9 de fevereiro de 2009

Looking for Mr. Good Enough

Forget passion. According to the latest thinking in the dating world, romantic love is a fantasy. Single women are being urged to be strategic, and even draw on the time-tested principles of arranged marriage.

You know that scenario you hold in your head about The One? One day, you'll be walking into your local grocery store to buy a mango, and there he will be, squeezing them too, ready to seduce you with an opening gambit about, say, ripeness.

Well, it's a dream, and that makes you a fantasist.

Such is the new thinking from the front lines of modern dating. Forget about finding Mr. Right. You should settle for Mr. Good Enough. Heck, go for Mr. Just Okay. Don't expect a head-spinning courtship. You should not even want love.

In fact, you'd be wise to borrow a few pointers from arranged marriages.

Last month in London's Sunday Times, Lori Gottlieb caused a stir by writing a piece about her longing to be married. At 40, she laments the decisions in her 30s to break up with certain boyfriends. Looking back, she figures she should have married one. A single mother, she conceived her child through donor sperm because she had not met Mr. Right.

Her advice to women is to settle before they panic about feeling they might never have a family. “Don't worry about passion or intense connection,” she writes.

Marriage is “more like a partnership formed to run a small, mundane and often boring not-for-profit business. And I mean this in a good way.”

Reva Seth agrees. Born in Canada, she has written a book, First Comes Marriage, Modern relationships, Advice from the Wisdom of Arranged Marriages, based on her discussions with more than 300 women in arranged marriages. Does she think modern women are fantasists? Very Much – she says in an interview. Our expectations have become so high in terms of what we are looking for… Even the idea of a soul-mate is a list (of attributes) in our head that keeps changing.

Women should seek the inverse of what Hollywood and the culture in general dictate they should expect, she says.

Don’t look for connection or expect to feel something the minute you lock eyes. That is sexual chemistry, which fades over time. Look for shared value, even if that comes in a guy who does not look like a prince for you.