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?”

  • Two things?
    1. Not to come off shallow, but there has to be a physical attraction, but everyone one is different, what i find attractive is not what other people find attractive, it may also be just something small n simple like the way a man shaves his face, i.e. style of facial hair, or even just a certain look of the eye from a profile picture
    2. Has got to be smell, hygiene is a definite must, but the guy has got to have the right, or near enough, smell that causes biological fluctuations in me

    1. Well Sam, this comment definitely made me a little insecure. I’m in the middle of an airport writing this and i’m not the best I’ve ever smelled. lol.

      Thanks for the comment x

      1. Matt you do realize if you hadn’t told us we would have never known:p I have to say if someone came up to me looking like the guy in the pic it’s absolutely a no go. I mean seriously he shaves his chest hair into what looks like a heart shape. Creepy!! I will say I feel I’m pretty good at giving guys a chance but sometimes I’m guilty of giving him my number just because I can tell it took a lot of courage to come talk to me however I don’t always answer my phone. I know that’s awful but I can’t stand to shoot them down when it’s obvious it took all night just to come over. How can I handle this different?

  • First and foremost, He must be open minded and willing to communicate his needs. I can’t read minds.
    Nooo all kidding aside there does have to be that spark….you know when your eyes cant even settle on his lips without carnal desire. lol He must contain that something u know the something that makes your heart skip a beat. The second he must be confident in himself and a little controlling cause all us girls like to be controlled in some way by our men. IF YOU SAY U DON’T LIARS ARE AMONG US! So i guess its sparks, then the way he takes care of himself and his business>sexy a man who knows where hes going and knows that despite of his strength he wants someone to go with him. :)


  • HAHAHA that picture was not what I was expecting when I clicked here!

    I actually think having a list of what you will and won’t tolerate in a man or a relationship will really help you stick to your core values as well as not settling for just whomever comes you way.

    I thankfully have someone who:

    1. Takes responsibility for his own emotions and lot in life (not someone who uses his external circumstances as an excuse as to why he can’t have what he wants)–and takes action to prevent complacency.

    2. Kind, passionate,has integrity, values and someone who wants to the best version of himself.

    3. Adventurous spirit who likes traveling and is UBER patient with me and my tendency to forget important shit like my purse and plane tickets as we’re getting ready to board a plane.

    In essence, I think having standards for yourself and what you will or won’t tolerate in love will definitely help you be one step closer to your dream partner.

  • Matt, give me a guy who puts in kindness & gentleness in everything he does towards me, add on a healthy dose of Christian faith and he’s got me – wont care if he’s ugly but taller than I am. (And yes, i am smilin)

  • Although logically I know what you’re saying is correct and also the path to becoming a decent human being, I just believe that with all the best will in the world – you just can’t force attraction. I am only 22 and have been single for almost 5 years (the last relationship was an intense inconsistent teenage love story that lasted for 4 years). Without sounding arrogant, I am aware that I am an “attractive” young girl, but I just seem to be incapable of giving anyone a real chance. I could have given various guys a chance and had some nice boyfriends, but the truth is that if I just don’t feel that spark within the first few times of meeting them and I don’t get that buzz and excitement that is obviously triggered by “physical attraction”, I just can’t be bothered (as harsh as that sounds). I think being picky goes beyond personal goals and extends to basic primitive instincts. If the physical aspect isn’t there, then everything else that is there just ends up in a good friendship rather than a romantic one. Anyway thanks for the sounds advice as per usual. :-)

    1. … however when I do like someone – it seems to be confident, chatty, performer, good looking alpha male – they usually let their egos get in the way of letting things go further after their initial interest…

  • 1) Passionate – In anything really, I don’t mind if he is super passionate about rocks as long as it is genuine.

    2) Fun, Down to earth conversation.

    Loving this blog, it is helping me realize I am not totally hopeless in finding Mr. Right. Thanks

  • 1-6ft plus as I am 5ft7 and could never give up my high heels for love..I must be 5,10 in my best heels…and we all know what Marilyn Monroe said about a girl and her heels.
    2-Be interested in the world and people. I love people, and appreciate that in others.

  • 1) Easy to talk to with a similar view on life and sense of humour.
    2) Actually wants to be with me and suggests fun things to do- I am fed up with taking the initiative in everything, so apathy or lots of time spent in his own pursuits without including me (some is great)is a big turn off.

  • I don’t get the comments about the picture – I think he’s hot. What were those previous comments about being judgemental? ;-p
    Sorry Trish but I have to disagree with you – I don’t want to be controlled by a man – relationships are about equality and I have walked out on previous relationships because they were too controlling. Feeling the need to have control over another person is frankly a worrying and unattractive trait.
    For me the most important attributes are conversation – there’s nothing more uncomfortable than awkward silences because you have nothing to say to each other and sense of humour. Mutual physical attraction is also a must though…

  • He must be someone who likes to take care of himself, ACTIVE and willing to do new things

    Sensitive BUT masculine

  • Well, for me I need a guy who knows what he wants ( a guy who knows himself) because most of them are always indecisive, it’s my french opinion about french man mostly :)
    And yes second of all, sense of humour of course!

  • 1. I want him to make me feel good.
    2. I want to be able to make him feel good.

    Good being synonymous with one or any combination of happy, having fun, motivating each other, pushing limits (in a good way), discover new things and just simply enjoying each others’ company.

  • Matt,

    Thanks for this post! I enjoyed it a lot and agree with what you say.
    I want to ask though what about men who are too old and too young for you? That’s all I’ve been getting! And I don’t want to say yes to men who are twice my age or younger than the internet. Do you have advice for this? (any clue as to what’s going on or what I could do differently?? I’m so confused.)


    1. Hey Catt! The good news is if you’re attractive then you’ll be attracting all different age groups, so it’s natural. It doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. I think age gaps can work but if you’re sure about the age group you want look for places then target that demographic in the way you socialise. Choose place where people in your age group are more likely to hang out. When you see them walking around, grabbing their latte, talk to them. They are out there! x

      1. Thanks for the advice Matt! I guess I tend to do older people stuff, and it’s just weird that there’s that hole in the age group I ideally want to attract. I’ll let you know how it goes!!


  • 1. He has to make feel something different from other people. The feeling hasis generally a cross between excitement and curiosity.

    2. He has to be a nice person. I don’t mean the person who pretends either, but the of person who’ll be kind to everyone, regardless of who’s looking.

    I’d curious about what your two requirements are :)

  • 1. Am working on creating an extraordinary life and want to be with someone who can understand and share that adventure with me. A life lover. ;)

    2. I need him to challenge me intellectually. Smart guys are so hot!

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