Am I Being Too Picky?

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Hey Wendy

I’ve been online dating for the past 6 months. I’ve met about 13 guys. So far, no-go.

There have been a few I’ve liked, but I couldn’t get past bad teeth and/or extra pounds. A couple of them were really great, easy to be with and interesting to me. I do wonder; if they did get whiter teeth, would I then get attracted? Would I feel attracted if they lost 40 pounds? Is it maybe deeper than the teeth and extra pounds?

A few of my friends have said things like “you won’t ever find the perfect guy” and “your way too picky”. Even my 10-year-old Granddaughter said to me the other day, “I don’t think you will be with a man in the next 10 years cuz I know you are picky.” I do wonder if there is some truth to what they are saying.

I know some women find men to be wonderful creatures. I can’t say I’m there yet and I feel sad. Do I have unconscious patterns keeping me from succeeding at love?

Theresa Z ~ Dallas, TX


Hey Theresa,

There is not one thing wrong with being single. It’s a choice, and it’s one that you’re consciously making right now. By passing on the really great, easy-to-be-with, and interesting ones with bad teeth or some extra pounds, you’re saying, “Look, I’d rather be alone than be with this guy.” There’s nothing unconscious about that, and that’s okay! If you’re not feeling it with these fellas and you’re not feeling underutilized as a single person, then alone just might be the happiest option right now. We all get to choose how we live our lives, and your people might want to learn to get behind you on this, too.

If you do want a partner, however, and the problem is that you’re just extremely picky, you’re going to have to pick up the pace. Thirteen guys in six months is about a date every two weeks. That’s occasional dating, not active dating. Continue at this pace and your granddaughter might be right—it could take more than a decade. Shoot for a date or two each week to up the chance of finding someone you connect with, brains, body and all. In other words, you’re not dating enough to say with confidence that there aren’t any qualified candidates out there who fit the bill.

I found that one out of every ten guys I dated had a shot at being a good match for me. The odds were such because I too am extremely picky…like “nine out of ten fish get thrown back into the sea” type of picky.

It took me 121 first dates to meet my partner because, one, I was picky, and two, I was unwilling to pick someone I had to try and change in order to love.

There’s a big difference between wanting to change things about a person and offering up ways to support them to be their best. And unfortunately, each of us is different when it comes to taking in critical feedback from our beloved. Most of us will take criticism in some areas while refusing to take it in others. I recommend you follow the same path I did and wait for someone you don’t have to change when it comes to the things that are important to you.

Next, pick someone who’s committed to maintaining those physical aspects you like about them. For example, if they have straight, white teeth now, and you find that a beautiful smile is a must-have in a mate for you, be sure they are committed to keeping them that way. Teeth can change in a week (thank you, whitening strips!), but that doesn’t mean he’s going to slap those strips on for thirty minutes every night. The same goes for fitness—is he willing to maintain his physique? If he has a quick metabolism now but it slows with age, will he start exercising?

These are conversations that you’ll have to tackle tactfully with your potential mates, because otherwise you’re going to fall into the fix-it pit, and you’ll find yourself nagging your S.O. about stuff that’s important to only one of you.

Once you’ve found someone you really like and who is willing to maintain the aspects of their appearance you find most attractive, remember that you’ll both still have to contend with that old trickster: entropy. One thing we can count on for sure in life is that all things, situations, and bodies change—even yours. Ultimately, be gentle with both him and yourself, because neither of you will have nice teeth and flat bellies forever.

“Too picky” is no one else’s to decide—that’s yours. We all have our thing, and then the universe works with us to change, learn, and grow.

Good luck out there!