5 Things Women Expect From Men (That Sabotage Their Chances At Love)

Photo: Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

Are you doing these?

You want to find love, but you’re not going to settle for just any man.

Why should you? You have a great career, plenty of friends, and fun hobbies. Life is good, so the man you seek needs to ADD to your life. He has to be EXACTLY what you want. Why else would you bother?

As a dating coach for women over 40, I’m all in favor of not settling.

However, I have seen plenty of women who sacrifice their dream of love in pursuit of perfection. I guess it depends on how seriously you take your own word about not settling.

In fact, it’s worth taking a look at what settling really means to you.

When are you "settling?"

For love and dating, settling is the act of accepting less in a mate than you think you deserve. Now let’s dig a little deeper.

When many of my clients start working with me, they insist there are no good men. That’s why they hired me as their coach — to help them find a decent man. They say it’s slim pickings, or all the good men are taken or not interested in a committed relationship. Can you relate?

But how do you know that’s really true? What if other factors are contributing to what looks like a shortage of potential partners?

Common “must have” qualities.

Let’s examine a list of common qualities women over 40 or 50 want in a partner. First, they want a successful guy with a good sense of humor who is intelligent and educated. He must be physically fit, live a healthy, active lifestyle, enjoy cultural events and like to try new things. Sometimes faith is essential, while others look for conversation skills, global interest, or similar political beliefs.

Then there are physical preferences like six feet tall, still has hair, and has a sense of style — plus you must feel attracted to him and have instant chemistry. I’m often surprised at how heavily a few of these weigh in on a woman’s choice. 

Some deal breakers are logical, healthy standards important for finding a good match. But some are arbitrary limitations that are not necessary for compatibility and create roadblocks to finding love.

Many singles make snap judgments and decisions about prospects that narrow their options until there isn’t anyone left to date.

Here are 5 signs that your "must haves" are actually deal breakers:

1. Height

I’ve been a dating coach for 15 years, and one of the deal breakers that surprises me most is insisting on a man who is six feet tall.

Did you know only 10% of the male population makes it to that height? And half of them are taken, so now you are looking at only 5% of men.

Talk about a surefire way to limit your chances of finding love! If you’re 5’7”, I totally get why you prefer a man who is taller than you in heels. But what about women who are shorter? Many petite clients are firm on this same height requirement.

Couldn’t you love a man just as much if he was 5’9” or 5'10”?

Do you need heels with huge platforms, or is there a compromise? Why does fashion win out over love? This is one of those spots where you’re arbitrary seventy-two-inch minimum height can keep you single.

RELATED: 7 Things You Should Never Say To A Guy You Really Like

2. An interest in personal development

Recently a new client, Carrie, insisted she needs her man to be as enthusiastic about personal development as she is.

I realize the potent lure of a man who will go to workshops, but how realistic is that? After all, women purchase more than 75% of all self-help books. And, if you take a workshop at Home Depot, you’ll still find a room full of women.

Carrie is divorced and 50. Having been on this path alone for 50 years, could she continue to go alone or with girlfriends rather than require a man for that?

Seriously, does your new man need to do EVERYTHING with you? That’s another limiting requirement that could seriously become a deal breaker for finding love.

3. Well-educated

Did you know that more women go to college than men, and according to statistics from 2014, more women have doctoral degrees than men as well?

So if you MUST HAVE an educated man with an advanced degree, this is another subjective quality that can sabotage your chances of a loving relationship.

Women feel an advanced degree is a sure sign of intelligence, but haven’t you ever met an educated person with no common sense?

Or a person so book-bound they have no fun or enticing personality? A masters degree is no guarantee of compatibility or even good income.

4. An adventurous spirit

If you are very fit and have a strong sense of adventure, it’s easy to see why you’d seek a man who is up for something out of the ordinary.

You want to try new things including food, activities, and exotic travel. It would be awesome to have a man to share in these things. But what if he doesn’t want to go zip-lining, travel to Bora Bora, or camp in Iceland? Will he be a bad partner?

I completely understand how you might not find yourself attracted to a couch potato, but must he be an exact match for your vigorous thirst for life?

Some people have more of this spirit in them than others, so go with your girlfriends and enjoy something else with the man you love.

RELATED: 5 Things Strong Women Do That Attract QUALITY Men (And Keep Them Interested!)

5. Political compatibility

Given the political climate, this has become a hotbed of disagreement. Clients tell me they can’t handle a liberal or a conservative. While it can be helpful to share a similar viewpoint, I actually know plenty of couples who simply agree to not discuss politics or watch the news together.

They manage to enjoy everything else about each other, and that sure does open up more possibilities for women over 40 looking for love.

Knowing that countless couples thrive even with divergent political views, could you put this aside if you met a great guy who meets much of your other criteria? It’s certainly worth thinking about.

More than anything, I want you to find a wonderful man who treats you well and wants the same lasting love that you long for.

When you become a bit more reasonable with deal breakers, your chances of connecting with a good man increase dramatically. Men aren’t perfect and neither are women, so why significantly limit your options?

Stop sabotaging yourself by turning away men who might make fabulous partners.

Get to know a few men and give them a chance. You never know who might surprise you in a positive way. Bend your rules where you can to meet more men and give yourself the best shot of fulfilling your dream of love.

Ronnie Ann Ryan is a Dating Coach with over 15 years of experience. If you want to better understand men and stop wasting your precious time, get Dating Coach Ronnie’s free book His Mixed Signals Are So Confusing! Or take her quiz to discover your Dating IQ.

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