Susan Page says that Americans are experiencing a “Great Emotional Depression” that is to love what the Great Depression of the 1930’s was to work. American culture values the skills that are useful in the workplace, but not those that support healthy interpersonal relationships. Gender roles are still in transition twenty years after the sexual revolution of the 1960’s. There are more single women than men, and many single men fear commitment to an intimate relationship. In addition, the advent of AIDS has made casual sexual liaisons dangerous.
These factors make finding love difficult. Page states that those who wish for love must deliberately seek it. They must abandon their ambivalence, and ignore the statistics that say that they will never find their hearts’ desire. They must meet as many people as possible and never settle for an inadequate relationship that is “better than nothing.”
Page gives useful advice on saying “no” to dead-end relationships, distinguishing between intimacy and temporary passion, detecting “commitmentphobes,” and deciding what to do if you love someone more than he or she loves you. She offers exercises designed to raise self-awareness and self-esteem. Lastly, she suggests that love-seekers form support groups to aid one another in their quests.
Page’s strategies seem practical and full of common sense. One of her most interesting ideas is that searching for love is like looking for a job: It is not necessarily an enjoyable thing to do. Page assures the reader, however, that the rewards of having a successful intimate relationship are worth the effort. Despite its offbeat title, IF I’M SO WONDERFUL, WHY AM I STILL SINGLE? is a helpful, hopeful book that will be useful to anyone who seeks a mate.