Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

…the enemy of the good."

I’m lounging around my apartment listening to podcasts (I’m so completely addicted to podcasts).  Most of them are from NPR or the BBC.  Anyway, I just finished listening to one on the healthcare debate and one of the talking heads quoted President Obama’s usage of the phrase, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the ” (why do most people not properly attribute that to Voltaire?).

Which led me to wonder if that’s an issue I have? Focusing too much on what should be.


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7 to “…the enemy of the good."”

  1. drumdance says:

    That quote is one of my mantras in my daily work. You’re probably like a lot of New Yorkers, who tend to be optimizers.

  2. LoneStar60 says:

    Ok, however one of the smartest people I ever had the honor of knowing (and she was young enough to be my daughter) once told me that while the “perfect” may be the enemy of the “good enough,” when it comes to personal relationships, you should NEVER just “settle.” You deserve the best you can possibly get, and simply settling for someone is NOT the definition of the “best you can possibly get.”

    By all means, focus on the “should be,” there’s nothing wrong with wanting things to be the way you want them to be. If you (I’m speaking to the general “you” now, not you personally, Simone) believe in the stuff in “The Secret” or in “The Lost Symbol” then you can make it the way you want anyway, just by visualizing the desired outcome. However in order to do that, you have to stop sabotaging yourself and start realizing that what you want has just as much validity as anyone else’s desires.

  3. Hypersingle says:

    I had that one drilled into my brain by someone who trained me for my profession. He actually did attribute it to Voltaire. I remember because he told a joke about Voltaire and that quote. In relation to dating, however, many people think of anything less than perfection as settling. It seems to me that in actuality many people settle for bad, much less good or perfect. A sweet coating masks a bitter pill with terrible side effects. Who can honestly believe that their ideal of a perfect mate exists, and then that they would choose to be with you? Nah. Good seems like a good target. Very good but not perfect.

  4. letigre937 says:

    Podcast addiction– the upside of being single. : )

  5. Simone Grant says:

    Yeah, I’ve read that before. And frankly, I think some of it is a load of shit. I’m a native NYer. Some of us were actually born here, our roots are here, family, extended family, all that nonsense. So I’m USED to this life, and yeah so of it is about having the best of everything but some of it is that I don’t know how to live any other life. Is that being an optimizers or just being comfortable with the life I have?
    WHOA, who said anything about settling for a person? I certainly didn’t. I would never settle for someone who is good enough. I can’t imagine how many times I’ve written posts about no being interested in marriage, liking my single life and not understanding how or why people settle. I think you might be projecting a bit. Or something.
    Oh, and I don’t believe in The Secret or LOA. I think that’s a load of crap.
    I don’t think perfection exists in anything: especially people. But I think that I’ve set unrealistic standards for certain things in my life. Expected things that were unrealistic from myself and others because I had a vision of how they should be. Not healthy.
    Welcome to the blog. And really, I know some married people who listen to them on their commutes. Hmmm.

  6. LoneStar60 says:

    Nah — I think I must have phrased it poorly — I wasn’t talking to you, Simone, but rather the bigger “you” as in all of us. So if you sat up and said WHOA, I must have struck a nerve. My apologies.

    And I didn’t say I believed in “The Secret” either — except in so far as its a good idea to not let a poor opinion of oneself get in one’s way. Most of us do sabotage ourselves at one time or another.

  7. Simone Grant says:

    I sat up and said WHOA because there is an ongoing theme on this blog of people dropping by to tell me how to live. I’m not a fan. I figure since I don’t tell anyone else how to live, I should expect the same courtesy.