Are single women single because they are too picky? Lori Gottlieb argues this is precisely the case, and she uses herself as the prime example. When asked to list the qualities she wants in a husband, the then-41-year-old journalist came up with 60 items—just off the top of her head—ranging from "kind" to "has a full head of hair (wavy and dark would be nice—no blonds)." But the most important thing she was looking for couldn't be quantified on a list. She wanted a man with a certain je ne sais quoi. She wanted fireworks on the first date. She wanted to know she had finally found "The One."

Newly released in paperback and being marketed to Christian women in time for Valentine's Day, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough details Gottlieb's journey from picky singleton to enlightened woman who is willing to date a bald, bow-tie-wearing man named Sheldon. The book's title, based on Gottlieb's 2008 essay in The Atlantic, brings to mind desperate women who are willing to marry anyone simply to avoid being single, but that is not what Gottlieb means when she encourages women to settle for "Mr. Good Enough." She does not advocate resigning yourself to a life of misery with a man you find unpleasant, but rather, adjusting your expectations and being happy with a more realistic version of Mr. Right.

According to Gottlieb, the problem is that women are no longer satisfied with companionship, security, and stability. Instead, we believe we deserve it all, and that includes a soul mate who is exciting, passionate, masculine, and has the same emotions women do. To make matters worse, we start to believe that no matter how great a guy is, there must be someone better out there. She argues that we should ...

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