Her piece, which referenced psychologist Arthur Aron’s “36 Questions That Lead to Love,” went viral, and an equally popular TED Talk soon followed.Last month, she published her first book, about—you guessed it—love.I decided to do some research—that’s what I was teaching my students to do, so it seemed like a logical step—and once I started, I thought, WHEN I STARTED THE BOOK, I was still with Kevin, my ex.I remember telling a friend of mine, “You know, maybe I’m writing this book because I’m trying to figure out what to do with my own relationship.” And she was like, “Yeah, I thought that was the point. ” I HAD A BLOG before Kevin and I broke up, and kept blogging through that process, and continued as I got into dating.Previously, I wrote everything under a pseudonym—Mandy Len, my first name and my middle name—which offered some privacy, mainly for my family.
I WENT TO A TINY LIBERAL ARTS school for college, and majored in English.
They would try and challenge me, and I had to stand up to them and be like, “No, I’m not going to change your grade.” I felt self-conscious, but I knew I couldn’t be meek.
I was actually proud of getting my first negative reviews on student evaluations.
I think some people thought it was “interesting,” and I probably lost out on some second dates because of it.
I don’t know that anybody could be more great about it than Mark, my current boyfriend. Every time I write anything about him, I run it by him, and he’s never asked me to change anything. I make sure not to write about something that would be hard on the relationship. I WAS VERY CONCERNED about the book’s ending not being like, “I was in a bad relationship, and now I’m in a good one! ” Because so often the happy endings to women’s stories are about how they find the person they’re going to spend their life with, and I didn’t want to reinforce the same narratives I was questioning.