Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover – In Defense of “Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough” by Lori Gottlieb

Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a single woman who is offended by the mere title of Lori Gottlieb’s new book, “Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough.” And if ‘settling’ was what this book was about, I wouldn’t blame you one bit.

The words “Marry Him” may irk you if you don’t wish to be married. The word “settling” has an inherently negative connotation. And all of us would agree that if you “settle” on the wrong man, you’re consigning yourself to a life of silent misery.

Thank god that’s not what this book is about.

In fact, it’s about how to find true love (including physical attraction, passion, and deep compatibility) by looking at what’s important in a long-term marriage, and letting go of the stuff that isn’t. And it’s about how to tell the difference, so you can marry the RIGHT guy for the RIGHT reasons.

Declaring that “Marry Him” is misogynist, misguided, stupid, wrong, or pathetic without reading it is the equivalent of thinking that Obamacare includes “death panels.”

You’d never know this if you were to Google Lori Gottlieb. In fact, from the press you may have read, you would have no idea what “Marry Him” is actually about. Posts are being written based exclusively on the title, with absolutely no care taken to look inside Gottlieb’s tome to see what she has to say.

Thankfully, I’m here to set the record straight for you, and for anyone else on the Internet who wants to jump to conclusions about this eye-opening and important new book. I’m doing this because if you want to find love, this book could change your life.

Declaring that “Marry Him” is misogynist, misguided, stupid, wrong, or pathetic without reading it is the equivalent of thinking that Obamacare includes “death panels.” In other words, reactionary critics have made a patently false claim that, once made, has to be vigorously defended against, even though it has no basis in truth. And it’s a shame, because Gottlieb’s book is an absolute gem.

The funny thing is, despite all the misguided attacks on Gottlieb, Gottlieb’s book doesn’t emphasize her opinion, per se. Like a sociologist trying to discern the truth, she has interviewed dozens of the country’s most respected experts in putting together “Marry Him.”

Gottlieb is a well-regarded journalist who has compiled the collective wisdom of psychologists, researchers, scientists, couple therapists, matchmakers, dating coaches, professors, clergy and married people, all filtered through the prism of this universal question: Why hasn’t an incredible catch like me found a husband?

If you have asked yourself that very question, you need to pick up this book. However, in case you’re still skeptical, I’ve compiled a list of misconceptions that you probably have about “Marry Him”, along with the truth about the contents of the book:

Issue #1 with “Marry Him “I will NOT settle on anyone. I would rather be alone than to settle!”

All she says is that if you’re holding out for a “10″ in each area, you may find that you’ve missed the boat,and that the men available to you later on may even be MORE of a compromise.

Gottlieb completely agrees with you! Yes, the word in the book title is “settle.” However, it’s the wrong word to describe what the author means, and is probably a conscious decision by the publisher to provoke debate. The real word that Gottlieb means is “compromise” (which you will see when you read the book). And I think we can all agree that people who refuse to compromise in relationships will have a hard time forging a long-term partnership.

At NO point does Gottlieb conclude that you should go your entire life without attraction, humor, and intellectual stimulation. All she says is that if you’re holding out for a “10″ in each area, you may find that you’ve missed the boat,and that the men available to you later on may even be MORE of a compromise. This is why she wrote “Marry Him.”

Her hope was to help smart, strong, successful women avoid falling into the same exact trap as she did: always going after a certain “type,” always putting butterflies above compatibility instead of looking for a healthy balance of both, believing that there’s always a better dating option around the corner, not fully understanding what marriage is truly about, etc. Frankly, I’m not sure what there is to disagree with.

Issue #2 with “Marry Him” “If I compromise then I will never feel love.”

This is not the message of the book at all. The message is that there’s a HUGE difference between settling down on a healthy, nurturing, comfortable, fun relationship and relegating yourself to an awful, boring, toxic partnership. Thus, Gottlieb’s message isn’t to “settle” on the latter, but to hold onto the former. She’s saying that we need both passion and compatibility, and that compatibility isn’t about whether you both like “The Daily Show” or are really into rollerblading.

It’s about whether you’re compatible on the day-to-day things that make a marriage work. From the book: “Most people don’t go into marriage thinking they’re settling. Most go into marriage believing that they’ve found The One. I doubt that the divorce rate is high because the people who supposedly settled are calling it quits. More likely, the divorce rate is high because the people who thought they were madly in love are realizing that they’d been looking for the wrong qualities in a spouse.”

…we need both passion and compatibility, and that compatibility isn’t about whether you both like “The Daily Show” or are really into rollerblading.

This is a very wise quote. Most people marry for passion, it’s that FEELING that gets them all the way down the aisle. What these chemistry-driven people often haven’t considered is what a 40 year marriage is all about: trust, compatibility, compromise, nurturing, selflessness. This is not to say that there’s NO passion, she’s saying that while passion has to be there, it may be wise to start valuing these other qualities at a younger age. One can very much be in love without feeling giddy and weak-kneed, and if you hold out for that feeling, you may just never get married.

Issue #3 with “Marry Him” “Gottlieb says that everyone MUST have a husband.”

Actually, she doesn’t. Not once. What she is saying is this: IF you want a husband and IF you want your own biological children, you might want to make healthier relationship decisions when you’re 30, because there are generally fewer (and lesser) dating options when you’re 40. That’s all.

It is not a screed against independent women who would rather be alone, focus on career, travel, hang out with friends, nieces, and nephews. If that’s what you want, God bless you! “Marry Him” is, by its very nature, for women who WANT to get married. That is assumed. It is not assumed that YOU want to get married. And if YOU don’t want to get married, it shouldn’t be at all threatening that there’s a book for women who really DO want to get married. Which is why any criticism on this point remains so specious.

Gottlieb’s book is for young women who want to go through life with a husband and could stand to learn from the wisdom she gathers from experts across the country. It is not for women who have no interest in this message. Getting upset that this book exists is as silly as getting upset that there’s a book about car repair when you personally don’t drive a car. It doesn’t threaten your world view at all, so give it a rest.

Getting upset that this book exists is as silly as getting upset that there’s a book about car repair when you personally don’t drive a car.

She’s not saying women need a husband. She’s not even saying she needs a husband. She’s saying she WANTS a husband, and that if you do, too, here’s some very valuable information she’s learned, both as a journalist, and as a single woman who realizes she made some mistakes. Someone out there wants what Gottlieb wants. In fact, many people do. This book is for THEM.

Issue #4 with “Marry Him” “Passion is the most important thing to me and I refuse to spend my life without it.”

Fair enough. Just know that in ANY relationship, there’s a trade-off between passion and comfort. Elizabeth Gilbert of “Eat, Pray, Love” fame just mentioned this in her new book, “Committed”. She cites a statistic that people who marry for being ‘in love’ get divorced MORE than people who marry for practical reasons. It’s not romantic to say this, but it’s reality. The fact is that most “passionistas” have a false set of EXPECTATIONS about what marriage REALLY is. Ask any married couple. It’s a perpetual compromise that millions choose to make instead of going at it alone.

So if you have found that in EVERY passionate relationship you’ve ever had that the man was selfish or volatile or uncommitted, guess what? That’s often what comes with the territory. Just look at your own life. If you want the building blocks of a 40 year relationship, you may have to trade off a little excitement for a little bit of safety and comfort. Nobody’s saying you have to give up ALL excitement. Once again, giving up on a “10″ passion doesn’t mean NO passion. It means that you have enough attraction to sustain a relationship, you have a healthy sex life, and you very much enjoy the 90% of the rest of your lives that doesn’t revolve around sex.

Issue #5 with “Marry Him” “Gottlieb slams feminism, and I’m a feminist, therefore I don’t like Gottlieb’s message.”

What she does say is that the “never settle/never compromise” attitude espoused by women in the name of empowerment has created a dilemma for marriage minded women.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Gottlieb says quite clearly in the book that feminism isn’t the problem at all. The problem, she says, is that many women (herself included) MISINTERPRETED feminism to be about not compromising in any area of women’s lives, including the choice of spouse. As she writes in the book — “It’s not feminism, per se, after all feminism never published a dating manual.”

At no point does Gottlieb slam the equality achieved by feminists on behalf of all women. Nor does she say that women need men, need to be married, should sacrifice their independence or any of the other reactionary bunk that you may have assumed by reading blogs from people who couldn’t get past the title of “Marry Him”. What she does say is that the “never settle/never compromise” attitude espoused by women in the name of empowerment has created a dilemma for marriage minded women.

Namely, that attempting to “have it all” can be dangerous if misinterpreted, and if you want both the perfect career and the perfect family, there are tradeoffs and compromises to be made. That doesn’t mean you “settled”, it just means that life is complicated and nothing in life, not our friends, not our jobs, not our families, and not our spouses (oh, and not ourselves), is perfect.

Gottlieb never suggests that rolling back the clock is the answer, this should be clear, as the author is the consummate educated career woman. But in Gottlieb’s blind confidence that she could and should “have it all,” she realizes now that she passed up several men who would have made her quite happy, and finds herself wondering what she could have done different. There is nothing revolutionary or subversive about this. Gottlieb’s assertion that young women need to consider their life-choices and tradeoffs at a younger age is good, practical advice for women who have the same goals as she does: husband and (possibly) biological children.

Issue #6 with “Marry Him” “The author is pathetic and lonely and is speaking only for herself.”

…she realizes now that she passed up several men who would have made her quite happy, and finds herself wondering what she could have done different.

As someone who has known Lori Gottlieb casually over the years, I will say this. She’s not pathetic. She’s not speaking only for herself. Millions of women have the same desires, questions and frustrations hanging over them like a black cloud.

Is she lonely? Probably.

Then again, she’s no lonelier than anyone else who wants to go through life with a partner and doesn’t have one. Which is to say that Gottlieb is not all that different than you. She’s bright and driven. She’s both confident and insecure. She wants to live a fulfilling life. She’s vulnerable and honest, and brave enough to put herself out there and say things a lot of us wouldn’t admit in public. She never, ever wanted to settle, and she’s not telling you to do anything other than look at what makes for happy long-term marriages, open your heart to more possibilities, and then decide how you want to live your life. And if what you desire is to be in a loving and passionate but realistic marriage with a great guy, you truly can have it all.

From her own relatable confusion came the book, “Marry Him.” The opinions inside are not so much Gottlieb’s but those of others who specialize in relationships, myself included. But really, Gottlieb is just a surrogate for you, the reader, who may be struggling with the exact same issues: How much does one compromise? How do you know when it’s right? What should I look for in a long-term life partner, given my own life goals? So do yourself a favor.

Gottlieb is just a surrogate for you, the reader, who may be struggling with the exact same issues.

Don’t judge a book by its cover. If you do, you’ll be missing out on the amazing qualities that lie just beneath the surface. Pick up a copy of “Marry Him” and then let me know what you think. The book is coming out tomorrow and Lori will be on the Today Show to discuss it in the morning. I will also be attending both of her book signings in Los Angeles, if you want to come by and say hi.

Warmest wishes and many thanks.

Evan Marc Katz

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Lisa

    I haven’t read this book, but I’ve read a lot about it and it’s already changed my way of thinking. I’m 27 and not married but I would like to be one day. I have a habit of writing men off after the first day if I don’t feel that “connection”, even if they seem like good guys who are interested in me. I think it’s time I started giving things more of a chance to develop, rather than writing it off after one 2 hour date. Not to say that I would continue to see someone if I’m absolutely not attracted to them either physically or emotionally, but just give things more of a chance. I’m still pretty young so I might have a bit more time to work with then other women, but I’m glad I’m coming to this realization now, rather then 10 years down the line. It’s not about “settling”, it’s about “compromising”…there’s a big difference and I agree with the theory.

  2. 2
    Honey

    Jake is my first real “long-term” relationship and now that we’ve been together 4 years, I can say that I have compromised on something every single day. But he also makes me happy and fulfilled in a way I’ve never been. So how could I resent the compromise that makes the happiness possible?

  3. 3
    Katherine

    the reason she entitled the book that way was to stir controversy – even if its negative, it catches attention and it sells.

  4. 4
    Amanda

    Amazon just emailed me saying my book has shipped! I cannot wait to read this. She was featured in an article in Elle or Marie Claire recently speaking about the book and her own life and it seems right on the money. Life is not a fairy tale so there’s no use waiting for Prince Charming to show up. Looking at the relationships around me, I think it’s pretty easy to see compromise is what makes a relationship work and no one (not even me!) is perfect. Thanks for promoting what I’m sure will be a great read!

  5. 5
    Angela Crisp

    Unfortunately, the title of this book really turns me off. If it is a conscious decision on the part of the author, I assume she means me, lol. It sounds like something every divorce lawyer would cheer. If it is about all those ingredients that keep people together, it sounds like settling down because you are tired. I am 44 years old, never married, and completely happy dating. If something does not work out, at least I have never landed in divorce court. I have had some wonderful, and fulfilling relationships along this path. I would never encourage someone to settle, rather to understand that no one is perfect, myself included. Every man I have been with has taught me something, most have taught me the most important lessons I have ever learned with no tuition to burden me later. Moving on is always painful, but so are a lot of other aspects of life. If this author wants me to believe something else about the work, a better title would help. Most of the reviews on the internet seem to have read the work. I, for one, don’t need to compromise with a man, I need better understanding, which is not compromise at all, it is intimacy. He never does anything for me, I haven’t needed to do for him on some other level. That’s what works for me, not simple accommodation which is what this book seems to promote to its readers, that’s where communication matters, not what a text purports to promote on its face. I also think the men I have been with would be insulted by the idea I “settled” for them rather than desiring them, regardless of the flaws that we all possess. I am a happy single, and actively dating. No problem. I like men, they are quite fun, and not a problem at all. I feel no pressure to conform to the 1.8 divorces per person of the culture. Let’s get happy here, and quit following canned advice. I like this blog when it responds to individuals.

  6. 6
    Evan Marc Katz

    I can’t speak for the author, but I think the title was the publisher’s idea. And, once again, the author doesn’t advocate a loveless marriage and future divorce. Perhaps you’ll read it, Angela, and let me know personally what you think. Thanks for your thoughts.

  7. 7
    Steve

    This recurring conversation wouldn’t happen if people didn’t translate

    “Do not have perfectionist, unrealistic and or unlikely lists of demands”

    Into:

    “Settle for a loveless, passionless relationship with George Costanza”

  8. 8
    Joe

    I thought this book was very common sense. In fact, I’m actually surprised that many women are upset about the topic, especially those who want children. I’m sure Angela is happy but at 44 she’s probably not going to have biological kids. I have met many women who want to get married by 25 or 30 just so they can have kids before they get too old. Men can afford to wait, but if you don’t want kids then don’t get married. I feel sad for Gottlieb because she was so focused on perfection and even had a child with a faceless donor, that she got the perfect man seed without actually learning to compromise at all.

  9. 9
    sayanta

    hey- at least George would keep you laughing.

  10. 10
    InaccessibleRail

    I’m excited about this book. In fact, a lot of my personal experience bears it out.
    When I first read the preceding article of that name, I was repulsed.
    And then I met the love of my life. He made me feel things I’d never thought possible, and we connected on a hitherto unimaginable, cosmic level. We had terrific sex.
    But after a time, it became clear to me that what I thought was Mr. Right was also Mr. Always Right. He was in addition impossibily commitmentphobic. He was faithful, attentive, and very romantic, but wouldn’t budge on the marriage issue.
    These days, I think maybe I dodged a bullet. He’s still in my circle of friends, and I run into him occasionally. Now that I’m no longer passionately consumed with him, it’s hard to imagine how we could have gone the distance.
    It would have been so easy for us to get married. We’d been together over a year. We had a ton in common, and he was very passionate about me. We never fought- but later I realized it was because I usually just let him have his way. Looking back, I made very few of the decisions. If he hadn’t had bad childhood experiences that led to him being anti-marriage, I could have, blinded by passion, very easily walked into an unhappy marriage with this man.
    Throughout my whole experience with Mr. Always Right, my best friend, Mr. Unexciting, was there. He stayed up with me and listened to me whine and cry about how Mr. Always Right didn’t love me enough to marry me. And if he loved me, wouldn’t he marry me? And should I give him an ultimatum? Should I move in? I did this for MONTHS. He was always there, like he always had been.
    My relationship with Mr. AR exploded spectacularly around Christmastime. We exchanged presents anyways, because we’d already bought them. He got me books.
    A few days later, on Christmas Day, Mr. Unexciting drove five hours in a blizzard to give me my Christmas present. I realized that day that he was in love with me. And had been for a long time. I’d never thought twice about him, because I didn’t feel the butterflies, the weak knees. I didn’t get that weird and intoxicating “we knew each other in a past life” vibe.
    But you know what? I’ve gradually become ok with that. He pursued me relentlessly after the breakup, and finally I gave in because frankly, I ran out of reasons not to.
    I’m really surprised how happy I am these days. With him, it’s a quiet sort of happy.
    One of these days, Mr. Unexciting will ask me to marry him. I know this as sure as I know the sun will rise tomorrow, and when he does, I’ll say yes.
    Does this mean I’m settling? Maybe to some people. It’ll never be as exciting or passionate as it was with Mr. AR. But every relationship that’s had that ridiculous amount of passion has left many other things to be desired. IMO, passion doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t be together, but it does a great job of obscuring when you SHOULDN’T.
    When I walk down the aisle, it will be with eyes wide open, toward a man who, despite the fact that he looks nothing like Prince Charming, cared enough about me to wait for me, pursue me, and want a life with me. YMMV, but I’m with Gottlieb 100% on this one.

    tl;dr: It’s not an issue of stopping waiting for Mr. Perfect and acquiescing to the first warm body who approaches you with something shiny. It’s about realizing that passion is a poor indicator of compatibility. If you’ve got to view it as settling, just remember this: winding up with a decently attractive man who will be a great father, who will work for an honest day’s living and who loves you very much is one hell of a silver medal.

  11. 11
    Brenda

    Love the above post – Mr. Unexciting sounds very exciting in terms of a mate! My passion-filled relationships, where I would have the nervous/butterflies in my stomach symptoms, never went anywhere so I am looking for a man who will be there for me in a million different ways………..

    I just ordered the book through amazon.com – thanks to Evan, I have started to look way beyond the “hot” men and for the real substance………..men I would not have normally given much attention to. I find this new “type” of man I am dating to be much more “marriagable”, which is my relationship goal……..

  12. 12
    Karl R

    InaccessibleRail said: (#10)
    “passion doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t be together, but it does a great job of obscuring when you SHOULDN’T.”

    Evan, you might want to file this one away in your list of great quotes.

    Angela Crisp said: (#5)
    “I, for one, don’t need to compromise with a man,”

    I agree that you can continue to live a happy and fulfilling life without a man.

    But if you want a long-term relationship, compromise will have to be part of it. When you and your boyfriend disagree, you need to be able to compromise. If not, any little disagreement becomes a dealbreaker (if he is also uncompromising). The other possibility is that he gives in and does things your way every single time.

    Think about how distasteful that kind of relationship would be if you were the one giving in every single time. That’s exactly how unappealing that situation is for a man when it’s reversed.

  13. 13
    Helen

    Nothing at all against men… but shouldn’t a similar book be written for men with the title “Marry Her”?

    From where I sit and observe, it’s all my girlfriends who are waiting for their boyfriends to propose. It’s my girlfriends who have already decided that they’re happy with their men just as they are – no need to change anything, no need to “trade up.” Instead, it’s the men who hem and haw about whether their girlfriends are really the “right one.”

    All that Gottlieb says is true for men, is true for women too. We’ll never be “perfect.” We’ll never be “just right.” But if we love you and make you basically happy and comfortable, and you love us in return… well, why not?

  14. 14
    Anisa

    @ Helen # 13
    Nothing at all against men ….. but they don’t buy books for themselves and they don’t read books. Women do. Men are acting and re-acting on life.
    No words for them but actions.
    Your girlfriends they need to make very clear (by actions, but not ultimatums!) that it’s very important for them to marry….and otherwise they will move on. Don’t be passive and act on your feelings and desires. The girlfriends are making their men happy and comfortable. Are their men making them happy and comfortable?
    That is the only way their boyfriends will ……”realise”…… If their boyfriends let them walk away…. than the love isn’t reciprocal….. very simple principle, very difficult to practice but very true. A loving man will not make his woman walk away from him.

    And:
    There are books written about this issue :-)

  15. 15
    Selena

    Gotta wonder if the publisher’s had chosen a less offensive title they would sell more books. As it stands, many women who might benefit from the insights of the author (what ‘settling’ is and what it isn’t) probably won’t bother with it.

    Good review Evan.

  16. 16
    JerseyGirl

    Never read the book but I can see the common sense in it. However, how many women honestly are holding out for Mr.Perfect? Are women marrying later in life? Yes. But does that have to do with only women’s choices or the fact that men today are also less likely to settle down? I don’t think the amount of women today that aren’t married and childless is only due to the fact that they won’t settle.

    I think this book would fair better if it was advice on why people shouldn’t hold out for perfection. This is not a character trait prone to only women. Yes women buy self help books more but if the book had been geared to people in general, women still would have bought it.

    I also think the book purposely takes an offensive stance, after all that sells and makes people talk. So it’s pretty responable to see why it put some women on the defense. The title is meant to do just that and it’s accomplished it task. I think it’s also had alot of men in turn say something along the lines of “look, see, look what happens when you women wait to long. You get old and no one wants you. Oh well on you. ” A sort of backhanded glee it seems, especially when men proudly state how *they* can wait all they want. Interesting though how men want to wait but women to settle down as soon as they are legal.

    Overall though I don’t disagree with the basic message of the book. But just like the books before it, IE “He’s Just Not That Into You” , and other, it seems like the industry feeds off of shaming women a bit and playing on their insecurities. And apparently enough women eat it up to make these things sell. Masochits much ladies. :)

  17. 17
    Diana

    Helen, I was thinking something similar. There are just as many men focused solely on being swept away in a flood of passion and nothing else. They do not see the women that would make great wives, partners and mothers, assuming that is what they are hoping to find. I understand why so much of this material is aimed at women, but sometimes I grow weary of it. How can a woman seriously consider the material in Lisa’s book and change her views and actions, if the men she meets are not doing the same?

    As for committment phoebic men, I recently read an interesting article that basically tied a man’s view of commitment, including marriage to the kind of environment he was raised in as a child. Of course, everything is objective.

    Women in long term relationships hoping and pining away for the day when their special guy will commit to marriage need to be ready and above all, strong, to take the road that will lead them to the truth. And if that truth involves heartbreak, then they will be free to find a man who will not only want to commit, but will commit.

    I have a very good friend who dated a man for several years. They were crazy about each other. She wanted to get married and he hemmed and hawed for what felt like forever. She finally told him that she was moving on with her life, with or without him. She moved to another state, started a fantastic new job, and left her dear love behind. What do you think happened? After a few months without her, and realizing that as painful as it was for her to leave him, she had the strength and the fortitude to live a life without him, he realized how much he didn’t want to lose her forever and they have now been married for a number of years in a beautiful house they remodeled together.

    Sometimes you have to risk everything in order to have it all.

  18. 18
    Selena

    I caught Ms. Gottlieb’s clip on “The Today Show” this morning and thought she got the point across rather well considering the brevity of the interview. Mostly how it was about being picky, concentrating on the superficial traits opposed to the ones desired for long lasting happy relationship. She said when interviewed, men would come up with 3 reasons they wouldn’t give a woman a second date – women would come up with 300 for a man!

    It was also amusing when she explained at one time she wouldn’t go out with a guy simply if he was named “Sheldon.” If someone has such* high standards* they are finding they can never connect with anyone, this might be a worthwhile read.

  19. 19
    Diana

    I think a better word is subjective; not objective. I need my morning fuel. :)

  20. 20
    Jennifer

    Great review Evan.

    While I know some women like this exist, I have a hard time believing that there are hordes of women out there that will pass up an otherwise fabulous man because he’s not fluent in French, went to Princeton instead of Yale or some other easily remedied/not crucial to day-to-day life issue. Maybe this is why some women are having such strong negative reactions without even reading the book- because they are not those kinds of women and struggle with the concept that women like that exist.

  21. 22
    Jenny

    @ Angela Crisp #5,
    the book isn’t for you – at your age, you probably won’t get to have a biological kid. If you do want to have a biological kid in a wedlock, then you are exactly what the book is talking about – waiting too long to marry have a Mr. Perfect that you can’t have a biological kid in a wedlock any more.

  22. 23
    Jennifer

    @Evan #21
    I think the book is definitely worth a read; when someone has taken the time to gather the perspectives of several different people on a subject (dating coaches, matchmakers, marriage counselors, etc.), you’re bound to come away with some interesting insights.

  23. 24
    Christi Johnson

    if the author chose the title for shock value/publicity, it seems like it’s working

  24. 25
    Jenny

    It’s 2010- no woman should have to compromise their standards and settle for Mr. Right Now or Mr. Good Enough. With thousands of dating and social networking sites available, why not make the effort to find exactly what you want? There are dating sites for every type of woman out there …

    I think the real issue facing most women is that they’re not in touch with reality. Get out there and explore opportunities and then make a fair assessment of yourself. What league are you in? Can you move up the ranks with more practice? While some people want to settle down as soon as possible, those of us who believe in finding the best, and are willing to use the opportunities at hand, will probably have a better chance of finding the perfect mate!

  25. 26
    Ruby

    I really hope that things have improved for Lori Gottlieb since her original article came out in The Atlantic almost 2 years ago. In that piece, she came across as a depressed, overworked single mom. In fact, in much of the article, she complains about her single-mom status. And because she now has her son to think about, and the men she meets as a 40-something single are SO bad, settling is out of the question.
    Well, at least she got a nice book deal out of it.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200803/single-marry

  26. 27
    Joe

    After reading the comments, I do agree that its usually the MEN who are unwilling to commit. Now WOMEN have tried to act like MEN and never settle down. Unfortunately, most women can’t wait past 35 to have kids. Most WOMEN OUTSIDE of NYC have learned to adapt and settle down with Men willing to get married. It seems that in cities such as NYC, Men and Women have so much choice, that there is NO URGENCY to get married. Perhaps this is Survival of the Dumbest and the ambitious city women can’t find a husband to procreate. Feminists can act like Bachelor Men, but is that a good thing?

  27. 28
    Karl R

    Jenny said: (#25)
    “With thousands of dating and social networking sites available, why not make the effort to find exactly what you want?”

    You’ve overlooking one crucial element: Time.

    You can skim hundreds of social networking sites and find Mr. Right. You may even be able to find Mr. Right who is also interested in you. But when you’re skimming the social networking sites, all you’re really finding is someone who is “Perfect On Paper.”

    Up until a few months ago, millions of women would have said Tiger Woods was perfect (attractive, wealthy, successful, ambitious, clean reputation, family man).

    When you find someone who seems perfect on one of those social-networking sites, then you know that at least a thousand other women have also spotted him. So you will have stand out in a crowd of a thousand other women. And you’ll also have to wonder … if he’s as perfect as he seems, why hasn’t some other woman snagged him yet?

    It takes time to discover whether someone possesses the most important traits: ethics, integrity, respect, trust, loyalty, compassion. The people who lack these traits don’t always advertise it. So you have to spend some time in a relationship with him in order to determine whether he really has these qualities. This may take 3 months or 6 months or a year.

    If he turns out to be lacking, then you have to go back to your social-networks and search for the next “Perfect On Paper” man.

    “While some people want to settle down as soon as possible, those of us who believe in finding the best, and are willing to use the opportunities at hand, will probably have a better chance of finding the perfect mate!”

    If you’re planning on having kids, you probably want to get married while you’re reasonably young. That might give you 5 to 15 years of hunting for a spouse before you need to start making babies. Let’s assume you can adequately get to know two potential spouses per year; that means you have about 10 to 30 potential spouses you can thoroughly examine to see if they have the most important qualities.

    That’s a finite number. And if you ditch number 15 (because you think you can do better), you can’t necessarily go back and get him if you later decide that you were wrong.

    If you don’t want kids, then your options are much broader. You can spend as many decades as you want searching for the perfect mate, as long as you’re patient enough.

    You can set your own priorities. But I’d rather spend the rest of my life married to someone wonderful, rather than spend most of it searching for someone who is a little more wonderful.

  28. 29
    A-L

    I have to say that in my experience it’s usually women who are pickier than men. Though I will also say many (most?) men aren’t interested in settling down no matter how wonderful the woman is until he reaches a certain point in his life. That point usually being defined by reaching some educational/career/financial milestone. But once they get to that point, they’re not all that picky.

    One of my dearest friends has a list that is probably not all that different from the one that Lori Gottlieb had in the excerpt shown at Today’s website. And I am worried that she may get to a point years down the road where she wishes she had done something different with her love life now. But at the moment she is happy with where she is and has no desire to change, and you can’t make decisions for other people.

    As far as the title goes, I wish it was something different because I am interested in reading it but am rather afraid of the message that would send to my boyfriend with whom things are quite serious. Don’t want to being going around sending mixed messages. ;)

  29. 30
    Selena

    Well A-L, you could always “disguise” the book by putting a different jacket on it.;)

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