At times I wonder if we set ourselves up for success or failure. In Woody Allen’s movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona, or even in his latest, Midnight in Paris, the characters are faced with a dilemma. Stick with their “safe” option but not quite what excites them, or branch out and follow what they really want … a partner who’s exciting. Essentially, should they settle for less than what makes them happy? We do the same thing every day, particularly in the dating world. We are faced with choices, some of them interesting, others not so much. Being too picky helps protect us from making the wrong choice, but taken to the extreme it can also ensure we don’t get hurt because we choose no one. Settling ensures we always have a date, but you run the risk of being unhappy and, frankly, desperate not to be alone because you don’t have any standards.
How do we know if we’re settling or if we’re being too picky? Two opposite extremes, right? Well, yes. Here are some indications of both extremes:
You are a “settler” if:
- You accept every offer for a date (even the unattractive smelly ones – you’ll get used to the scent, right?)
- You don’t bother to screen out online messages for the good, the bad and the ugly (so what if his online photo has him picking his nose with his tongue)
- You set your standards low (it’s ok if they don’t have a job or a car, but they sure have nice hair!)
- You jump into relationships (ooh she actually, really wants to be my girlfriend! Yay!)
- You turn a blind eye to a date/mate’s inconsistencies and deficiencies (so what if he burps when he talks – actually that happened to me on my last date, seriously LOL)
You are “picky” if:
- You set high expectations and standards for your mate (no room for error or they’re out)
- You only date one type of person (for example, rock stars)
- You find something wrong with every person who shows interest in you (ya they’re cute and successful, but they have a uni-brow)
- You have a “list” of what your mate should be/look like and don’t delineate from it (handsome, check … job, check … car, check … big hands and feet, no check … see you later … well you know what they say about big hands and feet!)
- You make someone jump through hoops before you even consider them (what is this, a three ring circus?)
Do you fit into either of these categories? I would say, I am somewhere in the middle. I can pick and choose from both categories. Any normal, sane person has to be picky to some degree, but also be lenient enough to keep their options open. We need to find a happy place in the center.
I prefer to not call it being picky; I prefer to call it having standards. You need to have standards. You can’t just go out with every person who approaches you just because you are lonely. I know it’s tempting, I’ve been there, and I still do it sometimes. Best way to boost your ego is to set up a new online profile with an attractive picture and watch the messages come in. But, friends, we aren’t doing ourselves any favours by going down that path.
So what standards should you have? What should you be picky about? Here are some things that I don’t budge on:
- Good family values – respects their family and mine, family is a priority in their life
- Long term goals for their life – they are ambitious and work hard for what they want
- Must have a good profession – again, hard worker
- No excess baggage from previous relationships – don’t need ex’s lurking around!
- Attractive (to me at least) – includes dresses well, good hygiene (no one wants a smelly mate)
- Social – likes to be around people and attend events
These are some of the things that I don’t settle on. The specifics of each I am more open with. I settled with my ex husband, that is why I’m divorced. So I don’t settle anymore. That is why I’m single LOL. Why do we really settle? It’s because we think that if we don’t we’ll be alone, plain and simple. Who wants to be alone when their biological clock is ticking louder and louder every day and a potential mate seems “good on paper” and fit into the “expectations” box. Bad idea. Bad bad idea. I have been there and I know. I am even tempted to go there again sometimes, but then I remember my ex husband and it’s like a cold glass of water in my face. Don’t settle. Be true to yourself. You are happier alone than to be miserable with the wrong person.
Your homework: sit down and write down your standards. What are the things that are important to you and that don’t fit into the “picky” category? If you tend to be picky or to settle, keep these standards posted somewhere you can see them and remind yourself of them. You only deserve the best, you really do. Don’t settle for anything less. Here’s wishing you happiness with the man or women (or both) of your dreams!!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,