Dating: It’s tricky if you’re too picky

Turning up your nose at everyone that comes your way is only going to limit the people you meet. / Thinkstock
Turning up your nose at everyone who comes your way is only going to limit the people you meet. Credit: Thinkstock

A friend of mine perfectly summarized today’s dating scene by describing a girl whom he met online: “A few years ago I would have dated her for a while to see where it went. But now, when I’m online and there are hundreds of other girls who are cute and seem interesting, I’d rather know what else is out there.”

This onto-the-next-one attitude — that can characterize many peoples’ dating strategies — makes it nearly impossible to find someone. It’s dating the same way that compulsive gamblers play the slots: putting in the quarters and pulling the levers without taking any time to acknowledge what’s actually falling out of the machine. We jump from one to the next so fast that we’re never really present in the date we’re on. The second that something rubs us the wrong way, we check out and decide “there’s something better out there.”

The paradox here is that our perception of having so many options actually leaves us with none — because it’s made us so picky that no one stands a chance. As a dater, it’s good to be discerning. But it’s bad to be picky.

By literal definition, discerning means “to perceive with eyes or intellect,” i.e., to have some insight about the person in front of you. You should really think about their personality traits, values and how much you enjoy being in their company. What you shouldn’t do is be fussy and particular about tiny facets of who they are: a lame comment they made, a hairstyle you don’t love or how objectively attractive you believe them to be. What really counts is the full picture, and it takes awhile to get that.

You don’t have to like everything about someone in order to have a successful relationship. Some things you may learn to accept over time; others you may just choose to ignore. Either way, the tiny reasons we often cite for discarding a date usually aren’t actual relationship dealbreakers down the line.

Would you blow off a guy at a bar because he had a popped collar? Probably. But if your boyfriend walked out with his collar flying you’d simply say, “Don’t do that honey; you look like a d-bag.”

And then live happily ever after.

Amber Madison is a Manhattan-based therapist who specializes in dating and relationships and is currently taking on new clients. She is also the author of Are All Guys Assholes? for which she traveled the country, spoke to more than 1,000 men and discovered that the answer to this question is no.  You can follow her on Twitter @ambermadi.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

Gossip

Blake Lively's pregnancy cravings are too weird to…

Find out what Blake Lively is rumored to send husband Ryan Reynolds to the store for.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…