Funny you should post this. I have been reading his blog lately too--I found it because I read "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough."
I'm going to disagree with one point you make. Neither he nor Lori Gottlieb are advocating you be with someone you are just "eh" about. What they are both trying to say is that if you widened your search to include men you might not have considered before (because of your "impossibly high standards") you could very well find the love of your life and someone with the same family values you are looking for to marry and have children with. Funny, back in the 80s, Judith Sills wrote a book called "How to Stop Looking for Someone Perfect and Find Someone to Love" and she states the exact same thing.
I was very turned off by Gottlieb's original article in the Atlantic. I did not want to read the book she later wrote, but then finally did. I was riveted. And then I got very depressed about it. It caused me to look at how I screen men on OLD sites and I know that I have been screening many of them out. It made me very sad for possible missed opportunities in my life, even before OLD. It just really did a number on me!
So, I tried to take a broader view, and answered a man online who in the past I would have automatically said "No" to. He is older and fatter than what I want. And not even all that compelling anyway, we had a few things in common but not much. But after he answered me back, already wanting to meet, I just couldn't do it. I've been on so many crappy first meets that I'm burned out. I even hid my profile for a while, but then made it visible again.
Two days ago I hear from another guy: also fat. He seems like a really decent guy, but I just have a hard time with big bellies on 50+ men. I'll just say it: I'm having a hard time imagining being intimate with a fat guy, OK? Perhaps if I met him in real life (which is how Evan Katz met his wife) I would feel differently.
Anyway, I agree that you are either attracted or you're not. And yes, I know, I know, I know, until you meet someone in person from an OLD site, you can't really judge the attraction. I suppose I could be like those "Date 100 Men" women who take the "shotgun" approach then write articles about it. Throw enough guys at the wall and one of them will stick. But is that really the way to do it? I'm really struggling with this right now.
I would LOVE to just meet someone in real life, but that doesn't happen all that often, so I'm sticking with OLD even though I hate it right now.
Hey, I'm glad we're having this discussion, I hope others will join in.
Not to beat a dead horse, but did you read Gottlieb's book? It seemed very different than the Atlantic article. Enough said on that.
As to Katz' wife: I've not seen photos, but from what I read on his blog, he says he would probably have passed her up if he had seen her profile online. But, I don't get the impression he feels he is "slumming" with her--I think he's just trying to point out how hard it is to judge people online by "objective" criteria (age, schooling, etc.) According to him, he is very happy with his wife and does not feel like he settled at all. But that's just my impression.
As to the numbers rating. Yeah, I think a lot of gurus have tried to get more "scientific" with the whole dating thing. But I think the point of it is this: if you consider yourself an 8, and only want 9s and 10s, you are overlooking a lot of potential matches. And, perhaps you aren't really an 8 anyway. Maybe you are an over-confident 4. Katz points out that if you're always going for the 9s and 10s and failing, perhaps you need to take a closer look. Again, Judith Sills says the exact same thing in her book (and I'm thinking this is where he got the idea to begin with). She says it goes something like this:
Let's say you go to a party and there are 10 single men there. She says typically, you focus on the top two men there, ignoring all the others. But, all the other women are probably focusing on the top two also. She says it's OK if you want to eliminate two that are "at the bottom" (too old, etc.) but that leaves six that are in the middle. I will quote her here: "If what you are really seeking is a mate, not a meal ticket, not a symbol of your sexual prowess, not a status symbol, you will find him or her waiting in this pool of six. They have been there all along, but you've been ignoring them."
No one's saying don't still go after the 9s and 10s, but you may have better luck if also look at the pool of six.
Anyway, I don't particularly think I've "rejected" men based on silly parameters. The whole "fat" thing is kind of hard for me, also being a size six and in shape. But it's not just the weight: is it so wrong to want a man with wit and intelligence? And it's not just me rejecting them: they have rejected me, ya know? I didn't used to think finding someone was so complicated (even though it wasn't any easier) until I started reading lots of books about it. But hey, the unexamined life isn't worth living, right?
Based just on reading this link and not on anything else this guy has written, I have to agree on most of what he says. I think it's interesting what he thinks about money--that if the woman has a high paying job, like the woman who wrote in, she complains that she doesn't want to have to support a guy, but it's ok for a high earning guy to support a woman. Well, I do think that in the past it was expected that the guy would earn all or most of the money, but the woman did her part by taking care of the house and raising the kids. You could say that if the woman is going to be the primary wage earner, is the guy also going to do "extra" by being the primary caretaker of the house and kids? I can see a woman not wanting to support a guy just so he can have a better car & toys and go out w/ his friends, if he's not going to contribute. I can also see a woman saying that a certain guy might be great in every way, he's a good worker, but maybe he just has a job that isn't in a high paying field like teaching or social work. I wouldn't consider that settling if the woman has just chosen a higher paying field. Also I agree that the tycoon type of guy might not be the best choice for a husband--would you really want Donald Trump?
I really just think it has to come down to what things are really important to someone that they can't negotiate--is it looks, age, money or whatever--and the things aren't going to be the same for everyone. If you do compromise on the really important things, you're not going to be happy.
I totally agree with your last paragraph in your post!
Oh, I agree.
I am not looking for a gym rat, per se.
I didn't read the Atlantic article by Lori Gottlieb but I just finished her book.
I personally took Gottlieb's book to be a dire warning for women motivated by the tick of the biological clock.