Remember Seinfeld? One of the running gags was Jerry's amazing ability to spotlight every annoying habit or imperfection his date had. There was the date who had “man hands,” the one who had a laugh like Elmer Fudd, and the one who ate her peas one at a time. All good reasons to break up, according to Jerry, and a never-ending source of ridicule from his friend (and former girlfriend) Elaine. We might think Jerry's faultfinding is as crazy as Elaine does, but still, it makes us laugh. Why? Because it's so common.
You've probably done it yourself – I know I have – and then justified it by saying “I won't settle for less than perfect. Life is too short.” While I would never advise you to “settle,” you also need to make sure you’re not looking at the poor guy under a microscope until you find a flaw you can point to and say, “See, all the available men are losers.”
If you find yourself rejecting date after date for trivial reasons like Jerry does, though, maybe you need to rethink your priorities. If his good qualities far outshine the bad, then don't be too quick to kick him to the curb, because Mr. Less-Than-Perfect might turn out to be the right guy for you, even if he does laugh like a cartoon character.
That's not to say you aren’t allowed a few inflexible points of contention; just don't let them take control of your life. If you’re uncomfortable dating men who are shorter than you, you’re certainly entitled to reject a guy who has to stand on a step stool to look into your eyes. Likewise, if dirty fingernails turn you off, it won’t matter how attractive your mechanic is, he’s not the man for you. But when your list of deal breakers is starting to read like War and Peace and even your best friend has stopped introducing you to new men, it might be time to re-evaluate your criteria.
Do you suffer from Seinfeld Syndrome? Grab a copy of my new eBook, and find out why it’s important to keep in mind that everything – including your emotional happiness – comes at a price, and sometimes the price you pay is watching your date eat his peas one at a time.