Striped Toe Socks
Monday, June 16, 2008
Mr Good Enough
I read an article a few weeks ago called Settling for Mr Good Enough, by Lori Gottlieb. It's written by a woman who decided at nearing 40 that she wanted children even if she didn't have the father to go with them. She got a sperm donor and had her baby. Now she looks at couples a bit jealously, wondering if perhaps she was too picky, wondering if she should have settled for some of the decent guys she dated, but didn't feel passionate about. Her advice to other women? Settle.
I've given this some thought. It's difficult for me to relate to this, but I'm going to do my best. I got married young, far younger than I should. My husband and I have grown up in the last six years. We have built on the passion that drew us together in our youth and added stability, kindness and partnership to it. We are working on starting a family and I know J will be a good dad. I also know it will be hard, I'm sure I don't know how hard. So my own experiences are vastly different from the authors. I do have friends who have reached the age they started being nervous about never meeting "Mr Right" and settled for "Mr He Asked Me. In settling though, they ended up not with the partners they envisioned, but with men they didn't know as well as they thought.
I've shared this discussion with some friends, my mom and my mother in law. My friend Kim married young, full of passion. She and her husband struggled for years and ended up divorced. Looking back passion wasn't all she had hoped it would be. She now says she wouldn't settle, that she would rather be alone. My mother in law says she has seen many women settle, but not for the right men. Not picking a man for his good qualities, but picking him because he was there.
So what do I think you ask?
I agree with the author, BUT, I don't think the word should be settle. I think the idea is to pick a man based on who he is. If you want children, pick a man who will be a good father. Pick a man who is stable, kind, intelligent. Don't settle for just any guy who comes along, but stop basing your judgments on what he looks like. Is he shorter than you? So? Does he have some extra padding around the middle? If it is the goal for you to spend your life with someone, pick a good one. Pick someone you enjoy being with. This doesn't mean candle light meals and strolls on the beach and all night love making sessions. This means he is willing, no, HAPPY, to let you sleep in while he cares for the children. It means when your body changes after having his children he will only love you more. It means that no matter what happens in your life, good, bad and in between, you know you can count on each other.
If you pick a man who will be this to you, the passion will take care of itself.
What do you think?