Wait (Maybe Forever) For Mr. Right or Settle with Mr. Good Enough?

Here's an interesting article by Lori Gottlieb for The Atlantic about waiting for Mr. Right (and run the risk of him never showing up) or settling down with Mr. Good Enough:

Of course, we’d be loath to admit it in this day and age, but ask any soul-baring 40-year-old single heterosexual woman what she most longs for in life, and she probably won’t tell you it’s a better career or a smaller waistline or a bigger apartment. Most likely, she’ll say that what she really wants is a husband (and, by extension, a child). [...]

Oh, I know—I’m guessing there are single 30-year-old women reading this right now who will be writing letters to the editor to say that the women I know aren’t widely representative, that I’ve been co-opted by the cult of the feminist backlash, and basically, that I have no idea what I’m talking about. And all I can say is, if you say you’re not worried, either you’re in denial or you’re lying. In fact, take a good look in the mirror and try to convince yourself that you’re not worried, because you’ll see how silly your face looks when you’re being disingenuous.

Whether you acknowledge it or not, there’s good reason to worry. By the time 35th-birthday-brunch celebrations roll around for still-single women, serious, irreversible life issues masquerading as “jokes” creep into public conversation: Well, I don’t feel old, but my eggs sure do! or Maybe this year I’ll marry Todd. I’m not getting any younger! The birthday girl smiles a bit too widely as she delivers these lines, and everyone laughs a little too hard for a little too long, not because we find these sentiments funny, but because we’re awkwardly acknowledging how unfunny they are. At their core, they pose one of the most complicated, painful, and pervasive dilemmas many single women are forced to grapple with nowadays: Is it better to be alone, or to settle?

Link - via Locusts & Honey


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I'm impressed at how the article implies women are the choosers ("maybe this year I'll marry Todd") yet at the same time the victims of singledom.

I rarely encounter women who know what they really want and of those their idea of a finding suitable partner seems to revolve around anyone they have 'chemistry' with (regardless of whether he's a douche or not). They then spend the next decade trying to change him into the guy she should have gone for in the first place.

Of course not all women are like this - but I've encountered plenty that are. Is it any wonder they wake up one morning to find they're 40 years old and their repeated cycle of Find Mr Chemistry has left them single, unhappy and lacking faith in men?

Poor old Todd...
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i find it interesting that noone has mentioned that "mr. perfect" is a fabrication of societal standards. who says girls have to get married and have babies? who says women have to be with men at all? who says women WANT to get married? we girls have been raised to think that we're supposed to find a man, get married, settle down, have children, and grow old toghether. most little girls have been planning their wedding day since they were 5 years old. why? why this immediacy to "find" love? why this perpetuation of false hope and 'this is how it is'? and when a woman "steps out of line" she is ridiculed as being lonely for the rest of her life. why are you all of a sudden "lonely" when you aren't married? lots of people (men and women alike) are perfectly happy without marriage. i mean, i'd give more credit to those who don't fall into these "standards" because it's hard to go out of the 'norm' for most. good post.
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Is the answer then to have two partners? One in your 20s to sire the kid(s), then another once you're ready to settle down permanently?

p.s. I'm gay and can't marry legally. But seriously... don't settle. "Alone" doesn't have to mean lonely.
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Grrr... I am the marrying, mothering type, but I choose to wait until I've accomplished some of the goals I've set for myself. This was decided after a positively disastrous near-marriage to somebody I believed to be Mr.Right. All of my friends are married, some with children, and we're in our mid-twenties to early thirties. I've seen the effects of marrying just to settle down and have a family - it's not pretty. I don't want a sperm donor, I want a life partner. I want somebody I won't resent for decades to come. That really shouldn't be too much to ask. The article paints a tragic tale designed to warn women of the pitfalls of being too picky but fails to address the full ramifications of marrying somebody you think you've settled for.
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She makes a good point. We marry for love, and sometimes our standards are too high. Sometimes, it's easier to pull out of a relationship and start over in situations where our parents and grandparents would have stayed and worked through, or ignored, a problem (not necessarily the best option).

The feminist idea that you can be happy without a man in your life is taken to the extreme: you can't be happy with a man in your life; men are deadweight.

You may then discover that being "successful" isn't what you really wanted in life, and now, there are less available guys to meet your criteria.
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