Having Too Many Options Makes Choosing Hard


My #1 tip: Figure out what you want before you try to find it

If you have ever been to the Cheesecake Factory you know that the 21 page menu is almost impossible to navigate. Why? Because there are too many options. Studies have found that when people are presented with too many choices, they find it hard to choose one. In restaurants, people prefer shorter menus with fewer items because it makes the decision making process easier. The same is true in dating; people always look for the next best thing when they think they have unlimited options.

Nowadays, the typical dating process has become very similar to the selection process from the Cheesecake Factory menu.  With internet dating in full force, people often feel that they are overwhelmed with the number of options they have.

Last week, I had a client ask me how to overcome this problem of always looking for something better. Although he had liked a girl he met on match.com, he blew her off because he thought he could find someone hotter, since there were thousands of women on the site. I told him that the answer is simple: stop yourself from thinking that you have an abundance of options and set up criteria to narrow down the candidate pool. The reality is that all these options are really an illusion; there are very few people who you will meet in person and actually have chemistry with.

This is my advice: before you sign up for an online dating site, come up with three must-haves and three deal-breakers. One of my clients told me hers: Must be tall, funny, and highly educated (Graduate or PhD), and can't be fat, religious or previously married. This made her approach to online dating very pinpointed. Out of the thousands of men, there were only a handful with her criteria.

The majority of people sign up to dating sites before determining what they are looking for. This leads to an overwhelming feeling of anxiety and it is one of the reasons that most people abandon their online dating profile within the first month.

If you are coupled up and this information on online dating is irrelevant to you, there is still a takeaway: if you want to have a good time at the Cheesecake Factory, figure out what you want before you browse through the menu!

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.