Settle for Mr. Right Now?

Mr Right Now wins second place

I just read an article I want to share that really got me fired up and provoked some strong emotions in me!

Lori Gottlieb is an American author of a new book called Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. She’s interviewed in this article by Amy Willis, a writer for Telegraph, an online dating service in the UK. Gottlieb claims that women who have failed to find their perfect partner by the age of 30 should give up their search for Mr. Right and settle instead for Mr. Right Now.

Wow! When I read the first few paragraphs of this article, I was stunned that someone would actually assert that women over 30 should settle for less than their expectations in a man.

As I read further, though, I realized that most of Gottlieb’s points are well taken, such as her claim that women’s search for Mr. Right could leave them unhappy and alone in the long-term as they shun perfectly good partners. Also, I agree with her belief that many of us have grown up idealizing marriage, and that if we’d had a more realistic understanding of marriage, we might have done things differently. Perhaps even “walked away from uninspiring relationships that might have made us happy,” states Gottlieb.

Mr. Second Best?

Where I disagree is that women don’t have to settle for a “second-best” choice in a man, but rather I suggest they become more realistic and honest about what they truly want in a partnership. Instead of a checklist of qualities Mr. Right must possess to be considered a potential mate, women would be better served by tapping into their true emotions and core needs and values. More importantly, they should focus on how they want to feel with a man, as well as have a realistic vision for their interaction on a 24/7 basis. What do they want in their day-to-day life with a man after the sizzle of lust and romance subsides. And it will diminish!
Gottlieb is right about the unrealistic fantasies most women have grown up with in our movies and media, and I agree that what makes a good marriage isn’t necessarily what makes a good romantic relationship. But Gottlieb, a 40-year-old, never-married single mother, is making a huge leap here by claiming that women must lower their standards and settle for less. That’s what women had to do for thousands of years in order to survive. I object to any statement that’s a throwback to outdated paradigms and antiquated relationship roles. I resent media and movies that portray women as desperate and needy. However, I do believe many women are confused about modern dating practices, partnering roles and expectations.

Maybe they’re just confused

Perhaps the strongest support for Gottlieb’s theory is summarized by the quotes in the article from Lancaster University Psychologist Professor Cary Cooper, who said, “Women unable to find their dream man should not see themselves as settling for second best.” Among other things, he is quoted as saying, “You have to find somebody with as many good characteristics as possible. The main problem is that many people haven’t worked out what those characteristics are.”
As a women’s self-power coach for many years, I discovered some of these same issues that Gottlieb mentions about women. However, my work is to support women in gaining clarity about their needs and recognizing that they can attract and create the relationships they desire. In my book Choose Him: How to Get Clear, Define What You Want and Attract the Man of Your Dreams, I’ve designed a unique and fun self-coaching guide to help women tap into their true emotional desires regarding their dream man and their relationship. Through this process, you leave happenstance romance and fantasy illusions behind, and get real about what’s true in your heart and core about the kind of love life that matters in the long term.

Frankly, I’m having a hard time swallowing Gottlieb’s theory, since she doesn’t really know if Mr. Right was actually one of the second-best men that she passed up along the way. Maybe this article didn’t do justice to Gottlieb’s book, or perhaps things were quoted out of context, but I don’t know how you become an authority on how you could have missed Mr. Right when you’re still single.

Do Love and Life Differently: If you’re intentional about most everything in your life, why settle for happenstance romance.

What do you think?

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