Marry Him by Lynn Gottlieb

NOTE: A few weeks ago I announced that I would be shifting from writing only about divorce to moving onto exploring relationships and possibly remarriage, since I am remarried. This book is about dating and I learned a lot about myself from reading it, even though the author is single and has never been married.

The subtitle of this book, “The Case fro Settling for Mr. Good Enough” is actually unsettling to me, because I don’t think author Lori Gottlieb really comes to that conclusion. Instead, through exploring her own saga of finding “Mr. Right” she discovers or uncovers that maybe she has been wrong about her assumptions for dating and marriage.  The book is a sometimes painful saga of how Lynn managed to be in her early forties (with a son) and yet has never found her”perfect match” or “soul mate.”

Through a thorough exploration and investigation of the dating and single life, calling on researchers and dating exports for help,  Lori Gottlieb honestly searches her premises about marriage to see why the right guy has not appeared. In Part One, she asks: “How Did We Get Here? which explores romance and dating, including a speed dating experience that is both funny and sad.

In Part Two the author looks at “From Fantasy to Reality,” discussing a topic she calls: It’s Not Him, It’s You.  She begins to realize that maybe she was looking for love in all the wrong faces, deciding not to go out with a guy because he did not have a certain look. For example, with the advice of  Evan, a “personal dating trainer,” she accepts a date with a man who wears bow ties, even though it is a turnoff.But when she meets him, she learns that his grandfather wore bow ties and when he dies,left them to his grandson, who wore them as a tribute to grandfather. So the turn off was no longer such a turn off.

In Part Three, Gottlieb digs deeper with “Making Smarter Choices,” telling us we shouldn’t be so picky and discussing the men who got away because she was nit picking. In Part Four, The author discusses “What Really Matters” and gets down to the nuts and bolts of what she needs as opposed to what she wants.  And in Part Five, “Putting it All Together,” the author posts some of the stories of her friends and their quest for love and marriage, ending with her own story.

This is an important book for single women, because Lori Gottlieb is brutally honest about where she thinks she went wrong in her search for a marital partner. And she really doesn’t say to settle so much as to advise single women to look closer at the values or the list from their twenties and maybe thirties, which misguided her into letting go some men who turned out to be great husbands and dads. (She has kept tabs on a few of the men that got away.) In the chapter called “The Men Who Got Away,” she writes about an old friend Andy and says:

“If I could go back in time, I’d date someone like Andy in a second. Not because I’d be settling, but because different things are important to me now—and should have been all along.” (p. 171)

I admire Gottlieb for her total honesty about herself and the missteps she feels she made along the way to finding love, romance, and a husband. One of the matchmakers she consulted said that romance is “about the evolving relationship,” not just the roses and instant attraction. She also spoke with a doctor who specializes in relationships, commented that he “thinks that many single women today bring a sense of entitlement to dating.” If the guy doesn’t adore her, like in a fairy tale, she sends him on his way and waits, alone, because ‘Some Day Her Prince Will Come.’

The quote by the author above and this one below are, to me, the crux of the book:

“What I didn’t realize when I chose to date only men who excited me from the get-go (without considering the practical side of things), is that what makes for a good marriage isn’t necessarily what makes for a god romantic relationship.” (p. 227)

I really liked this book and learned a great deal about why I made certain decisions when I was dating after my divorce and why my attitude about marriage was totally different the second time around. While this book is written by a woman young enough to be my daughter, I admire her research skills, her reporting, her sense of humor, and her painful honesty.

When I re-opened the book to do this review, I spotted the dedication page for the first time, and this is what it says: “For my husband, whoever you are.” I chuckled. On the cover is a comment by screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) who calls this book an entertaining reality check that will have the readers laughing and squirming. I heartily agree and recommend this book. Forget Dear Abby and read Marry Him. It is available from by clicking on the link below.

I trust that writer and author Lori Gottlieb will follow her own advice given in the book and find a man she can love, respect, and enjoy. I think people are meant to be partnered with someone to share the ups & downs of life and love.

Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough

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