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Thursday, February 4 2010

Settling for Mr. Good Enough

As a single, thirty-something year old woman who recently ended one long, beautiful relationship that involved a live-in love and an adorably outspoken kitty, Lori Gottlieb’s new book, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough is on my shortlist of books to read.

I remember hearing about it a few months back, while I was in the midst of dating “Mr. Exciting and New,” after having left “Mr. 4.5 years and now it’s over.”  I was answering questions for Glamour or Cosmo - honestly I can’t remember which, but whichever mag it was, there was also a quote from Lori in the same story. The writer told me a little about Lori (I had never read her Atlantic Monthly piece), and how controversial she was - talking about why it’s better to settle for someone who meets some of your needs then to wait for the perfect match.

I started telling all my friends that I could see Lori’s point.

Lori hyperbolizes in the Atlantic Monthly piece, or so she says in this The Frisky interview, to get the point across, and as someone who’s written for magazines, I can say, that as far as making statements that are BIG and bold, magazines require that and Gottlieb doesn’t disappoint. Here’s an excerpt:

My advice is this: Settle! That’s right. Don’t worry about passion or intense connection. Don’t nix a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling “Bravo!” in movie theaters. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics. Because if you want to have the infrastructure in place to have a family, settling is the way to go. Based on my observations, in fact, settling will probably make you happier in the long run, since many of those who marry with great expectations become more disillusioned with each passing year. (It’s hard to maintain that level of zing when the conversation morphs into discussions about who’s changing the diapers or balancing the checkbook.)

I hate the term settling, because it implies that you can do better, when better might have more hair or height but not necessarily more love to give. And I don’t believe in “the one’ although I’d love to, I mean I’ve been a fan of those animated films with the princess in the tower since I was a kid. But I’ve long ago dropped that notion of “someday my prince will come,” because unless I meet a guy who has papers to prove he’s royalty, Prince is a talented man from Minneapolis.

Besides, I know I’m not a princess stuck in a tower with locks of hair that flow to the ground which will one day allow my savior to climb up each golden strand and rescue me (I mean, I could never see myself as a blonde). I also know that it’s hard enough for my friends and family to find the right birthday gift for me - so how could finding the right boyfriend/husband be easy?

It’s not. And it won’t be, but I’m sure I could make it easier for myself. For starters, I could start dating more. I’ve only been on one date since I’ve moved to LA, but that’s because I’m not into dating right now. And while that date was nice, and I’m sure he could be Mr. Good Enough, he didn’t feel good enough to me. But I have learned a lesson about dating. I’m going to spell my name wrong on emails. I don’t want anyone to be able to google jamye and find me right away, I mean then I may never be Ms. Good Enough either. Or I may be good enough, but not goody two shoes enough for some guys.

This whole relationship thing is funny, and Lori’s getting quite the slack for saying settle, but I say, I hear you sister and I’m at the age where panic does set in. But I decided a month after I did panic (which was the day of my last birthday), to stop panicking and to let things happen naturally, at least for now. And one day I hope to promise to settle, whether it’s settle down or just settle my mind and accept who I am and where I’m at. Either way, you go girl!

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