It’s one of the questions I get asked a lot:
“Am I too picky with guys?”
Have you ever wondered that?
Are you worried you’ll run out of options if you keep turning down guys who are interested?
Do you wonder whether you’re turning away guys who could have made you happy?
Holding out for a great match can mean you’re single for longer. You can start to doubt yourself. Maybe you should lower your standards. Maybe your dream man doesn’t exist.
But there are steep consequences to picking the wrong partner. You could be with Mr. Wrong when Mr. Right comes walking by. You could lose years in a relationship that’s going nowhere.
A bad relationship can even affect your career. As Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In, wrote: “The single most important career decision that a woman makes is whether she will have a life partner and who that partner is.”
So don’t settle. At the same time, don’t write men off for not checking off all the boxes on your “perfect man” list.
When you keep your eye on the goal—a happy, healthy, lasting relationship—you prioritize qualities that matter, like communication, connection, and commitment.
Here are 3 tips to help you embrace your standards and find Mr. Right faster.
#1. Use the 90% Rule
It would be great if every single guy who approached you was a good match.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Your online dating inbox ends up flooded with messages from men you’d never date in a million years. Finding a good one is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Some experts say you should expect that over 90% of the men who contact you will not be a match.
Which means that, if you go on 10 dates and only one of them seems promising, you’re doing well!
You’re not going to connect with everyone, and that’s okay. You don’t have to. All you have to do is keep searching until you find a genuine connection.
Dating is never going to be as easy as scrolling through a menu of bachelors on your phone and ordering up Mr. Right.
A client of mine compared dating to hunting for the perfect pre-loved outfit at a vintage store. You never know what you’re going to discover or whether that incredible find is going to be in your size.
Embrace that sense of discovery. Be prepared to go home empty-handed. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means you get to try again.
When you expect at least 90% of your connections to fall flat, it no longer feels as painful when one promising lead after another fizzles out.
Dating is a numbers game. You’ve got to keep putting yourself out there, gaining experience, and training your instincts to spot that great match.
#2. Say No When You Know
Because dating is a numbers game, you increase your odds of winning by becoming more efficient.
You don’t want to take ages agonizing over whether you should send a man a message or what you should say. You don’t want to keep exchanging messages if you’re not clicking. You want to trust yourself to spot promising matches and guiltlessly turn away the rest.
That’s easier than it sounds.
Have you ever found yourself saying yes to someone you knew in your heart wasn’t a match? Maybe he was particularly insistent, or you didn’t know how to say no, or you were lonely and he was the only one there.
Maybe you even told yourself that you shouldn’t be so picky. This guy could be a diamond in the rough.
If you’re not sure about a man, the easiest way to become sure is to arrange a virtual date or in-person date with him. Don’t keep chatting or texting. See him face to face.
Then pay attention to that first impression. If your gut says no, trust yourself. It’s probably right.
There’s no shame in not wanting to see someone again. You don’t want to fill up the space you have in your life with someone who’s a placeholder until a better option comes along.
#3. Make Your Own Options
By now, you know that most of the men you meet won’t be a match. Turning them down doesn’t make you picky—it makes you discerning.
But your job isn’t just saying no to the wrong men. It’s also saying yes to the right men.
When you take charge of your dating destiny and actively seek out men you find appealing, you speed up the process of finding Mr. Right.
You only run out of options if you’re waiting for options to be given to you.
When you create your own options—by approaching interesting men, striking up conversations, or sending that first online dating message—you enjoy an abundance of opportunities.
And they’re quality opportunities. You’re not just choosing among a short list of men who have expressed interest in you. You’re picking men who interest you.
So if you feel like you’re not meeting enough men who come up to your high standards, stop waiting for men to approach you. Find those high-quality men yourself. Then use your well-cultivated discernment to pick the best match!