Finding Love on Valentines Day
It’s Valentine’s Day, which, of course, means it’s that time for everyone in the media to analyze the state of American romance. And this year, I’ve noticed, it seems all the talk has been over the idea that women should “settle” for a man instead of wasting their time looking for Mr. Right.
Much of the talk has been generated by a recently released book by Lori Gottlieb titled Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. The 42-year-old unmarried author (and single mother) writes that she squandered her most nubile years searching for an Adonis with the humor of Jon Stewart and the bank account of Bill Gates. As a high-achieving woman, she also believed a perfect man was her birthright. Compromise? No way. That would mean not being true to herself. She was going to “have it all.”
Now, she says, she wished she had focused on one of the less exciting but stable and emotionally available men she had gotten to know back in her 20s and 30s, rather than the “non-marriage-minded time wasters” whom she liked only because they were good-looking and charming on dates. She says she now realizes she would be very happy having a conventional family with a good-enough guy.
Gottleib has gotten a lot of criticism for the book. She’s been called a pathetic throwback to the 50’s–desperate, needy, immature and weak. What’s she’s really telling unmarried women to do, her critics claim, is to go out and pick guys who they don’t necessarily love or have physical attraction to, but who they know will always be around to provide support, encouragement, and a stable home.
So what do you think? Is it wise to constantly search for “The One,” the man who keeps you so intoxicated with love that you tingle in anticipation of his every phone call? Do you feel you’ll always be disappointed in yourself if you don’t find such a man? Or do you think you should focus less on passion and instead go after the guy you’re completely comfortable with, the guy who “gets” you, who laughs and cries with you and who provides a soft place to land at the end of the day?
Let me put it another way. What if the guy, on a 1-10 scale, only ranks a “5″ when it comes to chemistry but a “9″ in compatibility? Would you take him? Do you think you could find love with that kind of man-one who’s “good enough?” Or will you always wonder, deep down, if you simply “settled?”
On this Valentine’s Day, I’ll be especially interested to hear what you have to say.