Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Home Alone (review of "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough")
New York Times ^ | February 14, 2010 | Amy Finnerty

Posted on 02/13/2010 9:42:19 AM PST by reaganaut1

Lori Gottlieb offers herself up as Exhibit A — that’s A for “Alone” — in this unsparing exploration of the contemporary mating scene. Part cautionary memoir, part field study, her account of her own stalled search for a husband is honest and darkly comic.

While many books about relationships flatter women and promote strategies to attract elusive men — don’t sleep with him, let him “chase you till you catch him” — Gottlieb asks readers to reconsider the less-than-perfect men who are available to them, and to do so while still young enough to close the deal.

Like many of us, Gottlieb went shopping with a mental checklist of attributes for her fantasy husband. Believing that the One was at large, she squandered opportunities with seemingly flawed, flesh-and-blood men.

Expanding on a provocative article she wrote for The Atlantic Monthly in 2008, and interviewing, among many others, therapists, members of the clergy, and both single and married people, Gottlieb makes a case that many women today end up alone because they hold men to insanely high standards. The feminist ideal of having it all, on our own terms, she argues, “is exactly how many of us empowered ourselves out of a good mate.”

The author treads good-naturedly over taboos, asking whether the “Go, girl!” ethos has run amok and our hard-won professional identities have become lonely traps. While she believes the workplace can be a fertile hunting ground, she also notes that men are often less impressed than we expect by our brilliant careers.

Gottlieb’s triumph of experience over hope is not as depressing as it sounds. She skewers herself and her post-­feminist peers so accurately and disarmingly that we wish we knew an unattached man to fix her up with.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: feminism; gottlieb; marriage; women
Gottlieb's 2008 Atlantic article is here . Gottlieb says many women are being too picky about husbands, especially about superficial things, while Charlotte Allen has written in The New Dating Game about women sleeping with jerks. Both trends cause fewer people to get married. Republicans do OK with married women, but get crushed among single women, some of whom regard Big Government as their protector and provider.
1 posted on 02/13/2010 9:42:19 AM PST by reaganaut1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1

The idea of marrying someone for what today is called ‘love’ is really just infactuation. Infactuation does not last and basing your idea of who to marry on good sex also doesn’t last.

When reading history I noticed that men and women used to marry for the purpose of helping each other through life and supportig their families. It was an unselfish dedication to the marriage and the kids, something that today is somehow looked down upon, but I applaud the men and women who did this. Life is hard and a good partner, an honest one, is to be valued.

And dedication to God had a lot to do with it.


2 posted on 02/13/2010 9:52:03 AM PST by Beowulf9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1

Just the nature/premise of the article pisses me off.

Guys aren’t perfect. Oh woe is me, I won’t get a guy there’s nothing wrong with. I’ll have to SETTLE.

Gals, EVERYONE settles. You aren’t perfect either. The whole idea of this article is overly self-involved, oh my, how does this affect ME? What a narcissistic way to waltz through life. Like you have to - sigh - resign yourself to settling for less than MR Perfect. Mr. Perfect doesn’t exist. Neither are you Ms. Perfect. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Our culture is programming people to think they can have, even DESERVE, to have it all, and if you don’t, you’re being shafted somehow.

The marriage isn’t going smoothly? Divorce his butt. Take half his stuff, find a better guy. You deserve it. The Sharper Image nose trimmer doesn’t catch every last hair up there? Obviously you made a mistake selecting your significant other. Time to go.

If men bitched about all the things that are “wrong” with their women the way women do, or kept track of all their shortcomings in their heads to bring up at future arguments, nobody would ever get married.


3 posted on 02/13/2010 9:52:35 AM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1
Lori Gottlieb offers herself up as Exhibit A — that’s A for “Alone” — in this unsparing exploration of the contemporary mating scene
-snip-
but get crushed among single women, some of whom regard Big Government as their protector and provider.”

That's the problem right there.
Who the heck would want to marry a femi-Nazi wacko anyways?

4 posted on 02/13/2010 9:52:52 AM PST by SmokingJoe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1
Republicans ... get crushed among single women, some of whom regard Big Government as their protector and provider.

Of course these women are unhappy. No man can compete with the "richness" of Uncle Sam.

5 posted on 02/13/2010 9:53:30 AM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1

As a survivor of the singles scene (until 1997), let me say that all the complaints I heard about men - immaturity, lack of commitment, insecurity, shallowness - are commonly found in today’s single woman, too. Add to that an incredible sense of entitlement next to an incredible sense of victimization, and, quite often, a complete disregard for moral virtue and ethical conduct. It’s a horror. I’m working with me son right now to prepare him to deal with the users, sociopaths, verbal abusers, and gender feminists out there so he can find the kind of balanced, intelligent, kind, loving woman like his mom - who are also out there.

Gottlieb’s article misses the point. A lot of women who are being too picky about superficial things do so because they are superficial themselves. Like I said, it’s a horror out there right now.


6 posted on 02/13/2010 9:59:19 AM PST by redpoll
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SmokingJoe
Who the heck would want to marry a femi-Nazi wacko anyways?

Why would any decent man ever sleep with a woman who would kill his child?

7 posted on 02/13/2010 10:00:29 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (:: The government will do for health care what it did for real estate. ::)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1
The whole premise is puerile. You can date someone for years and after you get married things change. Always. It doesn't matter how well you think you know them (especially women) they change after marriage - and children.

This is what's behind the whole concept of marriage - you learn to grow together and adapt to each other.

If you spend time wondering if you've found the "perfect" mate you will spend the rest of your life alone because there's always something that you could point at and say, "I am not going to marry him/her because he/she ......!"

8 posted on 02/13/2010 10:03:33 AM PST by raybbr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Chandler
Why would any decent man ever sleep with a woman who would kill his child?

Lots of times you don't find out till afterward.

9 posted on 02/13/2010 10:04:19 AM PST by raybbr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: raybbr
Lots of times you don't find out till afterward.

That's why they call it "casual".

10 posted on 02/13/2010 10:05:47 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (:: The government will do for health care what it did for real estate. ::)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1
Like many of us, Gottlieb went shopping with a mental checklist of attributes for her fantasy husband. Believing that the One was at large, she squandered opportunities with seemingly flawed, flesh-and-blood men.

You tell it, girlfriend. That's why I've remained single...well no more. I'm going to settle for the first guy that boils my Ovaltine. Watch out, boys...here I come!"


11 posted on 02/13/2010 10:06:04 AM PST by LostInBayport (2010 - The Second American Revolution. The first shot was fired 1/19/2010 -- here in Massachusetts!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1
While many books about relationships flatter women...

That's the crux of the entire issue...how can flatter woman get more relationships.
12 posted on 02/13/2010 10:07:16 AM PST by Signalman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: raybbr
they change after marriage - and children.

That's why it's important to get to know someone before getting too involved. Once an emotional commitment is made, character flaws are overlooked.

13 posted on 02/13/2010 10:07:46 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (:: The government will do for health care what it did for real estate. ::)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1

I suspect most of these women would be perfectly content if they’d face up to the fact that they don’t really *want* to be married. Or at least if they had faced up to that fact much earlier in their lives, before wasting countless years on the “dating scene” and dreaming of happily-ever-after fairy-tale marriages like the ones featured in the movies and novels they devour.


14 posted on 02/13/2010 10:13:32 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1

For the most part, men know what they are doing. If they are truly into a woman, they will do and be much greater for her than if they are not. The majority of men want to be heroes to their women IF they are into them to begin with.

Too many women settle for guys who aren’t into them. And too many women have sex because they feel like it. If women grew up and refused pre-marital sex, men would follow suit.


15 posted on 02/13/2010 10:16:21 AM PST by Lauren BaRecall (No tag line - I travel light.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1
Like many of us, Gottlieb went shopping with a mental checklist of attributes for her fantasy husband. Believing that the One was at large, she squandered opportunities with seemingly flawed, flesh-and-blood men.

I really don't want to turn this into an "American-woman bashing" exercise but, quite frankly, I got tired of dealing with American women who always seemed to be looking around the corner for something better while at the same time making me feel inferior. In the navy, I discovered foreign women and my entire mindset changed. Eventually, I met a lovely young Ukrainian and traveled overseas to get married. We've been together six years and are approaching our five year anniversary and I couldn't be happier. I've found in my foreign wife the comfortable, relaxed companionship devoid of game playing that always eluded me when dating American women.

16 posted on 02/13/2010 10:17:12 AM PST by Drew68
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Secret Agent Man

Good points. Girls today are extremely critical of the men in their lives.

I suspect that the views and attitudes of so many American women today are what has fueled the “mail order bride” trend, in which American men are wanting to marry women from other cultures. American women are agahst that men would want to go to the former Soviet Union or the Phillipines to find a wife, but growing numbers are doing so.


17 posted on 02/13/2010 10:18:51 AM PST by Dilbert San Diego
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: raybbr
It doesn't matter how well you think you know them (especially women) they change after marriage - and children.

Women marry men they think they can change. Men marry women they think will stay the same.

18 posted on 02/13/2010 10:19:32 AM PST by Roccus (POLITICIAN.....................a four letter word spelled with ten letters.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Secret Agent Man

Nice post. Two thumbs up.


19 posted on 02/13/2010 10:19:34 AM PST by thecodont
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: LostInBayport; Admin Moderator

You broke the rules posting graphic fotos on FR....


20 posted on 02/13/2010 10:19:36 AM PST by fooman (Get real with Kim Jung Mentally Ill about proliferation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Drew68

Probably because she lets you be the man, i.e., she probably follows your lead, and doesn’t tell you what to do. She also sounds like she’s easy to be with.

You are probably the kind of man whose actions match his words. You never gave her a reason to doubt your affection and commitment.

This is how it works, and to accept less is a serious mistake leading to a very unhappy marriage.

I’m glad you found your special wife. Congratulations! :-)


21 posted on 02/13/2010 10:26:50 AM PST by Lauren BaRecall (No tag line - I travel light.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1
I will never forget the woman(divorced) who said to me that the women she knew "didn't really want a husband but they needed one for various reasons." And in the next breath questioned "Why is it that men won't commit?"

When you boil the idiot checkout line women's magazine sh*t out of it, it is just selfishness and infantile narcissism. American women have the best life of any demographic in the history of the world, all made possible by well-meaning men.

22 posted on 02/13/2010 10:42:19 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lauren BaRecall

This only works if a great majority of women refuse premarital sex. Then, women have a cartel, and the value of a relationship with them goes up. That cartel started breaking up in the 60s, I think.


23 posted on 02/13/2010 10:49:06 AM PST by jwalburg (I live in the 57th state.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Secret Agent Man
Oh woe is me, I won’t get a guy there’s nothing wrong with. I’ll have to SETTLE.

Right on Brother! A woman who thinks like this thinks her stuff doesn't stink, probably liberal too.

24 posted on 02/13/2010 10:57:23 AM PST by stevio (Crunchy Con - God, guns, guts, and organically grown crunchy nuts.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Lauren BaRecall
Probably because she lets you be the man, i.e., she probably follows your lead, and doesn’t tell you what to do. She also sounds like she’s easy to be with.

Well, yes. I'm the wage-earner and she stays home with our infant son. But there's a great deal of mutual respect. She implores me to mind my language, not drink too much, go to church on Sunday and generally has made me a better person. On the weekends, I'll help her clean and take care of the baby. It's much the way I was raised so it's an arrangement that I'm familiar with. She has a husband who comes home after work, isn't angry, bitter or violent and hasn't squandered the day's wages at the pub each evening, which is what she'd likely have if she stayed in Ukraine.

You never gave her a reason to doubt your affection and commitment.

Never. And she's never given me reason to doubt her commitment as well. Having a relationship without mind games is wonderful, healthy thing. My wife is everything to me and I don't know what I'd do without her. I know I'd definitely be a lesser man.

I’m glad you found your special wife. Congratulations! :-)

Thank you. I'm happy. She's happy. Our son is happy. Everything is well.

Of course, there's still a stigma associated with American men who marry foreigners as somehow losers who can't attract an American girl and the wives they marry are nothing but opportunists looking for a ticket out of the misery they live in. This is fed by the all-too-common image in the media of the paunchy, balding 50-something American man and his nubile Russian party-girl bride, barely out of her teens, who was basically 'purchased" to be a sex-slave that cooks and cleans. I cringe and roll my eyes when I see this portrayed as the typical arrangement and dearly hope it's not.

25 posted on 02/13/2010 11:16:08 AM PST by Drew68
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Secret Agent Man

As a woman I agree with you. There is no perfect person ever. Too many women today want perfect and do employ a check list. Too many of them find themselves over 35 and still single. IMHO let the guy chase you for a while there is something to be said about allowing the man to be the hunter, it’s instinct.Enjoying the good traits and learning to overlook the not so good is the way to stay married for a long time.The trick is to identify what you can live with and overlook before getting married!


26 posted on 02/13/2010 11:21:40 AM PST by chris_bdba
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: chris_bdba

And I’m not saying it’s not a challenge to find someone you can live with, on either side. It’s just this entitlement mentality that is being sold and women are buying more and more.

It doesn’t help either that in the culture the feminist agenda to derail men as competent, good parents, good husbands, and the active discouragement of them in school, the feminization of the public schools and getting rid of male teachers at all levels (thus getting rid of more potential good role models and authority figures) aren’t helping things to turn boys into solid men either. Our culture is doing its best to denigrate men, lower their standards and expectations and replacing adult men with “the government” as provider and benefactor, of all races and colors.

The women buying into this whole ‘settling’ thing automatically are assuming they are pretty much flawless, at least with respect to any man they might end up with. Falls right in line with the rest of the junk being pushed against men. They don’t even know they’re just being used. And why not? It’s a really pleasant lie to believe.


27 posted on 02/13/2010 11:30:56 AM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1

Ava Gabor said;

Marry for love; and keep marrying until you find it.


28 posted on 02/13/2010 11:33:35 AM PST by maine yankee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1
And here is the huge (hugh?) FreeRepublic thread on her original 2008 article:

Marry Him! The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough

 

29 posted on 02/13/2010 11:35:30 AM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Secret Agent Man
Our culture is doing its best to denigrate men, lower their standards and expectations and replacing adult men with “the government” as provider and benefactor

Hence the increasing number of 35-year old "men" trapped in a two decade long "extended adolescence", wearing the same clothes, listening to the same music, watching the same TV shows and movies and playing the same video games as teenage boys twenty years their junior.

30 posted on 02/13/2010 12:02:05 PM PST by Drew68
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Secret Agent Man

No matter how pretty she is, or how good in bed she is, some guy, out there somewhere, is tired of her shit...


31 posted on 02/13/2010 12:03:28 PM PST by CTOCS (I live in my own little world. But, it's okay. They know me there....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: CTOCS

It’s like that with everyone.

Everyone has lines they just won’t cross, or something that makes a person say “This just isn’t worth it.” What those lines are and how much one will take before hitting that point vary greatly.

I think we all need to come with the same kinds of warnings they put on various medicines, along the lines of “Your Results May Vary.”


32 posted on 02/13/2010 12:06:32 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Secret Agent Man

I agree with you. I was referring to the women out there who think they are “all that.” Been there, done that.

I’ve had 3 serious, multi-year relationships in my adult life. I tried my best in all of them. I told them up front, don’t threaten me, don’t belittle me, and don’t embarass me in public. They all did to an extent. They all also seemed surprised as hell when I walked. I told them in the beginning and I told them at the end - If I don’t like the movie, I get up and leave. None of them listened.

WRT the poster with the foreign-born wife, I also had friends from my Navy days who married foreigners. A nice looking girl (Barbie-type) asked me at a party why one of my friends just had to “bring one home with him?” I looked at her and said “You would be the perfect reason.” Evening went down hill from there.


33 posted on 02/13/2010 12:30:02 PM PST by CTOCS (I live in my own little world. But, it's okay. They know me there....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1
What's remarkable in that Atlantic article is how the author unselfconsciously describes characters and situations in silly, fictional television shows and movies such as Friends, Sex and the City, Will and Grace and Say Anything as being of serious importance and relevance for the way she approaches her own life and her own real-life relationships.

No sane man would want to marry a woman whose worldview is formed primarily from the degenerate sewage pumped out by Hollyweird and the popular culture.

34 posted on 02/13/2010 1:18:27 PM PST by SirJohnBarleycorn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirJohnBarleycorn

Most people do form their worldviews based on TV. Politics, dating, how to raise children... People perceive what they see on TV as what is normal, acceptable and even expected.

Humans are a group animal. We are affected by those around us. And the vast majority of people look to the fictional people on TV in the same way as they looked to and adapted to get along with their neighbours in previous times. Such is human nature, and such is the power we have given to the hippies...

You’re right about sane men of course.


35 posted on 02/13/2010 1:30:19 PM PST by LastNorwegian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Drew68
Wonderful post! And you prove that guys like you are out there, (although *you* are happily "off the market"). There *are* American women who have qualities similar to your wife, and many American men do not value these qualities. Women's Lib (and I don't mean the equal pay/opportunities stuff) wrecked how men and women should (because we're WIRED that way) relate to each other

Of course, there's still a stigma associated with American men who marry foreigners as somehow losers who can't attract an American girl and the wives they marry are nothing but opportunists looking for a ticket out of the misery they live in.

Maybe that attitude floats around in some places, but I'm in NYC. EVERYBODY lives here! LOL! Your marriage would not seem out of place.

I cringe and roll my eyes when I see this portrayed as the typical arrangement and dearly hope it's not.

And 2 seconds later, your attention is back on your family, because you're just too happy and blessed to care what others may think. Right? :-)

P.S.: I've known many Ukrainians. Lovely people. And they make such beautiful Easter Eggs (I have a few).

36 posted on 02/14/2010 3:05:50 AM PST by Lauren BaRecall (No tag line - I travel light.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: jwalburg
For societal change it would have to be a movement. But pre-marital abstinence is also effective in individual situations. If a man is into a woman, under those conditions a relationship can really grow, if he's not, then he'll leave (which is not a loss).
37 posted on 02/14/2010 3:22:41 AM PST by Lauren BaRecall (No tag line - I travel light.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson