Most single people have a mental list of desired qualities for their future partner. This is completely normal — however, we’ve noticed that some are rather particular.
We tell clients to be prepared before meeting us that we will need to know their “must haves” and “never wants” — mature daters should be certain in knowing what characteristics and qualities will mesh well with their lifestyles before deciding to be proactive in dating. But unfortunately, there’s a threshold that we feel it necessary for singles to understand. We don’t mean for anyone to be totally open to dating anyone, anywhere. However, relationships require a lot of compromise, so let’s dispel the myth of being “too picky” for your own good.
Being considered “too picky” has a negative connotation, though most mature single individuals have had relationship experience which tends to help us mature and give us a clearer sense of what we want in a partner. It can help you define your non-negotiable issues. It’s a good idea to make a list of the qualities you’re looking for and stick to it and can include things that turn you on both mentally and emotionally. You want to find someone who makes you feel like your “best you.” The more significant relationships you’ve been in, the more detailed your list will become.
Some might say you’re being too selective, but a list such as this can help steer you in the right direction. It will also help you avoid dating the kinds of people you’ve dated before. Those relationships didn’t work out, so it’s futile to keep dating the same kinds of people. Some flexibility is good — location, age, ethnicity, physical appearance. Yes, chemistry and physical attraction is important, but don’t let that be your only gauge of “datability.” One must find the balance between being selective and risking short-changing yourself because of more arbitrary things on your list like, ‘I just don’t do blondes” or “I could never date someone with an arm band tattoo.”
If you’re not sure if something belongs on your non-negotiable list, give yourself time to consider it. Is there an age gap or do you not want to relocate? It’s OK to forget about those things for a time and consider how your lifestyles mesh or what it feels like, or would likely feel like, sharing your home with this person.
It’s always hard to gauge how much compromise is healthy. Any successful long-term relationship involves compromise, so keep an open mind. A good area to consider compromising on might be your willingness to date someone who already has children. It’s fine to decide not to have kids, but it’s often hasty to rule someone out because he or she has children from a previous relationship. You may not think of this as an ideal dating scenario, but you may be surprised at how you feel to meeting the child of someone you’ve formed a strong bond with.
We’ve often found that the most satisfying relationships we’ve seen have blossomed with people who tend to be open minded and adaptable. This week’s column, especially, was inspired by a couple we know who was willing to negotiate on some of their ideals and ended up being one of the most loving, happy couples we’ve seen in awhile.
Yes, it’s wise to trust your instincts and know what’s important to you, but don’t be so quick to write someone off that you miss out on a great relationship.