Stacie Merrill Blue Sullivan has been one of the oldest members of the RSVP family, providing articles for the magazine since the magazine’s second issue back in 2008. But his work with RSVP is just a part of a distinguished two-decade writing career. He’s also been a regular contributor to a litany of other magazines and periodicals and has interviewed a host of celebrities including Johnny Depp, Jerry Seinfeld, Barbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges.
A Montgomery native now living in Los Angeles, Blue returns to our pages in a new capacity: as a published author. Recently released by Limitless Publishing, Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate This is a dating advice book for single ladies, which offers an entertaining and empowering new slant on the genre. RSVP spoke to Blue about the book’s inspiration, origins and uniquely important message.
RSVP: I think you’re the first staff writer from RSVP to become a published author. How does that feel?
Blue: I feel honored. I’m so proud to have worked for RSVP and so thankful to Kim Traff, RSVP’s owner and publisher. She gave me a chance and has been one of the biggest supporters of my work ever since. She gave me the confidence to write this book and was one of the first people I thought of when it came time to write the acknowledgments page. I honestly don’t think this book could’ve happened without her.
RSVP: How did you come up with the idea for the book?
Blue: It started with an article in RSVP a few years ago. I asked Kim if I could guest author our regular dating advice column [“Singled Out”] for an issue, and she kindly said yes. I enjoyed writing it so much that it prompted me to think more about dating books aimed at women. I looked at the popular books at the time, stuff like Think Like A Man and He’s Just Not That Into You, and I just thought, “they’re going about it all wrong.”
RSVP: How did you think they were getting it wrong?
Blue: Those books were putting the focus on how to “land” a man. I thought about how simplistic, condescending and even chauvinistic that message was. I thought about all the amazing women I knew who had suffered through terrible relationships with undeserving men because they’d been taught all their lives that “single” was a dirty word, especially as you got older.
RSVP: As a single woman, I definitely get tired of people asking me why I’m still single or telling me, “oh don’t worry, you’ll find someone.”
Blue: Exactly. When I was single, I almost never had anyone ask me that question, or suggest that I was somehow less worthy because I was single. So why on Earth should women be held to such a humiliating, dehumanizing standard? It’s honestly shameful to think that idea still survives anywhere in 2015.
RSVP: The press release describes Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate This as a “dating book that isn’t really about dating at all.” What did you mean by that?
Blue: I meant that my book isn’t about how to “get” a guy. At its core, it really isn’t about guys at all. It’s about exploring who you are, why you choose the people you choose, what you want in a relationship and what kind of person can truly make you happy. It’s about putting the focus where it belongs: on you.
RSVP: You quote quite a few scientific studies about relationships in the book. Why was that important?
Blue: When I was doing research for it, I found there is often a big gulf between why we think we make certain choices and what actually can influence them. For instance, a study by Match.com found that women rated men wearing the color red in their profile photos as more attractive, even when compared to other pictures of the exact same men.
RSVP: That makes it sound like we don’t have any control over who we choose.
Blue: Actually, while our initial attraction for someone may be more random than we think, our ability to succeed in relationships isn’t random at all. Relationship success is a skill like any other. It gets better with practice and, most importantly, by learning from our mistakes. As I note in the book, “experiencewithout introspection yields no wisdom.“
RSVP: That’s encouraging to hear. Anything else we should know about your book before we go?
Blue: Well, it’s available on Amazon for about $12. And anyone who buys one is welcome to send it to me in LA (with their address and a few stamps), and I will sign it and mail it back. Or if you just want to chat with me about the book or your own dating war stories, I am happy to do that, too.
Your Ex-Boyfriend Will Hate Thisis available now via Amazon. Blue can be reached through his Twitter at www.twitter.com/bluesullivan1 or email via firstname.lastname@example.org.