Thursday, February 12, 2009

On Settling

I just read an interesting article on settling written by self-proclaimed feminist, Lori Gottlieb.
Whenever I make the case for settling, people look at me with creased brows of disapproval or frowns of disappointment, the way a child might look at an older sibling who just informed her that Jerry’s Kids aren’t going to walk, even if you send them money.


It sounds obvious now, but I didn’t fully appreciate back then that what makes for a good marriage isn’t necessarily what makes for a good romantic relationship. Once you’re married, it’s not about whom you want to go on vacation with; it’s about whom you want to run a household with. Marriage isn’t a passion-fest; it’s more like a partnership formed to run a very small, mundane, and often boring nonprofit business. And I mean this in a good way.
Personally, I support the idea of settling. Finding the perfect person is just too costly. When do we hold out for the perfect anything? In a world where search costs are positive, we always settle. The more important question:What characteristics are most important and by what magnitude?

It's entertaining. And something to think about. Certainly good conversation fodder for the upcoming Valentine's Day. ATSRTWT

[HT: Angela]


Juris Naturalist said...

She has to laugh at your jokes, not get tired of them, and even learn to tell them back to you at the right times.
I'd rank "likes my sense of humor" several steps above physical attractiveness.
Of course, some guys find those gems which entail the full deal, and the gals marry 'em anyway.
We consider ourselves the lucky ones.

M.D.O. said...

I agree with what Lori was talking about when she said that you need to have someone you can be in the trenches with... Marriage is not just a compromise, it's an alliance for greater stability and thrift. If you can't thrive with your partner, you shouldn't have made the match!

Which is not to say that romantic love isn't the best of loves, but ask any guy how long he has been best friends with guys and how long he has been married, and odds on he's had lifelong friends but VERY rarely lifelong partners.

What ever happened to being friends? Or did all those befuddled gals out there not recognize those hangers-on when they were younger, trying to befriend them so desperately, only to be shoved on the back burner for "mr. right [now]" who A) they didn't really know, B) they didn't even like, but C) had a raging gal-boner for. I'm all for women being as sexually free as they wish; but like us guys, eventually you grow out of that, right? I mean, the Sex/City gals don't, but they AREN'T REAL. Real Men, just like Real Women, learn that you can love a friend just as much as you can love a f***-buddy, but only the friend will love you back unconditionally.

Suzie said...

I'm not bent on settling, but I hear your point.