Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr Good Enough is published next week and to me smacks of a woman projecting her own regrets onto a book buying public. The author, Lori Gottlieb, is a forty year old single mother who freely admits that she wishes she had settled for any of the dull “uninspiring” men she had previously rejected in her romantic history.
She says, “every woman I know—no matter how successful and ambitious, how financially and emotionally secure—feels panic, occasionally coupled with desperation, if she hits 30 and finds herself unmarried”. Well Ms. Gottlieb, I respectfully suggest you widen your circle of friends to include less needy Bridget Jones types. I am staring 34 in the face and have no sense of desperation, tinged with panic or otherwise, at the fact that I am single and nor do many of my friends in the same situation. Of course she has already thought of this. As she says “if you say you’re not worried, either you’re in denial or you’re lying”. There is also a third possibility Ms. Gottlieb; you’re wrong.
She needs to stop looking at marriage with such jaded eyes. Here is a woman who posits “marriage isn’t a passion-fest; it’s a partnership formed to run a very small, mundane and often boring non-profit business…and I mean this in a good way.” There is a way to leech the positivity and happiness out of most situations if you try hard enough and it would seem that Ms. Gottlieb has surely achieved this. She believes that women should reappraise marriage and have “a more realistic understanding of its cold, hard benefits”. Perhaps if you’re going to look at it this way, committing oneself to a nunnery might be the more logical solution?
Of course the author blames feminism for this problem. Rather a facile argument and not one I’m inclined to believe. Surely one of the best things about feminism was the fact that it enabled women to not have to endure awful relationships in order to exist in society. Women do not now need to get married for money, social status, to have children or their own property, therefore the only logical reason to get married is for love. Because your life will be better with this person in it. Because you can’t imagine your future without them. Not because you are desperate and unable to enjoy your own company.
I obviously won’t be buying this book and I sincerely hope that Ms. Gottlieb spends her book royalties on a good therapist rather than inflicting any more of this condescending nonsense on an unsuspecting public.