In one of our stimulating conversation with my single & attached girlfriends, we would dissect at the scarcity of good men nowadays. We see amazing, beautiful and intelligent women who are still single (who admitted that they are lonely) and we would lament at the fact that there are just a lack of Mr. Right out there.
In one of my visits in my favorite store, National Bookstore, I would sometimes have an
implusive serendipitous purchase if a book would caught my eye and it would beg me to take him home with me. I came across a book that made me realize that maybe what me and girlfriends are wrong after all. Maybe there are no scarcity in a few good men. Maybe because of this generation’s emphasis on women’s empowerment and self-actualization, our definition of a good man is actually screwed.
Lori Gottlieb, the author, is a young-ish 40-something Jewish New Yorker in a search for love. However, in the course of several unsuccessful relationships and the annoying tick of the biological clock, she decided to take the matter into her own hand, by having herself inseminated. But still, even with a baby, Gottlieb couldn’t deny the need of companionship or as corny as it may sound, love (that doesn’t have your own DNA). She, too, thought that they might be a shortage of men for us, empowered women. But with a lot of interviews, researches, and even going into online dating, matchmaking and getting a dating coach, she reached, we are so wrong. This book is not a book to teach you how to find your own true love. There would be no step by step instructions or pep-talks in finding your man. If that is the book you want, then this is not the book for you. This book is actually Gottlieb’s personal discovery in opening her eyes to what real and what not in finding love.
We, women, were taught to think highly of ourselves, to never settle for less than the best. So we nitpicked every mannerisms, clothes choices, shape of the ear, choice of words of every man we dated. One tiny negative point is grounds for us to break up with them.
We all want the alpha male: devilishly handsome, successful & rich, charming and articulate, comes from a good family background, has charity works and is athletic, too. Definitely, good in paper. Someone that your family and your friends would automatically love and welcome with open arms. But the question is: are there any left? If there are, do they want us too? And better yet, once you have them, are they really the one for you? They might be Mr. Perfect but that doesn’t mean they are perfect for you. You might even be more happy with a guy who is averagely handsome, drinks beer rather than wine and makes you a mixtape rather than give you expensive long-stem roses on your birthday. But apparently, we convinced ourselves that we are too amazing to settle for anything less than perfect. And we pass on the balding but sweet officemate, the short but family-oriented old classmate or the reliable and trustworthy guy from a wrong side of town and wait..and wait… until 45years to realize that you are alone and Mr. Perfect is not the guy for you after all. And when you search for your past suitors, they are apparently happily married. And so were the women who settled for Mr. Good Enough. We were to busy nitpicking, we realized we are not Ms. Perfect ourselves. Also that in marriage, things that we put on top of our priority list doesn’t really matter, like age, height, amount of hair, college they went to, place where they used to live, their type of work (as long as they are working). We should put more emphasize on how much he loves you, his trustworthiness, if he supports your dreams, if he doesn’t belittle you but rather praises you, makes time for you and is proud of you. But sadly, these women realized these when it is too late. And that the women who they laughed at for settling now got the last laugh. Marrying Mr. Good Enough doesn’t make you desperate (which you will be if you keeping praying for Prince Charming & still be at the search at age 45) or it means you are settling. You might just be realistic and in turn, happier.
Blame fairytales for making us fantasize that there is actually Prince Charming for everyone of us. Someone handsome, chivalrous, strong, romantic and kind. Maybe the movie, Shrek, has a better grasp of what Prince Charming really is— good on paper but actually, egotistic, handsome (because he spend a good 2 hours fixing his hair & doing his facial regimen) and shallow, in reality. But we never consider Shrek, unrefined, below our social circle but is actually sweet and sincere. In an article by Yvonne Chase, a dating & relationship coach, its says: He was everything I said I didn’t want BUT was everything I needed. I guess sometimes we get too choosy but really, we don’t know what we want.
So for singles out there and unhappy attached women (who are busy obsessing in their partners annoying characters, not unless he is an abuser–now you MUST get away really fast), this book is for you. Learn from Lori Gottlieb’s mistakes and realization and you just might find your happy ending….