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Why You're Not Married Yet BookIn the Grown Zone, we constantly stress that more time and energy should be invested in recognizing and building healthy relationships, after laying a solid foundation of self-love, instead of surrendering to our societal obsession with weddings. Unfortunately, most people, and women in particular, are taught to focus on wedding planning ahead of marriage planning, with the latter deferred until sometime after the honeymoon, if it happens at all. Marriage may be the only contract that adults routinely sign first and then try to negotiate the terms later. Worse, far too many people see getting married as a cure or fix for unhealthy relationships. High divorce rates, domestic abuse, infidelity and other forms of abuse and disrespect between spouses serves as ample evidence that marriage as a relationship fix rarely, if ever, works.

Why You’re Not Married… Yet: The Straight Talk You Need To Get The Relationship You Deserve by Tracy McMillan (Ballantine Books) is a great addition to the Grown Zone Book Shelf because, like our book Loving In The Grown Zone, it happens to be a great personal growth book disguised as a relationship book. McMillan is clear that genuine self-love and personal growth is a prerequisite for the healthy relationships that can lead to, and provide a sound foundation for, marriage.

McMillan uses her expertise as a matchmaker and her own experiences (including three divorces), as well as that of her friends, to illustrate ten reasons why a single woman who wants to be married fails to achieve that goal. The reasons will definitely sting, so readers need to be wearing their big-girl panties; they range from “You’re A Bitch” and “You’re A Slut”, to “You Hate Yourself” and “You’re Godless” (the last one is in a spiritual, not strictly religious, context). Clearly, it takes a Grown woman, or a woman who desperately wants to be Grown, to handle what McMillan dishes out. But trust me, while the medicine is plenty strong, it is also very good–and good for you. The result is a book that absolutely represents the Grown Zone commitment to more self-love, better decisions and healthier relationships.