Are You Too Picky?

Imagine there was a store where you could order your perfect spouse. Before you get to the front, there is a checklist that you can use to let them know what you want, sort of like one of those trendy burger places.

You overhear a woman at the front saying, “Last night’s date didn’t go so well. I’d like a little less Mr. Rogers, a little more Jimmy Kimmel.” You’d instantly understand: nice guy, but make me laugh, keep me interested…a little bite and edge, handsome and sweet.

And yet, you wonder as you stand in “line,” are you being too picky? Or you inwardly judge,  is she being too picky? Does he just wait in line for the perfect version of Barbie to come out? What are these single people waiting for? Or perhaps you wonder “what is so damaged about me that I can’t seem to make a choice and for-the-love-of-your-mother-and-aunt-karen GET MARRIED??”

If there was a store like this, it’d be Match.com. It isn’t too far from the order checklist at this burger shop in LA called the Counter. You walk up and they give you a checklist of 100 items to choose from to create the perfect burger. People are different, but sometimes we treat dating the same way. We make our lists, we check the boxes, we hope to produce “the one” and find the ticket out of single-land, into married “oh, we should totally double date!” land.

I wondered this a lot as my twenties rolled into my thirties and all I seemed to do was date around and try to have hope, then loose hope, and try to find it again. I wondered, gosh, should I just pick? Is that the way this works? Is romance the stuff of your 20s and your 30s are about being practical? Afterall, who do you put on your emergency forms and you need a spouse to do all those two-person things in life like Disneyland and tax breaks and couple-y Christmas parties.

You don’t have to get married. Really. Put me down as your emergency contact. I don’t mind. But if you do want to get married, like I did and have, and you think you might be too picky or not picky enough, here are my words to you oh-picked-on-for-being-picky-single-people.” The answer to the question I’ve posed, “Are you too picky?”:

Yes, you’re probably unrealistic and picky. You’re marrying a human, not a drone, and George Clooney is never going to get married, so it’s time to let the dream die. Your person will end up disappointing you, frustrating you, making you want to scream, bring out the worst in you (but in the way that shows you where you need to grow), they’ll say the wrong thing, not like your stupid favorite movie (maybe), or be really messy, or freaky-clean, or whatever. And it will and might drive you nuts off and on…but that’s what sharing your life with a human will entail. Messy-wonderful-annoying-I-know-all-your-junk-LOVE.

AND

No, you get to be picky. You have to share your LIFE with this person. You’re possibly going to be having CHILDREN with this person. Pick well!!!! Oh my gosh, think about the babies when you pick. My unborn-someday-babies helped steer me away from getting serious with a lot of guys. Even though I thought they were great for me to date, I never wanted to marry someone I’d have to apologize to my someday children for giving them as a dad because I was just all too lusty for him to see straight. All the guys I went out with weren’t as right for me as David is for me. Honestly. (You should see him talk with kids…swoon…and I am more attracted to him than even George Clooney) Honestly, I could’ve married a few of the guys I dated and been happy…but David is the best for me. Like a glove. Ask the people who really know us…it’s the stuff of miracles how great this match is.

So somewhere in-between “looking for a human” and “holding out for a great human,” you find yourself looking at me in line at the store saying, “great, that wasn’t helpful, you didn’t answer my question.”

To you I say, “That’s right, because YOU are the one that has to answer the question, not me.”

I’ll share a few of my secrets for waiting until you’re 33 and tired of dating every guy on Eharmony to get married:

I’ll share with you a few of the ways I filtered through date after date and waited to meet my husband and the right-picky-best match for me:

1.Compare them to your friends: When you’re on a date, imagine walking him into a room of your best friends of the same gender as your date. In my case, I worked with about 11 incredible men over the course of 7 years before I met David: Tim, Josh, Michael, Greg, Mike, Dave, Ross, and Eric. When I’d be out on dates, I’d imagine walking this guy into a director’s meeting at work to meet these friends-like-brothers that I respect and trust, who care for me like a sister. It was a quick test. Was my date the kind of guy that would measure up against these guys who were my peers and dearest friends. Dave fit like a glove into this diverse group of guys, I knew he was the caliber of man I was waiting for. They all liked him and wanted to befriend him, with or without me in the picture. 

2. Look for signs of health.  No one is perfect, and healthy living is a life-long journey, but look for someone who is self-aware and humble. How do they handle conflict? Can they communicate their thoughts and feelings clearly? Do they have good long-term friendships? Do you sense they might be addicted to something and in need of treatment? You can usually get a sense of how healthy a person is by how well they ask questions and are curious about others. Look for people committed to health, and you commit to do the same.

3. Take Care of Yourself. Here’s the deal, you might be too picky because you’re scared. You find fault in others quickly to avoid intimacy and keep things the way they are. On a conscious level, you want to find someone, but in ways you may or may not be aware of, you’re scared to death of intimate relationships. We all have a different story, things we’ve observed, experienced and walked away from. One thing we’ve got in common is that we’ve all gotten hurt over the years. Commit to your own emotional health. It can take a little time and investment, but unlocking the wounds of the past and helping them heal is something you simply can’t put a dollar value on. Afford therapy. That’s all I’ll say about that. But, I don’t know if I’d be married if it wasn’t for the therapy process I invested in before and while I met David.

Are you too picky?

Sure. Maybe. Nah. You tell me?

Marry a human, not an ideal. Perfection doesn’t exist, and if it seems like it does, think again…but you don’t just have to give up and “pick” just anyone, though you will get to choose someone. Marriage is about loving one another, not constructing the perfect life and then loving someone perfect.

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