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Searching for Mr Good Enough

Monday, August 26, 2013
Occasionally there are persuasive articles in the newspapers, women's magazine and blogs extolling the joys of settling. "Love the one you're with" just about sums it up. I think there is a lot to be said for this in the case of people who are living together and have children. No other "partner" is going to care about those children as much as the "partner" you had them with, so if you're getting along fine, get married already. Your own personal happiness does not matter as much as the children's happiness anyway. You have or had choices. The kids don't. I think "Staying together for the sake of the kids" is fantastic and noble and exactly what I would want my parents to have done, were they not staying together for the sake of each other.

I get a bit nervous, however, about the idea of getting married just to get married or just to have kids. This may have worked out more or less okay for society when society made getting divorced really, really difficult. But nowadays no-fault-divorce has made such thinking really risky. Of course the kids will be glad to be alive, most of the time, but the kids won't thank you if you rip the world out from under their feet by divorcing their dad because he is just so terrifically boring or annoying or lazy or whatever he is that you should have noticed when you were dating. That's what dating is for.

Anyway, I have broken up with men because they were boring, and it is a terribly embarrassing thing to do that. It made me feel like a frivolous, shallow, heartless heel, so why should you be exempt, eh? Why should you have the privilege of going self-sacrificingly to the altar with a boring guy if, should you have been a bit more heartless, you could have been Single for as long as me? It's not like I suffered too much in the long run because now I have B.A., and yesterday at a picnic he made our friends and me laugh so much I had long black streaks on my face from weeping mascara.

Okay, there is the childlessness thing, which is very probably age-related and sucks, but at least if we did have kids, the kids would have a dad who was funny and a mother who laughed a lot.

I got a really sweet email about that the other day, from a reader who said that having a great husband was even more important to her than having kids. She thought maybe this made her weird, but I don't think it makes her weird at all. I think it is a good idea to be pro-husband first and pro-kids second. After all, when you're married you have to put your spouse first and your kids second and then you third, and the same goes for him. Kids who find themselves put before Dad or Mum by Mum or Dad learn to despise Dad or Mum; it's not good.

The email made me wonder exactly how many Single readers would marry Mr Good Enough just to have kids instead of waiting for Mr Perfect-for-Her even if that meant never having kids. Then it occurred to me that I haven't taken a poll in the long time. Admittedly, this would make a scary poll, but surely my readers are not superstitious and do not think they will SEAL THEIR FATE if they vote one way or the other.

You get four five choices:

1. I would settle for Mr Good Enough just to have kids even if later we divorced.
2. I would rather wait for Mr Perfect-for-Me even if we never had kids.
3. I am a happy Serious Single woman and don't see myself getting married/married again.
4. I am an Eavesdropping Male.
5. I am a Married Lurker.

Oh, what a question for a Monday morning! But I'm dying to know what y'all would pick.

Update: A really great post on Orthogals today. Lots of great cheer for Singles.