Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney

I loved this book, but it also infuriated me.  Two years ago, when I was 25, I wrote 80 pages of a pseudo-memoir about how I was 25 and had so far avoided having an actual boyfriend.  Now Katie Heaney does the same thing, and SO MUCH BETTER.  I’m over my jealousy – this girl is hilarious and we are kindred spirits.  Her every observation (whether about 90s kid culture, junior high horror, or college friendships) is so accurate.  Her personality, like mine, is perfectly suited to obsessions and inaction.  Which is why she’s 25 and hasn’t had a date.

“I just don’t know how anyone ever knows what to do with their bodies.  I catch myself worrying about what my arms are doing when I’m walking alone, and that is just walking.  Alone.

So I am a basket case, generally, and picky, and have almost always had crushes on people who usually don’t have crushes on me, and it’s rare that I’m so attracted to a stranger that I could imagine having sex with him at that exact moment.  And even when that has been true, I am only able to talk about thinking about it, from a safe distance.  I have no idea what I’d actually do about it.  But generally speaking, I’d like to date someone, at least a little, first.  Add all this to my somewhat looming height, an unintentional bracing hostility toward people I don’t know well, and an end to the era in my life when I might have felt the need to do something for the first time to get it over with, and it’s not hard to end up with a twenty-five-year-old who hasn’t had sex.  I put practically no effort into it at all.”

Heaney makes fun of herself, but it’s endearing because she whole-heartedly loves herself.  She knows her quirks, and she sees how those might keep her from easily forming a romantic attachment.  But after considering this, she mostly just shrugs and says, “If dating someone would mean changing myself, well, screw that!” to which I just shouted “AMEN” at her book over and over.

“I want to meet my true love that way [like her parents].  Not at a milk machine per se, because it would be kind of weird for that to happen now that I’m not spending any time in cafeterias, and I don’t think I trust a man out of college who still drinks milk with every meal.  I do, however, want to be seen from afar, and admired, and then wooed.  By someone I adore right away.  Basically, I want to expend minimal effort and have somebody fall madly in love with me just by virtue of being near me for a handful of days, and then it will just work out that we’re perfect for one another.  I do not see what the big deal is about that.

When I say things like this to my friends, they do these massive, comically exaggerated eye-rolls and tell me that it doesn’t work that way, and that I’ll never meet anybody just sitting around and waiting, and that if I’m such a feminist I should go make things happen for myself (like going out somewhere and yelling “I am a strong, self-possessed woman!!  DATE ME!!” I guess), and that people don’t meet each other like that these days.  Yes, they sometimes meet in school.  But mostly they meet at work, or they meet through friends.  Or, worst of all, they meet online.”

(At which point she spends two chapters detailing her horrific experiences with online dating.  Anyway, I could go on quoting everything she said that feels like something I wish I had written (90% of her book), but mostly just…read this!  If you’re perpetually single like me, you’ll find solace in knowing you’re not alone.  And if you have a friend who’s perpetually single, read this book to find out the personality most likely to end up that way.  Then you can think, “Well, I still think she’s weird, but at least now I know why.”

51b0HSA+oNL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Book Jacket

“I have been single my entire life.  Not one boyfriend.  Not one person with whom I regularly hunt out and kissed on the face.”

So begins Katie Heaney’s memoir of her years spent looking for love, but never quite finding it.  By age twenty-five, equipped with a graduate degree, a load of friends, and a happy family life, she still has never had a boyfriend…and she’s barely even been on a second date.

Throughout this laugh-out-loud funny book, you will meet Katie’s loyal group of girlfriends, including flirtatious and outgoing Rylee, the wild child to Katie’s shrinking violet, as well as a whole roster of Katie’s ill-fated crushes.  And you will get to know Katie herself–a smart, modern heroine relaying truths about everything from the subtleties of a Facebook message exchange to the fact that “everyone who works in a coffee shop is at least a little bit hot.”

Funny, relatable, and inspiring, this is a memoir for anyone who has struggled to find love, but has also had a lot of fun in the process.

Release Date:  January 2014

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