Stop Being So Picky! It's Wrecking Your Love Life

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That list of "Dating Deal Breakers" you cling to is actually keeping you single.

If you’re single and you wish you were not; if you’re ready for and excited about being in a loving partnership, you need to be dating regularly — out on first, second, and third dates with some targeted, viable prospects. Dating is an opportunity to explore the ups and downs of being with different types of people, to see who fits, feels comfortable, who compliments you and your lifestyle nicely. But, here’s the tricky part — dating also means looking for someone who is equally interested in and attracted to you, who wants to be with you, to explore possibilities with you. In other words, as much as they need to delight you, you also need to make the cut with them.

As we get older, we become more clear about the qualities, characteristics, and attributes that we find most desirable. And which things are turn-offs, even total deal-breakers for us. But be careful to avoid that "deal breaker list" trap. Being rigidly judgmental and critical, so picky and fussy that no one can pass the test, is no way to find love. So how do you find a good match without falling into the "deal breaker list" trap? Here’s some of the dating tips I encourage my clients to follow:

Top 3 Critical Criteria

Make a list of all of the qualities and characteristics that you’d love to see in your future partner. It’s OK if it’s a long, long list. Then identify your Top Three Critical Criteria from that list. Any time you encounter someone who meets these top three critical criteria, do whatever you can to get on dates number 1, 2, and 3 with those people.

Top 3 Deal Breakers

It’s also a good idea to make a list of all of your pet peeves. Any quality or characteristic you definitely don't want in your future partner, make note of it. Again, it’s OK if it’s a long list, but then do the same challenging exercise —choose your Top Three Deal Breakers. If the person you’re considering has one of these big no-no’s for you, then obviously it’s OK to pass on dating them. 

Deal breakers are personal and specific to each person’s love search. Here’s a sampling of what some of our clients listed: Cigarette smoking, pot smoking, alcohol/drinking habits. For some, having young kids at home is a deal-breaker. For others, someone who has not been married before would be a red flag (or, a big plus!). Religion is often a deal breaker. Body type and degree of physical fitness is a biggie for some, and for others what matters more is political views or financial stability.

So, go ahead. Make your long lists of aspects you want and don't want in your future partner. But if you want a shot at actually finding a great partner, you need to choose your top three for both lists and stick to your guns about those only. You’ll find it’s an eye-opening experience to do this exercise, and it’ll save you from being too accommodating or being so fussy and picky that no one will make the cut.

Julie Ferman has been  a personal matchmaker and dating coach since 1990, with over 1100 marriages to her credit. Single men and women are welcome to register privately, for free, to be eligible for personal matchmaking referrals throughout the U.S., Canada and the world. Visit Julie's website for a full menu of personal matchmaking and dating coaching services, by invitation. Her mission is to dignify and simplify the love search process for selective, relationship-minded professionals. 

This article was originally published at http://blog.julieferman.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.