You Really Need to Sit Down and Shut Up”. Has it ever occurred to anyone with a critical eye towards single women in their 30’s and 40’s that some of them actually said no to “crazy.” Said “no” to marriage proposals from men who were clearly not right, not in their right minds, not emotional ready, ect. I did and have and will continue to as long as the situations don’t add up. No matter how shiny the package. This is something my dear sister Ms. McMillan clearly has a hard time doing. While some of my girlfriends are now closing up their “starter” marriages from our 20’s, and are happily divorcing, I thank god, I dodged those bullets.

    But there are no articles written to extol the virtues of saying “hell, no” to a marriage proposal. If only there were awards for that. If only there were awards for having leap frogged around potential crazy, dangerous, bi-polar men who don’t reveal this until 1 year into the marriage (pick one Miss McMillan) instead of misguided kudos for having three unsuccessful marriages. Perhaps instead contemplating so hard why women in their 30s and 40s are not married – some of us are actually pretty fucking ecstatic about clearing the gate without a bevy of ex-husbands and children – how about writing an article about how to land a marriage with a healthy guy that sticks.

  3. 3
    david

    Lady K — again, the book is different and she expands on the “points” original article in a way that makes more sense (Stop being shallow, get a life outside dating/men, find yourself, get centered), etc.

  4. 4
    kerren

    @ Lady K, I agree with you totally. There is a stereotype that when you are single, there is something wrong with you. Some of us have learned to be complete in ourselves-of course we are not perfect but we are good enough. This sometimes means you get proposals from guys who don’t fit the bill. Am not talking finance or looks now. Am talking about character. Do I say yes to an obvious social climber, the guy with the drinking problem or my male friend who swears we are soulmates even though there’s a different woman sleeping in his bed each night of the week.

    1. 4.1
      Mia

      @Kerren, you hit the nail on the head! Some single women have chosen to wait for the right guy and enjoy our lives while waiting for the guy who is a perfect fit for us!

  5. 5
    Stacy

    Reading her article was a waste of 5 minutes of my life. Every single married woman I know exhibits some of those characteristics that are presumably keeping women single (i.e. shallow, bitch, crazy, liar and even yes, slut). So me think it has got to be something else that keeps you single 🙂

    1. 5.1
      Gerri

      Lol, I like you’re comment.  It got me thinking, you’re right…thinking about all my friends, I’m the only one not married.  Then I thought how I wouldn’t have married any of their husbands because of one reason or other.  So I am shallow!  Because I didn’t look at their character.  But a few of my friends are shallow too because they didn’t look at their character either, they just really wanted to get married. So conclusion:  it’s possible to be shallow and get married, you don’t look very deep, just for specific things like, “I like his profession or I like that he likes me and wants to marry me or we’ve been together for x years.” etc.

  6. 6
    Ileana

    Your article is interesting, Ms. McMillan, but i already knew these things from Evan 😀

  7. 7
    valleyforgelady

    Love the snarky edgy attitude! Cancel the pity parties, princess entitlements, guys are jerks attitude, and keep smiling! Grumpy women are no fun….for me or the men we wish to attract! I am the common domniator in all of my relationships. Time for me to change. My current stuff has not worked!

  8. 8
    Helen

    I wasn’t prepared to like her article (I don’t usually like articles that put people down, even in jest), but it had me in stitches. Especially this section from “You’re a Dude”:

    “… at the end of the day, you don’t need to know if a guy wants to donate his sperm to you. (The answer will probably be Oh, hell yes.) You want to know if he’s willing to send your egg to college. And if a guy doesn’t feel like taking you on a date, THE ANSWER IS NO.”

    Love the line about sending your egg to college…

  9. 9
    Zann

    I agree with what Lady K is saying, but I don’t think McMillan is contradicting any of that. She’s not saying that marriage is the ultimate goal, even if it’s with a loser. She’s saying know yourself, clean up your act and get healthy so you can start making better choices in men. She’s putting the responsibility where it belongs — on the individual seeking the relationship. We all know some guys are unstable socio- and psychopaths, so learn to spot them and steer clear.

    I already know why I’m single. I’m a bitch & I’m angry. Like most bitchy and angry women I know, I’ve got my reasons, based on some very solid, clear-eyed analysis of my history with men. But when all is said and done, I still want to be in a relationship with a man. Working on my anger, resentment, & bitchiness requires constant vigilance. It also means letting go and growing up. Sometimes it’s downright exhausting.

    McMillan admits she’s flawed, she’s a straight-shooter, and she’s funny. I especially enjoy her clarity on the whole friends-with-benefits nonsense. Quit being a liar. Quit telling the dude it’s fun and exactly what you want, when it’s not. Not at all. He’s being honest when he identifies it for what it is, which is no strings attached. So, why get all crazy-ass and wounded when it turns out being exactly that? Don’t agree to it in hopes of it evolving into something else. It just doesn’t. So, let him find someone else to do that shallow dance with.

  10. 10
    nathan

    I support the idea of taking a deep look at yourself, and making whatever changes you can to lessen self-absorbed traits. At the same time, it’s never just about you. Often timing is involved. Or the conditions aren’t quite right for a relationship to flourish. Or as a few pointed out, the other person turns out to be really wrong for you, and you choose to say “no thanks.”

    Self improvement projects can be a never ending struggle with self esteem. When you think it’s all about you, there’s always something that isn’t good enough that you can fixate on. It’s much wiser to do what you can with your attitude and beliefs, and then remember that a lot of it is still out of your hands.

  11. 11
    Jen

    Well stated, Lady K! I agree that McMillan has a fantastic sense of humor, snark and all. While she will make a lot of money selling her book (that’s her goal, right?) she certainly doesn’t go out of her self abdorbed way to cheer for the smart women who avoided bad marriages to begin with! There’s a lot to be said (which is never said) about women who make great life choices and end up single and happy, versus in a fucked up marriage.

    Can’t someone ever give a little cred to those of us who have played a fantastic game of frogger (nice analogy, Lady K!) and albeit still single at 41, not unhappy, divorced and with a broken family?!?

    Ps/ kudos to Evan for sharing a topic that pushes buttons and is interesting.

  12. 12
    Boss

    Well from my angle (cause this is me at 49) you are single ’cause you wanna be. Very simple, maybe selfish, delusional choice, not so simple reason. But very good guidance.

  13. 13
    Helen

    Despite being married, I had the same reaction many of you commenting here did. First, reading the title “why you’re still not married”, I felt annoyed. The title seems to imply several things with which I disagree: that being married is universally the preferred state, that something is wrong with people who aren’t married, and that someone out there is so smart that she knows EXACTLY why you are not married.

    nathan is right that whether you’re single or married is not all about you. A lot of it is sheer dumb luck: in timing, location, etc.

    Stacy is also right about how married women can have these undesirable traits. Speaking for myself, the last two on McMillan’s list, “You’re a Dude” and “You’re Godless”, are so true that they made me laugh. I don’t want to change my dude-like qualities (which, by the way, are really effective when blended with feminine qualities), but the lack of spirituality – not necessarily one religion – is definitely worth addressing.

  14. 14
    Karl R

    Lady K said: (#2)
    “Perhaps instead contemplating so hard why women in their 30s and 40s are not married – some of us are actually pretty fucking ecstatic about clearing the gate without a bevy of ex-husbands and children”

    Lady K (#2), kerren (#4) and Jen (#11),
    I’m amazed to see over 25% of the responses (all from women) express this sentiment. It’s rather different than the sentiment women expressed about people in their 40s on this thread:
    https://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/is-there-something-wrong-with-a-man-in-his-40s-who-has-never-been-married-before/

  15. 15
    Nathan

    Brilliant dig up Karl! So, according to the logic, if I don’t get married in the next three and a half years, I become damaged goods. (Laughs loudly at how assinine dating beliefs can be these days.)

  16. 16
    Helen

    Karl R, there’s no reason to assume that these ladies would share the same sentiment as the others who groused about men over 40. The 25% “statistic” is meaningless. It is just 3 women.

  17. 17
    J

    I have to disagree. I am still single but when I am not myself I am not happy. If I am bitch, someone might love me for being a bitch. Sometimes, I am shallows, and my last BF loved me for this. Be yourself! Someone will love you for it. And if I am single for the rest of my life oh well. When I am not focus on guys and just being myself, guys find me. Tracy’s marriages fail because she was not being herself, ever. Also she is trying only to sell books.

  18. 18
    Mia

    Articles like this– and traditional dating advice and even some commenters on this blog — would have us believe that only people who have their shit together, are confident, optimistic, know and love themselves, know the exact meaning and purpose of their lives, have no baggage, are successful, have no Vices, and allow men to pursue them are the ones who get married.

    That’s not remotely true. Relationships are so much about chance. Few people are so dysfunctional they they couldn’t find love–though we should all do out best to kick bad habits and be healthy people. Still, the most common mistake I see people of both genders make is not being proactive enough about finding someone, and this article fails to mention that.

    It’s not enough to online date, though that’s a key part of it. A Lot of good men don’t online date and are too scared to approach women at social events and in public places. What I’m figuring out is the need to be more social, smile more, and initiate conversations when I’m out, even if it’s just to the store or park. Look at it as an opportunity to make new acquaintances at the very least, and see what happens.

    Finally, I would only judge a never married late 30s woman for these reasons: A.) she is pathologically picky and discards men for petty reasons, a la Lori Gottleb and the characters in her book “Marry Him,” even when she’s too old and or average looking to get away with such crap; or b.) she repeatedly makes very basic dating mistakes that most people stop making around 25, such as sleeping with men on the 2nd or 3rd date, chasing men, or telling them what to do and trying to control them when she barely knows them.

  19. 19
    Paragon

    @ Jen

    “Well stated, Lady K! I agree that McMillan has a fantastic sense of humor, snark and all. While she will make a lot of money selling her book (that’s her goal, right?) she certainly doesn’t go out of her self abdorbed way to cheer for the smart women who avoided bad marriages to begin with! There’s a lot to be said (which is never said) about women who make great life choices and end up single and happy, versus in a fucked up marriage.”

    What is there to be said?

    Saying something one way or another, is making assumptions(which are either critical of ourselves, or of our marriage prospects).

    The difference, of course, is that self-critical assumptions are more useful, in that they lend more easily to a testable methodology(ie. it is easier to control for our own behaviors – than someone else’s).

    @ Stacy

    “Reading her article was a waste of 5 minutes of my life. Every single married woman I know exhibits some of those characteristics that are presumably keeping women single (i.e. shallow, bitch, crazy, liar and even yes, slut). So me think it has got to be something else that keeps you single”

    # 6

    @ Helen

    “Karl R, there’s no reason to assume that these ladies would share the same sentiment as the others who groused about men over 40.”

    No such assumption was made.

    “The 25% “statistic” is meaningless. It is just 3 women.”

    He was making an observation that female samples between analogous topics seem to be sensitive to the posing of sex, more than any other variable.

    If this is observing a predictable pattern, then it IS saying something meaningful.

  20. 20
    susan

    A brilliant article if you ask me. I can identify (somewhat blushingly) with much of what she says.
    I too chose an opportunity to say ”no” a few years ago. And it was a fantastic decision much supported by everyone around me (yeah thanks for waiting til after the event to tell me that people…)
    And I agree, the common demoninator in all my post-couple dating experiences is ME. I don’t think I’m the things on either the list, but maybe I am…a bit of a chicken. Might be time to get myself back out there….

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