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Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough
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Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough

3.8 52
by Lori Gottlieb
 

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You have a fulfilling job, a great group of friends, the perfect apartment, and no shortage of dates. So what if you haven't found The One just yet. Surely he'll come along, right?

But what if he doesn't? Or even worse, what if he already has, but you just didn't realize it?

Suddenly finding herself forty and single, Lori Gottlieb said the unthinkable in her

Overview

You have a fulfilling job, a great group of friends, the perfect apartment, and no shortage of dates. So what if you haven't found The One just yet. Surely he'll come along, right?

But what if he doesn't? Or even worse, what if he already has, but you just didn't realize it?

Suddenly finding herself forty and single, Lori Gottlieb said the unthinkable in her March 2008 article in The Atlantic: Maybe she and single women everywhere, needed to stop chasing the elusive Prince Charming and instead go for Mr. Good Enough.

Looking at her friends' happy marriages to good enough guys who happen to be excellent husbands and fathers, Gottlieb declared it time to reevaluate what we really need in a partner. Her ideas created a firestorm of controversy from outlets like the Today show to The Washington Post, which wrote, "Given the perennial shortage of perfect men, Gottlieb's probably got a point," to Newsweek and NPR, which declared, "Lori Gottlieb didn't want to take her mother's advice to be less picky, but now that she's turned forty, she wonders if her mother is right." Women all over the world were talking. But while many people agreed that they should have more realistic expectations, what did that actually mean out in the real world, where Gottlieb and women like her were inexorably drawn to their "type"?

That's where Marry Him comes in.

By looking at everything from culture to biology, in Marry Him Gottlieb frankly explores the dilemma that so many women today seem to face—how to reconcile the strong desire for a husband and family with a list of must-haves so long and complicated that many great guys get rejected outof the gate. Here Gottlieb shares her own journey in the quest for romantic fulfillment, and in the process gets wise guidance and surprising insights from marital researchers, matchmakers, dating coaches, behavioral economists, neuropsychologists, sociologists, couples therapists, divorce lawyers, and clergy—as well as single and married men and women, ranging in age from their twenties to their sixties.

Marry Him is an eye-opening, often funny, sometimes painful, and always truthful in-depth examination of the modern dating landscape, and ultimately, a provocative wake- up call about getting real about Mr. Right.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Marry Him is a frank and funny read, weaving real people's stories with Gottlieb's own experiences, and containing sharp examinations of how society and culture-everything from When Harry Met Sally to The Bachelorcome into play when modern women look for love."
The New York Observer

"A provocative pop culture treatise... she encourages us to think through our own beliefs and unexamined assumptions."
The Chicago Tribune

"A funny cautionary tale of one woman's journey through the modern landscape of dating."
Library Journal

"A well-conceived and convincing argument on how to find a more realistic Mr. Right. If you've ever sought your own Prince Charming, your love life will never be the same again. And that's a good thing."
Christian Science Monitor

"A sensible plea to discard the toxic fantasy of romantic comedies and think realistically about what makes a solid partnership."
Salon

"This impeccably researched tome is mandatory reading."
The Huffington Post

"Funny and relatable... anything but antiromance."
People Magazine

"This is the smartest relationship book I've read in years."
AOL's lemondrop.com

"The buzz surrounding Lori Gottlieb's newest book, Marry Him, is well- deserved... She writes with honesty and hope, and there are many people who will benefit from reading this book."
The Examiner

"An unexpected delight. Honest and darkly comic... the truth can be liberating."
The New York Times

"Marry Him is surprisingly, unnervingly convincing."
O, The Oprah Magazine

"In business, 'good enough' is often 'very good'. So why should we expect-and demand-perfection in dating and marriage?"
Forbes Woman

"The buzz surrounding Lori Gottlieb's newest book, Marry Him, is well- deserved...She writes with honesty and hope, and there are many people who will benefit from reading this book."
The Examiner

"I wish I could round up every single woman I know and assign this book for discussion. Gottlieb helps women see how our cultural or private fantasies build up so many expectations that they destroy the possibility of real love and, eventually, marriage. Marry Him is a big fat lesson in how not to get in your own way. Any woman who wants to find true love and hasn't been able to should read this book."
Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., relationship expert at Perfectmatch.com

"What Gottlieb is saying isn't subversive-it's smart. A thoroughly entertaining reality check, it will make single women laugh and squirm, and married people appreciate their spouses even more."
Diablo Cody, Academy Award-winning Screenwriter of Juno

"Finally, here's a cautionary tale for anyone wondering why she hasn't found Mr. Right-with a hopeful message about the Mr. Right Nows, the Mr. Close Enoughs, and even the Mr. What the F*#%s."
Jill Soloway, writer and executive producer for Six Feet Under

"Engaging, hilarious, brutally honest and eye-opening! Marry Him is an encouraging story about finding love by getting real."
Rachel Greenwald, New York Times bestselling author of Find a HUsband After 35

"This is a daring and wise book. Gottlieb tells it like it is: In our modern world of excuses, too many of us have unrealistic expectations about men and love, and even more unrealistic views of ourselves. Women (and men) should take Gottlieb's message to heart: 'Look for reasons to say yes.' It could change your life."
Helen Fisher, Ph.D., Rutgers University and author of Why Him? Why Her?

"I have been very happily married for many years, and if my daughters ever ask me for advice about potential spouses, I plan to pass off a lot of what's in this book as my own sage wisdom."
Kurt Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of Heyday and host of public radio's Studio 360

"Marry Him shows women how to find true happiness when seeking love-by giving them a new way to look at the world. Gottlieb manages to be hilarious yet thought-provoking, light-hearted yet profound on the questions of: Why do we fall in love? What qualities really matter in a marriage? For what reasons do we make the decisions that affect our whole lives? Like provocative realationship classics such as The Rules and He's Just Not That Into You, Marry Him will set people talking for years."
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

"Lori Gottlieb's smart, insightful, witty observations gleaned on her own unusual romantic path signal and important new voice in single-girl lit. The Rules turned single women needy, He's Just Not That Into You made them depresed, and Marry Him finally sets them free, preaching that in the long run, 'good enough' might be better than great."
Amy Sohn, author of Prospect Park West

"Marry Him is a treasure. A must-read on getting the male and female brain together in almost perfect harmony.'
Louann Brizendine, New York Times bestselling author of The Female Brain and the upcoming The Male Brain

"By telling you to read Lori Gottlieb's incisive and insightful book, I hope I can make up for all the unrealistic romantic propaganda I had a hand in spreading as a former editor at a glossy women's Magazine. For anyone who is single but looking, the surprising truths in Marry Him go against just about everything we've been brought up to believe about dating and marriage."
Megan McCafferty, New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series

Amy Finnerty
Lori Gottlieb offers herself up as Exhibit A—that's A for "Alone"—in this unsparing exploration of the contemporary mating scene. Part cautionary memoir, part field study, her account of her own stalled search for a husband is honest and darkly comic.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Building on her Atlantic article, 40-something single mom Gottlieb (Stick Figure) sought the advice of matchmakers, dating coaches, clergy, economists, and psychologists in her quest for a husband. She learned that women today bring a dangerous sense of entitlement to dating. Instead, Gottlieb says, women need to be more open-minded and realistic, and just choose the best available option when it comes to a mate and appreciate him. Although familiar, the advice doled out also makes good sense, and Gottlieb is personable and appealing. (Feb.)
Megan McCafferty
For anyone who is single but looking, the surprising truths in Marry Him go against just about everything we've been brought up to believe about dating and marriage. (Megan McCafferty, New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series)
Library Journal
After writing an article for the Atlantic Monthlyurging single women seeking husbands to settle for Mr. Good Enough rather than wait for Prince Charming, fortysomething single mother and journalist Gottlieb takes the next step. Offering herself as a guinea pig, she consults behavioral and social researchers, counselors, clergy, and other advisers on marriage, matchmaking, and divorce. As she searches for a husband, Gottlieb reexamines her strategies for selecting dates on online dating sites, reevaluates her criteria for an ideal husband, and grudgingly realizes that, as a woman over 30, she is competing with younger women for men her own age. Furthermore, she learns that, as a woman ages, the pool of eligible men decreases. Gottlieb is repeatedly challenged to discount initial impressions and examine assumptions, including the role of sexual attraction in a successful marriage. Throughout, she interviews friends and former dates, people who found mates through arranged marriages, and others who settled for Mr. Good Enough as Mr. Right. VERDICT A funny, if somewhat repetitive, cautionary tale of one woman's midlife journey through the modern landscape of dating and matchmaking. The best advice: look for men who are looking for women like you. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/09.]—Lucille M. Boone, San Jose P.L., CA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525951513
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/04/2010
Pages:
322
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Gretchen Rubin
Marry Him shows women how to find true happiness when seeking love - by giving them a new way to look at the world. Gottlieb manages to be hilarious yet thought-provoking, light-hearted yet profound on the questions of - why do we fall in love? What qualities really matter in a marriage? For what reasons do we make the decisions that affect our whole lives? Like provocative relationship classics such as The Rules and He's Just Not That Into You, Marry Him will set people talking for years. (Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project)
Jill Soloway
What makes Marry Him so powerful is how unabashedly, painfully HONEST it is. I don't know a single woman who won't recognize some aspect of herself in these pages. Finally, here's a cautionary tale for anyone wondering why she hasn't found Mr. Right— with a hopeful message about the Mr. Right Nows, the Mr. Close Enoughs and even the Mr. What the F*#%s. (Jill Soloway, writer and Executive Producer for "Six Feet Under")
Amy Sohn
Lori Gottlieb's smart, insightful witty observations gleaned on her own unusual romantic path signal an important new voice in single-girl lit. The Rules turned single women needy, He's Just Not That Into You made them depressed, and Marry Him finally sets them free, preaching that in the long run, "good enough" might be better than great. (Amy Sohn, author of Prospect Park West)
Pepper Schwartz
"I wish I could round up every single woman I know and assign this book for discussion. Gottlieb helps women see how our cultural or private fantasies build up so many expectations that they destroy the possibility of real love and, eventually, marriage. Marry Him is a big fat lesson in how not to get in your own way. Any woman who wants to find true love and hasn't been able to should read this book."--(Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., relationship expert at Perfectmatch.com)
Diablo Cody
What Lori Gottlieb is saying isn't subversive— it's smart. A thoroughly entertaining reality check, it will make single women laugh and squirm, and married people appreciate their spouses even more. (Diablo Cody, Academy Award winning screenwriter of Juno)
Rachel Greenwald
Engaging, hilarious, brutally honest, and eye-opening! Marry Him is a hopeful tale about finding love by getting real. (Rachel Greenwald, New York Times bestselling author of FIND A HUSBAND AFTER 35)
Helen Fisher
"This is a daring and wise book. Gottlieb tells it like it is: In our modern world of excess, too many of us have unrealistic expectations about men and love, and even more unrealistic views of ourselves. Women (and men) should take Gottlieb's message to heart: 'Look for reasons to say yes.' It could change your life."--(Helen Fisher, Ph.D., Rutgers University and author of Why Him? Why Her?)

Meet the Author

Lori Gottlieb is the author of the national bestseller Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self and a journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, People, Slate, Self, Glamour, Elle, Salon, and the Los Angeles Times. She is also a frequent commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered.

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Marry Him 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think the title is misleading, this book isn't about settling for someone who wont make you happy it's about self-awareness, determining what actions and thoughts have prevented you from finding the partner/relationship you want in your life. This book is aimed at women in their mid to late 30s and the book is filled with stories from women and men in that age group both single and married. The author (single mother in her early 40s) uses herself as a guinea pig and enlists the help of matchmakers, dating gurus, a rabbi and researchers to explain why its so much harder to find someone as you get older. There is so much information presented in this book from experts, the author and the people interviewed that I think it would be impossible for someone to not find a story/theory they can relate to their situation. This is the best $15 I've ever spent. The best thing about this book is that it's not an advice book, no silly ideas like- dressing sexy and going to a sports bar, just a mirror to help you see where you are going wrong.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been needing this reality check and this book probably just saved me from a lifetime of loneliness. If you are sick of advice from friends that lead you to be more alone- take this book to heart. I know today that i am going to marry the man of my reality!
TampaGirl More than 1 year ago
I'm 30+ and still single. This book made me realize how picky I've been throughout the years. It made me accept that the prince charming that I've been dreaming about since a little girl is just a fantasy and that I needed to have more realistic expectations. This new way of thinking is only fair because I am not a princess myself. Also, this book gave the word "settling" a new definition in my life. It doesn't mean that I should compromise and marry any loser. Just that I should be more open minded.
panderia82 More than 1 year ago
The perfect slap in the face for all of us perpetually single girls. It's not about settling for Mr. Joe Schmoe, it's about letting go of all your preconceived notions of what a happy marriage should be so you can find that Mr. Right. We follow along in Gottlieb's quest to open herself up to it all, from her reluctance to change her way of thinking to her eventual transformation and acceptance. The book to share with all your female friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was inspiring, uplifting and hilarious all at the same time. I am sharing it with all of my friends regardless if they are married, single or dating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a new one, but the concept is good that women should be more reasonable and less critical in looking for a mate. With that said, if you already know this, there is a better way to spend money than buying this book. The entire book is basically a compilation of various researches followed by the author's rambling about herself. Sharing one's experience is one thing, going on and on about "me, me, me" is another. The book reads like a bad attempt to stretch what can be sufficiently and more efficiently said in a paragraph into 300-something pages. Despite most earnest effort, I ended up skipping several chapters as the author continued to repeat the same content over and over, simply in different sentences. For what matters, spelling and grammar errors are spotted frequently; section titles and subtitles rarely reflect the content. If you must read this book, I suggest going to the book store and flipping through it before spending money on it. But I do understand everyone responds differently to one book, so if you happen to really like it, please don't let my criticism affect your decision to purchase one. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read 1-3 nonfiction books a week and this one is a total game changer. This book has opened my eyes to things I never really gave though to and is wonderfully insightful. If you're dating, not dating, having issues in your relationship, etc....read this book. Best relationship book I've ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Author gives detailed information and real life experiences. Will definetely give you a sense of urgency to get paired up as soon as possible. Message here is if you wait too long you are going to get the guys no one wants. Basically crumbs someone else didn' t pick or leftovers.
Akil More than 1 year ago
First of all, I am a man. I am 27 years old, and I saw this book reviewed in a magazine. I was initially interested in it because I once dated someone, and I think she passed over me the way the author passed over many of the good prospects she had in her younger days. All in all, I enjoyed the book. But, I realize the me reading it isn't going to help the situation. Women need to read it, and realize that they need to be more open about who they date and who they dismiss and their reasons for the dismissal. (sorry for the run-on sentence) I am looking at the so-called "independent single ladies." You can have a man, a good man, just don't expect him to be the president or a CEO. He can be a regular guy who is loving, caring and kind, and will be a good husband to you and a good father to your children (if you want them, of course.) I just hope some women are able to reevaluate their preferences and opt for someone good enough and happiness, instead of waiting in the wings for perfection, and running the risk of ending up 40 and alone. Think about it.
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