The Case Against Settling
If I settle at then we never click, then what? I live my life unclicked? I think not.0
A year ago, my friend Kate sent me an article in The Atlantic written by Lisa Gottlieb entitled “Marry Him!” and urging readers on the cusp of thirty to marry someone while they are young, fertile, and most attractive to the opposite sex. She argued that waiting for the proverbial “one” is a death-sentence, for after the flings and serial dating you end up alone…and old. Rather, women should consider marrying “Mr. Good Enough.” Then Gottlieb wrote a book on how and why to settle, spoke on Oprah, and blew up.
Two camps emerged form said book: the pros who agreed that Gottlieb is onto something and maybe we should ignore the traces of narcissism and inability to properly squeeze a tube a toothpaste and marry him already; and the cons who barked that obviously Gottlieb didn’t marry the “one,” so what does she know? Plus, who the hell writes that.
When I finally read the borderline dreadful publication last month, I found myself an outlier, agreeing with neither camp. Sure I can see Gottlieb’s point. If you wait for Mr. Perfect, you might end up alone. Plus, thousands of arranged marriages have resulted in happy, healthy partnerships. It’s not only possible, but possibly likely that you can grow to love someone despite their shortcomings. I believe this.
But, and there is a but, for many women, said shortcomings don’t push us away but something else. For many women, it’s dedication to career. For others, myself included, it’s a feeling that keeps us from settling. Sometimes we can’t pinpoint exactly what is wrong with him, but a nagging voice continuously saying “no.” If we settle, then what if the “no” never goes away? What if the relationship never clicks? Is Gottlieb encouraging us to live our lives unclicked?
As a woman who works from the inside out, I can’t even buy a pair of shoes if I don’t have 100% of my heart in it much less walk down the isle and marry a man. But if you’re living in fear of being in alone and you can live unclicked, then by all means, make Gottlieb proud.
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