Sunday, February 28, 2010

Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, Lori Gottlieb

I read Lori Gottlieb's article in The Atlantic and was intrigued/horrified enough to want to read her book now that its out. And even though I found stretches of it really depressing and sad I agree with her. She's a great writer and has a good sense of humor about herself which I appreciated as well.

The hardest part for me about her theories is that as an LDS singleton I'm not now (and have never been in the position) of turning down potential dates for frivolous reasons. I have not been on a date since college and I graduated 6 years ago. Why? There are literally no LDS guys in my area/age range/etc. It's not me being picky. Its just the reality of the wasteland of the LDS singles scene.

"Somehow, post-Jane Austen, it's become shameful for a woman to admit how lonely she is and how strongly she wants to be part of a traditional family. What kind of educated, sophisticated, modern woman with an active social life has time to be lonely?
You're lonely? Get a life! Get a promotion! Get a hobby! Get a hair cut! You go girl!" p.56

That quote was one that resonated so much with me. I feel like even admitting you want to be married and have children is some kind of shameful secret. It's like admitting that you aren't just perfectly happy & independent, fulfilling all your own needs. I hate that.

Depressing stuff ahead:

"It seemed reasonable to think that the longer I searched, the better the guy I'd end up with. But it's faulty logic... the longer you wait, the less likely you are to find someone better than you've already met." (p.75)

"Hey, you know all those [guys] you weren't attracted to or interested in back in your twenties? Well, guess what- they're still available and some are divorced and you should be more open minded?" (p.76)

"I still hadn't come to terms with the realities of being single and never married at my age. I wasn't ready, on some visceral level, to let go of the idea of being somebody's first and only spouse, of being somebody's The One and having the exclusivity of our own family unit." (p.90)

"Clampitt matches people like this: "Number one," she said, "I look at whether the two people have common relationship goals. Number two, I look at values. Things like independence, family, religion, loyalty. Number three, what are the key qualities this person needs? You get no more than five. Things like, he has to be very intelligent. Number four, I look at shared interests. Interests are great because its bonding and stimulating and fun to share those, but the other things are more important for the long-term. I put shared interests last for that reason." (p.99)

"Marriage is about small acts of kindness that bond you over a lifetime. It's quietly romantic. He makes her tea. She goes to the doctor appointment with him. They listen to each other's daily trivia. They put up with each other's quirks. They're there for each other." (p.228)

I dogeared so many pages of this book. I'm just tired of typing out quotes I liked. I like the message to be more realistic in your dating. But in my own situation I'm still stuck with no one to be realistic about & I'm not sure what the answer is for that. I did like the hopeful tone though, of being able to change your behavior. I liked that the old stand by "definition of insanity= doing the same thing over & over expecting different results" was brought out.

A good book but a depressing one all the same.

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