Lower Standards Help Find the Perfect Partner?

Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Lori Gottlieb – Author of the book Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough: How interesting. I found a quote in your book particularly compelling. I would love to share the quote with our listeners and then have you expand.

You wrote, “When happily married women told me what they thought was important as you get older, similar themes emerged.

What matters is finding the perfect partner, not the perfect person. It’s not about lowering your standards. It’s about maturing and having reasonable expectations.

There’s a difference between what makes for a good boyfriend and what makes for a good husband.” You started to speak a little bit about that just now. Tell us more about that.


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Lori Gottlieb

I think that people get really tripped up by the title of the book. It actually relates to that quote.

The idea of settling for Mr. Good Enough is used ironically in the title.

What those married people knew is that we’re all Mr. and Ms. Good Enough.

Women: Lower Standards Means Settling

There was a survey in the book where men and women were asked, “If you got 80% of all of your ideal qualities in a partner, would you be happy?”

  • Ninety-three percent of women said, “No, that’s settling at 80%. Forget it.”
  • The majority of men said, “Eighty percent? That’s a catch. I hope I can find 80%.”

That was really interesting to me. The more that I explored this concept. Is getting less than everything that we’re looking for really settling or is that actually what makes us happy if we have the important things?

Lower Standards Are Not Necessary

What I’m really asking people to do in the book is not to settle in the way that our culture might define settling. I’m really asking us to think.

I’m saying that you need to have really high standards when you’re choosing the person you want to spend your life with, but you need to have high standards about the right things. That’s what the quote speaks to.


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Jasbina Ahluwalia

It’s not having high standards about things that are of lesser importance and losing perspective on the most important things that one should really hold to.


Lori Gottlieb

It’s Not About Lower Standards

I think there are so many things that people have on their mental checklist of what they’re looking for.

They say, “I can’t help it if I have high standards. That’s what I’m attracted to.”

The problem is that a lot of those things really have nothing to do with whether you might fall in love with the person.


Jasbina Ahluwalia

Or if you have a long-term happy relationship after doing that. It’s about what’s important for relationships in the long term and raising a family together or whatever else might be the goal when finding a mate.


Lori Gottlieb

You Need Physical Attraction not Lower Standards

Right. When going through life together, you absolutely need to have passion. You need to have physical attraction.

It’s like these rigid ideas that we have in our heads.

Lower Standards: Success Story

In the book, I wouldn’t email a guy on Match.com because he was shorter than 5’9”. I’m barely 5’2”.

I said, “I’m just not going to be attracted to someone who is shorter than 5’9” so why even bother?” I thought I was being really flexible by lowering it to 5’9”.

The fact is, when I met this guy, I was extremely attracted to him. This is a guy who I ended up dating.

We have these ideas in our head about who we are or are not going to be attracted to. Often, we’re wrong.


Tell Us:

With lower standards, have you been able to connect with people? Does this advice tempt you to lower your standards to see what other potentials partners there are on the market? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Lori Gottlieb.

The entire interview transcript is at: Lori Gottlieb Interview – Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough – Lori Gottlieb

Listen to the entire interview on iTunes