Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Tuesday!

I was trying to think of a sappy, syrupy blog to write today in honor of Sade's new cd dropping, but nothing came to mind. With Valentine's Day coming up, I thought I could conjure up Cupid's spirit and come up with something to read along to the lyrics of "No Ordinary Love."

But nothing sugary came to mind...at least not today anyway...(ask me again on Friday).

But what DID come to mind was this book I've been hearing about for a couple of weeks now. It's called Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb.

I can hear women now..."Oh hell naw!"

This woman has been everywhere with her book, from The Today Show to O Magazine to Dr. Phil. She's not just peddling her book, she's defending it. Something about the word "settle" seems to unnerve some women - enrage them even. But I think I get what she's saying.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not advising my soldiers of love to marry a man who they're not attracted to, or who they aren't compatible with. But I don't think she's saying that either. I haven't read the book, so I can't be sure - but she argues that all she's doing is giving women insight that she wishes she had in her 20's and 30's. And she's only giving this advice to women who want to get married one day.

The women who seem to be up in arms about her book say things like, "I don't need a man, or want one, to be happy" or "I deserve Mr. Right."

Well, if you don't need or want a man - then don't read her book and go on your merry way. And for the women who DO want a husband, I think what the author is saying is that women confuse "Mr. Right" with "Mr. Perfect." Guess what ladies (and gents) - "Mr(s). Perfect doesn't exist - so be realistic about what you want in a partner - and I think that's the gist of her message.

Within the past week, I've had two conversations with 2 women who said something very similar to me about men and preferences. One woman said she wanted to date a tall man - a man taller than she is - which shouldn't be too hard considering she's only 5'3.5". But a man who was say, 5'7" was too short for her. Hmmm....ok.

The other woman and I were talking about my "My Best Friend's Ex" blog - and she mentioned that a friend of her's dated her ex even though "he wasn't even her height." That sounded silly to me, because as tall as I am, I never really cared about a man's height as far as dating criteria. I've dated men shorter than I am, my height, and taller than I am - it never mattered to me. That's not to say that I may not have dismissed a man for other shallow reasons in my day, but hearing women say out loud that they wouldn't date a potentially great guy because he's short, or shorter than she is, sounded utterly ridiculous to me...and it makes you think.

I look at some of my friends who are in great relationships, and I look at their men. Their men aren't 6 feet-plus, God-like Alpha males who make six figures, have perfectly straight teeth with megawatt smiles, are smarter than Bill Gates and can put any super model to shame. They aren't moguls like Diddy, they can't sing like Maxwell, or run a ball down the field or on the court. But they're all great guys who make great husbands and fathers...or who will one day.

Successful, wonderful women feel that a perfect mate is their birthright. And I think I'm a catch for any man who wants to catch me. We all should feel that way. But great men and women aren't the things of fairy tales or romantic comedies. If a person has 80% of what you're looking for in a partner, then snagging him or her isn't "settling." It's actually quite lucky!

And that's only if that's what you want. Like the author says, "If I'm not interested in golf, I'm not gonna read a golf magazine." So if you're not interested in possibly getting married one day, then maybe her book isn't for you to read. I'm not even saying her book is on point or that I'm gonna read it myself.

But there's nothing wrong with wanting a husband or a wife. There's nothing wrong with relaying your experiences to other women so they can get out of their own way. There's nothing wrong with not wanting to get married, and there's nothing wrong with settling for "Mr. Good Enough." All of our experiences are different.

I'm not out here trying to sell you on books or magazine articles on love, dating and relationships. After all, they have their audience, they're playing us most times and most of us eat it up - and they make their money. That's what it's all about.

But the topic of this book has caused so much controversy, it was worth taking a look at why. Ms. Gottlieb says, "I'm not saying don't fall in love. I'm saying learn to compromise so you can." That makes sense to me. Maybe our fairy tale love involves the guy who just may be an inch or so shorter than we are, or who isn't as athletic as we'd like, or doesn't make the six figure salary we hoped for. But just because he's not perfect doesn't mean you're settling. "Mr. Good Enough" just might be no ordinary love - but EXTRAordinary.

-b

39 comments:

Annamaria said...

First Bitches

Stef said...

I love this song!

Sade is the hotness!

Anyway, Brooke, you're right. I've turned down dates with guys for silly reason, mostly in my younger days, and now I look back and see what I missed out on. I can't get those opportunities back, but I can learn from them moving forward.

I'm mad that your friend was more concerned that her friend was dating a guy who "wasn't her height" vs. the fact that she was dating her EX! LOL!! Shows how people's standards or values are all screwed up! Unbelievable.

Anyay, I'd be curious to read this book to see what her experiences were like. I saw her on The Today Show and know her story, and she's not preachy at all - just honest.
Good blog!

Jay said...

Downloaded my Sade this morning - been listening all day...gotta love that woman!

Anyway, your blog is on point today Brooke, even if this book might not be. This is a message for both men and women - nobody is perfect. Period.

I think we spend so much time looking for what we THINK we want in a mate, that we walk right past them and wouldn't recognize them if we tripped over them. We've been conditioned by movies and tv shows to believe in "The One" and "soul mates" that we have a skewed idea of what love and commitment and relationships are really about.

Then, when we finally figure it out, we're in our late 30's and 40's wondering why we were so stupid in our youth. Hopefully this woman's insight can help some wome "get it" alot earlier than the rest of us.

Jaz said...

I saw this woman on The Today Show too, and at first, I was like "here we go." But alot of what she said made sense. I wasn't as bad as she was (dismissing men because they wore bow ties) - but I have looked at a guy and thought he was too short, or that his hair looked funny :)

I know that you like what you like, and if you're not attracted to someone, then you're not. But I've seen VERY HANDSOME men who asked me out, but were shorter than me by like 2 inches and I'd say "damn, he's fine...if only he were taller." How stupid is that?? Now I'm kicking myself.

At the end of the day, sometimes you just have to give people a chance. If it doesn't work out, at least you can say you gave someone a fair shot and that you didn't let your little biases stand in the way of meeting a great guy (or girl). I've had to learn the hard way, so hopefully now the lessons I've learned will come in handy in helping me find a mate one day.

Andre said...

The word "settle" is what creates the anger. Many people feel like they should be able to have everything they want all the time without fail so "settling" is out of the question. The real word is "compromise". If they can't compromise they can forget ever having the perfect marriage with the 2.3 kids. And guess what...no marriage is perfect. I'm sure there are a few people on here that will atest. It's work!

settling/compromise is about forgoing the more specific demands (height, occupation, "he knows what without me saying it") and focusing on the tangibles (caring, hardworking, motivated, sexyto you). Of course some women only fond extra tall men sexy...good luck with that. You'll be sining Single Ladies in the club by yourself at 50.

Andre said...

meant to type "he knows what I'm THINKING* without me saying". That always kills me. Who the hell is trying to marry the Amazing Kreskan!!

Annamaria said...

I think a lot of people need to get over themselves... ESPECIALLY US WOMEN....
Most of the time we have this list of qualities our perfect mate has to have for us to settle down. We meet a great guy who has all EXCEPT one or two of those qualities & we cast him aside... We feel like just cause we are such PERFECT women that we can't sacrifice one or two things for love.... We need to be real with ourselves & then we'll find "our prince charming"
I'm not saying to throw all your standards out the window but be realistic....

Deven & Gabby's Mom said...

OK....As one of those married folks...I will attest that it is WORK!!! all day, every day....I think I heard recently marriage is more like an ACTION VERB not a noun.

I have ex-friends (presumably still single) who told me that I could "do better" than my hubby...Fortunately, I didnt listen to that crap and kept my "Mr. Good Enough." What I learned is what has been stated....He isn't perfect and neither am I...but I love him and he's got the 80% I need.

I also didnt have unrealistic standards....keep it simple..make me happy.

Brooke said...

@Annamaria,

You know what's funny about what you just wrote - we women have these standards that we put out there (on paper) but we never seem to actually DATE them. We say we want a good guy, caring, smart, generous, etc. - but when you see who they're "seeing," it's always the scrub who can only be seen with her at night, with no job and eats up all her food...all cuz he can "beat it up" right. Ever notice that?? But the short guy can't get no play? Really? :)

I've noticed that some women I know will spew a list of requirements, but then wind up never dating those men - but the complete the OPPOSITE...not even CLOSE. All that does is lead me to believe that we either don't really know what we want, or we SAY what we think sounds good. Or lastly, we don't think we deserve a good man, or that we can change someone to become one. All in all, it's about being honest and realistic with yourself.

Brooke said...

@Deven and Gabby's Mom and Andre,

I'm sure marriage is totally hard work, which is why that 80% matters so much. But hopefully that 80% of qualities are the right ones - ones like Andre mentioned. If that person makes you happy, then forgot what others think and who says you can "do better." You can always do better if you keep looking, but you'll never be satisfied...or happy.

Jay said...

@Brooke,

I'm so glad you said that and not me! Women will say what they want, but when you look at the dudes they're with, it's like they threw that list out the window. They'll date a bum before they'll date a short guy...the dude who gives them grief cuz he's over 6 feet tall. What sense does that make?

I think women make excuses for the bum dudes they date, but can't justify why they won't give good guys a chance. Truly good guys who may not look like what they envision their prince charmings to look like. While the attraction should be there, not dating an otherwise attractive person because they're under 6 feet tall is just bonkers.

Monica said...

Ok so I'll out myself...I'm the friend who said the guy was too short! LMAO

I'm sorry but I like my men tall. I can't help it, its just what I'm attracted to. Granted, I am only 5'3 and yes that means that unless he is 5'2 he should be acceptable. Now I'm not saying that I would never date or go out with a man that I consider to be short. I'm saying that height on a man is something that I prefer and that I wouldn't typically go after someone who's nickname is probably "half pint" lol. I do however feel that this can be a case by case basis and the right man just might have the ability to make me forget my height preference all together. After all a preference is not a requirement. Honestly, I don't even get to focus on the height of a man because majority of the ones I meet don't even get past the first requirement, which is honesty lmao!

Brooke that book might be worth checking out.

Brooke said...

I wasn't gonna out you Monica! LOL!!

I prefer tall men too, but I've dated men shorter than me before. I prefer Boris Kodjoe lookalikes, but that ain't happening either!
:-) I'm sure we all have a list of what we PREFER a guy or woman to look like, how much they'd make, what they did for a living, how tall they'd be...but at the end of the day, a person can't possibly have EVERYTHING that you're looking for in a person - so you have to figure out what is MOST important in a relationship in order for it to be successful and then determine if your list needs some tweaking. As long as you can see past your preference, then a guy might have the ability to show you ALOT of things...not just that you can see over his head :) LOL!

Rameer The Circumstance said...

HAAAA!

Jigga - I've said what Brooke-Ra said on this blog for months now. Admittedly, my delivery is much harsher and blunt - but the truth is THE TRUTH. Now, Brooke-Ra may not have been the one to get up in arms and disagree - but others have. And, as you know by now, I'm unbending in my opinion when I *know* it to be a reality I and my peers tend to see.

Not much for me to add - like I said, I've said these things in the past, and other opinions on *this* particular blog go hand in hand with mine. As always, I just smile when things come full circle in terms of opinion.

True stuff, good blog - and GREAT SONG CHOICE!

Ms. Penn said...

Is it me, or do all the short women want the tall men? Leave them for us women over 5'9! LOL!!

Seriously though, since I'm 5'9, I would prefer to date someone I can be eye to eye with. If I put on heels, that eliminates over half the men I come in contact with. I'm dating a man now who is 5'11, and even to some shorter women I know, they consider him "too short." I would think most women who are under 5'4 wouldn't even be able to tell the difference between a tall or a shorter man :)

All in all, I've relaxed the rigid standards that I had in my 20's, and have dated some amazing men in my 30's as a result. Ironically, the men who met my "physical" standards, didn't have ANY of the qualities I wanted as far as morals, goals, personality, etc. So you have to ask yourself which is more important. And if you REALLY have to ask yourself that question - then you don't deserve the good guy you say you want.

annamaria said...

@Brooke: yep I have noticed that! I think it hilarious how people describe their "soulmate" as Boris Kodjoe & then u see them with Flava Flav??? WTF??
I think if u find a good man with goals & values similar to yours that you can be yourself with & who makes u laugh then you are halfway there!!!!!

Monica said...

Ms. Penn yes us short women like the men towering over us lmao! One of my tall female friends told me the other day "you short women need to know your role and stay in your lane". lol You know whats funny though... when I read the dating profiles for some of the tall men online their preferences for the women they want to date usually lists the height between 4ft to 5'8ft. So whats that about? lol

Brooke I know you weren't going to out me lol! It's all good. I'm ready to eat though so lets get to going!

Brooke said...

I guess tall men like lil women they can toss around :)

anwyay, a quick note to you Sade fans! Our friend E. Payne is giving away 3 copies of her cd (one to 3 different people - yes I had to break that down to you all)

Visit his blog to get the details:

http://www.makesmewannaholler.com/2010/02/soldier-of-love-cd-giveaway.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MakesMeWannaHoller+%28Makes+Me+Wanna+Holler%29

Good luck!

Rameer The Circumstance said...

Didn't I *send* you her album, Brooke-Ra?

Jay said...

Well, I'm a tall man, and I prefer tall women...but I've dated women who were 5'5 or shorter. So no worries Ms. Penn :-) It is what it is. Most tall men I know, I mean REALLY tall (6'2 or taller) don't like really short women, go figure. To each his own.

Brooke said...

Yes, you did Rameer, but that doesn't mean I don't wanna win! Or that you all can't win either! I'm just spreading the love :-)

Brooke said...

And thank you Rameer...for Sade, as well as Usher and Jaheim and Corrine Bailey Rae :-)

Rameer The Circumstance said...

Jigga - you BETTER prefer tall women. Brooke-Ra ain't bite-size, fool! Lolz!

Brooke-Ra - no problem. The Jaheim is surprisingly nice, no?

Andre said...

marriage is definitely an action verb. I'm just wondering when is the last time anyone found anything that was 80% of what they wanted? I mean as simple as food. Ehhh it was good but you had to substitute the side dish, etc. Lol

the height thing has always been interesting for me. If as many men had such exact requirements for let's say...ass size, where would that put some women. Say, most men thought the same way. "She gotta have a 27 inch waist with a 38 Inch or better hip ratio and her booty better bubble like Rosa Acosta...."

ahem...

raise your hand if you're sure... Lmao

I agree with Brooke. Many of the people with the lists often settle the wrong way. They'll take the tall guy who aint shit or the smart guy that doesn't know how to open a door.

Jay said...

@Rameer,

I'm very well aware of Brooke's height, as well as her other assets :-) She's all woman, 100% sexy - and I can handle ALL of it.

And if we're talking percentages, she has OVER 80% of what I'd want in a woman, so it's definitely possible Andre ;-)

Rameer The Circumstance said...

@ Hov - oh, I KNOW you do. Just giving you a little blog encouragement, bruh! Lolz!

I've BEEN on Team Jigga from day one...just keep focused, maaaaan!

**In Jay-Z voice**

The Cable Guy said...

I'm taller than Brooke too :-) LOL!

Well, Jay and I agree - Brooke is 100% woman and sexy. I just need to get him out the way! LOL!

Love Sade! - and great blog post Brooke. No one is perfect, but some come pretty close - such as yourself. I'll take that over "keeping looking" any day. I wish more people thought the same way. There will always be someone "better" - but they may not be for YOU.

Now Jay...keep your hands off my woman! lol!

Brooke said...

awww, so nice :-) thanks!

Stef said...

SHE
DON'T
WANT
YOU
MAN!!

LOL!! Give it up cable dude!

Rameer The Circumstance said...

I just looked at Stef's comment and laughed out loud at work!!!!

You *silly*!! LMBAO!!! Stef vs. Captain Cable daily is like Martin vs. Pam...lolz!

Andre said...

Jay I know it's possible to find what you want whether 80 or 100%, but that's what patients and being flexible can get you. If Brooke is what you want and you're familiar with her assets (oh boy!) then perhaps you need to do the full court press .

Look out now...

before I'm called being on one team over another..

Cable Guy...step up man. Jay is putting in work on this blog and apparently already has an in!! Lmao

andre said...

patience* damn auto correct!

then again trying to get your 80% or more could make you a patient in the mental facility so...yeah either or.

I too am dying laughing @Stef! Damn she goes haaaaaaaard!

Rameer The Circumstance said...

Dre - bruh, this game is already *over*. Jigga (Jay) has already intercepted the ball and is high-stepping at the 20!

I won't drop dime...but it's *over*. Captain Cable has about as much chance as an iceball in a furnace...

The Cable Guy said...

AWWW DAMN!!!

No love.

Stef = hater. She mad cuz nobody is after HER ass on the blog.

"Jealousy is a sickness."

Jay has game, no lie about that, but it's not over yet!

Notice how Brooke is so good at staying neutral, keeping quiet, being coy? She's gooooood :) LOL!

Jay said...

That is because Brooke is a lady. And it's all love on the blog, man - even between you and Stef.

I'm not trying to "game" anybody, I'm just being myself but being honest too. All of you seem to know Brooke on some level, so you know I'm not just whistling dixie out my ass. She's good people - and I have much respect for her. Anything more would be her choice, and I'm happy to know her either way. Her business is her business.

Stef said...

Oh shut up cable dude!

annamaria said...

Problem solved.
Jay & Brooke can date & get married & have a million babies & live happily ever after!
Stef & the cable dude can get together. BLOG the shit outta each other & release all this sexual tension between them & live happily ever after!!!!!! :)
Everyone wins! Lol
The End! :)

Brooke said...

y'all are silly :-)

Yolanda said...

I think I'm switching my allegiance to Team Cable & Stef.

Ya'll could have some sassy mouth-cable tech babies!

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