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Rilù
Writer, book blogger, tea drinker, late night snacker.
Professional cryer who spends way too much time online, eating books for breakfast.

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Sicily, Italy

Ghosted - Dating & Other Paramoural Experiences by Jana Eisenstein

 

I had proven that I could do it all alone, but I didn't want to anymore.

When I decided to work with Jana on a review for her book, I immediately felt like it was something I would enjoy. I mean, as a relationships writer, I knew this book was for me.

I have written a lot about past relationships in a funny relatable way but there was something that I was missing: I didn't have any experience in the "ghosting" world so when this book fell on my lap, I grabbed it faster than Barry Allen.

The only thing that worried me was the "memoir" factor and my inability to judge peoples' lives, that is why you rarely see me reviewing those books on this blog. 
And since it's a memoir about someone else's dating life, who am I to jump to conclusions? To give my stamp of approval or a medal for screwing up?

What I didn't expect though, was to find pieces of myself in almost every story of Jana's dating life and personal one.

Jana is in her thirties and still single, and as almost every single woman that age and with a love-shaped hole in their chest, she dates. A lot. 
If she starts as a very self-assured woman who finds men to bring home at bars and pubs, she becomes almost the opposite when she starts falling into an ED rabbit hole that will see her scared, unsure of herself and hiding behind dating apps, the easier way, for her, to find someone to hang out with.

Hidden behind a phone screen, it's very easy to sound sure and like you've got your shit together. It's also easier to be someone you're not. Like a psychopath. 
She meets interesting men, that's for sure. Interesting though, often means weird and Jana knows that very well. 

She starts short-term relationships with a man only interested in bathing with her, one who only wants to suck her toes (I'm still trying not to gag at the thought of it) and men who are very good at disappearing.

Whenever she feels like she may have found THE ONE, this guy suddenly becomes a ghost and he's either someone else entirely, hiding behind a facade or just someone who is only interested in messing with people. This sends Jana into a spiral of self-doubt and loneliness.
After failing to connect with so many different types of men, I began to seriously wonder if I had the ability to attract love at all.

What really grabbed my attention - apart from a very poorly picked selection of men (like, seriously, are they all like this?) - is the importance of friendships and how they never change, even as they grow up, the love is still there. They might have different lives and different issues to think about, priorities are definitely changed but the affection, the being there for each other, it's still there. And that's probably what keeps Jana grounded.

This is a very lady-led story. That's what I really liked about it. Women taking the lead and being the main characters of their lives. Women enjoying each other's company. Women deciding to have sex just for fun or not have it at all. Women exploring their sexuality without any strings attached, just enjoying themselves in the moment.

It's sad how rarely we can read about it and how refreshing it all sounds.

What I had a hard time digesting was Jana's thoughts around life without parties and sex, like she tries really hard to be the fun one because life without drinking and flirting and sex is just plain boring and yeah, sometimes it is but not for everyone. 

I genuinely think you can have a fun life without drinking every time you hit the pub but that is very personal and if I feel like I'm no one to judge other peoples' lives and choices, I felt a bit too judge by her in those moments.
After a year of pretending to be outgoing, spontaneous, and sexy, my true nature - the self-respecting, rule-abiding introvert within - was trying to assert herself. And I did everything I could to destroy her.

But overall it was a very fun read, a familiarity in the writing style, that element of relatability that I really enjoyed, especially as an (almost) 30-year-old who is struggling with ED and has married friends with kids and sometimes wonders if life will get any better than this and is scared shitless of being forever alone. 

I felt seen and understood. Like we're in this together and that yes, life will get better and yes, we got each other's back.
For some reason, my many accomplishments, all hard-earned and self-won, didn't seem to carry the same weight as those traditional milestones reached by so many others my age: marriage, children, home ownership, a subscription to the Economist. I was fiercely independent, which felt alarmingly similar to being completely alone.


 


Ghosted 

by Jana Eisenstein 

Fueled by cheap vodka and low standards in her twenties, Jana naively assumes that “happily ever after” is just a dark, sweaty nightclub away. 

In this memoir, Jana meets men. A lot of men — at bars, online, on New York rooftops. But with every face-licker, toe-sucker, and internet creep who just wants to bathe with her, it becomes clearer that hers is a ghost story, not the fairy tale she expected. Still single in her thirties, with the specter of loneliness looming, she realizes she’ll need to adjust her approach to dating and her relationship with herself, or risk being haunted by the mistakes of her dating past, and a future of shirtless bathroom selfies. 

Though Ghosted by Jana Eisenstein depicts the struggle to find lasting love in a world where romantic connections are ephemeral and difficult to conjure, at its heart, it’s a story about learning to accept that when it comes to dating, there are scarier fates than ending up alone.

Get your copy here.

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