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Memoir of a single woman

It started with a particularly bad date. A date Rachel Machacek had met online, who didn’t crack a smile the whole night and then literally ran away from her without so much as a farewell handshake. Ellen McCarthy writes.

india Updated: Dec 19, 2010 02:43 IST

It started with a particularly bad date. A date Rachel Machacek had met online, who didn’t crack a smile the whole night and then literally ran away from her without so much as a farewell handshake.

The Washington resident was 32 then and had been single for seven years, often spending Saturday nights with her cat, a batch of cookies and a litany of complaints about the difficulties of dating. To get motivated, she immersed herself in the world of dating self-help books and wrote about her experiences for The Washington Post.

A book deal followed, sending Machacek on a year-long adventure to investigate “what happens when you use all the resources you possibly can to meet and date the opposite sex.” The Science of Single, which hits bookstores January 3, is her account of that experiment — a memoir that’s equal parts funny, mortifying and insightful.

The book traces her forays into singles events, online dating, blind dates and dating coaches. Approaching the endeavour with a not-so-scientific method that turns her into a romance-seeking guinea pig, she encounters debacles any veteran singleton will recognise.

In exclusive partnership with The Washington Post.

For more on being single, log on to www.washingtonpost.com