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?”

  • i’ve tried to be less picky these days. i always used to think just wait for the right one blah blah and i said no to a lot of guys who i didn’t feel were right. but now, I’ve met one guy now who i’d love to get to know more and we have been but he seems to hold back and his dating technique seems a little rusty which astounded me at first….. At first, i thought i could judge him and i was scared but now i feel maybe he needs more reassurance? I don’t know. But I am journeying into territory i haven’t been while remaining true to who i am…….. I believe in having standards but at the beginning stages you just don’t know which present may be for you, just because the wrapping paper may be not how you expect or wrapped in a way thats easy for you to open…. if that makes any sense….

    1. I agree! It took me a while to learn this! It’s not that I’ve lowered my standards, it’s that I’ve realized that what I want might not always look like I expected it to look.

      Masculine men often have a teddy bear side that are ONLY ever revealed to a woman that they trust, and it takes a while to earn the privelage of seeing that. They seem all tough- and they are, but there isn’t anything they wouldn’t do to make their woman happy, when they’ve found the woman that they’ve built that connection with, that they trust.

  • 1) be genuinely comfortable in his skin (cannot stand when someone is trying to impress at all costs, so off putting)
    2) respect other people point of view and have sense of humour

  • well,.for me it’s DEFINETLY condifence!! if a guy isn’t confident he can be as attractive as a topmodel, i wouldn’t want him, because i need to feel safe with a guy and he shouldn’t be shy…i can’t really explain it, but i feel uncomfortable with a shy guy…

    but well, unfortunaltely my problem is, that i only feel attracted to the types of guys who turn out to be assh*** .. :(

  • 1. He does have to be attractive. Physically, usually, but there have been relationships where the guy grew on me.

    2. He has to be respectful. Teasing is good, but he has to be respectful and polite (mini rant: yesterday I went on a date. He’s an ok guy but it was our first date and he would manhandle me. Just because I’m small and cute doesn’t mean you have to pick me up/ mess up my hair/ pretend to wrestle with me.)

  • 1-The guy has to be Open-Minded / Intelligent
    2-Someone who has a healthy life (does sports, activities ..)

    (3) He has to be tall cause i am too tall ;)


  • 1) he must be intelligent
    2) he must be adventurous

    None of these work if chemestry is t present. I have always felt it right away. I don’t mistake that for love at first sIght. It just means there happens to bean attraction.

  • 1. A guy your dating has to be able to make you laugh and be interested in you , and want to make sure your alright, even tho think the same would have to be done back, as guys like being looked after too especially when ill(with man flu).
    2. Good Manners- polite to friends and family, and its important to bond with a new bf i think and find out things about each other.
    Also to know he will have your back if things go wrong. To know he is there for you whatever happens.

  • Hi MATTHEW! :) #1 I have to be attracted to the guy! Looks are important :) #2 Personality: easy going and able to have a nice conversation! I just can’t get interested in someone I can’t talk to :)) Love what you are doing Matthew, THANK’S!!! MARIA

  • emmm… this one really gave me a hard time but I eventualy made up my mind and came to this two :
    (but 1st I would say this: even if to me looks aren’t as important as what I’m about montion, I’m not asking for a model but he definitly has to be easy on the eye ^^)
    1)- he has to respect my opinions, point of views, believes, choices and be encouraging.
    2)- he has to cherish our relationship and give his 100%.
    thnx matt I really needed that post cause I’m in a situation where no one seems good enough but I’ll start giving more chances.

  • 1. smart (i need someone to discuss with in a fun way even if we dont have the same opinion.)
    2. make me laugh which sometimes results out of the first one.

  • not long ago i red that the only thing one really needs to fall in love is that the other person looks at you and sees the person that you really are, through the fears, trough the excuses, the “you” you want to be and not the one you are getting away from…if i have to say that there is something i would look in a guy to find dateable is that he must always be comfortable, never settle for anything less than what he deserves, so that i feel the same way.

  • The most crucial factors should be considered are clever, caring person, ambitious to achieve his startegic intent plus his capability to carry out that.
    More importantly, he must definitely understand what I think, want, make surprised things, wanna be committed to me rather than anyone else (: x

  • Dear Matt,

    Please, please please answer to me! I really have the same problem. I mean almost. I met a guy one year ago, he’s just fooling me but I completely fell in love with him. He made me fell in love with him even though he has a girlfriend,who he’s not intended to leave. But I still love him, and I keep pushing every other guy away. I could have three boyfriends till then but Im always thinking about that this guy is not like him, he doesnt call me like he does. I just wanna be with him, I want him to touch me, I want him to love me. And this goes on for a YEAR now. And I dont know what to do. He is tourchering me! I feel like I dont need anybody but him. How can I step out of this endless circle? How can I stop loving him? What do I do? I keep turning down opportunities, and im wasting my time… I screw up my own life by loving someone who doesnt love me.
    Please help me, give me some advices. Please!
    Thank you in advance. Love you so much! :-)))

  • 1) there must be a mutual attraction (I like him, he likes me and we both enjoy dating / spending time together).
    2) there must be a mutual focus on each other (I pay attention to him and he pays attention to me) and a connection between us

  • 1) He needs to make me feel good/beautiful.

    2) He needs to like what he’s doing (a job or whatever he’s going to do later on)

  • Hi Matthew,

    1) self-respect 2) respect for others

    Thanks for this. Here is the deal with me. When I was younger my friends told me I was too picky. So I put away issues I didn’t like with guys and ignored them. I ended up in a very bad marriage and got divorced. At the point I am in my life I’m very happy. I don’t “need” a man in my life but I would like to have someone that i could share my life with and enjoy. I know within 1 or 2 dates if he has issues I’m unwilling to over look. I’m not talking about little idiosyncrasies but what I would call issues or defects like lack of respect for people, women or me, moodiness, too needy etc.

    I don’t limit going on a date by where I met the guy or because he has a zit or something stupid like that but I do move on if he is someone I would be “settling” for. I settled once and I don’t think I am willing to do so again.

    Thanks for all your newsletters and advice


  • Well, for date one,
    he only has to
    1)Have something that makes him intresting, something that makes me want to know him
    2) Be easy to keep a flowing conversation with, what its about is not a big deal in the bigning, as long as he can talk!

  • Hmmm 1- the attraction 2-trust

    :'( Im never going to like anyone while I still love the father of my 7month old baby!! 5 years + a baby= very hard to move on….

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