Why It Pays To Be Picky About Who You Date

Being single is rough sometimes. Whether you’ve been flying solo for a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years, it can feel like that special someone just doesn’t exist for you. One of the most common bits of “advice” single women are bombarded with every day is that we are simply being too picky. Let’s talk about that condescending word: picky. The general idea is that if we lower our expectations, we’ll succeed in finding a partner.

On the most basic level, that’s true. If you lower your expectations to include more of the eligible population, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find someone who wants to date you. Think about it, though: Is that really a success? If you date someone who likes you a lot but you only feel so-so about him, it’s not a win. You’re settling, and there is no need to settle for just anyone. Here are some of the best reasons to continue being picky and living your single life to the fullest until you meet someone truly special.

  1. Being single can be really terrific if you fully appreciate your freedom. Your home décor is 100% you, the place stays as clean or messy as you left it, and there’s no need to make a special dinner every night. You can stay up until 3 am watching romance movies or reality TV, and then starfish all over the bed with no regard because it’s your life and yours alone. When your friends call to suggest a spontaneous beach weekend, you can say “Hell yeah!” without running it by anyone else; you can also stop by the mall on your way to get an adorable new beach tote or sundress, no questions asked. Don’t squander your freedom on the wrong person.
  2. Relationships are a constant compromise. Relationships, when they get serious, become one big compromise. You want sushi for dinner, but he prefers more mainstream food like burgers all the time. You want to use your tax refund on a trip to the Caribbean, but he has his heart set on a snowmobile. You’ll know if he’s The One because you’ll be okay with making sacrifices rather than feeling like someone has hijacked your life. Only date someone if you would marry them exactly as they are and be happy.
  3. Deal breakers you accept now will drive you crazy later. Suppose you normally don’t date smokers but you decided to give that cute guy from the bar a chance, even though you saw him puffing away outside. You may be able to deal with the ashtray smell during the honeymoon phase, but then you get serious, move in together, and suddenly your entire home smells like cigarettes and he won’t quit or even cut down on his habit. You chose to date this person knowing that they’re a smoker, so it’s not fair to insist that they quit, but you’re unhappy living in a cloud of smoke. It’s okay to have deal breakers, because you know yourself better than anyone and you deserve to be happy.
  4. You don’t need a man to have a family, if that’s what you want. As women, we have an unfortunate tendency to get a bit desperate when we start to hear our biological clocks ticking. Well, lucky for us, it’s 2015, and you don’t have to be married or in a serious relationship to have a baby. You can continue going about your terrific single life, hopefully finding that special person, but prepare yourself financially and emotionally to have a child on your own at the age of your choosing if Mr. Right doesn’t come along in time. Having that backup plan in your mind will take the stress and desperation out of dating because you are in full control of your destiny rather than being at the mercy of a man who may or may not choose to share that dream with you.
  5. You need to remain true to yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of misrepresenting yourself or watering down your personality to make a prospective love interest like you more. If you’re completely honest about who you are and go into a relationship based on that truth, the other person has the option to either accept you as you are or to move on. If someone doesn’t want to date you after you’ve openly displayed your true colors, consider it a bullet dodged. You deserve to be with someone who knows and loves your quirks.
  6. Keeping your player radar on is a good thing. When you’re looking for the real deal, the last thing you want to do is fall for another lying douchebag. If he says “bro” a lot, pushes old ladies down the stairs for fun, and generally gives you that untrustworthy player vibe, it’s OK to trust your gut and steer clear. Intuition is a good thing, and it exists to help you protect yourself.
  7. You’re NOT going to die alone. Alone is such an absolute term. Chances are, you can list at least 3-5 people right now who really love you, whether they’re blood relatives or friends who are just as close or closer to you than family. Plus, you should already be spending every day with someone who thinks you’re completely awesome; someone who knows everything about you and is your #1 fan. Here’s a hint: she lives in your mirror.
Anna Martin Yonk is a freelance writer and blogger in sunny North Carolina. She loves hanging out with her goofy husband and two rescue dogs and can be found at the beach with a drink in hand whenever possible. You can find her on Instagram @mrsyonkdogmom or on her Facebook page.