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

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,630 Ratings  ·  347 Reviews
The controversial national bestseller!
Nearly forty and single, Lori Gottlieb faced the unthinkable: she'd wasted her best years chasing an elusive Prince Charming who might not even exist. Meanwhile, her friends who'd "settled" for Mr. Good Enough ended up married to excellent husbands and fathers.
This is an eye-opening, funny, painful, and always truthful in-depth exa
ebook, NOOK book, 262 pages
Published February 4th 2010 by Dutton (first published January 1st 2010)
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There are many other things I should be doing, but I ended up getting hooked on this book: Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. Why are so many eligible women–particularly in their 40s and up–still alone when they desperately want to be married? Lori Gottlieb, a 41-year-old single mother and journalist, aims to find out. What follows can be best described as a combination of Sex and the City, Dr. Phil, and Malcolm Gladwell. It is filled with anecdotes, tough love, an
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are an extreme feminist, believe that marriage is about perfection, and cannot stand another person's point of view if it differs from your own, this book is not for you.

It's also not for you if you look down on people that are interested in getting married, being in a relationship or "don't want to go it alone". In fact, if you are that person, you wouldn't be reading this review.

However, if you fit into the following categories:
1. You think you are entitled to a perfect life / narcissis
Spider the Doof Warrior
No, i'm only SORT of reading this book. If I come across it at the train station book nook I'll read it until the train comes.
Mostly it's annoying me! I just don't THINK like this. I know I'm 32 and all, but I'm not screaming about not being married. If it happens, it happens. I'll live my life until it does, as I do not feel incomplete or empty.

She lost me at that part where she's talking about Broadcast News which is a movie I HATE. I fail to see how that curly haired fellow was any better tha
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
I've wanted to read this ever since it was published in 2010. I imagined it would form a Trifecta of Awesome with Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage and Wendy Plump's Vow: A Memoir of Marriage, both of which I enjoyed and found illuminating. Instead, it proved disappointing, albeit in slightly amusing ways.

The premise is that a certain segment of the female population is too picky about potential husbands. They wait too long to settle down and start a family, exp
Jun 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know how this sounds, but Marry Him is not a book on how to hook a man nor, as the title implies, a book about settling for any schlub off the street just because you don't want to end up alone. Instead, Gottlieb, a 41-year-old single mother (via artificial insemination), delves into the "whys" behind the growing number of single women in their late thirties and early forties who don't want to be single. She uses experiences from her own life and those of women she knows as well as interviews ...more
Nov 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely engrossing and fun to read. My husband picked it up and couldn't put it down. We were actually fighting over it!

I think a lot of people -- not just women, but men too -- could get something out of her advice. The overall premise is: don't wait for perfection. When you find a good person, someone with whom you share interests and goals for your life, don't reduce him to that one nit-picky habit of his that you find annoying. Don't chuck the relationship in search of The Perfect One. Cha
Dec 14, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Are you single? Do you know a single guy? Is he nice? Does he have nice breath? That last one isn't as important. You need to run to him. Like leap into in his arms and marry him before someone else snatches him up. Because while you are waiting around for Mr. Perfect Hottie who does not exist Mr. Nice Guy is getting married and soon you are going to be left all alone. ALONE! And you will only have yourself to blame. Can you feel your eggs drying up now? Well they are!

This is the whole message o
Jul 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
To be fair, I read about 1/3 of this book. It depressed me so much that I couldn't bear to finish it. After my friends had to listen to me complain, they finally convinced me to ditch the thing.

It's not that Gottlieb doesn't have a point about women being too picky (read: superficial) in choosing a partner, but I could have done without the fear-mongering. Every other paragraph was a reminder that after 30, dating becomes increasingly difficult, your single friends dwindle, and you're left all a
Apr 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
Caveat Reader: Writing this as a 28 year old, incredibly happily married male I am fairly certain this would be a painful read if you happen to be 33 year old, disillusioned, single female hoping to find love. Heck, I bet it'd be a difficult read if you want a guy (or girl) and feel lonely at 23... but my warning gets stronger the older you are.

Basically Gottlieb makes the case that it's not settling just because a guy doesn't match up with every point on your "deal-breaker" list. (Granted, the
Oct 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Single women
Recommended to Carrie by: Library patron
Shelves: nonfiction
I have a story that goes along with this book, and it's too good to leave out! At the library where I work, a sweet little old man came up to me and recommended this book, which he had just finished. Of course I chuckled to myself, because it was so unexpected. He said more people should approach marriage this way, and he wished he had read it when he was a younger man. He then asked if I was married and what three qualities attracted me to my husband. I answered, his faith, his integrity, and t ...more
Mar 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: love-and-dating
I have a love-hate relationship with this book. I wanted to give it 3.5 stars, but I felt generous and gave it 4 b/c I think people should read it. I think the mark of any good material is if it sparks discussion and debate--this is definitely one of those books. It could almost go by another title like, "Expectations: The case for getting over yourself." In the beginning, Ms. Gottlieb is so whiny, claiming to be overly intellectual when she's really just a hard core elitist, I almost put the bo ...more
Jun 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
The author is 41 years old, never-been-married, and has a 2 year old child. She is back on the dating scene and is troubled by the fact that she hasn't met The One yet. Will she ever? Then she starts to question the validity of The One. This leads her onto a journey of self-discovery.

This is usually the kind of story that I like. However, I found the author to be so self-sabotaging that it infuriated me. She spends part of the book blaming feminism and the "I can have it all" syndrome for her pi
Blog on Books
Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If there is any justice in the world, what looks like a book, should become a movement.

Author and single mother Lori Gottleib, has taken what began as an article in the Atlantic and turned it into a book that nails what has evolved into the `picky womens movement' that unfortunately is keeping young women from getting into marriage until it's nearly too late. And while some may conclude that Gottleib's mantra of 'settling' (a potentially disturbing word choice when exploring the subject of love
Oct 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Get over yourself!

That’s basically the advice that 41-year-old Lori Gottleib gives single women over 35. No other book I’ve read lately (or at least in the past 5 years) has made me so glad and grateful to be married.

Believe me, I’m not interested in dating anyone else but this book gave me a kick in the pants to stop complaining about my husband. I always thought I got a pretty good deal but now I’m realizing that by marrying young, I got a great deal.

Says Gottlieb: “What I didn’t realize whe
Aug 04, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
* 1/2

I don't really know where to start. My rating isn't some knee-jerk reaction to the stupidity of the title, but a reaction to how ridiculous AND poorly researched this book was. Yes, Gottlieb cites plenty of "studies" that look at marriage and happiness, but rarely do these studies have much to say about women specifically. And it also doles out some decent relationship advice (don't have unrealistic expectations of your partner, nobody's perfect, sometimes the best partners come in unexpect
Mar 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe was concerned when he saw the title of this book, but I assured him that he is not simply "Mr. Good Enough" but, like Mr. Darcy before him, "Mr. The best man I have ever known." I don't know the exact quote from Pride & Prejudice, but I do know that this is the opinion that Elizabeth finally comes to have of Mr. Darcy. She feels this way even though Darcy isn't perfect, and he reciprocates even though Elizabeth Bennett isn't perfect.

Honestly, that is the message of Gottlieb's book as wel
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Read this when you’re tired of meeting men at bars. And because pleated pants have nothing to do with whether he will clean up kid vomit.

Before you pick this book up know that it’s written from the perspective of a 40+ educated, single mom looking for a husband. And she's rather narcissistic.Also, it’s not nearly as inflammatory as the title wants you to believe.

Even if you don’t want marriage and a family–or don’t know if you do–this book is surprisingly insightful about women in the dating ga
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Or . I don't know why I found this book as irritating and ridiculous as I did, but it might have something to do with the author's lack of awareness about her own sense of privilege. She suggests that women need to get over themselves and their laundry lists of desired traits in a partner and “settle” (no longer a bad word) for the "good enough" guy who might be right under their noses lest they end up over 40 and unmarried. While others have criticized Gottlieb for her desire to be married and ...more
UPDATE: I'm changing my rating of this book. I would like to give it two and a half stars, but since I can't I'm rounding down instead of up. While I thought it was very interesting I've now had a good week under my belt since finishing it. I can only say that while this book has many valid points that should be thought about (see below), it is SO incredibly discouraging and I think that actually might be more dangerous than helpful. I can't stop thinking about this book, and not in a good way. ...more
Jan 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soc-sci
A few years ago I was forwarded an article in the Atlantic Monthly entitled "Marry Him!" (exclamation point included) that argued we should "settle" for Mr. Good Enough because while he may not be perfect, no one is (including ourselves, gasp!) and while we're waiting for our one true prince to come, we might have passed up perfectly good candidates because they didn't fit out ideal man.

The article (and it's fascinating comments) is still up:

Lori Gottlie
May 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Either I already knew everything Ms Gottlieb tried to tell me, or I'm pretty effing dense.
This book is for any woman who hasn't found Mr Right and believes that the longer she waits to commit, the more likely it is that she'll find someone perfect.
Actually, in some cases this might be true, so it really is for everyone who's still looking. It's a great help if you're trying to figure out if you're being too picky. Who hasn't been there?
It sucks both to hear it and to say it, but more and more
Jan 31, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I can't believe I read the whole thing....

The book could be summed up in a single chapter. (Or... an Atlantic essay...?) Or with this sentence "Stop being superficial."

It's not that I don't think Lori Gottlieb has something of a point. I imagine that there is a small subset of women who are truly so picky that they judge guys as quickly as characters on Sex and the City, yet also do want a long-term life partnership. This small subset of women do need to hear that their pickiness is completely u
Mar 25, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, audiobook
I hesitated to write a review of this because I didn’t finish it, but considering how often other folks on GoodReads go ahead and do reviews, why not?

I listened to the audiobook of this, and listened to the first part, a little over an hour of 9 hours. It irritated the heck out of me. The author focuses on herself, while trying to make this a self help book – when she really didn’t even help herself, apparently. She talks about interviewing groups of women who dumped someone because of his bald
SoManyBooks SoLittleTime (Aven Shore)
In summation: Don’t be so picky, the pool gets really thin after 40, and guys tend to happily marry because they don’t have such long lists of conditions as women while women end up accidentally along waiting for a guy who doesn’t exist.
Just: Don’t be so picky.

She does an excellent piece of reporting, finding the actual men that she and a group of friends chose not to marry back in the day, interviewing them, and then, the women who did marry them. She ties in lots of research studies, expert in
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent advice in this book. One of the best of the genre. The reviews for the book are telling, as men are typically giving it high marks, whereas women are grading it lower. Quite a few reviews say something along the lines of: I do not think this is true, or this will not happen to me, or she is just a pathetic and needy lady and her advice does not apply to me. Well, young doubting women, your beauty will fade too ... time stands still for no one. Gottlieb, writing from the other side of 4 ...more
Oct 16, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stephanie by: Catherine
Here's the deal: the author was, until she started researching for this book, a disaster when it came to choosing who to go out on a date with. Actually, she's still a disaster for the bulk of the book. And now she's 41 and a single mom via artificial insemination. She hammers it in that a woman's stock as marriage material is highest when she's in her 20s, and early 30s, and greatly diminishes by the time she's 35. And then forget about it by the time she's hit 40. The author also hammers it in ...more
Well-written and easy to read, but nothing new if you're a single woman who's read anything about dating. Except for the fact that she blames feminism for her screwed up love life. I think she screwed up her love life on her own; I'm a feminist and I've never (I hope!) had her terrible attitude towards meeting men. Gottlieb confuses empowerment--a rallying cry for feminism (and many movements) with entitlement. She says single women today feel entitled. She has a point, but I don't think entitle ...more
Pam Ford
Nov 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been on my list of books to read for a while, and I'm glad it was! The book is funny, well-written, and a bit of a catalyst for a paradigm shift.

Many women focus so much on finding Prince Charming, that we ignore Prince Dependable, Caring, and Honest. I think the author takes a varied and interesting approach to changing her mindset - the one we are all taught since our days of Sleeping Beauty. (Wait...we don't lay around and be fabulous and wait for him to sweep us off our feet the moment
Jun 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-fun
I liked this book a lot. The common sense of treating men well, and not being too demanding is something that I think our society needs to hear. I am fairly idealistic, and I expected to argue all the way through this book, but instead I found myself agreeing with the premise and seeing examples in real life.

The idea is not that you should marry someone who doesn't share your basic values. The idea is that you should know what your basic values are instead of wanting someone who gives you butte
Suzie Quint
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research, nonfiction
An unusual book. The risk of waiting for The One is that you hit 30 or even 40 still single. That was where the author found herself. This book tells of her experience trying to find a good man to marry. Along the way, she learned that women are pickier than men, often to their detriment. She learned to jettison her superficial requirements for a man and focus on the things that really mattered to her. She also interviewed a variety of women, those who'd passed on men who later regretted it, tho ...more
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the case for settling 2 43 Jul 24, 2011 03:21PM  
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Lori Gottlieb is the author of national best-seller Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self, and a regular commentator on NPR. A journalist and columnist, she has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Atlantic Monthly, People, Elle, and Glamour. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
More about Lori Gottlieb...
“When I look at my friend's marriages, with their routine day-to-dayness, they actually seem far more romantic than any dating relationship might be. Dating seems romantic, but for the most part it's an extended audition. Marriage seems boring, but for the most part it's a state of comfort and acceptance. Dating is about grand romantic gestures that mean little over the long-term. Marriage is about small acts of kindness that bond you over a lifetime. It's quietly romantic. He makes her tea. She goes to the doctor appointment with him. They listen to each other's daily trivia. They put up with each other's quirks. They're there for each other.” 22 likes
“Next time you're about to rule out some guy because he's not your ideal, try to focus on the good things about him, because some guy is going to have to focus on the good things about you, even though he may have wanted someone more easygoing or taller. Every time you start to dissect some guy, note that he's willfully ignoring all of this in order to go out with you.” 10 likes
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