THE CASE FOR SETTLING FOR MR. GOOD ENOUGH. By Lori Gottlieb. This book should have been called, THE BIGGER, BETTER DEAL! Because that is what she has been searching for her whole life. This book would be fun for anyone who has spent any time dating sites and wondered why they had no fun. The writer has spent many years online dating with the intent to get married. I can never understand that but I never wanted to get married. When I did I wasn’t out searching for it. I just met my wife and it happened. There was more than that but marriage was the furthest thing from my mind when I met my wife. Maybe she has scared a lot of men away by announcing she is looking to get married. I figured out early in the book that her problem isn’t she can’t find anyone good enough, it’s that she is always looking for the Bigger, Better, Deal. As my friends and I used to say. I’ll start by saying she is completely out of my league. She makes a ton of money, she’s good looking, well educated, funny, and she writes for The Atlantic, so she is high profile. I know she could afford to be picky but she took it to the extreme. The book starts with her list of qualities she is looking for in her ideal mate. The list is exhaustive and very particularly specific and detailed. And she wants all of it!
I’ll give you an example. I know most women are looking for someone taller than them. A lot of women say you have to be 6 feet or more, which leaves me coming up short. But she is very specific as I mentioned. She wants a man from 5’10” to 6’0″. A 2 inch range! And she is strict. When she is scrolling through dating site profiles looking at height, 5’9″ or 6’1″ gets you tossed. She wouldn’t even consider it. Forget about having the wrong hair color. Or worse, bald!
She has a good sense of humor. I don’t know how funny she meant this book to be but it is hilarious. It gets even funnier when she tells you she got tired of waiting to meet Mr. Right and went to a sperm bank and had a kid and went right back to looking for marriage. But by now she is 40 with a 2 year old and her marketability is way down. Please don’t peg me as a chauvinist for using the word “marketability” to describe a woman on a dating site. She does a whole chapter on it and it is a word given to her by her dating coach and she agreed with him.
For the book she sees everyone from psychologists to clergy to matchmakers to her dating coach. She does a lot of research because it is her job working at the Atlantic. Another funny part of the book is she met a man when she was younger who had all the major qualities she was looking for but she couldn’t date him because of his first name! It was “too nerdy.” There was no shortage of guys who were perfectly eligible. She was just too damn picky. The funny part is when she reaches the dating coach he convinces her to start dating another man who only meets her most basic requirements on paper. She dates him for 2 months. He is 5’6″ and bald and he has the same nerdy last name!
Another funny thing is she internet stalks these guys she turned down for silly reasons, like their first name or she didn’t immediately “feel it” in their first phone conversation so she didn’t give them a first date. That’s right. She ditched them and then she is googleing and Facebooking them years later and finding out they are happily married with 3 kids. And she would contact them and ask how that worked! I guess she wouldn’t have had much of a book without interviews from the unacceptable men but this is a thing she did before she had the idea of writing a book. Another good one is after her dating coach told her she wasn’t such a hot item anymore she finds a man she is very interested in online. She reaches out to him only to find out that 5 years previous he had reached out to her and she turned him down for another picayune reason. He wasn’t interested in her anymore. She had one of her perfect men 5 years ago but he still wasn’t good enough.
I’ll give away a lot of this book because I don’t think any of you will actually read it. You would think the funniest part is at the end after she tells her audience (younger single women, not older men like me) to “settle” at an earlier age you find out she doesn’t get married by the end of the book. I’ll tell you what I found to be the funniest thing. I found Lori Gottlieb because I am waiting on her 2nd book so I searched her and found this one. I read a sample of the 2nd book and in it her fiance cancels the marriage because she has an 8 year old and he doesn’t think he can go through the years of a young child after his kids are already grown. It’s not really funny but it was to me because all the time I read about her dating machinations I knew in the back of my head she writes a 2nd book and she is still not married 6 years later.
Don’t get me wrong. This is a very good book. It is filled with good advice but even if you aren’t looking to date anyone the stories are entertaining. She has much more to say than I even mention. I listened to this book through my library app. (Libby, by Overdrive). Now that I think of it she rejected a man without even talking to him because his profile said he likes to listen to books rather than read them. She didn’t think he would be intellectual enough. After she lowered her standards she internet stalked him and found out he knows about her from reading The Atlantic. (Wow! he’s intellectual) But now again he is not interested in her. By the way, I like to listen to books now because since my brain injury I have trouble focusing on written words. I still understand them.
I am going to read her next book when it becomes available to me. It is not about dating at all. It is about her being a therapist who ends up needing a therapist. Another true story.