More And More Men Are Settling For Ms. Good Enough


This week, my friend Arielle Ford, author of The Soulmate Secret, sent me a link to a Daily Beast article. The author of the article interviewed anthropologist Helen Fisher, PhD, of Rutgers. (Fisher has written five books and conducted extensive research on the evolution and future of human sex, love, marriage, gender differences in the brain and how your personality type shapes who you are and who you love. Her latest is Why Him? Why Her?: How to Find and Keep Lasting Love.) Fisher’s latest study is of singles in America.

Fisher explains it this way. “We have a stereotype in this culture that it’s men who are the ones who don’t want to commit, who don’t want to settle down, who are the scarce resources. But in fact, it’s the opposite.”

There’s an old adage: a woman who can’t find a man is a spinster; a man who doesn’t want a wife is the envy of all his friends. Fisher says “We have a stereotype in this culture that it’s men who are the ones who don’t want to commit, who don’t want to settle down, who are the scarce resources. But in fact, it’s the opposite.”

There’s an old adage: a woman who can’t find a man is a spinster; a man who doesn’t want a wife is the envy of all his friends.

Rather than living up to the stereotype of commitment-phobic bachelors, modern men reported that they fell in love just as often as women, and were just as likely to believe that marriage is “forever.”

The study found that 31 percent of adult men said they’d commit to a person they were not in love with –- as long as as she had all the other attributes they were looking for in a mate —- and 21 percent said they’d commit under those same circumstances to somebody they weren’t sexually attracted to. The equivalent numbers for women were far lower.

“There’s this transformation going on,” says Tom Matlack, co-founder of The Good Men Project, which aims to discuss and debunk modern male stereotypes. “It’s kind of like feminism on its head: for years, women were trying to earn the right to get out of the house, and here are all these men dying to get back into [it].”

Said one study participant, “We all marry our second or third or fourth best choice. It’s just life.”

This article echoes Lori Gottlieb’s Atlantic article-turned-bestseller, Marry Him! The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. In it, Gottlieb counseled women to forget the search for a mythical soulmate and nab a good man who wants to be a husband and father (lest they end up, like Gottlieb herself, alone and regretful at 40).

Read the article here. As always, I’d like you know what you think.

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Comments:

  1. 91
    Jeannie

    hmmm… I suspect that “Helen” is THE HELEN & I 1st got into E.P. years ago & have been a big fan of yours, bought all your books…my question to Helen is: I posted my experience earlier in this thread…WHY? I understand that when a woman is above average in looks ESP in middle age, that female relational aggression comes into play BUT why would men,particularly on dating sites actively reject her EVEN AFTER they find her to be polite & kind, etc? I don’t think it is an evolutionary thing, but I could be wrong?

    1. 91.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      It’s not THE HELEN. And your question has nothing to do with evolutionary biology. Just because you’re pretty, polite and kind doesn’t mean men will enjoy your company.

  2. 92
    Debbie

    Hmm, I’ve been with someone since I was 18 and now at 59 am by myself after a divorce and my husband’s passing.  I’ve been in an okay, love for a while and tolerable relationship and then a fantastic relationship that was once in a lifetime.  At this point am not settling for anything less than fantastic again!!  I want to be with someone I’m clicking on all cylinders with.  I’m not needy, am self-sufficient and not looking for someone to take care of me.  I would rather be alone and happy than married and miserable or settling for less than what I want.  There are plenty of guys to date if I just want a friendship or companionship now and then.  Just my opinion.  There are people who will settle for just companionship but that’s not me.
     

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