Non-Fic Pick: Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney

While those of us here at RT love some good 'ole fiction, we do enjoy the occasional non-fiction read, especially when it's about kissing and boys and love. Obviously. So today I'd like to introduce you to Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date, a hilarious and insightful memoir by the equally hilarious Katie Heaney.

Never Have I Ever is a strikingly profound and brilliant memoir that presents on-point observations about growing up, friendship and the confusing world of dating. Katie writes with such ease and skill that it's hard not to become completely wrapped up in her many relatable adventures. Her wit and intelligence effortlessly place her amongst today's great writers, and readers will be left thinking, "Finally, someone gets it." If you're a fan of Mindy Kaling, the New Adult genre or are simply looking for your next great read, Never Have I Ever is the book for you.

Curious? We've got an exclusive Q&A with Katie!

One of my favorite parts of the book is your dead-on observation that all coffee shop employees are "a little bit hot." You then go on to talk about Sam, a barista who didn't turn out to be such a winner. Why do you think baristas would make great — or terrible — boyfriends?

I guess I would not say that Sam was NOT a winner. I think he WAS a winner and that is why he had a very nice and cool-seeming girlfriend of many years. My role was merely to be an appreciative bystander. Generally though I think a barista makes no better or worse a boyfriend than any other job (well, there are obvious bad jobs for a boyfriend. Like hit man!), except that it's great that he could always probably bring you free coffee.

While the book focuses primarily on your romantic relationships, you discuss your friendships in depth as well. What are some important lessons you've learned about friendship as you and your girlfriends have navigated the dating waters?

Finding friends who want to talk about things to the extent that you want to talk about them, in the way you want to talk about them, has been one of the hardest and most important things in my life. I think my friends and I do talk about guys a lot, and I'm sure that's evident in the book, but it's actually less to do with the guys themselves than with how much joy it brings me to hear what my friends think and say about them. It's about how funny and smart and weird my friends are when they do it. I could talk to them about these things for days and never get tired of it, and it doesn't even matter what the conclusions are, or if there are any, because just talking with them about it (about anything!) is so fun. Finding people like that, and then figuring out together how to give each other advice that's the exact right blend of blind support and actual pragmatic steps you could take, is all that stuff takes a lot of patience. 

Your 'lighthouse' theory is rather genius. For our readers who haven't read the book yet, can you talk a little bit about the theory and how it originated?

Thank you! I really would love it if people adopt that term because I think it's something we all recognize as being true in the world but maybe haven't necessarily had a precise term for. At least not that I have heard. I don't really remember how it came to me; I just knew (my best friend) Rylee was one, and lighthouse was the first word that occurred to me to explain that special unrelenting magnetism she has with guys. 

What's the most ridiculous piece of dating advice you've ever received? The most profound?

I can't think of it in a specific context, but I think that being told to wait to message or call or email the person you like that you're hoping to hear from is ridiculous. That's something I've been told to do plenty of times. This is so stupid and retro, so like, "let the man chase you" type reasoning from a magazine written in the 1920s. I think part of it might come from the idea that it's nice to seem a little cool and a little aloof, and that's probably true, and I don't think it's great to hang around your phone or laptop to respond the instant your crush comes texting or whatever. But I also don't think there's a magic time-delay formula, and I don't think women should feel bad for going after what they want.

I'm having a hard time thinking of profound dating advice. I don't know how much of the advice I've gotten has been all that profound in itself as much as it's been a slow build-up of tiny insane revelations. Like this one time I heard Ezra Koenig (of Vampire Weekend) say on Rookie's "Ask A Grown Man" feature that guys will sometimes bring up other girls they think are cute in conversation WITH the girl they're interested in, as an intentional flirting tactic, to see how she responds. I am still trying to process that one. That is crazy.

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Trust me when I say you should read this book, so do yourself a favor and run to your nearest bookstore or computer and buy a copy pronto. You won't regret it! To learn more about Katie and to read more of her work, visit her official website here and be sure to read her recent essay on "dating karma" for New York magazine!

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