Good on paper. It’s a phrase I’ve used dozens of times. And I’ve always assumed that you all know what I mean. It’s just one of those things.
But let’s parse it for a quick second. Good on paper means if you were to make a list of this person’s attributes s/he would look impressive. AND maybe also (probably also) s/he has a good job and is financially stable. Successful, even.
It can be easy to looks down on people who (strictly) seek out partners who are good on paper. To poke fun at them as shallow or having screwed up priorities. Seeking out an ‘appropriate’ match over true love.
But traditionally speaking, good on paper was really all that mattered. There are still a lot of places in the world where people have arranged marriages. And those arranged marriages are all about good on paper. Many of our parents and/or grandparents had marriages that were good on paper. People from similar backgrounds with common values, etc.
The world has changed a lot. Now lots of us date online and if we want to we can screen for people who seem like us. On paper. Who seem to want the same things. Whatever. Maybe that’s not the path to true love and happiness. What the fuck do I know? Not much.
Tags: happiness, success