There's a fine line between being "too picky" and "settling" and it is difficult to describe this fine line.
This chap tries to explain it here, in terms that make a married woman (i.e. me) blink.
Talking about the Single life is much different from talking about the Married life, because when a married person talks about the Married life, the reader cannot help but look past the writer to their silent spouse. This is one reason why I will never have a Seraphic Marrieds blog, peeps! B.A. is really laid-back and tolerant, but there is a limit.
I didn't identify with Quinn's piece because I did, in fact, marry my soulmate.* That is, I fell crazy-insane in love and gave up my Canadian life to live in this cold and rainy (and very beautiful) country with Mr. Perfect for Me.
And when I say Perfect for Me, I mean that. For example, we are both over a certain age, so we no longer possess the radiant beauty of YOUTH. And one night after spending a delightful evening with some radiantly beautiful youths, I came home and looked at unconscious, snoring B.A. and was so thankful that, on top of having the same religious outlook, and sharing a love of art and literature and old stuff and people, we are the same age. He does not look at me and think "Old person." He cannot but look at me and think "Normal."
Living with another person, one who is on other levels extremely different, being male and a Scot, can be challenging, so these moments of gratitude are very important.
But I am a woman and therefore as deep as the sea. As far as what motivates men to marry, if they decide that that way forward is to find a pretty girl who seems nice, make a commitment to her and stick to it, great. Whatever makes men marry instead of flollop around aimlessly or acting as though finding a wife is just like finding the ultimate sound system.
Of course, it is probably not a great idea for them to write arresting pieces describing how their wives are not their soulmates. It might hurt their wives' feelings or decrease their status in the eyes of their peers.
It strikes me as something only a young man would do. But then it would be very unfair if young men possessed both radiant beauty and the wisdom of age, too.
*I am not actually sure of the definition of soulmate. I don't believe that there is only one person in the world you could marry and if you don't find him, it's your fault. That's ridiculous. I think that God might have a person or people in mind for you, as part of His plan for you and for all of us together. It's His job to bring you together, and your job to be good.
Update: You may be thinking, "But what about Hauerwas? He's no spring chicken, and he said it too." And my answer to that is that Hauerwas said it generally, about the random thoughts of married people in general. He did not say "My wife is not perfect for me."
The problem with "I married the wrong person" is not that most married people do not occasionally think this. Of course we do, especially if we are in a very cranky or selfish or lustful mood. (And academia is packed with men who ditched the wives of their youth for their sparkiest, tastiest graduate students.)
It's that sometimes--sometimes--the married people are right. Then the question is if the marriage really is a marriage, in which case you just have to come to terms with it, or if it isn't, in which case you may seek to be released from the false bonds.