The 'Good Enough' Marriage
Experts and couples discuss whether settling for 'Mr. Good Enough' is better than waiting for the perfect soul mate.
Recognizing Mr. or Ms. 'Good Enough' continued...
Cynthia Rice underwent a similar change. "Earlier in my life, I had
certain criteria in my mind, like 'I'm not going to choose someone without a
certain stature in life or money," she says. "I consider [settling]
reprioritizing. We all have a little more baggage. I realized David was really
smart. We can have a conversation and connect even while we are grinding out
"I made a practical choice in a mate," she tells WebMD. "It's
not what we look like to our neighbors or to society. It's what we have here in
Although everyone has different requirements of a potential spouse, experts
offer five guidelines to help you determine the qualities needed for sharing
"good enough" lifetime together.
Compatibility. "Similar styles in living, similar ways of
operating, whether more rational or emotional, will help you avoid chronic
disappointment," Weston says. Gottlieb speaks of lifestyles that can
Sexual Attraction. "You need adequate sexual attraction, some
chemistry, but you each don't have to like 17 body parts," Weston says.
Similar Goals. You may have a laundry list of ideal qualities in a
mate, but narrow down your list to three must-have traits, Schwartz suggests.
"You only have so many "slots" someone can fulfill, whether it's a
shared love of travel, a similar outlook on money, or raising children."
Schwartz cautions about seeking what she calls "incongruent
characteristics" from a partner. "Some women marry industry lions and
then are surprised when they bite," she says.
Respect. "If you admire someone, you are way ahead," says
Gut Check. Finally, Weston suggests trusting your gut for clues on
whether someone is good enough for you. "Nine years before I married my
husband, I was engaged to another man," she says. "I had funny little
shooting pains and a twitch in that hand; I wasn't sleeping well. My body was
giving me clues."