Big To Do
About Us

“Saving Love Lives The World Over!” e-mail e-mail to a friend in need

June 17, 2010

Every single thing that’s wrong with you: Q&A with Karin Anderson

Filed under: books,issues,media,Psychology — posted by Paula @ 1:21 am

anderson0751_v2The trusty formula found in many self-help books aimed at single women is:

A) You’re single–because there’s something very wrong with you.
B) But don’t worry, here’s how to fix it!

What sets apart Karin Anderson’s new book, It Just Hasn’t Happened Yet: bogus, ridiculous, absurd explanations as to why you’re still single and how to deal with them plus a few silly things we do to ourselves, is a glorious lack of blame, accompanied by a daring refusal to fix anyone’s problems.

Anderson, a Chicago-area psychotherapist and professor, strenuously resists the idea that single women are by definition doing “something wrong,” and in fact advocates a healthy acceptance of whatever relationship status a woman happens to find herself in.

To those readers who are unhappily single, she repeats the title of her book, mantra-like, and assures them it’s not because they’re “too picky,” or not trying hard enough, or trying too hard, or any number of questionable pieces of finger-wagging advice leveled at them from friends, magazine articles, TV shows, and, most egregiously, other self-help books. We caught up with her to hear more:

Did you have any specific self-help books in mind when you wrote this?

I wouldn’t say there was a particular book, but definitely the tone of the genre in general was what I was responding to, and [I was] responding with what I believe to be a counter-message that I think is equally plausible and empowering.

I just didn’t like the suggestion [promoted in other self-help books] that there’s always something amiss, or something that needs to be fixed in order for single women to find happiness. There’s one book that talks about, you know, “what your friends would tell you if they’d be honest with you.” It occurred to me that I know plenty of women who are married who are very happy but very flawed. They didn’t need to fix anything about themselves to get married.

But we have this bias in our society that marriage is good and singleness is bad, and so we feel compelled to come up with some explanation for why single women aren’t married. This need for an explanation is all about control.

You mention the concept of control several times in your book, and how it’s easier to blame someone, or dole out advice, than it is to just sit with the discomfort of not knowing–not knowing how to help, or not knowing the solution to a problem. I’m wondering how you’d counsel a person to be more supportive of a friend who may be unhappily single and looking, without falling into “control” patterns.

In this society, women are very much valued for their relationship status—not by my judgment or your judgment, but that is what we’re dealing with in our culture as a whole, this idea that a single woman is “less-than” because she doesn’t have a husband. Since that’s the case, I would put a lid on any unsolicited comments about relationship status unless the single woman brings it up herself.

So, number one, don’t bring up the subject unless it’s brought up.

Number two, I would really lay off the advice-giving. Just listen, and empathize.

A third thing is: just be a buddy, a wing man. If your friend wants to go somewhere and doesn’t want to go alone—go with her and keep her company. That kind of purely physical support can be really helpful.

What I like about your book is that, while it is very positive and encouraging, it is not blindly optimistic, either. In one of the final chapters, you answer a question from a woman who says, “Well, I’m 45, I never had a kid or got married, and I feel like I’ve missed the opportunity for these things” and your response to her is that, hey, sometimes life doesn’t work out the way we wanted. There’s an attitude of acceptance in your answer, rather than regret or shame, which I find quite rare in a relationship book.

I didn’t want to have a downer message, but I want to be realistic. It’s not easy for women in our generation, who were told we could have it all, when we find that sometimes we can’t. We all expect this linear trajectory, with checkpoints and accomplishments—perfect career, check; perfect mate, check; two children, check—that arrive at certain times.

It’s time for us to realize that, for some women, life can be a linear trajectory, but for some of us it’s a path that twists and turns and goes off on tangents that you didn’t anticipate…but if you take a step back and relax the energy of “It’s supposed to be this way,” and look at your life—it is beautiful in ways you never could have planned for.

That is not easy to do and requires a bit of detachment from our own desires, but at times it’s important to relieve ourselves of that pressure of our desires and timelines and just see the beauty of what is.

To say, “Okay, this isn’t the way I wanted it to be, but when I look back at the last five years at the things I thought I wanted, compared to the things that actually did happen, and if I’m on the path of remaining positive and excited and living life to the fullest, I bet some really cool things will happen.”

What kind of effect do you hope your book will have on people?

I have high hopes that, number one, I can encourage single women who are walking a path they didn’t anticipate and plan for, and who, in my belief system, through no fault of their own, are feeling stalled and thinking, “What happened?!”

Also, if it gets in the hands of some sympathetic friends or family members, I would love to think that it could inspire a moment of enlightenment, for someone to say, “Wow, I wonder if I’ve tried to offer advice, or some ‘cogent’ explanation for why my friend or daughter or cousin hasn’t arrived at where she wants to be in the area of marriage. Maybe I could learn something from this.”


  1. hoverboard 4 wheels

    Comment by hoverboard quit working — May 24, 2016 @ 3:00 am

  2. Seven years. Each has advantages and disadvantages and some can save you a lot of money even up to half off face value sometimes. It should be employed to be dropped soon, the soft projectiles with the feet of the man Net while it enters. Lender Rate Sheet (see below ) data was collected from a real Wholesale Lender (Ampro Mortgage ) Rate sheet dated 03/10/2006. UnderarmsLike the bikini area, underarms are prone to ingrown hairs, razor burn and get even more irritated due to the application of deodorant daily.
    Cheap NFL Jerseys [url=http://www.cheapnfljerseyschinawholesale.us.com/]Cheap NFL Jerseys[/url]

    Comment by Cheap NFL Jerseys — May 24, 2016 @ 3:17 am

  3. hoverboard kohls

    Comment by hoverboard kohls black friday — May 24, 2016 @ 3:26 am

  4. tony hawk hoverboard original video

    Comment by hoverboard costco — May 24, 2016 @ 3:52 am

  5. hoverboard reviews fire

    Comment by hoverboard reviews fire — May 24, 2016 @ 4:21 am

  6. hoverboard reviews on youtube

    Comment by hoverboard reviews top 25 — May 24, 2016 @ 4:50 am

  7. hoverboard videos on fire

    Comment by hoverboard videos on fire — May 24, 2016 @ 5:08 am

  8. tony hawk worlds first hoverboard

    Comment by tony hawk worlds first hoverboard — May 24, 2016 @ 5:26 am

  9. hoverboard laws ny state

    Comment by hoverboard laws houston — May 24, 2016 @ 5:42 am

  10. hoverboard real price of

    Comment by hoverboard real price of — May 24, 2016 @ 6:04 am

  11. For the internet site, they likewise have credit, they arе unable to onlу offer bettеr prices in good quality, but ensure provide good facility. As а customer, уou сan obtain the good quality Moncler dresses in cheap price along with the good service аt the same time. In addition, it could bе another lot to be able to compare prices online compared to to try оut a number of supermarkets and shops for the verу same purpose. Utilized choice right online site whісh supply great product moncler italia jacket in cheappst price.
    cheap nike shoes

    Comment by cheap nike shoes — May 24, 2016 @ 6:36 am

  12. In fact branding on your own is equally as crucial as promoting any type of
    network marketing business.

    my web page; small business branding blog [Renate]

    Comment by Renate — May 24, 2016 @ 7:15 am

  13. hoverboard repair one side not working mac

    Comment by hoverboard repair one side not working mac — May 24, 2016 @ 8:11 am

  14. Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. Nevertheless think about if you added some great photos or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this site could certainly be one of the very best in its niche. Awesome blog!
    oakley motogp baratas 50cc

    Comment by oakley motogp baratas 50cc — May 24, 2016 @ 8:19 am

  15. hoverboard comparison website

    Comment by hoverboard comparison website — May 24, 2016 @ 8:24 am

  16. hoverboard video fake

    Comment by hoverboard video fake — May 24, 2016 @ 8:59 am

  17. terraria ps3 hoverboard

    Comment by hoverboard quit working — May 24, 2016 @ 10:24 am

  18. There fantastic news to inform you: It might bе our favorite, insanely! Said Frankly, althоugh wе do not have money to buy а genuine Moncler, or even а t-shirt, we in addition be seek beauty, love Moncler clothing. Style yоu choose іs your individual business.
    moncler italia

    Comment by moncler italia — May 24, 2016 @ 10:50 am

  19. hoverboard repair orange county library

    Comment by hoverboard repair in los angeles xbox — May 24, 2016 @ 11:29 am

  20. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.

    I am quite sure I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

    Feel free to surf to my weblog; Doom Radar

    Comment by Doom Radar — May 24, 2016 @ 1:45 pm

  21. continuously i used to read smaller content which also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this article which I am reading now.

    Comment by timberland homme bordeaux — May 24, 2016 @ 2:05 pm

  22. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

    Comment by oakley uk order status online — May 24, 2016 @ 3:35 pm

  23. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I
    stumbleupon every day. It’s always helpful to read through articles
    from other writers and use something from other websites.

    My site :: Leptigen reviews (Piper)

    Comment by Piper — May 24, 2016 @ 4:28 pm

  24. Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

    Comment by oakley half jacket knockoffs aviator — May 24, 2016 @ 5:07 pm

  25. Hi colleagues, fastidious piece of writing and pleasant arguments commented here,
    I am really enjoying by these.

    Check out my webpage … Beard Czar (Carmela)

    Comment by Carmela — May 24, 2016 @ 8:37 pm

  26. Whitetail deer definitely enjoy rice bran and it can be made use of to entice
    and pattern deer prior to and also throughout the Deer Attractants
    (http://www.pinterest.com) hunting season.

    Comment by www.pinterest.com — May 24, 2016 @ 8:38 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

**Mean or otherwise out-of-line comments will be deleted. That’s just how we roll.


blog | advice | comics | animation | goodies | to do | archive | about us

Breakup Girl created by Lynn Harris & Chris Kalb
© 2008 Just Friends Productions, Inc.
| privacy policy
Cool Aid!

Important Breakup Girl Maxim:
Breakup Girl Sez


Powered by WordPress