Unreasonable “Standards” You Have In Dating That Are Actually Just Pickiness

It’s important to have standards in dating in order to protect yourself, but there are times when they become a cover for pickiness. You know what you want and what you need in a relationship, but you shouldn’t let your idealistic views on love inform your choices on who you date and who you write off before ever giving them a chance. Here are some unreasonable dating “standards” you need to let go of if you don’t want to be alone forever.

  1. They have to look like a model. You might think appearances are really important and you won’t date someone who’s not ridiculously handsome or beautiful. That’s sad because there are different types of attractiveness and if you’re only focusing on their appearance, you could be missing out on really gorgeous hidden qualities that matter much more than a set of perfect teeth.
  2. They have to meet your specific physical requirements. It might not be general good looks you’re after but specific appearances that you need in a partner, such as a guy who’s six feet tall and has blue eyes and tattoos. You won’t budge from this shopping list, but what does it matter if the guy doesn’t meet all these requirements? They really don’t matter!
  3. They have to have a great (read: lucrative) job. It really doesn’t matter what they do for a living as long as they do it with integrity. What’s much more important than the type of job they have is whether or not they have ambition, motivation, and a successful person’s mindset. Seriously, someone could own a successful company and be a totally corrupt or arrogant jerk. Likewise, just because they’re a doctor it doesn’t mean they’re healthy or a good person.
  4. They have to fit your personality “shopping list.” Of course, you should have non-negotiable things you want in a partner, like a person who doesn’t cheat and who you can trust. But, when it comes to things like a witty sense of humor or someone who’s very outgoing, it’s unfair if you break up with someone simply because of those. They might have other qualities worthy of being your partner. No one’s perfect.
  5. They have to like your friends. It’s good for the person you date to make an effort with your loved ones, but what if he really just doesn’t like them and he has good reasons not to, like if they’re quite judgmental or ignore him when he’s around? It’s unfair to expect him to love everyone in your life. As long as they’re polite and respectful, they’re a good person.
  6. They have to bring loads of sparks to the first date. Chemistry is important from the first date, but if there’s not much of a spark yet you still had a great time, they probably deserve a second date. Sometimes awkwardness and first-date nerves can prevent a spark from showing up properly. But if there’s the promise of it, don’t write them off yet.
  7. They can’t get in touch too quickly after the date. You say he must initiate contact with you after the first date but then you feel creeped out when they do within an hour of the date because it feels like they’re moving too fast. WTF? You’re not being picky — you’re nitpicking. There’s a difference. This is one of those unreasonable dating standards that’s just plain silly.
  8. They shouldn’t take too long to contact you after the first date. On the other hand, you might say that someone has to contact you ASAP after a first date if they’re interested. If they’re taking days to get in touch, then that doesn’t look good. But if they’ve waited a day or so, it’s really not a train smash. People sometimes also feel the pressure to play it cool and not show that they’re too eager. Try to give him a break.
  9. They shouldn’t be too niceYup, being “too nice” can be a problem. But only if the person seems to have a hidden agenda. For instance, if they’re so charming that they’re bringing expensive gifts to the first date and you can’t help but wonder why they’re coming on so strongly. But if they’re really a nice person to you and the waiter, and they don’t seem to have any issues, then what’s the problem? Nice people always beat the bad boys in the long run!
  10. They need to share your hobbies or passions. You want a partner who likes the things you like because that makes your weekends a lot more fun and it gives you a chance to relate to each other, but it’s silly to diss them just because they like different things. As long as you’re compatible on a deeper level, the hobbies and passions you don’t share shouldn’t matter. In fact, having differences could be quite refreshing.
  11. They need to be rom-com romantic. One of the things you look for in a partner is romance, and you won’t stick with someone who isn’t romantic. But, are you sure you’re not just holding onto Hollywood ideas of romance? There are many ways someone can be romantic and make you feel special. Keep your eyes peeled for these signs instead of holding them to your romantic expectations that you really don’t need.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill