In our business, we meet many new clients who proudly begin with: “I’m suuuuuper picky” as a badge that explains why they’re single. In their mind it means that they have high standards and aren’t willing to settle but in reality, they most likely have unrealistic expectations that are rooted in fear and insecurity. They may think it’s about quality control, but ultimately it’s about control – and not losing it.
Romantic relationships require vulnerability. That’s scary for most people. Nobody wants to get hurt but there’s no guarantee that you won’t be. Constantly looking for or “picking” at their prospective date’s flaws is a perfect strategy to keep people away and keep them “safe” from the emotional exposure a relationship brings. The irony is that super picky people are secretly fearful of being judged for their own shortcomings or weaknesses. Oftentimes, our “proud and picky” clients will start the conversation with “So my type is …” In which we gently remind them that their type has clearly not been working for them since they’ve hired us. Our goal is to encourage them to pay attention to what qualities they’re placing a high value on and what important qualities they may be overlooking.
Here are three things super picky people can do to let go of their limiting beliefs and start giving more people a chance:
1. Look for the good. Focus on what you like about someone and commit to being open and curious about who they are. There’s a reason why we encourage 2-3 dates before a client makes up their mind. Sometimes it takes more time for an amazing connection to emerge. Shallow qualities have an expiration date so make sure you’re not holding on too tightly to your ‘ideal’ so that you leave room for someone else to come in and knock your socks off.
2. Get brutally honest with yourself. Often, extremely picky people have been deeply hurt by a past relationship. Or they’re carrying insecurities from their childhood or high school or from a highly critical parent. Dig deep and be loving with yourself. Everyone has experienced rejection. It’s a human condition. You are not alone. But you will be if you keep yourself so protected and closed off to the possibilities.
3. Enlist your close friends. Let them know that you’re working on being more open minded and less quick on the draw to say “NEXT!” so that they can support you and call you out if need be. Having people you trust who keep you accountable will help you notice your patterns and hopefully shift them.