This Is Why You Need To Throw Your Dating Checklist Out The Window

If you’re an adult trying to exist in this confusing world of dating, you likely have a mental list of requirements for anyone that you’ll even give a chance. You might believe that this helps narrow down your choices, but it’s actually hurting your odds of finding a partner.

  1. It’s probably BS. Not to assume that it’s all bogus, but you probably have at least a few ideal characteristics that aren’t that important in reality. You’ll look back later and realize that it didn’t matter if he had tattoos or facial hair or loved all the same bands you do. Don’t pass over someone good for a silly reason.
  2. Rules sometimes hinder your dating life. Sure, it’s good to have some guidelines. Don’t date someone who’s rude or creepy or sleazy. That makes sense. On the other hand, you can be so strict about what you’re looking for that you don’t give anyone a chance and that’s counterproductive.
  3. You could disqualify someone too early. If you don’t talk to them and get to know them, you may be judging them incorrectly. Give an unlikely candidate the chance to surprise you. If there aren’t glaring issues and the person seems nice, go for it. What’s one date? It might even be fun.
  4. It’s sometimes the person you least expect who ends up being right for you. That’s why so many people develop relationships with friends or co-workers — you get to know them slowly and realize how great they are. Many of them would’ve seemed totally wrong on paper but ended up being completely compatible.
  5. You’ve probably outgrown your checklist anyway. Think about it: are these your current standards or do they represent an outdated mode of thinking? You’re constantly evolving and your dating preferences should be as well. Lighten up and open up a bit and work out your real non-negotiables.
  6. You’re severely limiting yourself. What’s the point of dating if you aren’t looking at the entire spectrum of who is out there? Focus on the happier couples you know. Many of them probably didn’t think they’d end up with someone like the person they love. Stop making your romantic life a chore and make it an adventure instead.
  7. It’s not fair to your potential dates. Just think how you’d feel if the guy across from you secretly sized you up in comparison to some ideal he has in his head. It’s not a job interview. Yes, you need to get to know the person who could end up being your partner, but not in such a judgmental way.
  8. It keeps you from exploring and learning. Perhaps if you look at a date as an opportunity to get to know a new person, you’ll have more fun. Don’t put so much pressure on your romantic life. Use it instead as a tool to learn what you like and don’t like in real-time instead of in your head.
  9. You’re better off trusting yourself in the moment. One of the biggest problems in today’s society is the lack of presence and awareness. We’re all too busy worrying about the past, thinking about the future or simply distracted by our phones and such. Try fully engaging with people and you might end up attracted to someone who doesn’t match your checklist at all.
  10. You’re looking at finding love all the wrong way. First of all, it’s not a race or a contest. You may be impatient to find the right partner — that’s a natural feeling. That doesn’t mean you should approach it like a homework assignment for life. Get rid of the checklist and take everything as it comes.
  11. Life is too short to think so hard. It really shouldn’t be such a mental nightmare to find love, but sometimes it feels that way. Take your focus off of that area of your life entirely for a while and get everything else in line. By the time you meet someone you click with, your list of acceptable qualities will be the furthest thing from your mind.
  12. You probably need to loosen up. You have lists for everything in your life, right? They can be useful, but you also need to enjoy yourself a little and stop worrying about the rules. There are no fast guidelines for how to exist or how to love, and the sooner you realize this, the happier you’ll be.
  13. It’s time to take some risks. Aren’t you tired of playing it safe? Take a good look at your list and ask yourself if you are using it as a shield against vulnerability. It’s a lot easier to discount someone based on a stock set of black-and-white qualifications than to allow yourself to open up and possibly get hurt.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at