Monday, February 8, 2010

Should we be settling for Mr./Miss Good Enough ?

Time Magazine recently featured an interview with journalist Lori Gottlieb who has a new book entitled Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. (buy it here on Amazon for only $15.17).

While I haven't read the book, the title is seemingly conclusive enough that I don't have to spend money I could otherwise squander on tomorrow's sushi lunch.

I read a little bit about the author - apparently she's (still) single in her 40s, decided to have a child on her own rather than wait (forever) for Mr. Right, and wrote this book as a warning to all young women that Prince Charming is just a Disney fiction (what a novel idea) and that some of those 'toads' we so easily throw back into the pond are actually our best bet at achieving our Happily Ever After's.

The author uses her life as an example of what not to do. She claims that women have a tendency to find flaws with every potential date, and that we should not let this get in the way of finding happiness. (lest we end up lonely and bitter like her) She claims that settling is in fact the answer (perhaps to the shidduch crisis).

I hate the term 'settling'. It's pretty demeaning to all parties involved I think (the person who has settled, and the person who is being settled for). However, according to a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother (I think I'm the only female watching), in every couple there's a 'reacher' and a 'settler' - one person who marries 'up' (I think that could apply physically, intellectually or financially) and another who 'settles' on someone a 'step down'. I don't know how true that is - some spouses are equally ugly.


Bored Jewish Guy said...

It depends what you call settling, sometimes I think it's necessary to give up on some of your crazier expectations especially when it comes to superficial things. Also I believe they show reruns of HIMYM on Lifetime so there must be lots of female viewers.

Tanya said...

I also watch how I emt your mother, so does my sis, make the tally at least 3 females who watch =)
That was a good one, so was Girls vs. suits!

Cheryl said...

+1 watching HIMYM. A good spouse will never reveal if they are the settler! My husband and I had that discussion after watching the episode and neither 1 of us would give in (& that's how it should be!) If you've settled at all (maybe on looks), hopefully you believe that you're the reacher when it comes to your spouses midot.
What may immediately (1st date) feel like settling, may not feel the same way after a few dates and you get to know the person.
Settling isn't the answer to the shidduch crisis but giving guys/girls more of a chance might help the problem.

Heshy Fried said...

Miss Maidel I am going to let you in on a blogger to blogger secret. Any book you want you can get for FREE - you see bloggers can merely contact the authors publicist and say you are interested in reviewing a copy and walla - free books. After doing this a few times, publishing houses will just send you random books. Now go and get some free books, especially this one.

%Shocked% said...

I disagree completely that "settling" is demeaning. And I think that this author is completely correct in saying that it's because people are so picky and anal-retentive about qualities that their perfect spouse must have that is the problem. "Settling" is something you're going to have to do anyway once you're married, no? That's one of the most important, and difficult, aspects of marriage. What's the point in delaying the inevitable?

I do agree with BJG that it depends on what the factor is that you're being asked to compromise on. Obviously there will be some things that a person is unwilling to negotiate, there has to be, but there are more silly "flaws" in people than valid ones.

Ben said...

I think the key is to get to a point where you don't feel like you are settling because the positives are so amazing.