Do I really need to settle for “Mr. Good Enough”? What happens if I do, and somebody better comes along?
Lori Gottlieb answers this question with candor and humor in her best seller, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. She describes so eloquently the same message that I try share with you, my dear friends, each time I sit before my keyboard to write to you.
Her book, which is well researched and supported by personal dating “field research” details why, as women, our odds at finding “The One” slim exponentially as we age. Meanwhile, the cruel joke of the universe is that most men can find a woman to make him happy more often than not no matter his age.
Coincidentally, as I read Ms. Gottlieb’s soul-searching advice, I met a single 45 year-old-lady who could have been any one of the research examples put forth in the book. Mid-forties and never been married, she stated, “I don’t know, Heidi Lee. I tried online dating and none of the men were what I wanted. I suppose I’ve decided to wait for one of my friends to introduce me to a decent guy. I can’t seem to find any good ones on my own.”
Of course, I pulled the copy of Marry Him… that I had just finished reading out of my zebra-striped Miche bag and gifted it to her. She looked to me, offended, as if I were suggesting she should “settle,” and wrinkled her nose as she begrudgingly accepted my offer.
I immediately realized the perceived offense, so I offered her the five lessons I took from Ms. Gottlieb to show her the true spirit of the message. I also pointed out that, now as a happily married woman about to celebrate her second anniversary, so much of the book was relevant to helping me preserve my very own brand of happiness.
Lori Gottlieb interviews professional matchmakers, sociologists, dating coaches, and both married and single women of all ages who are looking for the key not only to finding a man to marry but to finding a man she’ll be glad she married 20 years later. And believe me, I listened to every story, taking a nugget away from each.
My Top 5 Lessons From Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough:
1. Don’t wait. Love doesn’t happen based on your timeline, so don’t turn it down when it follows its own schedule. You may not get a second chance.
2. Appreciate the qualities your date has rather than dwelling on those he doesn’t. You might come to find that the qualities you think you want don’t really matter to sustaining a happy relationship. After all, does being two inches shorter in height than your dream guy mean he won’t be good with your kids?
3. Realize that love is a noun as well as a verb – brilliant insight from the Indian culture of arranged marriage. Love as a noun is that tingly sensation and flighty feeling we get in our beginnings. Love as a verb – action – is appreciating and respecting your match to grow in love.
4. Recognize how lucky you are if your man is “just an 8”. Suppose he’s nearly perfect because he remembers that your childhood pet rabbit Gertrude was named after your favorite Aunt, but because he doesn’t yet understand your passion for Indie Film Festivals or antique pottery, he loses perfection points. The older we get the better that same “8” from our younger years start to look. Yet we may have sought greener pastures because we didn’t share his obsession with his vintage beer bottle collection that his new wife trained him to keep in the garage? Do you see the folly?
5. Settling for Mr. Good Enough doesn’t mean settling. It means finding a person with whom you can be happy – but don’t take my word for it. Look to the expert: Gottlieb is spot-on accurate, and made me laugh throughout her entire journey.