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  • By Dana Casadei

Sabrina Must

Most people have at least some experience in dating and falling in love. But what’s it like today, when people are trying to figure out themselves and what they want, and how to create an intriguing profile for people to swipe right on?

Enter Sabrina Must’s new book, “A Terrible Dater.” Must described the book – which was recently, and appropriately, dropped on Valentine’s Day – as one that follows her own love life, the good, the bad, and the conversations she’s taken screenshots of and sent to her girlfriends. It also touches on what we are taught, and not taught, as kids about dating and how that plays in our lives today.

“I really want people, even those who aren’t going through it right now, to read it and relate, and go, ‘OK, I’m not the only crazy one here,’” she said.

Must knows the dating terrain now can be a minefield, and that she isn’t the best dater.

When asked what makes her a terrible dater, she laughed and said she doesn’t think she’s always terrible – but her friends do.

“I’ve never really played the game,” Must said. “I’ve always been too up front...I just say the wrong thing, I don’t play it cool. It is what it is though and I’m OK with that. It’s funny and relatable.”

The book is relatable to anyone who has dated in the last 20 years.

One time, for example, she swiped right on a guy who only had group photos on his profile. When she asked which one he was, he replied the one with brown hair. They all had brown hair. Naturally, he then got offended, and said some things one would probably never say in person.

Readers were able to share their own stories with Must when she came home to Michigan, where she had a book release event at Birmingham’s Dick O’ Dows on February 21.

“The event more than anything is just a love fest,” she said.

And one that hopefully sparked a conversation and let others know they aren’t alone, much like Must’s first book, “Must Girls Love,” a memoir she wrote as a way to process her older sister’s suicide.

Anyone who read that or follows her blog – where she writes about everything from travel and wellness to grief and dating – knows Must is frank and raw and honest in her work.

Must said as cheesy as it sounds, she doesn’t know how to not write that way. Plus, people relate to that far more when you humanize the experience, she notes, much like with “A Terrible Dater.”

Must – a Cranbrook Kingswood grad who grew up in Bloomfield Township but who currently lives in San Diego where she not only writes but is also a public speaker and guidance coach for budding authors – hopes her honesty in her latest book leaves people feeling empowered by their own decisions, and understand they don’t have to follow all the advice they receive, especially the unsolicited. Or be on a set timeline for when they should do things like get married.

“I think the takeaway more than anything is just not to feel like anything is wrong with you, we’re all going through the same thing,” Must said. “If people really just followed what works for them, I think people would have more success.

“You don’t have to be aggressive about dating, but I think there’s something to be said on following your heart.”

Photo: Monni Must

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