NEW YORK (AP) — In 2011, writer Tracy McMillan wrote an article for The Huffington Post titled, ‘‘Why You’re Not Married.’’
McMillan used a girlfriend’s guide approach to possible reasons why some women cannot get a guy to commit including ‘‘you’re a liar,’’ ‘'you’re selfish’’ and ‘‘you’re not good enough.’’
The article became one of The Huffington Post’s most popular reads ever. It has been shared more than 65,000 times and emailed upward of 18,000 times.
McMillan expanded on her essay with a book titled, ‘‘Why You’re Not Married ... Yet: The Straight Talk You Need to Get the Relationship You Deserve’’ (Ballantine Books).
She talked about the article and learning from mistakes in relationships in a recent interview.
The Associated Press: What was your reaction when your article in The Huffington Post took off the way it did?
McMillan: It took me by surprise but I realized everybody knows at least one woman who wants to be married and isn’t and doesn’t know why. I think that’s why the piece went viral because everybody was like, ‘Oh, I have to send that to my friend, I have to send that to my sister or my cousin,’ so it just seems like there’s something going on in our culture around marriage and relationships and this book is a part of that conversation.
AP: What’s the biggest mistake women make?
McMillan: They lie to themselves. If a guy says, ‘Let’s hang out, but I'm not ready to get in a long-term relationship,’ and you say ‘that’s OK’ and you know you want a long-term relationship with that guy, you’re a liar. There’s no other way to say it. To pretend there’s something else going on is gonna keep you stuck dealing with a man who already said he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you. That’s an extremely common example. I can’t tell you how many women I know are doing things that are that simple.
AP: What makes you the expert? (McMillan has been married and divorced three times.)
McMillan: I'm not an expert. I'm more of a gifted amateur. Yes, I've made a ton of mistakes in relationships and in a way that’s why I can help. I'm not coming from a place of knowing everything. A woman can feel, ‘Oh, wow, she’s not judging me. She’s done this stuff, too, and if she can get better in those things so can I.’ To me this book is like a slumber party where we’re all gonna get super-real about all the dumb stuff we’re doing in our relationships and we’re gonna laugh about it and somehow that’s going to help us.
AP: So it’s taken you awhile to learn from your mistakes?
McMillan: This is what I've been working on for myself. I've been married three times. I made a ton of mistakes. I had to work on my stuff or I was gonna keep doing those mistakes. I see very good people are doing things that aren’t working at all in relationships but you’re still a really good person. Your behavior just is not working. I want to basically give you a way to think about what’s going on that will sort of shift your whole way of approaching your relationships. Loving a human being is the hardest thing in the whole world and it’s the most important thing you'll ever do.
Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar