Am I too picky?

If you can’t find the right partner, sooner or later this question pops up: am I too picky, is my criteria too high, my list too long, my demands too complicated? Is it me, or is it them?

The answer depends on what exactly is on your list and how flexible you are with it. What’s a no-no and what’s a preference. It also depends on something we rarely think about: what do you offer in return? There are different types of too-long or too-specific or simply-wrong lists, and they mostly fall into the next three categories.


Probably the most common mistake we make is when we over-specify in the wrong categories. Primarily in the looks department, but also in some others which don’t tell us much about the person in question: like their job, education, background, height, dress-sense. We tend to be very specific about those areas, without really questioning why, and – more importantly, what’s the benefit? When asked why they reject people based on looks or profession – most people say that it’s just what they get attracted to, and they can’t help it. Or it’s something they know will fit them well, and the opposite won’t. Some just don’t know – they’ve never even questioned it.

I agree that looks and jobs are important to a certain degree – some people will naturally be a better fit for you because of their lifestyle, or they are so hot you’ll get attracted to them in an instant. And that’s fine. But: this should not be your most important criteria, and it should not be too rigid. Because it is all skin deep criteria, and it doesn’t really say anything much about the person under that skin. And even more importantly, in the long run – these are not the things that determine whether you’ll be happy or unhappy with someone.

If you dismiss people based on the way they look or what they do with their lives, without giving them a chance of at least one date/proper conversation, you might just miss out on someone truly amazing. Someone whose personality, warmth, kindness, sense of humour, and tons of other wonderful qualities not visible at first glance will make you forget all your criteria and fall madly in love with them. For all the right reasons.


This happens when we want qualities that don’t go together very well, in extreme cases – the ones no living person possesses because they are the exact opposites. For example, some men want a woman who looks like a supermodel, has the brains of a rocket scientist and is a true domestic goddess, and – do I need to say more? With absolutely no offence meant to women, that’s not a very common combination. We girls often want a guy who is unpredictable, exciting and full of surprises, but at the same time responsible, reliable and always there when we need him. Or we want him to be a creative type, but at the same time keep his flat neat and tidy.

I don’t know all the possible impossible combinations, but there are plenty of them. If you’ve found some on your list – what can you do to balance it out? You’ll have to make up your mind and choose your priorities. What’s really important, and what is a preference? What qualities will bring a smile to your face after the initial infatuation has worn off? What kind of person will make you happy long-term?

If you are looking for casual fun, then pick your priorities based on the fun factor – but if you’re looking for a life partner, you’ll have to think about how will it feel like to live with this person, or have children, or make joint decisions about your future. It doesn’t mean you’ll be settling for something less than you want – quite the opposite: you’ll be more realistic, and have a better chance of finding the person who’s a good fit, and a real deal.


This issue is the most tricky one to become aware of, because on the surface, our demands are usually logical and grown-up. Let’s say you want someone who is open, honest, truthful, tolerant, confident and so on. You’re focusing on personality and values that mean something to you. You’re looking beyond the superficial criteria, which is the way to go if you want to find a good match. You’re confident there’s nothing wrong with what you want, because you know you deserve it.

Your list reflects your desires, but – if you’re not ready to give the same back and treat your partner same as you want to be treated, it’s probably not going to happen (or won’t last). It’s perfectly fine to have high standards, but you have to be sure you can match them. If you’re looking for a prince, you have to be a princess. In other words – if you want someone who will be ready for real connection, open yourself up to it. If you want someone who’ll love and respect you just the way you are – you’ll have to be able to love them back the same way. The more you want a certain quality, the more you have to be ready and willing to mirror it.

If your demands don’t match your (current) capacity to give to another – you’re most likely going to be single until that evens out, because someone who can give all that will just not be attracted to you. So – if you like the list and want to keep it – work on your side, the giving side. Get more confident, and you’ll attract more confident partners. Be more supportive – and you’ll attract a more supportive partner. And so on.

If you’ve recognised yourself in any of the above – please take some time to revise your list. The more realistic you are in what you’re looking for, the more honest you are with yourself in what you have to give – the more easy it will be to find someone who truly fits you well.


Which category does your list fall into?
Which items on it are, in your opinion, the biggest obstacle to getting what you want?
Are you finding it hard to modify your criteria?

Please share your answers in the comments below.

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3 Responses

  1. jamal says:

    that’s very true and i am open and to do the same for someone that loves me someone that i have strong feelings for i want to be able to trust and supposedly not be in fear of being in love for long term , living with and having my priorities straight when im having a conversation with someone i listen and be there when it gets tuff i know not every girl or the right one doesn’t have everything image is not everything just throws me off when my girl comes back frm wherever work or a friends with bruises on herself telling me something that don’t sound right..and if we do get into it i don’t want to b accused. i never spoke to her out of her name or raise my hand sure the qualities lacking can improve that’s personal growth in our lives the topic up top lets me know to lower my standards a bit ?…for the high standards i have no problem meeting to be with this very beautiful and truly amazing person..there’s just missing pieces to going further in this relationship I’ve been in for six months

    • Petra says:

      Hi Jamal, thanks for commenting. Seems you’re not too happy in your relationship right now. If you’d like to discuss it and look for some solutions do contact me for a consultation via email. Take care!

  1. 15 June, 2014

    […] maybe you have difficulty choosing the right partner for you. Read about how to overcome those here and […]

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