Monday, November 5, 2007

Meet the mensch

Wendy Shalit's latest blog entry touches on a question she received from a high-schooler: "Where/How Do You Find a Good Man?"

I get asked this question myself from time to time, and I do offer some suggestions in The Thrill of the Chaste.

Overall, however, while I can certainly appreciate the wish that there were a magic place where one could meet one's soulmate, I see the "Where/How" question as fundamentally flawed. It assumes that the proverbial Good Man is hiding under a rock somewhere.

The truth is, even though there are places with a notably low proportion of potential Mr. Rights — truck stops, singles bars, online personals, academia, etc. — it is theoretically possible to find a good man anywhere.

More important, I think, is the question of who will I be when I meet that good man? Will I recognize his goodness? Will I be able to be good to him?

Dashed dreams begin with placing all one's hopes on finding the right object. It's far more fruitful to work on the subject — yourself — so that the object of your dreams will come into clear focus, and you to him, no matter where you find him.