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Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough Hardcover – February 4, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 304 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gottlieb, 37, made the decision to become a single parent after years of searching for Mr. Right. Four years later, when she still hadn’t found him, she decided to take a good look at her dating habits—and the dating habits of women around her—to see if the problem is not a dearth of good men but rather women’s expectations of them. Gottlieb finds that women want it all—and often aren’t willing to compromise on their list of traits their ideal mate must have. In their twenties, many women leave good relationships based on an elusive feeling that they could find something more with someone else, and they regret it down the road when their choices dwindle. It’s not that women aren’t willing to settle; it’s that many refuse to recognize that their vision of the perfect man doesn’t match reality. With the help of dating coach Evan Marc Katz, Gottlieb reconsidered her own standards in the hope of finding happiness. Gottlieb’s honest, astute analysis will resonate with many women and make them uneasy as they recognize themselves in her experiences and those of the women she interviews. Gottlieb makes a strong case in this groundbreaking work. --Kristine Huntley


"An unexpected delight. Honest and darkly comic... the truth can be liberating.
-The New York Times 

"Marry Him is surprisingly, unnervingly convincing." 
-O, The Oprah Magazine

"Funny and relatable... anything but antiromance."
-People magazine

"A sensible plea to discard the toxic fantasy of romantic comedies and think realistically about what makes a solid partnership." 

"This is the smartest relationship book I've read in years."
-AOL's lemondrop.com

"This impeccably researched tome is mandatory reading.
-The Huffington Post
"Marry Him shows women how to find true happiness when seeking love--by giving them a new way to look at the world. Gottlieb manages to be hilarious yet thought-provoking, light-hearted yet profound on the questions of: Why do we fall in love? What qualities really matter in a marriage? For what reasons do we make the decisions that affect our whole lives? Marry Him will set people talking for years." 
-Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project
"I wish I could round up every single woman I know and assign this book for discussion. Marry Him is a big fat lesson in how not to get in your own way. Any woman who wants to find true love and hasn't been able to should read this book." 
-Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., relationship expert at Perfectmatch.com

"A well-conceived and convincing argument on how to find a more realistic Mr. Right. If you've ever sought your own Prince Charming, your love life will never be the same again. And that's a good thing."
-Christian Science Monitor

"Marry Him is a frank and funny read, weaving real people's stories with Gottlieb's own experiences, and containing sharp examinations of how society and culture-everything from When Harry Met Sally to The Bachelor-come into play when modern women look for love." 
-The New York Observer 

"A provocative pop culture treatise... she encourages us to think through our own beliefs and unexamined assumptions." 
-The Chicago Tribune 

"The buzz surrounding Lori Gottlieb's newest book, Marry Him, is well- deserved... She writes with honesty and hope, and there are many people who will benefit from reading this book." 
-The Examiner
"What Gottlieb is saying isn't subversive--it's smart. A thoroughly entertaining reality check."
-Diablo Cody, Academy Award-winning Screenwriter of Juno 

"Finally, here's a cautionary tale for anyone wondering why she hasn't found Mr. Right--with a hopeful message about the Mr. Right Nows, the Mr. Close Enoughs, and even the Mr. What the F*#%s." 
-Jill Soloway, writer and executive producer for Six Feet Under  and Transparent

"Engaging, hilarious, and eye-opening! Marry Him is an encouraging story about finding love by getting real." 
-Rachel Greenwald, New York Times bestselling author of Find a Husband After 35 

"This is a daring and wise book. Women (and men) should take Gottlieb's message to heart: 'Look for reasons to say yes.' It could change your life." 
-Helen Fisher, Ph.D., Rutgers University and author of Why Him? Why Her? 

"I have been very happily married for many years, and if my daughters ever ask me for advice about potential spouses, I plan to pass off a lot of what's in this book as my own sage wisdom." 
-Kurt Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of Heyday and host of public radio's Studio 360 

"Lori Gottlieb's smart, insightful, witty observations gleaned on her own unusual romantic path signal and important new voice in single-girl lit. The Rules turned single women needy, He's Just Not That Into You made them depressed, and Marry Him finally sets them free, preaching that in the long run, 'good enough' might be better than great." 
-Amy Sohn, author of Prospect Park West 

"By telling you to read Lori Gottlieb's incisive and insightful book, I hope I can make up for all the unrealistic romantic propaganda I had a hand in spreading as a former editor at a glossy women's magazine."
-Megan McCafferty, New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton; English Language edition (February 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525951512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525951513
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (304 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading several singles books that encouraged me to work on myself, ask friends why things weren't working out for me, and to keep my standards high, I decided to give this one a chance. Thank god I did. It turns out just one thing is separating me from finding a supportive, loving partner -- my unrealistic sense of entitlement. I was raised with a mother who told me I was beautiful and only deserved the most textbook Mr. Right. So for most of my dating life, I've discarded dozens of guys for not immediately making me go all starry eyed.

Gottlieb doesn't encourage us to discount the importance of attraction or connection. Her book just teaches us to remember in our fast-paced world that sometimes both of those things can grow or cultivate over time rather than a half hour cup of coffee. Many of us settle for the instant pleasure of a Hostess cupcake rather than waiting for a seven-course meal. In a society that touts instant gratification, she reminds us to let things marinate and bloom into something we would have otherwise missed. Ultimately, it's not a book that argues for settling as much as accepting men's humanity and flaws. And really, don't we hope they'd do the same for us? And doesn't that sort of acceptance lead to a deeper, longer lasting love?

Through extensive research and insight (and yes, her own mistakes), Gottlieb takes the reader through a cognitive retraining of sorts. She debunks the double standard women hold toward men when it comes to expectations and forces us to confront, again, our sense of entitlement. The exercise is both confidence building and reassuring. It's not too late for me. It's not too late for any of us.

I discussed the book with a friend who's getting married in May.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Aside from being such an entertaining read, this book just killed any lingering doubts I had about marrying my fiance. I'm 30, and I'm engaged to a wonderful 38-year-old accountant who happens to be quite boring. He also comes with a bit of baggage -- a 4-year-old son from a previous relationship (not marriage). However he and his ex have joint custody, so we do get decent couple time and he doesn't pay child support, plus I have a great relationship with his son.

Anyway, this book made me realize how close I was to making a huge mistake. My guy meets all of my needs (we share similar values, he's financially responsible, he's a good father, and he doesn't have a problem with me engaging in activities I enjoy even if he's not necessarily interested in doing them with me) and many of my wants (he's tall and athletic, we have amazing physical chemistry, he's affectionate, he never stonewalls during an argument, he's a good cook, and he's way better than me when it comes to cleaning the house !)

But for the longest time I doubted whether it would work out because I didn't feel like he's intellectually curious enough. I'm a writer, and I read everything I can get my hands on just for the sake of learning new things. My fiance is rarely interested in learning about anything that doesn't have a practical application. He's also a homebody, while I prefer to be out there doing things. He's just a quiet guy with simple needs. But whenever we're together, I always feel a sense of calm, peace, and comfort, even if it's just sitting side-by-side on on the couch while he's watching a basketball game and I'm reading a book.
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17 Comments 181 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I am convinced that this book was written JUST FOR ME. Seriously. What a wake up call!

At the ripe old age of 32 and after ending a 7 year relationship with a guy who just didn't ever want to get married and have kids, I met my dream guy. The new guy was just too good to be true. He was successful, responsible, handsome, spoke 4 languages fluently, world traveled, brilliant, kind hearted, affectionate, classy, generous, gave me back massages after sex, always called when he said he would, was punctual to every date, and was FANTASTIC between the sheets. His hobbies were rock climbing, photography, motorcycle riding, and hiking. He'd never been married and didn't have any kids. My parents LOVED him. Most importantly, he wanted to marry me and have kids with me. He was even willing to relocate to live in whatever city I wanted to settle in. What a catch, right?

And do you know what? I almost blew it. Why? Because he had a dorky sounding laugh and he told me he loved me too often. That's right. I almost dumped him because he had a dorky sounding laugh and for loving me.

Thank God for this book. It was the refreshing slap in the face I desperately needed.

The good news is, I didn't dump him and I couldn't be happier.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read this book twice in my lifetime. Once in my 20's and now in my 30's. I must say that my opinion of the book has drastically changed. In my 20's I saw Gottlieb as being a bitter, aging woman who had "free-choiced" herself into a corner and had created this manifesto of her regrets in an attempt to gain some insight of what went wrong.

Now in my 30's I can say that I have opened my mind up to this philosophy and gained a Fiance as a result. I stumbled upon this book again on last year after a date with a man I swore I would never see again. He was nice and all, but just not my type. We'd met over Facebook, exchanged numbers, and after admiring his cute profile pix and engaging in conversation that I can only describe as somewhat chemical, we decided to meet. As soon as I approached the restaurant door where he was waiting on our date, I just knew that this was something I didn't want. My Fiance is fat with man hips and boobs. That was a no-no! He smiled excessively and ordered corn-on-the-cob that he nervously ate throughout the date. I could also go on about his ripped jeans and beat-up hoodie (that he didn't take off at the table!)I had been "Catfished." I went home thinking, "Well, back to the drawing board."

A couple of days after the date as I was sitting there thinking of some of the things we (He and I) had discussed leading up to the date; I actually started to miss him. That night I began reading "Marry Him: The Case..." What Gottlieb had to say now began to sound crystal clear. For some reason it resonated in a way that it hadn't before. I texted my Guy again and we began conversing and eventually he asked me out on a second date. It wasn't chemistry on that date either; just a deep curiosity. However, as we began to date again and again...and again.
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