Monday, August 8, 2011

Marry him: The case for settling for Mr. Good enough

By Lori Gottlieb

Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

When I first read this book I didn’t think very much of it.  Why?  Maybe it was the title.  More, however, it was because I thought it was just one woman’s experiences, point of view, and advice.  Sure, she had tried speed dating, online searches, and worked with a dating coach in her attempts to find an adequate relationship partner, and she writes about these in a very readable and enjoyable manner, but anyone (I thought) could do what she did and then write about his or her experiences.  I found the book rather “talky” and “trite.”  But, I changed my tone having read some of the other reviews
on  Readers found it particularly insightful, interesting, and thought-provoking.  (Shows you where my head is!)

Kate Oszko, from Brisbane, Australia, wrote, “It was a very easy read full of anecdotes and stories about what women look for and why really smart, talented and interesting women are often left alone. I guess it is reminding us to look beyond the obvious, not get too caught up in those endless "lists" of what we want in a man, and to focus on what we "need.”  Oszko ends her review by saying, “I had been having difficulty getting into reading, and this was a great way to get motivated again. It took me about a day and was interesting and thought provoking.”

Yolanda Mccarden ("YoYo") wrote, “I didn't really think I would like this book. I however found it interesting. I liked being able to see myself at different stages of dating - beginning in my twenties and now in my forties. I purchased this book for my mother - who just wanted to read it to see what it was about. She gave it to me and now I look at dating in my age bracket differently. I now can talk to my friends about the problems they've been having as well as addressing my own.”

Corin Duran wrote, “Please do not disregard this gem because of the title! I am married and heard about this book. I got it because I was intrigued and curious. I was not disappointed... it was witty, fun and refreshing. After reading the book, I realized that you don't have to be single to enjoy it. I'm not looking for a husband, not unhappy in my marriage and yet I gained a new appreciation for my relationship and my husband. This is truly a wonderful book that anybody could benefit from, no matter if you're single, married, divorced, separated, widowed, etc.”

When I began writing my review there were 92 reviews of Gottlieb’s book on, and the book received a rating of 4 1/2-stars out of 5.  That tells you something — maybe that I should not even begin to review a book that is “out of my league.”  I just have no experience in these areas.  Why did I choose to review the book?  I thought it might be interesting.  I like variety in my life.

Rachael S. Stern ("Rachel Stern") of Pikesville, Maryland, writes the following 5-star review of the book: “Having been successfully married for the past ten years, and having engaged in an active search for a mate before I met my late husband, I can say from experience that Lori essentially has it right. The most important ingredient in a successful relationship is this: empathy. Lori called it compassion, I believe, but I think of it as empathy.  If I wanted a guy to tell me He was so lucky to have married me then I had to tell him that I was the lucky one. If I wanted him to tell me that I was the best wife in the world, then I had to tell him he was the best husband in the world. It works. Treat others as you want to be treated yourself. The golden rule. Somewhere along the way, this has been forgotten.”  (If this was the essential discovery Stern received from her reading of the book, then I would suggest that the 318-page book was not especially valuable — and yet she gave it the full five stars!)

Listen to this 5-star review by Ali B. of New York, NY, “I can't tell you how absolutely fantastic this book is. I keep telling all my girlfriends about it. It's like a dirty romance novel that I just could not put down! It was also very relatable--very 2010--I easily could put myself in most situations, most especially [...]. It was very eye opening and enlightening. I think it can also empower women to open their eyes and see that there are actually a lot of great men out there, if we just relax and stay open minded.”

This 5-star review, by D. Wagner of Los Angeles, CA, says it all: “Are you a young single woman looking for love? You must read this book! How about a 40-something single woman? Single man? (Unhappily) married couple? Happy couple? You should ALL read this book! Why? Because it's one of the funniest, best researched books on relationships out there. Citing a variety of experts (matchmakers, psychologists, happy couples, economists ... even a rabbi), Lori Gottlieb gets to the heart of the issue: how we make decisions about love. Reading this book will likely help you to make better decisions when it comes to your love life - and perhaps decisions that could improve your life all around as well.”

See, there is no way I would be able to review this book appropriately — even though you DO get caught up in the stories and anecdotes.  From all the reviews I read, I understand 1) the value of the book, 2) for whom the book was written, and 3) the wit, charm, and style readers discovered in Gottlieb’s approach.  I’m a believer!  Just from the reviews, you get a clear idea of how well liked Gottlieb and this book are.  (I withdraw my concerns as well as my judgments of this book.  When the shoe fits, even when it’s not your foot, you must consider the feet of others!)

This book can be found at Marry him: The case for settling for Mr. Good enough

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