"We grew up idealising marriage, but if we'd had a more realistic understanding of its cold, hard benefits, we might have done things differently.So we walked away from uninspiring relationships that might have made us happy." She added: "Every woman I know – no matter how successful and ambitious, how financially and emotionally secure – feels panic, occasionally coupled with desperation, if she hits 30 and finds herself unmarried."But marrying Mr Good Enough might be equally viable, especially if you're looking for a reliable life companion." Gottlieb also suggests that marriage to someone who may seem like Mr Right could even be less successful.

On his website he says, “We have a massive skills gap.

Even with record unemployment, millions of skilled jobs are unfilled because no one is trained or willing to do them.

Now Patton, an independent HR consultant who lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and who’s been dubbed “Princeton Mom,” has capitalized on her fame with an old-fashioned dating manual, “Marry Smart.” Published this week, the book argues that coeds have a limited shelf life “as young, beautiful [women who are] as attractive to men or as fertile” and advises them to spend three-quarters of their time in school on the hunt for Mr. But what happens if you missed your shot and didn’t get that all-important MRS certificate along with your liberal arts degree? She believes that, even in the dog-eat-dog dating jungle that is New York, there is hope for single career women between the ages of 22 and 35 (yes, that’s her cutoff) who also want marriage and babies.

“These women are spinsters-in-training, but they can turn it around,” says the 50-something divorcée.

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He said: "No man or woman has all the characteristics you would look for; it would be a miracle to find your Number One.

“You have to find somebody with as many good characteristics as possible.

Last year, Susan Patton, a Princeton grad and the mother of two sons at the elite college, outraged feminists when she wrote an open letter to the Daily Princetonian telling female students to find a husband on campus before they graduate.