June 27, 2012

Are we really so picky, or... ?

"I know, I'm too picky..." a woman tells me with a sheepish and apologetic smile. She says she really wants to meet someone; it's just that she hasn't found the right one yet.

Most singles think that being picky is a positive trait since it sort of alludes to how worthy they are. They feel reasonably attractive; they are educated; they have good jobs, and they have some good friends. Now they hope to meet someone who is in a similar life situation.

Makes sense, doesn't it?

The problem is that if you tell yourself that you're alone because you're picky, you may be tempted to believe that anytime you do decide to be less picky, you will be easily able to find the right person and embark on your desired relationship.

The truth is that if you are used to disqualifying people after one hour dates, or screening out hundreds of profiles, it's unlikely that you can change this pattern until you investigate why you are doing this; why you are so picky.

If you are not interested in making efforts to understand the deeper motives for your pickiness, chances are you'll just keep looking, focusing on searching rather than on finding. And you will remain single for many more years...

If you're in your 20's and it is difficult for you to find your partner, what will happen at 35? or at 45? The longer people are single, the harder it is for them to get involved with someone and be in a relationship. And the longer you're not dating the harder it will be for you to get back in the dating scene. Seeking approval from family and friends also plays a major role in waiting for THE one. The longer you wait the more conscientious you will become about how your friends and family will accept your mate after all these years of waiting for the perfect one.

Sometimes being picky hides a real anxiety of intimacy, rooted in childhood patterns and experiences. Many people may actually be very successful on first dates, where the focus is more on lighter, and fun interaction. But as they proceed along the dating stages, where more trust, intimacy and commitment are expected, they often get cold feet and run away. The explanation often given why things didn't work is that the other person was not good enough, or attractive enough, or loving enough, or some other enough. But often the real reason is that they themselves were afraid of not being enough for the other person. After all it is quite scary to stand there naked - body and soul - and tell the other person: that's me.

Another reason why people may be picky is because they are are afraid of making a mistake and suffer the consequences for years to come. In a consumer society we are used to getting exactly what we want, and exchange easily if, for any reason, we don't like it anymore. Unfortunately most singles have adopted this consumer's attitude in dating. And since they worry about how easy it may be to "exchange the goods", and especially at which cost, they increasingly give up on dating altogether. The fear of making a mistake makes people hesitant and indecisive. So they prefer not to make a decision (not to date / not to commit etc.).

If you tend to avoid going out on dates, or go out on too many dates, and you're using pickiness as an excuse for any of these, what you're really doing is sabotaging your chances of eventually connecting with someone and being in a happy relationship.

Courage is needed to face the and acknowledge our vulnerability when we're opening up to a new partner. If you are aware of your needs from a partner, and are authentic in conveying them, chances are you will be able to create a close connection with someone.

And instead of talking about your pickiness, and what doesn't work, which sets the mood for more and more unsuccessful dates and matches, adopt a new language and start talking about how you are finding that special person. People will more easily connect with you if you come forward with a positive attitude, that's warm and welcoming. Try that for a month!

For more guidance on dating choices please check http://thesingleoption.com/datingcoach.html

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Irene,
I agree with pretty much everything you say here I am 55 year old male, I have been more or less single for the good part of the past 20 years. my experience has been on both ends of what you describe in you blog. Most recently on the receiving end. My last relationship ended for just the reasons that you describe here, my income wasn't high enough and my spiritual outlook didn't match that of her family, also as I have a more introverted nature my circle of friends wasn't large enough. After 7 months of being together it was over for her. I am not bitter just disappointed. Since then I have been laid off and not found a job. I feel as though I am still worth aomething as a person but it seems that women my age want more in the way of quantity (material value) than quality (personality, intergrity, romance, laughter, companionship, and damn good sex). So it goes...