Many really struggle with the fact that they aren’t in a position to be too choosy. American author Lori Gottlieb gives a painfully honest account of that process in her book Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr Good Enough.
”Maybe we need to get over ourselves,” she writes. The 40-year-old single mother enlisted a team of advisers who helped her realise that while she was conducting her long search for the perfect man – Prince Charming or nobody – her market value had dropped through the floor.
”Our generation of women is constantly told to have high self-esteem, but it seems that the women themselves are at risk of ego-tripping themselves out of romantic connection,” she writes. She acknowledges she made a mistake not looking for a spouse in her 20s, when she was at her most desirable. She advises thirtysomething women to look for Mr Good Enough before they have even less choice. ”They are with an ‘8’ but they want a ’10’. But then suddenly they’re 40 and can only get a ‘5’!”
Women delaying their search for a serious relationship have set up a very different dating and marriage market. The Sydney barrister, Jamie, finds himself spoilt for choice. Like many of his friends he’s finding women actively pursuing him, asking him out, cooking him elaborate meals, buying him presents. ”Oh, you’re a barrister,” they say.
While many of his mates are playing the field, determined to enjoy this unexpected attention, Jamie is ready to settle down. He’s very wary of Sex and the City types, women who are convinced they are so special, but he’s confident he will soon find someone with her feet on the ground.
”I’m lucky,” he says, ”to be in a buyer’s market.”