I remember sitting with a good friend as she recounted her love story. “God surprised me,” she said. Many of us, guys and girls, have our own version of “the list,” and my friend had kept a long one for a long time. She threw it away when she started getting serious with the man who would one day be her husband. He wasn’t the man who could check off all her precious boxes, but he was the one to whom she chose to say, “I do.”
When you look at your list, how do you know if you’re being reasonable or if you’re being too picky? Here are six ways to tell.
You’re being too picky if…
- Your list is way too specific. If he must be a 6’2″ blonde, green-eyed, tattooed (a cross and something in Hebrew, of course) med student/theologian in order to get a first date with you, you’re probably being too picky. While this perfect man might actually exist, you’ve blown off a few other great ones in the process of looking for this magical guy. What about those guys? What if they were looking for a 5’3″, blue-eyed, brunette art school/activist you?
- You ditch someone you were attracted to for one wrong thing. Okay, you like different kinds of music. His favorite movie isn’t even in the same genre as yours. He roots for the rival football team. Unless you really do want to date yourself (and then there might be a different issue), these things are not deal-breakers, darling!
- You expect to be treated like an actual princess on every date. If you’re in high school or college (or even out in the rest of the world), most guys won’t have a million dollars to spend on your first date. Don’t expect it to look like the movies or the “dates” on a reality show. Appreciate the little gestures early on, like a creative date idea or a great conversation.
You’re being reasonable if…
- Your main list is made up of values. Sure, it’s okay to be attracted to the blonde boy I described above. But what about his character? Does he love Jesus? Does he treat people with kindness? Is he a man you can trust? Start with the five most important values you hope to find, then put the pen down and write the rest of your wants in pencil.
- You ditch someone because of red flags. If he is a major jerk to the waiter, lies to you, blurs details of his story, tries to get way too serious or pushes your boundaries on the first date, please let this one go. These are real reasons to move on, not just silly differences.
- You expect to be treated like the valuable woman you are. Listen up, ladies—you deserve to be respected and even adored while looking for love. Will a guy you just started dating know how much quality time you need or buy you your favorite flowers right away? Maybe not. But every man you date should treat you with respect. Every man should look you in the eye, ask questions so he can get to know the real you and make a good effort to do something you both enjoy on your date. Don’t lower your standards when it comes to your own worth.
When I go on a first date, I tell myself the same thing: “People are worth knowing.” Some of the greatest men I’ve dated didn’t match the attributes on my original list. If I’d held onto my too-high ideals instead of saying yes, I would never have known them, or the things I learned about myself in our relationships.
What’s on your list? Which standards do you need to get rid of, and which are important to keep?