Michelle Cove is the author of Seeking Happily Ever After: Navigating the Ups and Downs of Being Single Without Losing Your Mind(and Finding Lasting Love Along the Way) and director of the feature-length documentary “Seeking Happily Ever After: One generation’s struggle to redefine the fairytale”. She is also the Editor of 614, an ezine for young Jewish women.
Enjoy this interview.
Your book Seeking Happily Ever After will be released September 23rd. Tell us about the book. What do you hope readers take away from it?
The book is a guide to navigating the ups and downs of being single in a culture that still considers a wedding to be the finish line. What I hope readers will take away from it is that the best way to figure out your own “happily ever after” is to learn how to block out all the outside pressure and tune into your own inner voice. This is something most of us never really learn how to do, so I give readers concrete steps to do so and figure out their own individual needs.
Seeking Happily Ever After came about as the result of research from your documentary of the same name. After talking with so many people and spending time on this subject, what are some of the things you’ve learned?
I definitely learned that the idea of “happily ever after” is cemented in women as young girls, as either the prince coming to save us or being married with two kids and a white picket fence before age 30. I think it’s so important that we, as adult women, give ourselves permission to redefine “happily ever after” when we grow up. I’ve also learned that in spite of the increasing numbers of single women in the U.S.—there are more than ever before—women still very much feel pressured to marry and are often made to feel like failures for being single. This is astonishing to me!
Is there such a thing as Mr. or Mrs. Right?
Well, I think here is Mr./Mrs. Right For YOU. When you take the time to know yourself and become a whole person, you start to better understand who the right person is for you and what qualities he or she has to have. In my 20s, I was dating creative, funny, charismatic men who tended to have many mood swings. I thought kindness was boring. By my early 30s, though, I was sick of being a cheerleader for needy men and ready for kindness in a man. I also was ready for a guy who didn’t depend on me so much for his overall happiness. So I went online, seeking a man with those qualities and steering clear of my old type, which wasn’t easy by the way. In the end, I met my husband online. He is creative and funny but in a much softer, less flashy way, and he consistently tends to my needs as much as I tend to his. He is my “Mr. Right for Me.”
Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?
I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t writing, whether it was magazines and books, or notes to friends and jotting thoughts in a journal. When I’m writing, I am my most focused and my most at ease, which is not an easy combination to find. I’m working on a proposal for a self-help book for mothers while continuing to edit an online magazine called 614, which is an e-zine aimed at sparking conversation about hot topics for Jewish women.
What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
Oh wow, that’s like asking a mom to pick her favorite amongst her kids. I can tell you the most recent interesting books I have read, which are The Help, Girl in Translation, and Zeitoun. All three have stuck with me and I find myself thinking about the characters still. I have to say that my favorite book of all times is still the Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy.
Book you’re currently reading?
I am about halfway through The Crying Tree right now. I picked it up because the author and I share the same literary agent and I was curious about it. It is compelling and heartbreaking, and so beautifully written. I’m definitely reading something fluffy after this one though…
Where can we learn more about you?
You can learn more about me and my project seeking happily ever after at www.seekinghappilyeverafter.com.
For an excerpt of Seeking Happily Ever After, please visit The Dating Blog.