Once people move beyond the "nobody's perfect" concern, they often worry that they are being too fussy. This is the point where I often hear friends and family quoted. For example, many a well-meaning, but anxious, mother has been known to exclaim, "You're never going to find anyone if you're going to be so picky." It's easy to understand the anxiety that would prompt this statement, but nevertheless, it is not a good message.
Not only can pressure from friends and family and pressure that you put on yourself cause you to settle for the wrong person, it can also make you overlook flaws with the rationale that you are setting too high a standard. (By the way, psychologically speaking, the mechanism of overlooking flaws or minimizing their importance is denial. That's the same defense mechanism that permits the alcoholic to declare that his/her drinking isn't "that big of a deal".) Many people at this juncture echo the concerns of the mother's statement from above. They declare that the person they are seeing is "really a good person" and question whether they are nitpicking by being hung up on seemingly trivial things. Being too fussy is rarely the problem. If you're at a restaurant and you don't like the gazpacho, you're not being too fussy. The soup is not right for your palate. To overlook this fact would be disrespectful to your own unique, personal taste. Are You Settling In Your Relationship?
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Let's talk about a rule that I like to call "if it gets under your skin then it's a big deal." When you have an under-your-skin reaction to something, it almost certainly indicates that the offending trait is symptomatic of a larger issue. Having the confidence to respect your gut reactions is a sign of a high self-esteem. Stating "I'm being superficial" is a put down to yourself and it ignores what your guts are trying to tell you. This is an easy trap to fall into because the offending trait can, at first, seem trivial. Typical examples of things that seem minor but may represent a significant problem include being turned off by your date's car, clothes, or haircut. I believe that it's crucial that you trust yourself enough to recognize that if these things grate on you they are the tips of much bigger icebergs.
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Laura, a client of mine, found herself in this situation. Despite being attractive and having a great personality, her well had run dry in the dating department. She'd been very excited about a new prospect that she'd met on Match.com. He met all of her specs—he was good looking, had a good career, and their predate Internet banter had been going well. However, when I saw her after their date, the first words that poured out her mouth in utter exasperation were, "He drives a Yugo!" Of particular note was the next statement that Laura, an Audi owner made, "I wish I weren't so superficial. What difference does it make what car he drives?" I felt that the comment was way off base. I don't believe that I or anyone else who knows her would ever consider her to be superficial. Yet, this is where she landed and she was really kicking herself. 12 Common Online Dating Mistakes