Is Being Too Picky Ruining Your Love Life?

Is being picky a good thing or a bad thing in dating?

Look, if there’s one area that’s worth being fussy about in life, it’s your relationships. A relationship is a big commitment; they require time, energy, emotional investment – all commodities that we don’t want to spend too easily.

So when it comes to love, be as picky as you want.

But does that mean we should be picky at every stage of the process? No!

What most of us do is get too picky too soon, when in fact, at the beginning of the process (when we are single and looking), we should actually be totally unpicky.

Welcome to your next boyfriend? (Photo: Wiseacre)

Huh?

I know this sounds weird coming from me. I’m the one always harping on about living up to your standards, and never expecting second-best; how can I now turn around and tell you not to be picky?

I’ll tell you, because there is this frustrating pattern, and it can be summed up pretty simply: people are using “being picky” as an excuse for sitting on their asses and waiting.

I see this with my guy friends all the time when we go out: “The problem with me” they’ll say, “is I’m just so picky”. And then they turn to other excuses: “All the women here are just shallow.” “These girls aren’t my type.” “I need girls who are fun/smart/deep/ have a different look.”

Whatever the guy’s excuse, he’ll decide that (a) none of the women in the place have what he’s looking for, and (b) he now has a go-to excuse for NEVER SPEAKING TO ANYONE.

And this isn’t just a guy problem by the way. We all make generalisations about people so that we can excuse ourselves from taking risks.

We’ll think to ourselves: “Well, he’s not my 100% perfect guy, so he’s not really for me.” And we’ll often use this as our excuse EVEN IF WE’VE NEVER EVEN SPOKEN TO HIM!

I know this kind of behaviour because I’ve done it myself a million times. I would look at that one woman at the party I wanted to speak to, avoid conversation with her the entire night, and then in my head I would make up some lame excuse about how she was probably shallow anyway because it made me feel better about not taking a chance.

But look, I know most of us GENUINELY ARE PICKY. And that’s fine. But we have to be careful what we are picky about.

When it comes to love, be picky. When it comes to meeting people, NEVER be picky.

The reason is twofold:

1) Great people are EVERYWHERE

There is no-one who couldn’t use having another great person in their phonebook.

What’s more, some of the most cherished relationships (including romantic partners) I have ever had in my life were people I initially never would have thought I would have been interested in. But suddenly when I let go of my prejudices and gave them a chance, I was completely hooked on their personality.

Never fill in someone’s personality with your eyes! The right person rarely jumps out at us immediately.

How tragic would it be if we let our ideal partner slip away before they ever got a chance to show us how perfect they are.

2) Being judgmental is an unattractive quality

Being picky too early makes us come off as judgmental, and that’s a person no-one wants to be around.

If a guy proves to be an idiot, then lose him. But at least give him a chance to prove he’s not.

Remember, it’s hard to see the good in people when you’re only looking for the bad.

Question of the day:

What are two things you MUST have in a guy who date? Let me know in the comments below as we’d love to hear your thoughts.

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195 Replies to “Is Being Too Picky Ruining Your Love Life?”

  1. Two things would have to be:
    1. I have to be attracted to they guy initially in someway, whether that be physically attracted, or initially attracted to his personality

    2. Someone who is going on this date for a relationship. Because often, the guy is only going on dates for reasons other than seeing relationship material down the line

  2. A guy must be 1) mature and 2) make me feel like I can trust telling him things – without being judged for my opinion/whats on my mind.

    1. Nice one Maja. It’s not always easy to find people we can trust not to judge us too harshly for the things we tell them. Truth is we will always be judged, but what we really want is someone who can overcome their initial reflex reactions and reflect more deeply on the things we tell them. That way they can figure out positive and constructive responses to help us grow, not make us feel insecure for having told them it in the first place.

      Thanks! x

    1. “and hold my attention” – that kind of defines relationships doesn’t it? When someone can’t do this for another person it makes long term partnership very difficult. It may be interesting for us to do a blog on what does hold someones attention. What do you guys think? x

      1. I definitely think doing one of these about keeping someone’s attention is a great idea, Matthew. Finding yourself attracted to someone can be easy, but once that initial passion and interest I definitely think doing one of these about keeping someone’s attention is a great idea, Matthew. Finding yourself attracted to someone can be easy, but once that initial passion and interest start to fade into comfort and routine, that’s where the relationship really gets put to the test. It’s great when someone is naturally engaging rather than trying to impress you because it’s hard to live up to that first impression if it places someone on a pedestal of unrealistic expectations or inversely gets them branded as someone trying too hard.
        I also second the motion that my ideal man has to be confident and have a positive self image. I want someone that is happy with himself rather than trying to rely on someone else to bring them fulfillment. I used to be like that and I realized it wasn’t satisfying. I see it with friends all the time and not only is it sad, but it leaves one wondering how much these people really care about each other and how much of the relationship is just about security or not being alone. If someone was unhappy before the relationship, they’ll just find other reasons to be unhappy because they’re the only ones capable of changing their thoughts and point of view.start to fade into comfort and routine, that’s where the relationship really gets put to the test. It’s great when someone is naturally engaging rather than trying to impress you because it’s hard to live up to that first impression.
        I also second the motion that my ideal man has to be confident and have a positive self image. I want someone that is happy with himself rather than trying to rely on someone else to bring them fulfillment .I used to be like that and I realized it wasn’t satisfying. I see it with friends all the time and not only is it sad, but it leaves one wondering how much these people really care about each other and how much of the relationship is just about security d not being alone.These people just find other reasons to be unhappy because you weren’t happy to begin with, and no one can fix that for you but yourself.

        1. Let’s try that again without the weird extra paragraphs I had before I edited them. This is difficult from a phone haha.
          I definitely think doing one of these about keeping someone’s attention is a great idea, Matthew. Finding yourself attracted to someone can be easy, but once that initial passion and interest start to fade into comfort and routine, that’s where the relationship really gets put to the test. It’s great when someone is naturally engaging rather than trying to impress you because it’s hard to live up to that first impression if it places someone on a pedestal of unrealistic expectations or inversely gets them branded as someone trying too hard.
          I also second the motion that my ideal man has to be confident and have a positive self image. I want someone that is happy with himself rather than trying to rely on someone else to bring them fulfillment. I used to be like that and I realized it wasn’t satisfying. I see it with friends all the time and not only is it sad, but it leaves one wondering how much these people really care about each other and how much of the relationship is just about security or not being alone. If someone was unhappy before the relationship, they’ll just find other reasons to be unhappy because they’re the only ones capable of changing their thoughts and point of view.

      2. RE: Hold my attention.

        Yes that would be a good blog topic; however, it’s so subjective. Both men and women can be wishy washy and their own definition of “holds my atention” can change overnight. For initial encounter (e.g. would I even date him), it might be best to quantify requirements in an objective fashion.

        Regards,
        XiXi

      1. I totally agree with the active/healthy lifestyle ! That and initial attraction/chemistry. That is my challenge here~ finding the active, healthy man who is attractive, charismatic or interesting. We have a high percentage of overweight people (especially middle aged+) in my area who tend to drink and smoke a lot. A few are casual friends (they don’t smoke around me), but it is hard to do active things with them. I joined a gym, but haven’t seen any intriguing singles there either.

  3. #1 He’s got to be an active Christian in his church, so we have a better chance of being on the same page with ethics/morals/foundational beliefs.
    #2 Respect. Chivalry goes along with this, common courtesies, being polite, but I have to find a place to respect him, too.

    1. Watch out for that #1… I seriously debated going on a date with a guy because he doesn’t attend church- he wasn’t raised doing that, and it just wasn’t a part of his life.

      God is #1 in my life. I even sought advice from a friend when I new this guy was interested in me. I asked if it was ridiculous to even go on a date with someone who isn’t an “active Christian” if it’s something that is such an important part of my life?

      After thinking about it for a while, I realized that one of my past problems with relationships was over-thinking. Being in my head instead of using my feminine energy and feeling. Don’t get me wrong, I know that God gave us both MIND and BODY. I’m not saying to ignore your mind. But I am saying to not ignore your body- give your feeling a chance. Trust that you have developed a good sense of self, believe in your ability to “feel”. I decided, finally, not to overthink it. “It’s just one date, Kristin. Find out a little more about him. If you discover something about him that disqualifies him, there won’t be another date. But for now, for today, just go on one date.”

      That was 8 months ago. 8 of the best months ever of my dating life, and I’ve had plenty of them- I’m 31!

      I’ve dated guys that were “active Christians”, that met all the “criteria” I was looking for… and none of them even hold a candle to my boyfriend now- the guy that I almost didn’t even go on one date with. I still go to church every week, and he respects that. I respect that he learned to have a relationship with Christ without attending church, but that he is very much an active and comitted Christian, even though it looks a lot different than I would have expected.

      Now that we have built that foundation of love and respect for each other as we currently are, I’ll be inviting him to go with me every so often– no expectations of him to change for me, but just to let him know that he’s always welcome to join me.

      It has been something I’ve spent a lot of time seriously considering, whether or not I’ll be unhappy in the long run by not choosing a partner that’s more “active” in the church. But my soul searching has led me to realize how beautiful our relationship is, and that yes, he has brought me closer to Christ through our discussions and through our relationship, and that I know he will always be supportive of my relationship with Christ, as well as his own, even if his and mine look a little different.

      I know that might not work for everyone, but I also know that he’s soneone I would not have dated at one point in my life… And opening myself up to ONE date with him did NOT mean that I was “settling” or “lowering my standards”- it was just one date! I can’t tell you how happy I am that I decided to just take it one date at a time! IF I would have always done what I always did, I would have ended up where I’d always been.

      If you’re reading these articles, it’s likely that you might be looking for a change too– so I’d just encourage anyone to really consider their pickiness, and take Matt’s article to heart- instead of thinking “he has to have X”, what if you asked “what would be the harm of going on one date?” even if you think he’s not your type- sometimes we misjudge. use it as a chance to confirm- “yep, that was horrible, i never want to go on another date with him again!”, but be open to the possibility that maybe, just maybe he is someone worth getting to know. I know I’m glad I finally just took the chance and gave this alternative view point a chance.

      1. Hi Kristin,

        Thank you for your post. That’s really helped me. I really appreciate your way of framing the situation, “what’s the harm with one date?”

        I have always struggled with this aspect of dating. I am 23, I’ve never had a boyfriend, have always put my academics (I’m now in medical school) and God (at least I’ve tried) above all, but have nonetheless wished I could meet a special someone. One of the reasons I’ve never really pursued anyone (because I don’t think that many guys had “pursued” me in college, but that’s another story) was the Christianity factor. I’d ultimately not really put the effort in getting to know guys at another level because I knew they weren’t believers and that was a big no-no.

        Long story short, I can totally see how this can get tricky: in one hand there’s definitely the possibility of bringing someone to God, but at the same time there’s the chance that he could take us away from Him. Nevertheless, I feel that if we keep our eyes and mind open and don’t, don’t judge people (at least too early!), and keep this part of our lives in prayer, we’re certainly heading in the right path at least :-).

  4. He must be intelligent, look after himself and be able to enjoy life on his own. I sometimes run into guys who claim “I cannot live alone. When I have a woman in my life, everything will be fine.”
    This attitude makes me run away like hell. I don’t need a crutch who wants to hold onto me.
    A healthy relationship can only originate between two healthy adults who can stand on their own feet.

  5. I love the picture!

    Aside from a hairy chest and chestnut aviators, my man has to make me laugh and keep me on my toes.

  6. Good point!:)

    And if you genuinely just LOVE people and try to find good things about them, it attracts people toward you. No matter the looks or whatever. Everyone wants to be around people who like them. If you give out love, it’s love that will come back to you:)

  7. 1. He can’t come off as the douchey party type (excuse my french lol). I’m generally more attracted to the shy, humble, kind of cute/dorky type. I feel like it sends me a message that he’s a good catch and someone that is looking for more than just a one night stand.. Maybe that’s reading too much into things but I’m really attracted to those kind of men!
    2. He has to be an overall good person.. I know this may seem obvious but It’s extremely important!

    Those are the 2 things I wont back down on :)

    I feel like I am extremely picky & have super high standards when it comes to guys and I don’t get why.I respect myself but I’m not some amazing catch that really deserves to be that picky!

    1. Hey Ruby!

      Your first sentence made me laugh straight away. Remember, if you are attracted the the shy type you’ll have to be proactive in meeting him, because chances are he won’t be running up to every woman he sees.

      Thanks for leaving a comment, come back again!

      x

    2. “Maybe that’s reading too much into things”

      What if you’re right?

      Yes, you absolutely deserve respect and nothing less than the best. Maybe the guy isn’t worth your time. But it’s only ONE date at a time that you’re signing up for. If he ever disrespects you, then you drop him. If he’s just not up to your standards, you turn down the next date invite. But in the meantime, what if you’re right? What if…

      “Maybe that’s reading too much into things”

      ???

  8. 1) Intelligence/open-mindedness
    1) Honesty/integrity
    1) Physical attractiveness to ME (doesn’t have to look like Tom Cruise or be what other people consider good looking)
    1) Compassion and kindness toward others
    1) Playful/likes to be silly sometimes

    I’ve numbered these all with a “1” because they are all equally important to me, and deal breakers if not present.

    1. “Physical attractiveness to ME” – This is such a great point, beauty really is subjective and it truly only matters if we find our partner beautiful. Very often we find someone beautiful because of the unique connection we have with them, that’s why no one else sees them quite like us : ) x

  9. 1) My guy must a one womens man. He must make me laugh. Be able to always make me smile. 2)Obviously physical attraction is very important, kind, gentle sweet,honest, warm lovin personality where I his women must always come first.

  10. Sense of humour and trustworthy – but also key: communication skills which are essential to work things out, considering and taking into account each others point of view in a non-judgmental and open manner

  11. 1) he should be a dreamer with a good sense of humour..
    2) supporting me fulfilling my dreams, and of course, I’ll do the same for him ;)…
    *3) understanding who I am, and why I do what I do ^^

    1. “understanding who i am” – this one is important isn’t it! It’s amazing how much we fall for the people who truly understand us at the deepest level. It’s even attractive just for someone to try to.

      Thanks Red Apple : ) x

  12. Once upon a time (OK, not all that long ago in actual fact !)I would have listed a whole load of “must haves”, but I now prize above all else someone who will CONSISTENTLY back their words with the corresponding action and sees the glass as half full rather than half empty

  13. Its a good point, regardless of the sex, people make excuses and stereotype others either by their appearance or their assumptions (which are not based on the truth).

    For me, the guy needs to be able to hold down an interesting conversation and also a guy who respects me.

  14. I want a man to be truly confident and have a good sense of humor. Seems really hard to find…or am I being picky?

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