Life if full of choices, especially in the dating world. We encounter multiple potential dates and are left with the decision to choose them or not. Sometimes they seem “good enough” but don’t meet all our needs, other times they are perfect, and, of course there are those who we write off completely. But, as time goes by and we are faced with loneliness and perpetual single life we might decide to overlook some of those points on our checklist.
The question is, should we challenge ourselves to date beyond our comfort zone, or, should we stick to our guns? If we do let go of some of our requirements, how do we know if we’re settling? Or, if we stick to our list, how do we know if we’re being too picky? Two opposite extremes, right? Well, yes.
Are You a Picky Dater?
Does this sound familiar?
- You set high expectations and standards for your potential partner with no room for error
- You only date one type of person (for example, uber successful people)
- You find something wrong with every person who shows interest in you (for example, they’re attractive and successful, but they’re bald)
- You have a “laundry list” of your ideal partner’s characteristics and don’t delineate from it
- You make someone jump through hoops before you even consider them
So if any of those sound familiar, you are crossing the “picky” line. Another thing to ask yourself is why these things are so important to you OR are they excuses? Often times emotionally unavailable people become picky daters in order to self-sabotage their dating lives, usually sub-consciously. If this is you, then perhaps you need to deal with whatever is holding you back before dating.
Should You Settle?
What settling is and isn’t
- You are settling if:
- You accept every offer for a date
- You don’t bother to screen people you meet
- You set your standards low
- You desperately jump into relationships and latch on to the first person that you can
- You turn a blind eye to a potential partner’s inconsistencies and deficiencies
- You turn a blind eye to red flags
- You are NOT settling if:
- You keep an open mind about who you date
- You give people a chance even if they aren’t exactly what you’re looking for
- You see someone as an overall package rather than focusing on specific things about them
- You assess a person’s suitability fairly
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. I have been there and I know. Don’t settle. Be true to yourself. You are happier alone than to be miserable with the wrong person.
Any normal person has to be picky to some degree, but also be lenient enough to keep their options open. This isn’t necessarily settling if you keep an open mind. You need to find a happy place in the center. What this actually is isn’t being picky, it’s having standards.
Not Picky. Not Settling. Standards.
You need to have standards when you’re seeking out a potential partner. You shouldn’t settle and date every person who approaches you just because you’re lonely. You also shouldn’t be overly picky and blinded by your fussiness about details. You really aren’t doing yourselves any favours by going down those paths.
So what standards should you have? These are some examples:
- Good family values
- Long-term goals for their life
- A solid person who has their life in order
- Honest and respectful
- No excess baggage from previous relationships
- Emotionally available
- Attractive (to you)
- Socially competent
You need to ask yourself what’s really important to you in a partner. It’s about realizing what’s a “must have” versus a “nice to have”. Just like we’d all love that expensive car most of us can’t afford but we can afford a nice reliable car nonetheless even if it doesn’t have an impressive name. So take some time to really pick apart your “list” and divide it into what is most important to you. Next time you meet a potential partner make sure they meet your standards but don’t be picky and never, ever, settle.
Have a dating dilemma? You can always Ask Single Dating Diva a confidential dating question on http://singledatingdiva.com.
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
Originally appeared on eHarmony Canada.