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

( 52 )

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 ...

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

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

If real life were like the movies, Prince Charming would be waiting for you with a kiss and a ring at the end of an hour and forty minutes. As it is, the Prince seems to be otherwise detained and you're home stranded, wondering why only Mr. Good Enough seems interested. The truth of the matter, of course, is that Prince Charmings are so exceedingly rare that even film goddesses are often left wondering what went wrong. In 2008, Lori Gottlieb punctured our film fantasies by arguing in an Atlantic article that waiting for the perfect mate is not worth it. Her Marry Him states not only the rationale of her case, but also explains why a healthy marriage is based on much more than a must-have list. Now in paperback and NOOKbook.

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594170655
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/4/2010
  • Pages: 322
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

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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Table of Contents

Prologue: The Husband Store 1

Pt. 1 How Did We Get Here?

The Dating Trenches 15

The Romantic Comedy That Predicted My Future 33

How Feminism Fucked Up My Love Life 43

Speed Dating Disaster 61

Pt. 2 From Fantasy To Reality

Older, and Wanting to Be Wiser 73

$3,500 for Love 86

The What Versus the Why 107

Mondays with Evan - Session One: The Percentages 119

It's Not Him, It's You 128

Pt. 3 Making Smarter Choices

Don't Be Picky, Be Happy 145

Mondays with Evan - Session Two: The Wrong Assumptions 157

The Men Who Got Away 167

Pulling Another Sheldon 178

Mondays with Evan - Session Three: The Lowdown on Alpha Males 184

What First Dates Really Tell Us 191

Are Women Pickier Than Men? 203

Pt. 4 What Really Matters

Mondays with Evan - Session Four: Wants Versus Needs 215

The Business of Love 226

Love at Twenty-seventh Sight 244

Mondays with Evan - Session Five: The Chemistry-to-Compatibility Ratio 252

Dump the List, Not the Guy 263

Pt. 5 Putting It All Together

The Good Enough Marriage 273

A Visit with the Rabbi 282

Claire's Story - Getting Over Myself 291

Alexandra's Story - Mr. Right in Front of Me 297

Hilary's Story - Finding What I Needed 302

My Story - A Dating Public Service Announcement 308

Epilogue: Where They Are Now 316

Acknowledgments 319

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2010

    Not What I Expected

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Needed this advice 5 years 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!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 24, 2010

    Excellent Book

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A must read!

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2010

    Good concept, bad execution

    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. :)

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    AMAZING

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    Interesting Book

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    game changing book

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

    Gets to the point

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2010

    eye opener

    Wow, I did not realize how hard it is for women to find someone decent after 35. I am only 24 but I am changing my ways now before it is too late for me. Luckily I am in a loving relationship that I have not messed up yet but this book will make me cautious before breaking up with someone perfectly good ever again

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 21, 2010

    Great Read

    I was very impressed with Lori's writing skills. She has a way of captivating you and keeping your attention. I didn't want to put the book down. I'm not sure it applied to my life, but it did make sense. I was a little offended at first; however, by the end of the book, I was definitely understanding her thoughts. I would have named it differently, I think the name might turn some people off before they even get a chance to read it. I would take the word "Settling" out of the title. I would recommend it to anyone single.

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  • Posted February 12, 2010

    Good book

    I really liked this book. Very informative and truthful. I am in my 30's, single and enjoying it. But now I want to start dating before I hit the dreaded 40! I didn't know dating would be so difficult. I'm very glad I read it. I realized I'm one of the girls who have unrealistic expectations and write guys off for no good reason.

    I liked her story and did not find it self absorbed. She is trying to make changes in her dating habits and gives you the benefit of the information she has come across.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2010

    Love it!

    Single girls, you must read this book!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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