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)


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?”

  • This is definitely a tough question for me. I’m a full-time student with no real social life, except for the occasional lunch date or dinner date with a friend or classmate. To top it all off, I have the dating experience of a 14 year old (I’m 21). So, I often find myself liking a guy simply because he’s good looking and shows some interest in me, without really delving deep enough to see if he’s really worth talking to or not. Obviously there’s more to the story, but this is the big picture.

  • 1- balanced, meaning he’s sweet and caring but he’s also strong and dynamic, and fun to be with.

    2- open minded and tolerant of people that are different.

    3-I have to be attracted to him.

    I know this is more than 2, but they are essential to me.

  • Good public service Matthew H!

    Earlier, I’d listed “Wit and Respect”. Now a small edit. Sorry, but I have THREE:
    1. Compassion. Most important of all, IMHO!
    2. Confidence. Not to be confused with the desires of the ego. The lack of this quality can cause much suffering for so many.
    3. Wit. Not to be confused with sarcasm, borne of anger/depression. Wit can be very elusive. It points to intelligence, temperament…

    But geez, what of Honesty, Compassion, Fun, Open-mindedness…

    A note on the concept of “chemistry”: it’s not borne of “magic” ladies. It just feels that way at first glance. It’s your sub-conscious self that has immediately sensed/honed in on the presence of those important qualities you are seeking in a mate. Your intuition works faster than your conscious self.

    An interesting notion: The qualities you seek in others, you already have (or value the most) in yourself…

  • After chatting with a guy a few times I would go on a date with him

    1)If I could sense that he has a balanced approach to life and we share an interest.

    2) He must be courteous.

  • He has to have an air of mystery around him. I always find myself drawn to the unusual guys, the ones who don’t reveal every side of themselves to everyone. And he has to make me feel safe, like my secrets are safe with him.

  • How can you limit it to just 2 things!!! He would be praying for me ( that is soooooo romantic!)and He would exhibit the qualities of faith, hope and love EVEN IN ADVERSITY. You often learn alot about somebody through their reactions to tough things in life. I’m desiring a gentleman with a positive mindset, regardless of the circumstances – be they amazing or difficult. Self sacrifice would also be imperative. It would be an added bonus if he likes cricket!!! lol

  • well, first, it depends on the aim of the date ;)
    since I’m looking for a deep and serious relationship, he has to be a mature, inspiring and down to earth person, enjoying a stable and successful carrier (trust me I’m not looking for someone to provide for me, but that’s becoz a guy character is highly attached to his carrier) that is: carrier issues= personality troubles

  • I get attracted to a guy on my date if: 1. He is well-dressed and shaved.I mean the one who seems physically attractive. Then;2. I`ll try to discover his personality and habits. But I must say, all these 4 days of dating I`ve felt lost! i just liked and loved one out of all the dates, but then he turns out to an alcoholic, so I said no to him too.

  • Hey Matthew! Good post! The two things I need in a guy is:
    – Initial attraction (I need some sort of spark in personality or in general)
    – Good self-confidence/esteem/independance. Not cocky, but happy confidence.

  • My 2 must haves are

    1. Follow through – the bold assertiveness that got you to come up to me for a number or conversation….dont let it stop just there…follow through.

    2. Cultured/diversity — whether it is in educational background, religious, travel, experiences. Having someone understand things on a whole world mentality and realizing theres more to life than a 50 mile radius.

  • Lovely post! always love your writing piece. Well for me, those two things are :
    1. Respect to women and treat them well
    2. He is an open minded

    Especially if he has different culture with me. Open minded and respect are highly needed.

  • Two things:
    1) A guy who’s absolutely passionate about something in his life and who’s actually doing something with his life. Someone who would challenge me and let me grow.
    2) Kindness in men is a massive turn on!
    I don’t really care for initial attraction. When I first met my ex in a college science course, I didn’t think I’d ever want to date him or even give him a chance. It didn’t seem like we had a lot in common. Once I got to know him better though, I seriously fell for the guy. There was so much depth in him. He will always have a special place in my heart.

  • 1. I have to enjoy being with him, be able to have an enjoyable conversation with him. Even if I don’t think he’s attractive, if I can have that much of an enjoyable conversation with him, I’m already partway on my way to falling in love with his personality.
    2. He needs to care about me.

  • A guy that’s not afraid to take initiative. I can’t be doing all the work, I’d like to be swooned once in a while..

    A guy that takes the time to get to know the real me, not just the “superficial” me. If you know what I mean. Someone who wants to connect with me, but not cling onto me. Let’s me be myself completely.

    And this will all be returned to him ofcourse…

  • He has to have:

    1) good sense of humor
    2) be willing to challenge me about things. Not in an argumentative way, but I wouldn’t want to be with someone who didn’t challenge me. That’s half the fun :)

  • He has to
    1. Not just be in it for a hookup or just to prove he can get any girl he wants
    2. I have to be attracted to him in some way
    3. He has to be respectful of ME and my feelings, thoughts and opinions (doesn’t mean he has to agree to all of them – but just respect them)
    thats all :)

  • well i am prickey thats why may be am single yet
    i guess a decent personality and the way he talks and communicate is important and yes i notice dressing also :p

  • I don’t mind talking to any guy because I am very friendly, there is this guy who always points out my imperfections and I don’t like him anymore… Is this being judgmental?

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