Should you settle for Mr. Good Enough?

girl walking alone

Image credit: We Heart It

There are some days when emotions take over. I want to stomp my foot and shout like a child, “It’s not fair!”

There are far too many beautiful, incredible women (and men) wanting the right person to come along. Some are ‘putting themselves out there’, others aren’t. Some are ‘waiting on God’, others still treat sex like another run through the Starbucks drive-through. Some women are keeping an open mind, others can’t stomach the thought of a blind date.

But you know this already.

A good friend asked me the other day what I thought about the “s” word. Settling. She was debating whether or not to give a guy another chance. He felt more like a business partner than a life partner.

Should we settle for Mr. Good Enough? Are there certain cases where settling is ok, others where it isn’t? Does age play a factor?

I want to take your mind away from these questions for a brief moment, but I promise to come back and do my best to answer.

Let’s talk about the major differences between childhood experiences. Some have incredible parents and childhoods, devoid of any major struggles. Others have the opposite. Parents were cruel; childhood was marked by suffering and abuse. And then there’s everyone in between. It doesn’t seem fair that certain people have parents who attended every sporting event, and others with parents who never knew they played a sport. It’s bewildering why some children have it so easy, while others suffer. And the truth is it isn’t fair. But fair or not, it’s reality.

We all have a choice of how to respond to childhood experiences. We can allow our parents, our childhood, our upbringing to determine our future-or we can create our own path, where our experiences may be a part of our story, but don’t define us.

For better or worse, I’m starting to think it’s the same way with relationships.

Some get married to someone who fits all their criteria and have almost blissful romance, straight out of a Hallmark card. Others wait and wait for the right person to share their life with, but to no avail. Is it fair? No, but it happens.

I’m not the best person to be writing about settling for Mr. Good Enough, because Michael put a ring on my finger at age 25 and we have what some days feels like the perfect love story. But I do know about other types of suffering. Are some of the parts of my story “fair”? Certainly not. But I do know what it feels like to ask again and again, “Why me? What am I missing? When will the dark season of my life be over?”

Have you asked similar questions before?

I know couples who struggle with infertility. It isn’t fair that some women get pregnant accidentally and others spend years trying to conceive.

The truth is, some of you will get the amazing love story. Others won’t. Some will get married on your timeline, others will wait and wait. And some will get something in between-the great guy, but maybe much later than expected.

So, should you settle?

I think if he loves Jesus and there aren’t any glaring red flags, then you get to make a choice. Pray like crazy, because marriage isn’t something to enter into without feeling the weight of the decision. But, I think the Mr. Good Enoughs of the world often turn into the part of many women’s stories that they wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. We get to choose what you do with our circumstances, so for you that may be waiting for Mr. Perfect. For others, it may be doing everything possible to find a man to share your life with-someone you can grow to love. And I believe when God doesn’t make one path clear, you get to make a choice.

What do you think? What is your experience with “Mr. Good Enough”?

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7 Responses to “Should you settle for Mr. Good Enough?”
  1. alli says:

    I dunno, sometimes I usex to think God would ‘write my love story’ then other timed I think maybe in reading the wrong book. like I need to ask Him if its even a story Hes concerned about and if a fairly nice gentleman crosses my path I need to just take it. thats definately less romantic but real. I mean you hear story from some and you can CLEARLY see how God divinely brought them together, they waited for Gods ‘perfect’will. But the others God seems to less concerned about them marrying and more concerned about other things, He leaves the choice up to them. They meet, hes nice ‘eniugh’ but its not like the whole ‘ive been waiting my whole life for you’ more like ‘you asked. but God answered’ But its not like God is so so concerned, I dunno I kind of just want what He wants, some women God cant wait to marry off, others its like,well you can if you want but maybe I have something better in mind..but if you want go ahead. I dont want Him to give me what I beg for and He sent leaness, especially if it REALLY wasnt what God was so determined to have. Am I thinking wrong, it seems God when He wants something it happens its not all that much stress

    • Giry says:

      The majority of singles are single because of bad doctrine, doublemindness, stubborness, fear and believing flat out lies.

      Are you tired of Satan telling you that God doesn’t have anyone for you or that God is withholding your mate even though you are in your 30’s (40’s,50’s, 60’s…), been single and walking with God for several years and believing him for a mate? Or how about the lie that you simply aren’t emotionally ready for a mate even though you’ve gone through every healing and deliverance class the church has to offer for the past ten years?

      Honestly, I thought I had arrived spiritually until I got married! I mean how much love do you need to walk in living by yourself? And why wash dishes or shave? No need to practice holding my tongue when only the cat is listening.

      And warning singles: If someone is trying to teach you how to get married to a Godly spouse when they themselves are single or married to an unbeliever, watch out. It’s like taking diet advice from a fat person. Check out Bethany Scanlon God where is my mateWhen you are waiting, dating and trying to find your perfect mate, you are sure to run into disappointment. I know I did. I remember crying one Valentine’s Day because “everyone but me” had a Valentine. Isn’t that how you feel sometimes? That you are the only one? I suggest you ditch the self pity now because there are single people all over the world wishing they were happily married. In fact, there are people all over the world right now who are married and very unhappy.

      I can’t count how many bad dates I’ve been on. With the exception of Luke, none of my romantic relationships worked out, and there was at least 2 that I thought God had started, but they failed. In retrospect, I can easily see how it wasn’t God, but that doesn’t negate the fact that I was very hurt and felt like God betrayed me.

      Are you struggling with disappointment because of a failed relationship? Do you feel like God has betrayed you? Or maybe you feel like you messed up God’s plan.

      I don’t know your situation, but I do know this. If you allow bitterness, unforgiveness resentment and anger to stay in your heart towards God, yourself or others, it will block you from receiving God’s choice. You won’t be able to see past your pain. Or you will run off God’s choice with your root of bitterness.

      Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.James 1:2-4 AMP

  2. Sarah says:

    This little blog post comforted me. My single life in christian circles was a nightmare at times. That’s just what it was for ME, unfortunately. I sort of felt like Elizabeth Bennett when Mr. Collins proposed, only three fold and while on one knee he added “God told me…” To this day, I hear some couple’s love stories and I wonder why in the world I had to go through such an uneasy, sometimes bizarre, heart wrenching time leading up to meeting my husband.
    In the end, it was MY choice, and I think that is what threw me off. It was my choice, and I wasn’t expecting that. There is freedom in Jesus. I married at age 27 and now, 15 years later I have a knight in shining armor. None of it happened like I thought it would, but I’m glad it happened.

  3. Ashley says:

    Thank you Ruthie for writing this timely blog post. God knew I needed it at this very time in my life. To my dismay, I am the one who’s waiting and waiting and waiting some more for the man God would have be my husband. It’s been a long road and I’m still trudging but I’m trusting in Gods timing he will open the door and bring the right man. I’ve done the online thing and have had dead end relationship after relationship. It’s interesting because as Sarah commented I don’t know why it’s been so hard to meet someone when it’s been so easy for friends and family of mine to meet their match. But this I do know that God is working out his plan in my life whether I can see it coming together or not (Romans 8:28, Jer. 29:11) and all I can do is trust him and pray seeking his best.

  4. TJ says:

    That is a sensible way of looking at things. I have to laugh inside when women who find husbands in their 20s talk about how looooong they waited though. I’m in my late 30s and literally no one is on the horizon even though I’m active in church and community and all that stuff you’re supposed to do to find a “Mr. Good Enough.” I know women older still than I am and still waiting.

    At any rate, if I were to ever find a “Mr. Good Enough” and get past the first two dates I would absolutely consider marriage if he treated me well, honored his commitments to me, and had a good character. I’ve never been hung up on fairy tale love stories but I can’t even seem to attract anything other than “Mr. Wholly Unacceptable.” LOL

    • Giry says:

      My original plan was to be an Air Force Nurse, marry at 25, have 3 children by 30 and be a stay at home Mom. That didn’t happen! Knowing I needed to support myself, I became a Public Relations Specialist for a Government Contractor and at 32, became an FBI Special Agent (read my book God Is Bigger Than Your FBI for a full account).

      When I was 13, two important things happened: I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior – and I started praying that God would bring me a man that would love me as much as I would love him. Praying turned to wishing – on stars, fountains, birthday cakes, psychics, wish-bones…every dating service known to man – you name it. And I began a long and twisted cycle of committing my life to God and following His way – and getting frustrated by waiting sooooo long and taking things into my own hands. I felt that if God wouldn’t bring me the right man, I’d just take the man that looked good at the time. I needed God to have skin – to be able to touch Him and talk to Him face to face…and I was frustrated when I couldn’t.

      One thing about God – He let me be stubborn and walk away from Him. He didn’t go anywhere…He continued to love me and pull at my heart while I made choices that left me broken, hollow and empty. God cannot and will not bless sin…and the relationships I chose were not godly in any way.

      That pattern continued until 2000, when I found myself in an ungodly relationship that nearly killed me. When I ended that relationship, I was on my knees begging, screaming and crying that God would protect my heart and give me the strength to stay away from any romantic relationship until it was the right man – the man that He wanted as my husband. God heard my prayer and was faithful to my request – I just didn’t know it would be 9 years before I was ready. God gave me a wonderful family, friends, and so many amazing experiences – that I wasn’t lonely…With His help, I was determined to be faithful – and stay that way!

      Four things happened that I believe led me to my sweet Jeffrey:

      1) I met Luke and Bethany at Lakewood Church. Bethany and I were in the Lakewood Players Drama Troupe and I was drawn to the light in her – the Lord in her. She encouraged me to read her book, Where’s My Mate? which I did – and in faith, I added to my “list” of what I desired in my life-partner: Christian, Responsible, Gorgeous with a great smile, Respectable, Even Tempered, Stable, Truthful, Trustworthy, Faithful, Fun, Witty, Crazy, Assertive, Strong Willed, Understanding, Big Hearted, Romantic, Encouraging, Active, Diverse, Family Motivated, Humble, Patriotic Loving, Sensitive, Proud, Educated, Drug-free.

      2) In March, 2008, Bethany and Luke prayed with me in a parking lot – specifically about my mate. At 44, I still knew that God had not given me the “gift of singleness” – but I also listened to the world – that it’s more likely to be abducted by a terrorist than to be married after 35. Their prayer was so powerful – and I wept. My heart held on to their confidence that God would answer this prayer for my husband – and a family — what I had desired all my life.

      3) In December, 2008, I saw the movie, “The Wedding Date” and a line from the movie tore through me…Every woman has the exact love life she wants. This echoed in my heart – over and over. I wondered if all the bad relationships I had been through actually made me callous to love? If being there through all the divorces my friends went through made me think love couldn’t be real? And then I prayed to God that He would open my heart to love, heal me of fear and embrace the man and relationship He wanted for me…and I asked if He would bring Him by Valentine’s Day — (no pressure).

      4) My father passed away in July 2007 and I moved from Houston to care for my Mother. She and my Dad were married for 49 years – together 51 including the time they dated. When he died, my mother just seemed to give up. She needed a full-time care-giver. As time passed, she declined more and more. I hired a care-giver to be with her during the day while I worked – but nights and weekends were all up to me. I remembered my prayer about my husband – but accepted that this would be my life. I didn’t have time to date – and to be honest – I didn’t have the energy. My prayer changed to, “Lord, you know my heart and my desire for a husband and family…but You have given me the honor of caring for my sweet Mother. Give me the grace to accept my situation with an open heart – Your will be done.”To make a long story short: I reconnected with my high-school sweetheart, after 27 years, on Facebook – Valentine’s Day 2009. He had been trying to reach me for years and had never stopped loving me. We never broke up – my parents moved the family to Texas after high-school graduation and he joined the Air Force and moved to Germany – it was simply a geographical break-up. He came to visit in March 2009, we were engaged in April – and married September 5, 2009. When God moved, He moved quickly – and with such sweetness and tenderness. Jeffrey is Everything on my list and so many more things that I didn’t even know I needed. He is the perfect man – for me!

      I didn’t have doubts about my feelings for Jeffrey and he wasn’t shy about his feelings toward me. In fact, even with all the bad relationships in my past, and his – God healed those wounds and reignited the friendship, romance and love that we had (without “dating”) – and then took our love beyond anything either of us could imagine. I never knew I could be loved like this and I’m grateful that God made me wait – for my Mr. Right! And did I mention that I’m a Mother? Jeffrey has two wonderful children that adore me almost as much as I do them. God fulfilled the desires of my heart with an amazing husband – in His time. _Bethany Scanlon God wheres my mate

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