A couple of years ago, I wrote a magazine article called "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough." In it, I confessed that, having found myself still single at 40, I'd come to an eye-opening realization: Had I known when I was younger what would make me happy in a fulfilling marriage, I would have made very different choices in my dating life. It was a hyperbolic essay with a serious message: Look for the important qualities in a partner, and let go of the stuff that won't matter five, ten or 20 years down the line.
I've never believed that we should stop looking for Mr. Right (we shouldn't!) - but I do think that by changing our rigid idea of who Mr. Right is, we're more likely to find the right Mr. Right. You can't just order up the perfect husband á la carte - I'll take a little of this, a little of that, less of this and more of that. A guy is a package deal, as are we. Recognizing that isn't settling. It's maturity. The key is to focus on the qualities that lead to long-term romantic happiness.