Should you settle for Mr Second Best?

by Elizabeth Heathcote

Couple - News - Marie Claire

A 40-year-old single mother has caused outrage in the US by writing a book saying that if a woman is still single at 30, she should abandon the search for 'the one' and settle for 'Mr Good Enough'.

Lori Gottlieb's book, 'Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr Good Enough' is published in the UK this week.

In it, Lori says she wishes she had married any of the 'perfectly acceptable but uninspiring' men she knew in her twenties but rejected as she pursued her search for 'the one', reports the Mail.

She says that women have become too romantic about finding the perfect romantic partner, and a passionate marriage, and that this is leaving many lonely in their forties.

She blames romantic novels and films for encouraging women to hold out, and says the qualities we should look for in a husband are different to those we seek in a great passion.

'Marriage isn't a passionfest,' she says. 'It's a partnership formed to run a small, mundane and often boring non-profit business. And I mean this in a good way.'

Lori conceived her son by donor sperm because she hadn't 'met Mr Right yet'. But raising her child alone, and trying to find a partner in her forties, has left her questioning whether she wouldn't have been better to settle for a 'sub-par' husband earlier.

If you are going to settle (and most women will), she says, better to do it in your early thirties, when you will inevitably have more choice of men than in your forties.

She blames feminism for encouraging women to believe that it is better to be independent than to settle. 'Ask any soul-baring 40-year-old single heterosexual woman what she most longs for in life, and she probably won't tell you it's a better career or a smaller waistline or a bigger apartment,' she writes. 'She'll say what she really wants is a husband (and by extension a child)'.

She says that every women she knows who hits 30 single 'feels panic, coupled with desperation'.

Is she right? Can a marriage thrive without great passion? Or should you hold out for 'true love'?

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