Monday, February 8, 2010

Marry Him

When I turned 40, I wasn’t too diffferent from Lori Gottlieb: single, not dating much, wondering what happened to all those men who used to call and send flowers.

Gottlieb’s lackluster love life went viral two years ago when she published a controversial article in the Atlantic. Now she is ramping up to Valentine’s Day with a defense of the book that article became — Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough.

Marry the guy who might not have 100 percent of what you want, she advises. One sentence in her piece in the Washington Post yesterday is still rattling around in my head. She wrote:

The majority of single women who responded to a survey I sent out said that getting 80 percent of what they wanted in a mate would be "settling." The majority of single men said finding a woman with 80 percent of what they wanted would be "a catch."
I read it out loud to Michael. He agreed that any guy getting 80 percent of what he wants in a woman would feel as though he hit the jackpot. I don’t think I ‘ve chosen men by the numbers, but the idea of not “settling” is pretty familiar to me. But when I chose not to settle, it was because the chemistry just wasn’t there, not because the guy didn’t earn enough money or wasn’t handsome enough or drove a beat-up car. When I met Michael, the chemistry and the certainty steamrolled any question of percentages.

Gottlieb is still looking for love this Valentine’s Day. I hope she’ll get lucky. Maybe she needs to look for a younger man.


  1. There's a similar saying I've heard, which is that women are looking for Mr. Right, while men are looking for Miss Right Now. I.e., women marry when the guy arrives, and men marry whoever's around when they decide to get married. I will offer no further commentary on any of the above.

  2. That's probably true — but I waited 20 years! When I was young and divorced and available, my Mr. Right was WAY too young.