Streams

Settling

Friday, February 05, 2010

Author Lori Gottlieb says women should marry Mr. Good Enough in her new book, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. She says "settling" makes sense now more than ever -- and talks about why her book has caused such an uproar.

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Lori Gottlieb
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Comments [37]

STILL SMILING

MEN -- DO NOT SETTLE!

MARRY YOUR MASSEUSE

Feb. 10 2010 12:21 AM
Greenpoint from Brooklyn

Several years ago, I realized that the men I was attracted to were not good for me......so I opened my mind. I had been on a couple of dates with "attractive" men who weren't nice. And I agreed to meet Mr X through an online dating service. When I first saw him, I thought, "no way am I ever going to even kiss him (death knell...if you can't kiss him, you aren't going to sleep w/ him and that is sort of the end of a non-platonic relationship)"...but continued on our date. He was funny and it was a bit of a strange date (a work function). I decided that there was no reason not to have a second date. On our second date, when we said good night, he hugged me...it wasn't a gross, sleazy hug....it was something real and nice...and I wanted to see him again. For six months, I wasn't sure, but kept going out w/ him again....no reason not to....and finally fell in love w/ him. I am so lucky that I did....he's wonderful. We've been together for four years. He allowed me to get to know him and it's a great, vibrant, healthy, grown up relationship. I did not settle.
I don't think people SHOULD settle, but I think that taking one's time and allowing a person's character to reveal itself (which only happens over time) is wise.

Feb. 05 2010 07:53 PM
Eugenia Renskoff from Williamsburgh, Brooklyn

The Right Man
I am beyond the age of the women in their 30s and early 40s looking for a husband or mate. Maybe I didn’t find (or marry) the so-called right man because I fell in love all too deeply with someone I couldn’t have. Maybe I didn’t want to settle for a marriage of convenience. I wanted to fall in love again and I didn’t. A few men said they loved me, but I didn’t love them.
I don’t think it’s wrong to want to marry. Even if a woman is very successful, it’s depressing to come back to an empty apt. The apt. can’t talk to you and you can’t talk to it. Your friends will not be as friendly or available when they meet someone they like and want to be with. There is only so much travel you can do.Eugenia Renskoff

Feb. 05 2010 04:07 PM
Thomasena from NYC

#22's comment is the most insightful:

"I also agree with Lonnie - she is approaching this as a single woman, rather than as a potential PARTNER in a marriage. It's a totally different way of thinking that conflicts with the selfish way of thinking she presents here."

It all starts with how you see yourself. Stereotyping men (and women) will only keep you trapped in a (lonely) box.

Feb. 05 2010 02:19 PM
Tiffany from NYC

What a depressing show....
“If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived ????”

Feb. 05 2010 12:43 PM
N

A female friend of mine had a whirlwind romance with a guy over a 2 week period. He even flew home early from a business trip so that they could have time together over the weekend. The first time he was in her apartment he remarked that she had chosen an odd way of hanging her framed photos (they were intentionally asymmetrically placed), pointed out that he thought it was odd she kept a can of air freshner in the living room by the door (she had a perfectly good reason as I recall), and that there was a pile of papers on her desk. Needless to say that was the last date they ever had. Luckily she is now in a long-term relationship with a man who is significantly older than she ever thought she'd date.

Feb. 05 2010 12:33 PM
david

When I was single, I was meeting 5 foot tall women who said after meeting me (I'm 5'7), "I usually date guys over 6 feet tall". My repsonse was "But you keep breaking up with them". Needless to say, I have not done follow-ups on these women and who they've married (if they did marry).

But seriously, what's with the requirement regarding dancing? Is not a good dancer a deal-breaker?

Feb. 05 2010 12:11 PM
Bob from huntington ny

Overheard at a restaurant.
She: "I was on another date last night"
He: "Oh, but you did'nt tell me that"
She: "We just met today"
He: "Well anyway, my mother is a serious
drinker & smoker"

Feb. 05 2010 12:00 PM
designer's baggage from ncy

WHAT??? I love how a dude (your 1st caller) thinks he's so great that a woman has to drop her life just to date him!

Feb. 05 2010 11:48 AM
Mel from Brooklyn

I don't think you can necessarily assume that just because more 40something women have never been married means they are being too picky. I am 40+ and in a long-term relationship with "Mr. Right" but I have no interest in marriage. I know lots of other women in the same situation. Many of us are in official domestic partnerships, but that probably doesn't come up in the stats.

Feb. 05 2010 11:47 AM
anonymous from Brooklyn

I was interested by the caller Mark's comments that the women he was interested in were simply not that available. I am a single guy 40 years old, generally dating women from 30-42 years of age. Numerous times I have had a woman say she is interested in meeting and I suggest a time that is 2-5 days in the future and they say they are not available for 1-3 weeks. My reaction is that if you can't figure out a time for a simple meal within the next seven days or so, then you are obviously not putting a priority on meeting new people. You need to eat anyway, why not eat with another human being?

Feb. 05 2010 11:11 AM
Michelle from NY

What happens a lot of time I believe is people settle into a single lifestyle after a few disappointing relationships go array. After a certain age we find comfort in the dependability of good friends, and other activities that fall within the realm of things we can control. As a result it becomes more and more difficult to plunge into the possibility of a romantic relationship because then we are forced to give up some control. Sometimes it is just more comfortable to be single..

Feb. 05 2010 11:11 AM
Marielle from Brooklyn

#25 - good point! If you haven't been there, you really have no clue.

Feb. 05 2010 11:05 AM
Emily from Brooklyn

I am surprised you got no married women calling in to say how ecstatic they are that they've settled for Mr Good-Enough!!

Feb. 05 2010 11:03 AM
Marielle from Brooklyn

To #13 - excellent point about the change needing to be organic - your experience sounds rather similar to mine - I think it's called "growing up"!

Feb. 05 2010 11:03 AM
Firenze from Brooklyn

As a woman who is married, I have to say that hearing advice about marriage from someone who has never been there is laughable. I can appreciate where she is coming from, but I don't think she should consider herself expert enough to write a book about it until she has been there.

I also agree with Lonnie - she is approaching this as a single woman, rather than as a potential PARTNER in a marriage. It's a totally different way of thinking that conflicts with the selfish way of thinking she presents here.

Feb. 05 2010 11:02 AM
brittany from nyc

I am not quite sure this is a good thing to push.

If two people "settle" I have found that they end up divorced. If you really do not love your partner and tell yourself this is just "good enough" you are not going to make it.

I feel this is not really fair for both parties.
Would you want to know that someone "settled" for you?

While relationships and marriages are real compromises you need to KNOW that you adore and love that person. Otherwise you will just cheat or wonder if you made the right decision.
To me that does not define "he is good enough", but great.

I think "good enough" has helped heighten our divorce rate and is a bad message to send people. Is that really how you want to lead your life?

How about from good to great?

Feb. 05 2010 11:02 AM
Marielle from Brooklyn

A friend of mine, trying to convince me that she was not rigid in her expectations, conceded that her perfect mate did not have to ski - snowboarding would be ok, too - needless to say, she is still looking.

Feb. 05 2010 11:01 AM
CL

Christine Quinn AND this person! One of the most annoying, fatuous shows ever.

Feb. 05 2010 11:00 AM
Jesse

In your atlantic article, you mention a woman who knows two women whom she thinks married men who are not straight. It seems to me that this move warrants further examination w/r/t your premise. Because that, for one, is not a "traditional" family (I actually think it's kinda cool, and I detest the term "traditional" family). I don't think it's impossible that you are writing for a mindset that is fundamentally different than mine (plus I'm not a woman). But then what of that- are men fundamentally different in this regard, or am I the male equivalent of the woman who truly doesn't fit your bill?

And then, not to be crass, but I don't understand- in a world that is barreling towards horrific overcrowding and catastrophic environmental destruction, I don't understand why people are so glibly trying to figure out how to most happily produce more children. Perhaps as a man, that's unfair of me. But then, perhaps not.

Feb. 05 2010 10:58 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

In the old days, when a man wanted to court a woman, he asked permission from her father to date her. Nowadays, a man needs to get permission from her dog!

Feb. 05 2010 10:58 AM
relatively knotted from ncy

WHAT??? I love how a dude (your 1st caller) thinks he's so great that a woman has to drop her life just to date him!

Feb. 05 2010 10:58 AM
Brad from Prospect Heights

Really. I hope Ms. Gottlieb sells a lot of books, but really...what authority does she have? How is this not just a reiteration of every episode of sex and the city? A rabbi friend of mine said the following about marriage: "people get married when they're ready"

Feb. 05 2010 10:58 AM
Ross from NY city

Ms. Gottlieb is correct about women being too picky and frankly, superficial. But another problem is that among single women in New York city there is a me-first mentality, a self-centered quality that may impede a serious relationship. As a formerly single male, this was my main complaint, until of course I found my wife 2 years ago.

Feb. 05 2010 10:58 AM
eastvilliage from eastvillage

another self-absorbed, self-promoting person whose comments are shallow: "totally in love" "successful" "high standards"...."high expectations that are realistic"....

Feb. 05 2010 10:58 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn, NY

This is making me laugh; I was unmarried until 39 years-old, and part of it was that I kept dating a certain kind of guy, and my priorities in a guy were more along the lines of wanting a hot, tattoed guy, who possessed an artistic talent, who was well-read, athletic, etc. I didn't care if they had money, or a good job, as long as I liked him. While I don't regret the guys I dated, I did end up finding a serious life-partner when I let some of those requirements slide/change. I think there are different requirements for "fun" and for the type of guy you can share a household and responsibilites with. But, the thing is - I feel like this change has to be organic; I was never the type of person who felt obligated to get married.

Feb. 05 2010 10:58 AM
Anna from Bronx

I married Mr. Good Enough, and it's working out okay but I sacrificed passion. I wasn't "in love," nor was I all that physically attracted to him, but at 45, I didn't mind so much. Besides, passion always led to heartbreak, and now Mr. Good Enough is gradually turning into Mr. Right. He's honest, well-employed, stable, and clean, but he's what most of my friends would call "boring." It seems not all that different from the old fashioned "arranged" marriage.

Feb. 05 2010 10:58 AM
relatively knotted from ncy

I can see her mate ending up having an affair.

Feb. 05 2010 10:57 AM
plp

An illustration of this is evident on online dating services. I was on one for a while and it's insane when you read some woman's ridiculously long and seemingly impossible laundry list of "what they are looking for".

Feb. 05 2010 10:54 AM
db from nyc

I just love these "fluff" moments on WNYC...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Feb. 05 2010 10:54 AM
Theresa from Brooklyn

Once again, a writer generalizes her own experience to everyone. I'm fifty, single, and never felt that it was all that important to *be* married to anyone, to "marry him already."

Feb. 05 2010 10:54 AM
Marielle from Brooklyn

Very simple - marriage is not better, it's just different.

Feb. 05 2010 10:53 AM
Steven Paul Mark from United States

One must look within before they start looking without. That is often the most difficult part of finding a mate.

Feb. 05 2010 10:53 AM
Lonnie from Brooklyn!!!!!

As an Over 40, Single Guy with NO KIDS who dates-- a Message to Women-- YOU AREN'T THE ONLY ONE MAKING THE DECISION.

GUYS decide yes or no, too. Just because I paid for Dinner doesn't mean I'm on my knees waiting and begging.

I already like living Alone.

Feb. 05 2010 10:53 AM
N from NY

Appreciate this advice for this side of the equation, but as a single woman in NY for 8 years I find that the men here need a good talking to. From being flakey and not following through to expecting some sort of manufactured being that only exists in their heads, it's an enormous challenge to even find a boyfriend. I don't have a list - just 3 basic criteria and the package they come in and other factors remain flexible. But it hasn't helped.

Feb. 05 2010 10:53 AM
Nicole J. Dunn from Bronx, NY

Presumably, fewer women having gotten married by 40 also means fewer having gotten divorced by 40. With divorce rates as high as they are, it would seem that even the right guy at the time isn't the right guy for all times in too many cases to make just getting married for the sake of getting married a compelling proposition. No pun intended.

Feb. 05 2010 10:52 AM
hjs from 11211

I have a 40 year old friend who is about to divorce mr wrong after a 15 year relationship. I bet she would disagree. now she doesn't see the relevance of marriage.

Feb. 05 2010 10:50 AM

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