“Settling” – Good News on the Marriage Front

Here’s a bit of very good news: There’s a growing American women’s movement that encourages women to stop searching for the perfect mate, stop holding out for unrealistic “mr. perfects”, “prince charmings”, ” a new, feminist affirming male.”. Instead (White, college educated) American women should give regular guys (like us) a chance and to “settle” for someone who’s not perfect, but has many good qualities.

And the main point of the “settling movement” is that American (implied White, college educated) women are much, much happier married (implied to White American men) than being alone.

I would say that this movement suggests an end to the feminist inspired, war between the sexes and an end to bashing (White) American males.

That’s very good news indeed.

Here are excerpts of The Atlantic Magazine article on this subject for “fair comment”, protected by the 1st Amendment.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/03/marry-him/6651/

“About six months after my son was born, he and I were sitting on a blanket at the park with a close friend and her daughter. It was a sunny summer weekend, and other parents and their kids picnicked nearby—mothers munching berries and lounging on the grass, fathers tossing balls with their giddy toddlers. My friend and I, who, in fits of self-empowerment, had conceived our babies with donor sperm because we hadn’t met Mr. Right yet, surveyed the idyllic scene.

“Ah, this is the dream,” I said, and we nodded in silence for a minute, then burst out laughing. In some ways, I meant it: we’d both dreamed of motherhood, and here we were, picnicking in the park with our children. But it was also decidedly not the dream. The dream, like that of our mothers and their mothers from time immemorial, was to fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after. Of course, we’d be loath to admit it in this day and age, but ask any soul-baring 40-year-old single heterosexual woman what she most longs for in life, and she probably won’t tell you it’s a better career or a smaller waistline or a bigger apartment. Most likely, she’ll say that what she really wants is a husband (and, by extension, a child)…

Whether you acknowledge it or not, there’s good reason to worry. By the time 35th-birthday-brunch celebrations roll around for still-single women, serious, irreversible life issues masquerading as “jokes” creep into public conversation: Well, I don’t feel old, but my eggs sure do! or Maybe this year I’ll marry Todd. I’m not getting any younger!

My advice is this: Settle! That’s right. Don’t worry about passion or intense connection. Don’t nix a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling “Bravo!” in movie theaters. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics. Because if you want to have the infrastructure in place to have a family, settling is the way to go. Based on my observations, in fact, settling will probably make you happier in the long run, since many of those who marry with great expectations become more disillusioned with each passing year. (It’s hard to maintain that level of zing when the conversation morphs into discussions about who’s changing the diapers or balancing the checkbook.)

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’s not only politically incorrect to get behind settling, it’s downright un-American. Our culture tells us to keep our eyes on the prize (while our mothers, who know better, tell us not to be so picky)…

When we’re holding out for deep romantic love, we have the fantasy that this level of passionate intensity will make us happier. But marrying Mr. Good Enough might be an equally viable option, especially if you’re looking for a stable, reliable life companion. Madame Bovary might not see it that way, but if she’d remained single, I’ll bet she would have been even more depressed than she was while living with her tedious but caring husband.

What I didn’t realize when I decided, in my 30s, to break up with boyfriends I might otherwise have ended up marrying, is that while settling seems like an enormous act of resignation when you’re looking at it from the vantage point of a single person, once you take the plunge and do it, you’ll probably be relatively content. 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.

I don’t mean to say that settling is ideal. I’m simply saying that it might have gotten an undeservedly bad rap. As the only single woman in my son’s mommy-and-me group, I used to listen each week to a litany of unrelenting complaints about people’s husbands and feel pretty good about my decision to hold out for the right guy, only to realize that these women wouldn’t trade places with me for a second, no matter how dull their marriages might be or how desperately they might long for a different husband. They, like me, would rather feel alone in a marriage than actually be alone, because they, like me, realize that marriage ultimately isn’t about cosmic connection—it’s about how having a teammate, even if he’s not the love of your life, is better than not having one at all.

The couples my friend and I saw at the park that summer were enviable but not because they seemed so in love—they were enviable because the husbands played with the kids for 20 minutes so their wives could eat lunch. In practice, my married friends with kids don’t spend that much time with their husbands anyway (between work and child care), and in many cases, their biggest complaint seems to be that they never see each other. So if you rarely see your husband—but he’s a decent guy who takes out the trash and sets up the baby gear, and he provides a second income that allows you to spend time with your child instead of working 60 hours a week to support a family on your own—how much does it matter whether the guy you marry is The One?

21 Comments on "“Settling” – Good News on the Marriage Front"

  1. Here’s a bit of very good news: There’s a growing American women’s movement that encourages women to stop searching for the perfect mate, stop holding out for unrealistic “mr. perfects”, “prince charmings”, ” a new, feminist affirming male.”.

    LOL, this isn’t news, women have been doing this forever. It dawns on them in their late twenties and thirties when their biological clock is ticking and they come to the realization that most men leave a lot to be desired and they must settle.

    The problem women have is they have become too conditioned to sociopathic behavior in men and like the Stockholm syndrome develop an irrational attachment to it. When they mature and finally wake up, then they find a good man.

  2. For most of human history, in most societies, marriage was an agreement between two sets of parents, not between the bride and groom. In different times and places, variations existed, perhaps in a particularly liberal place like colonial Massachusetts a girl could veto her parents choice, but then, the parents could veto hers too. As Thomas Fleming wrote, marriage and the creation of grandchildren is too important to be left to the hormonal impulses of young people.
    “Settling”, as this writer from The Atlantic calls it, it simply growing up and leaving girlish romantic fantasies behind. Or in many men’s cases, leaving boyish sexual fantasies behind.
    But this is only a start. In the future, settling may no longer be an option. As Western civilization cracks and fails, the progressive fashions of the last couple centuries will be shed, and the ancient, natural, and practical ways of organizing a society will return: Patriarchy, hierarchy, racism.

  3. >>But this is only a start. In the future, settling may no longer be an option. As Western civilization cracks and fails, the progressive fashions of the last couple centuries will be shed, and the ancient, natural, and practical ways of organizing a society will return: Patriarchy, hierarchy, racism.>>

    That last sentence is a given. I just hope it’s OUR patriarchy, hierarchy, and racism, not that of the Muslim world, which has all of those traits in spades.*

    *Plus a lot of Muslims seem to have the physical and mental characteristics of….ah, well, “spades.” So, how did inventing the African slave trade work out for ya, Arabia?

  4. “Marry the man today,
    give him the girlish laughter.
    Marry the man today,
    and save the fist,
    for after.”
    Frank Loesser-Guys and Dolls

  5. Some good comments so far.

    I have deleted a few comments that were slightly off topic as I would like to tighten up the comments section of O.D.

    I would like to have visitors, new readers come to O.D. and see excellent articles and graphics and then go the comments section and find comments that are well organized, intelligent, often funny and put out the idea that the O.D. community is a great place to be/join.

    I would like to see less intellectual hair splitting on topics/obsessions/personal feuds from other places.

    Thanks again everyone for your germane comments.

  6. You find someone with whom you “click” reasonably, mentally and physically. Then you get married and then you work, work, work at it.

    People lead, follow and interact outside the home and find it difficult and then they come home and think that the most intimate relationship of all should be easy? It’s all about growing up.

  7. These straight “career women” who go to sperm banks like in the article are not very common. I think a lot of beta males overstate the influence of “feminism” or at least the political feminism they imagine in the reason they have poor luck with women. Very few attractive women out there would be caught dead getting labeled a “feminist” because everyone knows FEMINISM=LESBIAN. Ok there are a few neurotic, overly smart barely heterosexual type chicks who will call themselves that. You all know, the types you see with that odd looking “Buddy Holly” thick rimmed glasses chiche hanging out in coffee houses. (And these types are so neurotic they are nearly impossible to get into bed, sexless old-maid types. Contrary to the beta male diatribe, the chicks who identify the most with feminism are the least promiscuous. As I said before, the ones who doll themselves up like Brittany Spears wouldn’t be caught dead labeling themselves as part of a movement run by the likes of crazy dykes like Andrea Dworkin.)

    What I see for the most part, rather than wanting “power careers” the impact feminism has had on the average “sorority” type women is materialism. They all want filthy rich men, way out of proportion to the ratio of supply and demand. They also largely gravitate to the “con-man” personality. Due to the proliferation of “usury” with advent of easy credit, most of these selfish “valley girl” types are in hock up to their eyeballs by the time they reach 25. Part of this search is to find some chump to pay off their bills. I’d say money, and the purging of the white male from careers is one of the biggest causes of the lack of stable relationships forming out there. I generally see the smart white kids who went to college and were able to successfully land jobs in the shrinking middle class still forming stable marriages. It is white men who have been shut out of the middle class that live in perpetual adolescence, and the women who would have married them doing the “slut-single mother” thing.

  8. Feminism has certainly muddied the waters for what was already the complicated and occasionally awkward dance of finding a suitable partner.

    When he is old enough, I want to tell my infant son that he should not assume that “Society” has it all figured out, and that just because the majority of people believe something does not make it so. On the one hand you have the man-eater feminist who thinks holding the door open is sexist; on the other hand you have Hollywood, where every moment of the relationship is one moment of ecstasy after another. Ultimately these are two different worlds, and two that will never meet. Yet millions simultaneously believe these are the only ways.

    The path to happiness is a narrow one at times. Where is the guidance that will steer us right?

  9. Nightowl: I read an article recently (Sorry, I can’t say where.) about men dropping women when they see their debt load. Nice girl, smart and pretty too, who brings $127,000 in debt to the marriage and nothing to show for it but a degree in art.

  10. This is a generational thang.

    I moonlight as a wedding photographer so obviously I’m exposed to lots of happy, healthy young people excited about marriage. (Interestingly enough the traditional pre-wedding-day bridal portrait session has been replaced by the “boudoir” session. Consistently these brides explain that they want sexy photos of themselves before they begin childbearing.)

    I don’t think very many 25-year old women care all that much about Feminism. It’s ancient history from their perspective. And because young women haven’t been exposed to Feminist rationales first-hand they, in a very common-sense approach, look forward to marriage and child-rearing. The 40-50 year old, never-been-married “cougars” are typically out in full force at the weddings of their friends’ kids. They are certainly envious of this generation of 25 year old women who haven’t suffered the full effects of feminist dogma and propaganda.

    The formal pomp and overt romance of a wedding is the last vestige of Ceremony in our culture (save for the funeral). The fact that folks are still shelling out big-bucks in the midst of a recession is telling.

  11. chris says:
    September 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm
    This is a generational thang.

    >I moonlight as a wedding photographer so obviously I’m exposed to lots of happy, >healthy young people excited about marriage….

    Jack Ryan replies:

    Thanks Chris. That was an excellent comment, and very inspirational. Thanks for this good news.

    I would like for others in the growing O.D. community to look at Chris’ comment as something of a model for their comments.

    Chris comments directly on the subject of the specific post, instead of just writing what ever is on his mind, which often has little or nothing to do with the issues presented in the post.

    And Chris shares some personal experience that relates to the topic and he tries, successfully here to bring something positive, something hopeful and inspirational and it works.

    Thanks Chris.

  12. JoeoftheMountain | September 18, 2010 at 8:42 pm |

    Dare I say it?

    “That’s so White of her.”

    Well, it is at least a start. No one ever said deprogramming the brainwashed is supposed to be easy.

  13. Revolutionary | September 18, 2010 at 11:58 pm |

    Nightowl:

    Your understanding of feminism is unsophisticated.

  14. Revolutionary | September 19, 2010 at 12:00 am |

    “I’d say money, and the purging of the white male from careers is one of the biggest causes of the lack of stable relationships forming out there.”

    And what caused that – the purging of the white male from careers – to happen?

    Feminism, to a very large degree.

  15. Revolutionary | September 19, 2010 at 12:18 am |

    “I don’t think very many 25-year old women care all that much about Feminism. It’s ancient history from their perspective.”

    That’s because its attitude and values has been deeply internalized by them; mainstreamed by society.

    There’s no need to actively acknowledge or evangelize for something so universal.

    “And because young women haven’t been exposed to Feminist rationales first-hand they, in a very common-sense approach, look forward to marriage and child-rearing.”

    Then why are marriage and birth rates among white women going through the floor; why is divorce ubiquitous?

    Your proposition is off.

  16. In the future White State, it should be MUCH more difficult to get a divorce than it is now – that is a given. in addition to this, as the science of genetics advances I suspect that background screening for genetic deficiencies such as inherited diseases and mud/semitic genes will also become common. In fact, it should be law before a marriage license and permission to produce is granted.

  17. In the future White State, absolutely every aspect of life will be more difficult for everyone. More tests, more state, more rules, more laws, more books, more bellyaching and neurosis.

  18. Is there not one white nationalist who sees past this depressing fetishism of the state?

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