Picky daters

I just saw a tag line to an article on the internet with the most interesting theme. The tag said something like, “An expert says people are single because they’re too picky, focussing on things like attractiveness…”

I had to stop for a moment and try to get my eyeballs back into place, they had rolled so far up in my head. Wow, it took an expert to say that, huh? An expert in what, the obvious? Journalism has sure come far in the past century.

It made me think about dating again, and I actually went ahead and read the article. The story goes that in the single world, there’s a “picky” pandemic sweeping the single scene. People rule out potential partners because of stupid things like height and weird laughter. (Don’t get me wrong, there are some laughs out there that just…no.)

But the main point is good. People put too much emphasis on the paper resume and not enough on the things that count.

Take looks, for instance. Just because a guy is short with gaps in his teeth doesn’t mean you aren’t going to have crazy chemistry with him (you wouldn’t believe some of the less-attractive men that I’ve been totally into). It’s one of those things that can’t be explained, but often sneaks up and surprises you when you least expect it–if you give it long enough to get there.

Looking back, Jason is lucky that I’ve got so much depth. When we were first hanging out, my otherwise fashion-conscious boy had the most horrible collection of shoes. He had these green suede Doc Martin’s that he got on clearance and thought were so cool. I didn’t have the heart to tell him there was a reason no one else wanted to pay $15 for them.

I think the best advice I could ever give a friend in the dating industry would be to rearrange some of their priorities. Sometimes when we’re not finding success, it’s because we need to shuffle things around–not eliminate, just shuffle. Instead of looking for someone who’s got a college degree first, start with a guy who makes you laugh, or who likes to give money to panhandlers, even if he’s not currently hitting the books. There are things that, in the long run, might not be so important when you find the one that makes your heart sing (paychecks do not go in this category, BTW). You’ve just got to give him a chance.

(And with all our chemistry, I didn’t realize I was hot after Jason until I finally kissed him. In fact, I was worried there would be no sizzle. What a lucky idiot I was.)


  1. When I first met my husband, he wore only black, navy, and gray tshirts, khaki pants, and white sneakers. Praise the Lord I turned him into a shopper 🙂 Underneath it all I knew he was a great guy and I dated him despite the wardrobe malfunctions. Am I glad he had a fashion change of heart, oh yeah, but if he’d stayed the same, he’d still be the same guy I’d fallen in love with 🙂 I definitely have a few friends who fall into the uber picky category and then whine about still being single. Silly girls!

  2. I was fortunate enough to think my, then blind date now hubby, man was a total babe the moment I set eyes on him. I couldn’t believe he was actually at my door for me. And the best part, all the rest of him, sense of humor, education, paycheck, intelligence, awesomeness, are all good too 😀 I’m so lucky!

  3. I was having a conversation with my coworker/friend about this. Our other coworker stopped dating a girl because of her Fat Potential. I didn’t even realize that still existed. Her mom is overweight, and it really bothered him. I told him he was ridiculous.

    My friend coworker and I were talking about it later, and we realized that it was clear that he had never been in love before. Because when you do finally fall in love, those things don’t matter anymore.

  4. My friends couldn’t see past my husband’s horrible fashion sense and a few other things and told me he wasn’t good enough for me. But I knew better, I knew that I was the lucky one and was probably not good enough for him.

    I also remember once being with some guys who were talking about their most recent dates. One said he wasn’t going to call the girl back, because, although she was really cool and he had a lot of fun….he didn’t like her NOSE.


  5. I have absolutely no opinion on this matter. Whatsoever:) I definitely think there are some ridiculously picky people out there (the nose thing?), but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have high standards (and by that I mean it would be nice if we could have a conversation with them, if they make us happy, if we can trust them…). We are planning on spending the rest of forever with them. That’s kind of a long time.

    • annie valentine says:

      Barbaloot, you and I both know there’s a difference between “standards” and “picky”. It’s one thing to care about a person’s values, but worrying about their fashion sense is taking it to a completely different level.

      Also, this article in no way refers to you, because, as we all know, you are totally awesome. Don’t doubt it.

      • Thanks Annie:) And let’s be honest, I’m more likely to be the one dumped because of my lack of fashion sense than I would be to dump the boy.

  6. I’m just glad my guy wasn’t picky…

  7. I’ve never really been that picky. Oh sure on my list of must haves for men it contain the basics; good health, smart, kind, funny. For me it’s been a toss up between first attraction and first impressions. I’ve dated men shorter then me, not in school, geeks and losers, and thinning hair. It all comes down to the overall connection and unfortunately people don’t let that happen. Besides fishing is part of the fun and makes the final catch all that much sweeter.

  8. I am sending this to my brother which I think will go over better than me smacking him upside the head.

  9. I was just going to say… did you read the article Barb did for my Real World blog? hehe

    Hey–I think shifting or just whatever chemistry is a good start. As long as you remotely think you might be able to wake up next to him then you are on your way to something special 😉

    That would be my advice…

  10. I think Kristina’ s final comment says it all. However, Annie, you would never have made it here if your Dad didn’t have such sweet breath!

  11. Yah, I have a whole bunch of single in-laws who fit this category. I like how one brother-n-law described the pickiest one: “he’s a 3 trying to marry a 10!”

  12. Um, are we sure that article wasn’t just referring to single MEN?? ‘Cause I’ve been arguing for years (and will still argue) that many women are willing to look beyond all kinds of men’s imperfections, but the not-so-hot of men still think they need a totally hot, thin, trophy-wife babe at their side.

  13. That is so true. I always thought I wanted to marry a blonde but when I saw my hubbs– yoowsa! I changed my tune pretty quickly. Now I love me some dark handsome.

  14. It wasn’t until my man fixed my computer in college that I realized how cute he was/is. And nerdy guys are the best boyfriends. They are gentlemen and seem almost in awe of any woman who willing spends time with them. So what if he wears ugly t-shirts to work? Those shirts can always have unfortunately accidents in the laundry…

    • annie valentine says:

      Jessica knows her stuff–the dorky ones often turn out the best. Besides, they’re moldable in the hair and grooming department.

  15. You are Jason are a perfect example of why I told the young women in my ward that it is ok to kiss boys. But in hindsight, while I stand by my advice, I probably shouldn’t have told them so as part of my sunday school lesson.

  16. I agree – WAY too much emphasis is put on chemistry/attraction. Yes, it does hold some importance, but looks fade. if they’re a good, loving person who treats you like a queen, that’s attraction that can last a lifetime and longer.