Being Amazing May Hurt Your Chances To Find Love

No one wants to be merely average.

And, if you ask around, few of us think we’re average. In fact, I’ll bet that you feel you are smarter than average, kinder than average and better looking than average.

But what you may not have considered is that having high self-worth can actually be detrimental to your chances to find love.

It certainly was for me, your humble dating coach.

I tell my story – and illustrate how it reflects on you – in the first chapter of my book, “Why He Disappeared – The Smart, Strong, Successful Woman’s Guide to Understanding Men and Keeping the Right One Hooked Forever.”

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have self-esteem, especially when it comes to dating. Self-esteem carries us through tough times – through loneliness, through rejection – and allows us to keep getting out there even when things are bleak.

Moreover, when confidence comes with true self-esteem, it proves to be an extremely attractive quality. According to the Harlequin Books Romance Report (for which I was a spokesman in 2006), both men and women feel that confidence is the most important attribute in a partner. Which is why it pains me to report that confidence has a serious downside as well.

The downside of confidence is that it’s only a hair’s breadth away from arrogance. And if you think you’re better than others, it will inadvertently come across.

It’s not only cute, Ivy League investment bankers that give off a whiff of arrogance.

The downside of confidence is that it’s only a hair’s breadth away from arrogance.

It’s the vegan who can’t stand meat eaters.

It’s the born-again Christian who looks down on non-believers.

It’s the Democrat who thinks all Republicans are evil.

I’m not singling out those people, per se. After all, we all do this, to some degree – mainly by putting our own beliefs up on a pedestal. Basically, most people’s worldviews are: “If you agree with me, you’re right; if you disagree with me, you’re wrong.”

Except that’s not how the world works. People don’t want to be with someone who makes them feel “wrong.”

I couldn’t be with my wife if she were always reminding me how I’m going to hell for not being Christian.

She couldn’t be with me if I were constantly harping on her to get a more lucrative job.

This confidence (which is actually narcissism) comes out of insecurity. Instead of accepting the fact that other people have different beliefs, most of which are perfectly valid, you expect your dates to be in complete lockstep with you.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had a client – a bright, kind, lovely woman – tell me that her partner had to have certain beliefs in common to be her husband.

You don’t need a clone.

You need a PARTNER.

You’ve been in relationships before. Isn’t most of your time spent talking about what you’re going to eat, where you’re going this weekend, what’s happening at work, how much money you’re saving, and all the things you’d like to do in the future? When you have kids, I’m pretty sure they’re the dominant topic of conversation.

You know how much time we spend talking about the Iraq War? Pretty much none.

So to stake your relationship – which is more dependent on kindness, consistency, values and long-term goals – on his belief about what happens after you die, or about the merits of big government – is incredibly shortsighted.

My relationship survives just fine when I go on some liberal rant to my wife. She doesn’t have to agree with everything I say in order to love me.

She loves me because I put her needs first, because I’d do anything for her, because I make her laugh, because I protect her. If she got rid of me because of politics, religion, or my inability to run a 5K, I predict she’d be making a big mistake.

I can’t stress this enough: You don’t need a clone. You need a PARTNER.

So while it’s normal to want a partner who’s on your exact wavelength, it is, by no means imperative. In fact, if you look at relationships in your past, you may just find that the man who was too similar to you did NOT make a good fit for your life.

To give you a stark portrayal of how your desires may be not only detrimental, but unrealistic, I’d like to ask you to do this simple math exercise. So, please write down your answers so you can do the multiplication…

What percentage of men is attractive enough to date?

What percentage of men is intelligent/interesting enough to date?

What percentage of men is emotionally available enough to date?

What percentage of men is financially stable enough to date?

What percentage of men do you “click” with on a date?

Finally, what percentage of men feel that YOU are attractive, intelligent, emotionally available, financially stable, and compatible?

When you go through this exercise – and multiply those numbers together – you’ll see that, by your standards, almost NOBODY qualifies for a date with you. .0001%, maybe.

But wait, there’s more!

See, amazing and unique women often aren’t content finding a mate who is in the .0001 percentile. You still need to do a little more filtering beyond being cute, smart, successful, available, and having chemistry. For example:

Frankly, I think you’re lucky if you find someone who PUTS UP with your obsession.

…it’s unfair to ask them to feel the same as you feel.

“I’m a huge dog person – I have three of them – and the man I’m with has to feel the same way about animals.”

“I’m a triathlete and wake up at 5:30am every day to train – and I want to be able to share my passion with my girlfriend.”

“I’m an indie music freak. There’s nothing worse to me than a guy with middle of the road taste in music.”

Factor in these kinds of things, and it becomes nearly impossible to find love. What percentage of men has three dogs? What percentage of women wants to wake up and run 5 miles? And why in God’s name do you have to share these interests anyway?

Frankly, I think you’re lucky if you find someone who PUTS UP with your obsession.

And that goes for anyone who does something in the extreme: work, travel, spend time with family.

It’s a lot to ask for someone to be agreeable; it’s unfair to ask them to feel the same as you feel. If you DO find the person who is an extreme dog person, then you may have to accept the fact that he’s may not be as financially stable or attractive as you’d like.

Relationships involve trade-offs.

Compromise isn’t just for “other” people who have to put up with you.

And if you make EVERYTHING a deal-breaker, you can’t be too surprised when you’re still standing alone.

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Comments:

  1. 91
    Karl R

    Stacy said: (#100)
    “Are you kidding me? Look, I seriously hope you don’t do anything analytical for a living. 100% – 99.81% = 0.19%, approximated to 0.2%”

    That’s the percentage of men that MC is interested in. I’m also assuming that only 10% of those men are interested in her.

    10% of 0.2% is 0.02%.

    You dropped a variable (10%) out of the equation. Or you assumed 100% of all men are interested in MC.

  2. 92
    Goldie

    Oh, this is not going to end well :) Stacy, if you can re-read Karl’s ##80 and 93. Assuming MC has ruled out 99.81% of all men, (which would leave 0.19%), he then states that, out of those 0.19%, only one in ten might be interested in her, which brings us to 0.019%.
     
    And, personally, i think it is a bad idea to be “narrowing down” your pool, you need to be expanding it while targeting those in it with attractive characteristics.
     
    The only thing this post is saying is that we need to review and minimize our list of attractive characteristics, otherwise we’ll be left with nothing.
     
    Or, I will add from my own experience, we’ll meet the man who has every one of our attractive characteristics and he will be a giant douchenozzle. This is what happens when you clutter your list with dozens of random items, instead of the few important ones.

  3. 93
    Helen

    mc, don’t you love how we strangers are dissecting your hypothetical love life? :)
     
    A few of the earlier posts that tried to estimate how much time it would take you to find “The One” are missing a crucial mathematical / statistical point.  It could take you years to sort through all 630 eligible + thousands of ineligible men till you find The One. Or, you could meet him tomorrow.
     
    It’s called the Poisson distribution.
     
    In reality, what’s much more likely to happen is that you’ll find a terrific man who doesn’t quite meet all your preconceived standards, but you’ll find that you like him so much that you’ll compromise on some of those things for his sake.  And if you’re in it together for the long haul, you’ll discover that those things didn’t matter much at all.

  4. 94
    Karl R

    Goldie asked: (#98)
    “Like Karl pointed out, how many out of these 6,300 are married or in an LTR?”

    According to the U.S. Census Current Population Survey for 2010, about 60% of the men are married. It appears that 13% might be living with a significant other (sharing a houshold with a non-relative). I don’t have a way to track other LTRs.

    If we rule out 73% of the men, it won’t be exact, but it will be in the general ballpark.

    Goldie asked: (#98)
    “How many of these men are not into women? as in, gay?”

    Estimates on male homosexuality vary. It’s anywhere from 2% to 10%, depending on which survey you believe. That’s why I went with 5%.

    Goldie asked: (#98)
    “how many of these guys have no income? how many live on the street or in homeless shelters?”

    Homelessness depends on the study, but estimates range from 0.22% to 1.16% of the total population.

    For no income, it’s 10.85% of the male population (age 30-44). An additional 2.89% of the same population earned less than $5,000.

    Goldie asked: (#98)
    “How many have a serious criminal record? serious addictions? are registered sex offenders? mentally ill with a history of violence? Heck, how many are doing jail time as I type this?”

    0.75% are incarcerated. They might not count toward the total (if they’re housed outside the area), but they may reduce the number of men who are part of the total population to begin with.
    0.8% are in institutions due to mental retardation. (An additional 1.6% aren’t in institutions, but there may be significant overlap with the incarcerated and homeless populations.)
    0.24% are registered sex offenders, some of whom are currently incarcerated.
    8% to 10% used illegal drugs during the last month. Not all of them would meet the definition of addicts.

    Helen said: (#104)
    “In reality, what’s much more likely to happen is that you’ll find a terrific man who doesn’t quite meet all your preconceived standards, but you’ll find that you like him so much that you’ll compromise on some of those things for his sake.  And if you’re in it together for the long haul, you’ll discover that those things didn’t matter much at all”

    That’s what happens when people start to relax their preconceived standards.

    But it may happen in a different order. I met one woman in October of 2008, but I didn’t date her because she was too old for me. During 2009 I began changing my mind about what was “too old”. If I hadn’t changed my mind, I might still be looking for a long-term relationship … even though a terrific woman was already in my circle of acquaintances.

    Helen,
    I understand a Poisson distribution. I’m just at a loss for how to explain it to someone who doesn’t understand it. I use estimates as a quick & dirty way to get the general point across.

  5. 95
    Hadley Paige

     
    RE: Helen @ 104 “what’s much more likely to happen is that you’ll find a terrific man who doesn’t quite meet all your preconceived standards, but you’ll find that you like him so much that you’ll compromise on some of those things for his sake. “
     
    I don’t see what you say above as what is more likely to happen. The entire point of this discussion is to attempt to show that the longer a woman’s list of “must haves” is the less likely it will be that she will even meet that “ terrific man who doesn’t quite meet all (her) preconceived standards”.
     
    She will not meet him because she will disqualify him prior to getting to know him. The point of this discussion is to show that a woman should make her list of “must haves” as short as possible so that she may in fact actually meet a man who does not have all her “must haves”; but in person is so compelling in unanticipated ways that the woman is willing to over look a “must have” or two that the fellow lacks.

  6. 96
    mc

    YEs Helen(#104)..lol..yes its just too funny. My thoughts exactly.. It really is being analzyed to the decimal. : )  But all in all,  the advice around all the crazy numbers have still been helpful. ; )  And I also hope its helping other readers too!

    Thanks so much for your encouragement Helen #104..I loved your last paragraph. I so agree…I’m not going to get hung up on numbers especially with the estimations on how long it would take me to find someone. Yikes!! Because just as you said, I could meet him tomorrow! You just never know.  You’re so right, things that I don’t think I’d compromise on will probably change WHEN I do meet someone amazing.: )

    Annie #97, I agree. You’re right. We can be restrictive without realizing it. ITs all about finding the emotional connection, and not expecting to agree on EVERYTHING or living our lives so parallel.

    I tend to expect a lot of people in general, so  time to shorten that list! Thats what it comes down to.

    Thanks a lot Goldie #98 I never thought about the meet up groups so that is great to know! Thanks a lot. I will look into that. That is one way to expand my pool of acquaintances. Thanks again all!

  7. 97
    mc

    oops sorry for my above mistake..I thought I deleted part of it and instead I ended up repeating myself. Hope its not too confusing! Does anyone know how to edit a comment once you  hit done? Thanks!

    1. 97.1
      Cat

      mc, #109 asks: Does anyone know how to edit a comment once you hit done?

      Write a comment in the same thread with the text you want corrected. If it’s just to clarify your content or correct mistakes–and doesn’t make it confusing for all the comments that follow, such as completely changing an argument–the mod will usually fix your previous comment and delete the one which asks for correction.

  8. 98
    Karl R

    mc said: (#108)
    “Does anyone know how to edit a comment once you  hit done?”

    There is no technical way to do so. The blog moderator and Evan have the access to do so. I’m not aware of any time they’ve retroactively edited a post, however.

  9. 100
    Stacy

    Karl #102

    Ok, now I see how you did your math, but it makes very little sense. Her dating pool is still 6,300, and what % of that she manages to attract is the function of her effort and NOT her selection criteria.

    Also, assuming a static number for this is wrong beacuse it is subjective (unlike data like metro population, etc.) and completely off the cuff (also known as garbage-in-garbage-out in financial modeling). What we’d usually do in this case is sensitivity analysis, assuming ranges from 5% to say 50%. And again, this would take it one step further, it’s not just the size of her dating pool, but the actual number of guys she can take to the city hall. Have I sufficiently bothered you yet? :) 

    The reason I am persisting in showing the fallacies of this “0.2%” argument is because frankly, I am growing tired of all the attempts to put down women based on what they want out of life and their partners.

    A good analogy in this case is job search. If you believe you’re highly skilled in a certain area and you’re looking for a job, you could go after a high-paying job with benefits and lots of potential. The number of such jobs in your field, especially if you have narrow specialization, is going to be very small. Probably around 0.2% of all jobs offered in your city. Heck, some of these positions are not even advertized on monster.com – you actually have to do some real life networking to learn about them! Moreover ,some of them don’t even exist, but you can convince people to create one for you. This sounds like hard work. You can go down this path, devise a smart plan, put in a lot of effort and get a job of your dream (or not). Alternatively, you could surmise that since there’s so little jobs of that quality offered, you sould broadern your criteria. You could fill-in an application in each and every drug store and Walmart in your area and spend the rest of your life doing paper-or-plastic.

  10. 101
    Honey

    @mc, well at least I am funny :-)  I will say I agree with Karl R, a sense of humor was the last useful criteria to use to try and screen people in advance, because everyone thinks they are funny.  And probably everyoe is – to someone.  Just not to you, unfortunately.

    The point to my dog story is (and Evan will love this!) – I stayed with Jake when he decided to keep the dog because at that point we had already been dating well over a year and just come home from spending 20 blissful days in Europe together.  If Jake had already had the dog when I met him, I probably wouldn’t have dated him long.  And that would have been MY loss, since we’ve now been together for the best 5 years of my life.

  11. 102
    Goldie

    @ Honey #113:
     
    I will say I agree with Karl R, a sense of humor was the last useful criteria to use to try and screen people in advance, because everyone thinks they are funny.
     
    Did anyone say anything about screening people in advance on that? like, on a dating site? If it was me, I apologize for giving the wrong message. It is impossible to screen in advance on that factor. On one hand, you have guys who embellish their profiles and possibly enlist friends or professional help to fill those out. On the other hand, the dude whose profile I saw last week, whose “About Me” session consisted of “this sucks, do i really have to write all this? looking for a fun girl to go out with. don’t tell me i have to write more. this is bullcrap.” might be the funniest guy in the world. (although probably not the most positive and upbeat). It’s just hard to tell from what he put in his profile.
     
    Not that I agree with Stacy’s job-search analogy, but online profiles remind me a lot of what I’ve heard from my manager friends about people applying for jobs. – According to their resume, everyone’s an expert in the exact same area that the company is hiring for. You’re not going to know if it’s true until you’ve talked to the person face-to-face several times.
     
    The way I understood it, the post was about doing an actual search on a dating site, narrowing your criteria down to a 6’2″ libertarian with two dogs, black hair and blue eyes, and having your search return one person, who’s not going to write you back.
     
    By the way, on to Stacy’s job-search analogy #112:
     
    A good analogy in this case is job search. If you believe you’re highly skilled in a certain area and you’re looking for a job, you could go after a high-paying job with benefits and lots of potential. The number of such jobs in your field, especially if you have narrow specialization, is going to be very small <…>. You can go down this path, devise a smart plan, put in a lot of effort and get a job of your dream (or not). Alternatively, you could surmise that since there’s so little jobs of that quality offered, you sould broadern your criteria. You could fill-in an application in each and every drug store and Walmart in your area and spend the rest of your life doing paper-or-plastic.
     
    Sorry, this is NOT what the post was about at all. To continue with the job-search stuff, the way I understood Evan’s post, it’s like this. Say you’re a software developer (okay, I am). You’ve spent your last ten years working at a manufacturing company, writing code in VB6 and SQL Server 2000. You are looking for a new job. You can narrow your search to what you’re used to, which would be manufacturing companies that need someone to program in VB6 and SQL Server 2000, in which case, good luck with that. Or you can broaden your criteria (notice it’s “broaden”, not “lower”) and look for developer positions at any company in your area that uses a more-or-less up-to-date platform and will let you learn on the job, if needed. This is what Evan et al meant by broadening our search, not “paper-or-plastic”. Which BTW you won’t be hired for, because you’re overqualified.
     
    frankly, I am growing tired of all the attempts to put down women based on what they want out of life and their partners.
     
    No one’s putting them down, people are just saying that those women may spend all their lives waiting for a fictional guy that doesn’t exist.
     
    I would say the same to a 40-year-old man who would only settle for a 22-year-old with model looks and an Ivy League Master’s degree.

  12. 103
    Karl R

    Stacy said: (#112)
    “what % of that she manages to attract is the function of her effort and NOT her selection criteria.”

    Really?

    Just like MC (and every woman), I have my own selection criteria and dealbreakers. If you don’t meet them, you’re out. I’m not unique among men. Every man has his own selection criteria and dealbreakers.

    I could meet every one of your “must haves” and “nice to haves”, but if you’re missing one of my “must haves”, I’ll break up with you.

    One of my “must haves” is intelligence. I rule out 80% to 90% of women based on that alone. Either MC is smart enough, or she’s not. If a less intelligent woman puts in effort (like you recommend), she might persuade me to have a fling with her, but not a serious relationship.

    I don’t date smokers. I can’t stand the smell, I can’t stand the taste, and it triggers my allergies. If a woman is unwilling/unable to put in the effort to kick her nicotine habit for health reasons, do you think she’ll do so just to get a first date?

    A lot of men use race as a selection criterion. Can MC change her race with enough effort?

    Go through MC’s list and tell me which one of those a man could change if he put in the effort. Humor? Try harder, be funny? Is he going to get rid of his dog just to have a first date? Can he try hard and grow taller?

    If a man can’t meet MC’s criteria through effort, what makes you think that she can meet men’s criteria through effort?

    Stacy said: (#112)
    “What we’d usually do in this case is sensitivity analysis, assuming ranges from 5% to say 50%.”

    You have claimed that MC is “not picky enough” when she accepts 0.2% of all men. But you think that 5% to 50% of men are going to find her acceptable? Isn’t it more reasonable to assume that men are approximately as picky as women? We might lower our standards for a one-night stand, but for marriage?

    Stacy said: (#112)
    “assuming a static number for this is wrong beacuse it is subjective (unlike data like metro population, etc.) and completely off the cuff”

    Of course it’s an arbitrary number. That’s why I chose a number that was ridiculously high (not as ridiculous as 50%, but you get my point). Since none of the women on this blog would be willing to accept 10% of all available men, then it stands to reason that none of the men would be willing to accept 10% of all women.

    I take that back. There’s one guy on this blog who has abyssmally low self-esteem. I think he’d accept more than 10% of all women. Let’s call him a statistical outlier.

    Arbitrary and off-the-cuff, yes. But it sets an upper limit to what MC could reasonably expect. And if the best-case scenario looks grim, then the reality is probably worse.

    Stacy said: (#112)
    “A good analogy in this case is job search.”
    “You can go down this path, devise a smart plan, put in a lot of effort and get a job of your dream (or not).”

    Perfect anology. I love it!

    Let’s say my dream job is to play-test video games. I’d like to work 20 hours per week, get a full benefits package, and get a salary of $250,000 per year.

    No matter how much effort I put in and how smart my plan is, I won’t get this job. So many people want to play-test video games that an employer can get someone with my intelligence, skills & education, can work them for 60 hours per week, and can pay them $25,000 per year.

    It’s hard to elbow your way into that 0.2% job when 5% of the population is willing to fight for it. That’s why the hours are so long and the wages so low. Even the best applicants have to compromise to get that job.

    I could hold out for my dream and be unemployed for the rest of my life. Or I can have the sense to realize that my expectations are out of line with reality. When that happens, it’s time to change my expectations.

    It’s easy to overprice yourself out of the market. We all like to think of ourselves as being priceless. But in the dating market, the other person thinks they’re priceless too.

    Stacy said: (#112)
    “I am growing tired of all the attempts to put down women based on what they want out of life and their partners.”

    If a 60 year-old, overweight, middle class man wants a 20 to 25 year-old hottie for a wife, what’s your opinion of him?

    Most men would be interested in a 20 to 25 year-old hottie. But this man is looking for something he is unlikely to ever get. I could encourage him to pursue his dream woman, or I could encourage him to pursue someone who would make a great partner and whom he could realistically end up with.

    Am I putting him down by encouraging him to accept reality?

    Stacy said: (#112)
    “this would take it one step further, it’s not just the size of her dating pool, but the actual number of guys she can take to the city hall. Have I sufficiently bothered you yet?”

    No bother at all. By taking it “one step further” you’ve finally caught up to where I was in post (#80).

    Going back to our 60 year-old, overweight, middle class man; he should have better luck than MC. Even if he limits himself to the hotest 1% of the women, that still leaves him with a dating pool of 7,350 women in the NYC metroplex. And applying your “sensitivity analysis” range of 5% to 50% who would be interested in him, that still leaves a minimum of 367 women who would be perfect partners for him.

    All he needs to do is put in the time and effort and network and his dream can come true!

    Of course, I would expect there are at least 70,000 such men in NYC trying to do exactly that, and I expect far fewer than 367 to be successful.

    MC wants a man who is tall, warm-hearted and funny. What percentage of the single women in NYC do you think are looking for those traits? Over 90%? So not only would she need to find one of these 6,300 men in NYC, she’d also need to fight her way through the hundred or so women who found him first … the women who have a head start to City Hall….

    Do you still think 5% to 50% is a good range for the “sensitivity analysis”?

  13. 104
    Selena

    Re: Goldie # 114

    “Or you can broaden your criteria (notice it’s broaden, not lower)…”

    I would like to see the term broaden replace its somewhat negative siblings “settle” and “compromise”. Much better discription of the point many here try to make.

  14. 106
    Stacy

    Karl #115
    Since none of the women on this blog would be willing to accept 10% of all available men, then it stands to reason that none of the men would be willing to accept 10% of all women.

    Not really. Through her criteria she’s already deselecting those who’d be unlikely to accept her in the first place. It stands to reason that in her selected group the acceptance rate would be much higher than average. And, Karl, outside of race and height, there’s really very little that can’t be changed
     
    If a 60 year-old, overweight, middle class man wants a 20 to 25 year-old hottie for a wife, what’s your opinion of him?

    He should go for it. Who am I to tell him otherwise. Being rich would help him a lot though. He would have to put in some effort though – as I said – and change to make himself more attractive. Like lose weight.

    Let me ask you this: if a 38 year old lower middle class woman with average looks (i am being generous) wants to marry a billionaire and have a child, what’s your opinion on her? After your form it, you may want to google Karen Hader.

    It’s hard to elbow your way into that 0.2% job when 5% of the population is willing to fight for it.

    There. I think you nailed it.

    I personally got a 0.001% job for which god knows what % of the population was fighting for in a year when people in that industry were being laid off in droves. Held out till the last moment too (had less than $100 in my checking left). I never expected it to be easy, but would never sell myself short as to compromise for something I didn’t want.
    The way we approach things like that says a lot about who we are. Do we accept our fate, or do we create it. Do we take the low-hanging fruit because it is safe, or do we shoot for the moon. Do we believe that for as long as there’s opportunity, there’s a chance, or do we talk ourselves out of trying.

    You think that you’re being logical here and that you’re trying to get some woman to accept “the reality” that she wouldn’t be able to find a tall guy with a sense of humor and no dog. But what you’re really doing is imposing your system of beliefs on her, which has nothing to do with the reality or logic. What can I say to that? “Whether you believe you can or cannot – you’re right”.
     
     

  15. 107
    Karl R

    Stacy said: (#119)
    “Through her criteria she’s already deselecting those who’d be unlikely to accept her in the first place.”

    Really?

    MC has selected down to a narrow group of men. Since I’m in that group, let’s review some of my selection criteria:

    How did MC make it less likely that I would deselect her for intelligence? None of her criteria address that. How did she make it less likely that I deselect her for being a smoker? None of her criteria address that either. In fact, the only way that she avoids being deselected is by being smart and being a nonsmoker. I choose her based upon what she is, not upon whom she has chosen.

    How does her criteria make it less likely that I’ll deslect her for being unattractive? None of her criteria address that. Taking it one step further, even if she rules out 80% of men because they’re unattractive, that doesn’t make her any more attractive to the remaining 20%.

    I made MC’s cut because I don’t have a dog. She doesn’t have a dog. You’ve implied that should help her make my cut. Except my girlfriend has a dog. MC’s dealbreakers aren’t the same as mine. By not having a dog, it was somewhat easier for me to date my girlfriend. I could spend the night at her place without worrying about caring for a pet. I didn’t have to worry whether my pets would get along with hers.

    Some men don’t want a tall woman. All MC has to do to deselect them is be tall. My girlfriend didn’t want to have children. She got her tubes tied, and the men who wanted children deselected themselves. The people who don’t want you will take themselves out of your dating pool … no strategy is required.

    Stacy said: (#119)
    “outside of race and height, there’s really very little that can’t be changed.”

    A friend of mine has limited dating options because she’s 60. Her options would be much better if she was 40. How should she go about changing that?

    An ex-girlfriend has hepatitis C (she got it from a transfusion). Like any other incurable STD, it gets in the way of dating. How should she go about changing that?

    My uncle is handicapped (he’s an amputee). How should he go about correcting that?

    My brother’s a bigot/chauvanist/homophobe, so it’s embarassing to introduce girlfriends to him. How can I change him to make him more open minded?

    One of my criteria is intelligence (not to be confused with eductation). A person can make themselves better educated. How do they go about making themselves more intelligent?

    How many more examples would you like?

    Stacy said: (#119)
    “you may want to google Karen Hader.”

    If a “38 year old lower middle class woman with average looks” wants to marry a billionaire, I’d say she has a much better chance if it’s the billionaire’s idea.

    Since the article talks about Kevin Silverman using the world’s worst pickup line, I’d say the billionaire wanted to date/marry a 38 year old yoga instructor.

    Under those circumstances, if she wants to marry a billionaire, she just needs to say, “I do.”

    Stacy said: (#119)
    “I personally got a 0.001% job for which god knows what % of the population was fighting for in a year when people in that industry were being laid off in droves. Held out till the last moment too (had less than $100 in my checking left).”

    When I hit two months living expenses, I started doing temp work. I eventually ended up with an assignment at a company that I’d never heard of. After I began working for them, I realized that their job was a perfect fit for my skills & interests, and they realized I was a perfect fit for the job … even though my resume wouldn’t have made HR’s first cut, because I lacked the preferred degree/major.

    I ended up with the perfect 0.001% … a job that I’d never realized existed before working for the company. And I didn’t even have to risk starving/being homeless in order to get it.

    The best job might not be the one everyone’s desperately fighting for. It might be the one you haven’t even heard of. That’s true for significant others too.

    Stacy said: (#119)
    “The way we approach things like that says a lot about who we are. Do we accept our fate, or do we create it.”

    Do you limit yourself to the path that you planned, or do you open yourself up to possibilities that you hadn’t been aware of?

    My terrific girlfriend did not make herself younger to conform to my idea of what age she should be. When I decided that my girlfriend didn’t have to be a specific age, I discovered a terrific girlfriend.

    Stacy said: (#119)
    “But what you’re really doing is imposing your system of beliefs on her, which has nothing to do with the reality or logic.”

    I could say the same about you. And I just did.

    People can’t impose beliefs upon someone else. At best, you can show them the flaws in their own beliefs and get them to consider that other beliefs might be valid.

    Stacy said: (#119)
    “Whether you believe you can or cannot – you’re right”.

    An acquaintance of mine intends to take his entire savings, go to Vegas, and bet it all on one spin of the wheel. That’s his retirement plan.

    You’re saying he’s right?

    I’d say his odds of succeeding this time are about 1 in 32 … about the same as his odds the previous time he tried it.

  16. 108
    Jadafisk

    Is anyone really suggesting that a picky person should relax moral standards re: married and attached men, or are they just contending that the reality of today’s world means that quite a few people that are attached today in LTRs and marriages (especially the former) are not going to be forever? The catalyst for the dissolution of these relationships doesn’t necessarily have to be the man engaging in infidelity with a woman who considered him still “in play”, relationship status nonwithstanding.

  17. 109
    starthrower68

    Jadafisk,

    I don’t think that’s what is being said; I might have missed something in all the quantum math, but there was discussion about say, a person of faith being willing to get involved with a person who does not believe as long as the non-believer was treating you well.  That is such a personal thing that it works for some and for others, it’s not an area that can be compromised. 

  18. 110
    Karl R

    Jadafisk asked: (#121)
    “Is anyone really suggesting that a picky person should relax moral standards re: married and attached men, or are they just contending that the reality of today’s world means that quite a few people that are attached today in LTRs and marriages (especially the former) are not going to be forever?”

    I was primarily pointing out the flaws in the opposing arguement. Most sensible and/or ethical women do not consider “taken” men to be part of the available dating pool.

    Even if they might not be taken forever.

    Three years ago I asked a woman out. She declined, saying that she’d recently started dating someone else. After observing her with her boyfriend, I concluded that the relationship was not going to last. (He wants a more serious relationship with her than she does with him.)

    At this point, I expect to be married before that couple breaks up, and I’m not in any rush to reach the altar.

    Is there any way that I benefit by treating her as part of my available dating pool? Especially if we look at the situation in terms of pickiness?

    There’s a temptation to look at a man/woman in that kind of relationship and think, “I know she’s attracted to me. I know the relationship won’t last. Why should I accept the woman I’m with, when I could get someone better just by waiting?”

    And I think that mindset hampers our ability to find a good relationship.

    Jadafisk asked: (#121)
    “The catalyst for the dissolution of these relationships doesn’t necessarily have to be the man engaging in infidelity”

    True.

    Different woman, similar situation. This time, she was in a LTR when I met her. I knew she found me physically attractive. I knew she enjoyed my company as well.

    Two years ago she broke up with her boyfriend. As soon as that happened, I started considering her to be available. I asked her out, and we dated.

    And I discovered that she appeared to be a much better girlfriend when someone else was dating her. She’s rather difficult to get along with in a relationship.

    If you pass up potential partners while waiting for a particular relationship to end, you may eventually discover that you wasted a lot of time waiting for someone who wasn’t a great partner. If you reduce the waiting period (by being the catalyst for the dissolution of the relationship), you eventually earn a reputation which could cause some of the best partners to avoid you.

    If a terrific person becomes single, go ahead and take advantage of their “currently available” status. But I can’t see any benefit to viewing them as single before that occurs.

  19. 111
    Goldie

    @ Karl #123:
     
    Two years ago she broke up with her boyfriend. As soon as that happened, I started considering her to be available. I asked her out, and we dated.

    And I discovered that she appeared to be a much better girlfriend when someone else was dating her. She’s rather difficult to get along with in a relationship.
     
    Ah, there’s the rub. Right after a person gets out of an LTR, they’re not yet ready to start a new one. Even if this person tells you otherwise (“yeah, we only separated last week, but I’ve been over her for years”) Not to say that your friend isn’t in fact a difficult person – she might or might not be – but the fact that you asked her out as soon as she’d broken up with her boyfriend was, IMO, an additional complicating factor.
     
    Bottom line, from what I’ve seen so far, if a person is taken, they’re out for the count. To think otherwise, and consider them as potential relationship partners, is self-destructive.

  20. 112
    L

    I agree with Evan, I do conciously make the choice to cut out 50% of the dating pool by wanting to be with a man who is taller than my 6′ self.
     
    I am a devout Catholic, but I wouldn’t mind marrying someone of a different religion if there were agreeable to raising our future children Catholic and attending Mass. Politics wouldn’t be a dealbreaker either, but it’d certainly help to be dating a Republican so we could indoctrinate the kids properly (kidding). :D

  21. 113
    Terri

    You are wonderful. Have put your page in my favorites. Excellent common sense advice, some of which crossed my mind before……

  22. 114
    FashionMaven

    I think what Evan says in his blog post is correct.  If your #1 goal is to find love, and that trumps everything else, then having certain dealbreakers (which Evan is arguing actually may not impede a happy marriage) would get in the way of having that love.
     
    The issue that I see many people of faith trying to get Evan to understand is that for them, finding love DOES NOT trump their faith.  For me, if I have to choose between God and an unequally-yoked partner, I would choose God.  The reasons are that my faith demands that I am not to put anything or anyone before God (it makes them an idol). 
     
    So, I follow my faith first and  THEN I search for a partner.
     
    So Evan is right – I may end up not marrying.  But that’s the price I pay for my faith.  My faith (which Evan might deem wishful thinking) does give me comfort that if God has someone for me, then He has someone for me.
     
    Case in point:  I recently dated a man who claimed Christianity but his life did not reflect that AT ALL.  In the Christian faith, we have a concept called “Being transformed by the renewing of your mind”.  It means that you make the conscious effort to turn from all worldly pursuits daily.  This man was not on the same page at all and it caused us severe conflict – especially around the area of sex (he wanted it, I believe – as the Bible states, that sex is for marriage only – yeah I know I’ve blown the minds of many here and many probably think I’m a fool – I can live with that).  I can only imagine what would happen if we’d married and then gotten into it when I wanted to tithe 10%.  In a Christian family, God covers the husband, the husband covers the wife, etc.. – that’s what makes it palatable for the wife to submit to the husband, etc..  Plus, the reason that tenet is there is because usually, when you are yoked with an unbeliever, your faith suffers because you – what? – compromise your faith in order to “get along” with your partner.  So, if your partner doesn’t believe in tithing, you relax that standard.  If your partner doesn’t believe premarital sex is wrong and worse – pressures you – then you might cave into that.  Usually in an unequally yoked situation, the believer is the one who tends to compromise, while the unbeliever tends to stay exactly the same.  Some people are okay with the compromise – but I posit that if you are truly devout – if you are truly transformed (see Romans), this would present a huge internal conflict.
     
     
    Anyway – I completely agree with not having such a huge list of dealbreakers that you price yourself out of the market… but for me, faith is a way of life.  It’s not just a “belief” and it’s not on the same level as a “hobby”.  It permeates my being.  And if the result is that I have to choose faith over love, then faith (God) wins.
     
    I won’t apologize for that – but I won’t whine over it either should I never find a mate.

  23. 115
    Myshelles

    My online profile describes my medical condition.  I put it on there because I have had a previous relationship that could not handle it.  While it is not life threatening in the short term or even much of an issue in my eyes, it does limits where and what I can eat.  In an nutshell I have celiac disease which means no wheat, barley, or rye or I get terribly sick.  I have found that this is a huge turn off for most men as it is viewed as being “picky”.  For me, if a guy can’t deal with my disease, it is a deal breaker.  This is not because I am picky, I would just rather be upfront about the realities of my life.  Plus for me, I don’t care if my partner eats gluten or not…I view it as their choice.  They just have to be able to accept that I can’t.  After all, I have practice with this, my kid is not on a gluten free diet.  Anyways, my point is that there can be real deal breakers out there.   I have had a lot of guys take a pass on dating because of a lack of understanding but then again I have met guys that don’t have my condition but are accommodating and are actually willing to work around it.  

  24. 116
    Marie

    I feel like disagreeing, some people can have strange lives and actually be different from the majority without actually overestimating themselves. 
    I am a HSP (hyper sensitive person) I grew up in an abnormally cultured environment, I received abuse of various kinds when I was small, I went through two nearly fatal accidents, one of which left me in a wheelchair for six years and could be overcome only with huge commitment and some luck, I managed to stay emotionally healthy in spite of all these things,  I still have most of the friends I made since primary school, I lived in 5 different countries, I have three graduate and post graduate degrees, I was exposed to extreme poverty and extreme riches,  I started and failed two companies, I am not ugly but not even outstandingly beautiful and I just turned 40. How on earth can I find someone compatible with me? I tried the inter-class thing, and I really don’t care about social position, but it simply was too much difference. Those of my education and background want prettier and younger women, always did, and also have limited life experiences and when they know more of me think that I am a freak, and those with a lot of life experiences like me that I met were horribly screwed up, and that I don’t think I deserve. It’s not that I am Special, but I am in a sense “special”, with less than common experience and needs, and I fear it’s not a matter of overestimating oneself.

  25. 117
    marymary

    Marie
    Someone can be compatible with you without being the same as you or having had the same experiences.
    My boyfriend doesnt understand half of what I’ve been through and that’s fine by me.  He isn’t hypersensitive like I can be or nor does he have a delicate conscience like I do.  I appreciate his self-confidence (not arrogance) and solidity.  It wouldn’t help me to find a man who enables my reticence, anxiety and pessimism, borne from a history of abuse in childhood and then in adulthood.  He’s helped me to be a brighter person.  I don’t feel less like me, I feel more like me.  That baggage was not an inherent part of me and I’m lighter without it.
    I don’t need a therapist, I don’t need anyone to make allowances for me, I don’t need special understanding.  I’m not a delicate flower.  I need a man who is committed, loyal and kind.  I also find him sexually attractive. 
    You thinking that the men you want don’t want you is a common complaint from women of all ages, races, incomes, education and levels of attractiveness.  It’s a recurrent theme on this blog and most dating blogs.  It’s almost laughably common.  I say “almost” cos I know it’s not funny when you’re living it but if we can overcome our pessimism, our belief in our own undateability (for whatever reason), we can meet someone. 
    It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I think I’m too unique/flawed/special to meet someone worthwhile then I won’t.  I’ll chase men who aren’t suitable and chase off ones who are, cos that caters to my beliefs. We don’t like having our beliefs challenged. It’s uncomfortable and puts the responsibility firmly back where it belongs. With us to change.

  26. 118
    marymary

    Fashion 127
    Sorry about the multiple post but your comment caught my eye because my pool is also limited to fellow Christians.  I met my boyfriend at church over a year ago and we have been dating for about six months.  it took a while to get off the ground – don’t expect religious men to be expert seducers as well as living their religious values.  We are also abstaining from sex before marriage.  i don’t believe in 10% titheing. would you discount a man for that? Even if he is a christian, there are going to be differences, compromises and sacrifices. 
    I think christians do themselves a disservice by saying “God has someone for me” and then not try to meet someone.  You don’t wait for God to find you a job or open your bible for you.  You do have the freedom to make active choices.  You are not sinning or letting the side down by looking for a husband or wife.  My church is chockful of attractive single men and women who don’t seem to want to get together.  I don’t know what that’s about.  Fear and an overactive conscience maybe, or they’re waiting for A Sign.  If there are no single men at your church, go to conventions or visit other churches. 
    Single for the rest of your life is a valid, worthwhile option. So is marriage.
    “I’m single for religious reasons” sounds better than I’m single because I’m too old/fat/thin/poor/special/divorced/picky/bitter but I wonder if it’s just another variation.
    I didn’t have a date for six years before I met my boyfriend. If I can meet someone, anyone can.

  27. 119
    Lucy

    Thanks. I feel better. A man just dumped for me “not being outgoing enoug”h. He goes on regular bike rides which are hundreds of miles at a time. He wants a woman who’ll do the same thing and also challenge him. I don’t actually know any who would fit that description, and that’s even out of the women I know who work out more than me and are more active.

  28. 120
    K

    @Lucy, if you weren’t so much younger than me I’d assume we dated the same man.  I dated a man several years ago who basically gave me the same BS excuse.  That’s all it is an excuse (consciously or otherwise).  Just swap bike riding with anything, you aren’t into sports/church/drugs/music, whatever it may be.  The person who wants to be with you won’t need you to be exactly like them.  If a guy is into riding bikes and you were open to it he could take you on an easy ride to develop your interest.  I had suggested that to my guy and he scoffed.  I know expert cyclists who are married to women who won’t even ride a bike, but they show up to their races and cheer them on.  It was enough for them.  The man who wants to be with you will find a way to fit you into his life as you would for them.  If my man wasn’t into my hobbies, but showed some interest in them I’d be delighted.  I’m dating a few guys right now who probably have a passing interest in football at best.  But I love that they keep up enough to talk to me about it.

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