When I met John Bear I didn’t have non-stop butterflies jumping around in my stomach.
I didn’t ache or pine for him.
I didn’t daydream about him, waiting for him to call.
Instead, I felt like a level-headed woman, slowly falling for someone who swept me away with his generosity, kind spirit, sweet surprises and constant mantra, “I’m not going anywhere.”
And he didn’t go anywhere. Not then.
Not even then.
And not now.
And I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon. We are completely and utterly into each other, but in a new kind of way (for both of us).
Earlier this weekend a single mom girlfriend of mine was telling me about a recent nice guy she’s dating who pampers her with dinners, gifts, nice words and kind actions but there’s something missing.
“I just don’t feel the butterflies,” she said.
And while this guy may not be a keeper, I still had to slap down some advice in hopes of breaking her in for a future of dating only nice guys, or as I like to call them – real men.
“You don’t have to feel butterflies right away. They’re like a drug, clouding your judgment. You should feel lead weights and they drop once every few weeks. They mean something, you feel calm, happy… content.”
This morning John Bear, Benjamin and I headed to Barnes & Noble. On the way in I snapped up a copy of Lori Gottlieb’s Marry Him. When I first read the article that sparked the book I wrote this blog post exploring some of her ideas. Her words had touched a few nerves but I listened and digested her thoughts wondering if I had just lost my Mr. Good Enough. In my case, Kris. Mr. Good Enough, Gottlieb argued was the guy many “picky” single women pass up on while searching for Mr. Right, Mr. Perfect 10, Mr. Knight in Shining Armor. By eliminating men because they were balding, or had a weird twitching eye – whatever – she argued we were setting ourselves up to be alone, forever.
I didn’t mind the thought of being alone forever and wrote:
Lori Gottlieb can husband shop all she wants, but this single mom is not ready for one again.
But, if I do meet someone who wants to grab my hand and pull me off of that cliff – I might reconsider. In otherwords, I may be a single mom but I still need the sparks and there’s no way I’m settling.
Now, well over one year later and 10 months into the greatest relationship I’ve ever been had, I have to say – I completely agree with her. But would I call John Bear my Mr. Good Enough? Did I settle? No way. I am still wrapped up in that warm blanket, soaking it all in – loving this and him like I never imagined. With that said, I don’t and have never felt with him the same kind of crazy butterflies and sparkage I felt with prior alpha-male, bad boys. This, I believe, is an incredibly positive thing.
I’ve already done the studly guy with the foreign accent who gives you millions upon millions of butterflies but no substance, no lead weights that drop into the pit of your stomach and knock the wind out of you. So it’s not that you’re settling for Mr. Good Enough, I think that’s the touch-point Gottlieb gets everyone riled up on – instead, it’s about choosing to settle down with a man for all of the right reasons, not the wrong ones.
I think Carrie Sloan of LemonDrop.com nailed it in her review or Marry Him!:
The thing is, the most unsettling part of the book for me was the word “settle,” because, despite the title, that’s not exactly what Gottlieb’s espousing. She’s simply suggesting you not walk in the shoes of her younger self: A very particular girl who wrote guys off indiscriminately, for all the wrong reasons, for too long. And, when you are ready to settle down, look for someone who’s going to be a good partner, rather than, say, a master sexter with bedroom eyes.
And then she added in regards to her recent marriage,
I don’t think either one of us thinks we’ve settled. It’s more that we grew up. And I think all Gottlieb’s urging you to do is use your perch on the bar to scan the room for nice guys you might otherwise overlook — because you might find they grow on you when the time comes not to settle, but to settle down.
After I put her book down I took a seat on the floor by the train table at Barnes and Noble and watched as John Bear tossed a giggling Benjamin up and down in the air. The nicest guy in the world who happens to be earning his way deeper and deeper into my heart, one lead weight at a time.
Forget the butterflies. Seriously. Butterflies are for teenagers.
Back up reading (old posts I’ve written on all of this):