My High Dating Standards Were Actually Extreme Pickiness—No Wonder I’m Still Single

I used to judge the crap out of everyone in dating, particularly online dating where I could screen folks before meeting them. I thought this was fine and that I just knew what I wanted, but I realized later that I was actually being too picky. I wasn’t allowing room for humanness and for people to surprise me. Now I’m working on being more open-minded, letting the universe work its matchmaking magic.

  1. I wanted someone who was perfect. I was being far too picky because I wanted someone who fit the ideal in my head of what a perfect partner for me is. I was unwilling to make room for human flaws and quirks, which can actually be some of the most endearing aspects of a person. I was blocking myself off from love by having completely unattainable standards for people to try and meet. I was also not really able to see another person for who they are because I was so focused on shallow characteristics.
  2. I wanted a “cool” partner. I’m a sharply dressed person and wanted a sharply dressed partner who also happened to be hip. I dreamed of taking cool Instagram pictures together and making everyone else jealous of how wonderful we looked together. This was pretty materialistic and surface-level for me, which I’m not usually. I was surprised by my shallowness when I realized it. Now I’m much more apt to be okay with someone who doesn’t have crazy style, knowing that there are many more important things.
  3. I said no to any “basic” people. I don’t even know what I meant by this. I guess I was judging by purely looks and maybe a bit of personality, but again it had a lot to do with how others perceived my relationship. I didn’t want to be seen dating someone who was simple because I see myself as so eclectic. This was a pretty filter to be judging people through, I’ll admit it! I’m glad I’ve rid myself of it. 
  4. I swiped left on virtually everyone. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people to swipe left on in online dating land. But, I found myself swiping left for all sorts of reasons: too goofy, not sober, too athletic, not enough facial hair, the reasons went on and on. I was wondering why I was alone when I swiped left on like 98% of the people I came into online contact with.
  5. I wasn’t even going on many dates. I’ve heard it’s not uncommon to talk to tons of people online but only go on a handful of dates. So, that’s what was happening to me but I wasn’t even going on a handful. I was going on very few dates, especially compared to how many dang people are in the city I live in. I wasn’t giving people chances because I was judging them too harshly.
  6. Maybe I just wasn’t ready. All of these strict desires and filters left me wondering if I was even ready to be dating. My ideal readiness in dating includes having an open-mind, which I was clearly incapable of doing at the time. I’ve changed, though, I’m not still this way.
  7. Now I’m more open to people who aren’t “my type.” Perhaps someone is a little bit nerdier than I’d normally go for, but otherwise we have a lot in common—lately, I’ve been going for it. I’m more apt to give people a chance and see how it goes. This has been successful so far, I’ve met some really lovely people!
  8. I didn’t realize I just wanted a match who’d love me. I wasn’t thinking about what really mattered—which is someone who’s capable of being in a relationship and is emotionally available enough to love me deeply. Of course, compatibility and chemistry matter, too, but primarily my goal is to be in a relationship with someone great. They don’t have to be cool or sharp dressed to love me someday.
  9. There are certain things that are important. As much as I need to be open-minded enough to give people a chance, it’s still okay to be even an average amount of picky. I mean, there are certain deal breakers and red flags that are tremendously important to me. I think it’s just a matter of balance—both letting myself be a bit picky and staying open to the fact that someone may just surprise me.
  10. I believe that the universe is a matchmaker. I eventually stopped panicking so much and stopped trying to control everything. I’ve become more relaxed around dating, believing that the universe will ultimately match me with the right person. I don’t have to freak out and be judgemental in the process. I can just hang back and try to enjoy the ride, knowing that someday I’ll meet my person.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at