And it’s constantly given specifically to women with high standards by well-meaning friends – which is why I’m writing about this group in this article, although other (especially marginalized) a/genders might also experience this phenomenon.
It was given to me by random people on Twitter when I wrote about my policy of only dating feminists.
You may come across quite exacting on dates and appear aloof and critical, and you may be saying stuff like ‘I can’t find a man who can cope with my success’. You ‘choose’ people that reflect what you believe about love, relationships, and yourself, and when you have negative ideas, you see and are attracted to people who ‘vibe’ with those beliefs.
I remember sitting with a good friend as she recounted her love story. Many of us, guys and girls, have our own version of “the list,” and my friend had kept a long one for a long time.
She threw it away when she started getting serious with the man who would one day be her husband. When I go on a first date, I tell myself the same thing: “People are worth knowing.” Some of the greatest men I’ve dated didn’t match the attributes on my original list.
He’s doubtful that women really get objectified, thinks there’s a lack of women in tech partially because “men have better spatial reasoning,” and is surprised that I had a higher sex drive than my ex-boyfriend and never daydreamed about my future wedding decorations. I shouldn’t expect better, or I’ll be single forever.
Another friend said something similar when I told him about a date who thought that rape culture doesn’t exist and that men are just as disadvantaged as anyone else because they’re pressured to take the initiative in relationships. These aren’t the only people to warn me not to “be too picky.” The advice is all over self-help books and dating blogs.
If I had stopped being picky and settled for one of those guys, I never would’ve met a partner who satisfies all my criteria and more.
I would’ve always wondered if someone better for me was out there.
And even more importantly, I wouldn’t have had the crucial years I spent single, building my dream career.
Back when I was single, and before I got wise to my Mr Unavailable-loving, commitment-resistant ways, I regularly explained to prying friends, family, colleagues, the strange man at the bus stop and anyone who questioned my ‘selectiveness’ with men that, “I don’t think that there is anything wrong with me extending a little quality control to a prospective partner and if that makes me picky, then I’m picky.” On reflection and the wonders of vision provided by hindsight, I realise that I veered between being too picky and not picky enough – like many things that create issues with dating and relationships, I lacked a balanced middle ground.
I have a confession that I’m not proud of – seven or eight years ago, I went on a date with a guy that I met a club.
Admittedly, he was unlikely to last too long as I thought he was too much of an eager beaver (yep – contradictory woman put off by a guy being ‘too nice’), a bit ‘vanilla’, and I couldn’t look at him for very long because he appeared to be constantly blinking.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if our parents had a loving, supportive relationship but it can lead to problems if we are continually drawn into relationships that are unhealthy or even abusive.