Single in my 30s: The Art of Being Picky

Being an unmarried woman in my 30s, I spend a lot of time (way more than I should) trying to figure out why I’m still single. I even took a “Why Are You Still Single” internet quiz (entirely unhelpful as the answer I got was “We don’t know either! You seem great!”) Thanks for nothing, Internet.  In my 20s, being single was something to be proud of. I had plenty of time; I could play the field, enjoy being young — it seemed much more like a choice back then. As the years went by, it became more alarming. All of a sudden, I felt like I was running out of time, and I started wondering what I was doing wrong.  I know I’m not the only one who’s found themselves in this position, and everyone seems to have an opinion on why single people are still single.

A few things I’ve heard over the years:

You need to put yourself out there more.
You’re too intimidating.
You should stop running away from men when they approach you.
You should move to [insert city here]
You need to get involved in more things. 

But I think the most common critique single people get is the classic, “You’re too picky.”

I’m sure there are some people out there who are legitimately too picky;  I know there are ridiculous people who refuse to even talk to someone if they don’t look a certain way or drive a certain car, and those people deserve to be called out.  But I think most of us just have a reasonable set of standards for the people we date. The problem is that as we get older, the dating pool decreases significantly in size, and we start to wonder if our “standards” are hindering us from finding the right person. Maybe if we just relaxed a little, we’d find someone great that we’ve been overlooking.

I’ve wondered this a lot – am I being unreasonable? Am I really too picky?

I don’t think I am. I’ve been set up on so many dates that ended up being a complete waste of time for both of us because we had absolutely nothing in common except that we happened to be the only two single people our well-meaning married friends could think of.  Just because we’re in the same age range and haven’t found a spouse yet doesn’t mean we’re meant for each other, and it really isn’t even enough of a reason to go on a date. It’s so easy to fall into this trap of “I should give everyone a chance just in case.” Sure, widen your net a little — maybe you don’t really need a strict 6 foot height requirement, but I think it’s important to know what it is you won’t compromise on and stick to that.

When I was in middle school, I broke up with my very first boyfriend.   I remember writing in my letter (this is back when people wrote letters – I’m that old) that we needed to break up because “we couldn’t base a relationship on soccer.” Of course, at 13, I had no idea what a “relationship” was — my experience didn’t extend beyond holding hands at summer camp and few a angsty letters.  I probably put a little too much thought into the whole thing, but the point is that I knew if we could only find one thing to talk about (soccer), that was going to get old pretty quickly.  I wanted more, and I still do.

It can be a hard balance – trying to figure out if you’re being overly choosy or just sticking to your standards. My brother asked me the other day why I wasn’t seeing a particular guy anymore and I answered, “Because he insisted on putting steak sauce on everything.” While I want to think this is a valid reason for a break up, I realize that on its own it is a ridiculous reason. Of course I didn’t really end it over steak sauce, but that was just one of a lot of indicators that there wasn’t anything solid there, and it wasn’t going to go anywhere.

I realize that no matter who I end up with, there will be things they do that drive me crazy.  But I’m going to keep holding out for the best, and if I do find it — someone who I love, who I respect and admire, it’ll be worth it.  And for the record, if they insist on putting steak sauce on everything – you bet your ass we’re going to have a serious discussion about it, but I will be willing to overlook it for the right person.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under Feelings

6 responses to “Single in my 30s: The Art of Being Picky

  1. never stop being picky! that’s an exclamation point – i don’t know why it looks like an L.

  2. I don’t think there is such a thing as to picky, better on your own than with the wrong person.

  3. XYZ

    ” Sure, widen your net a little — maybe you don’t really need a strict 6 foot height requirement, but I think it’s important to know what it is you won’t compromise on and stick to that.” That quote right there is a TON OF IT. Single ladies these days have these sky high pie in the sky “lists” of “requirements” that literally are non ending or if they are ending they could literally be like 30/40 pages long. God damn men are sick and tired of women’s shit. Especially with these so many single women that think they are this so special lady literally “JUST CAUSE” and they think they just deserve the utmost super god of a guy. He must under no circumstances be 6′ oh hell wait now days that’s even short maybe women should go with now… What, a minimum of like 9, 10, 15 feet tall. Oh then he must be tall, dark (oh wait what if you live in Seattle, the East Coast where the sun hardly shines) well your SOL on dark tan guys… Oh wait what if god forbid he went to college, works, is educated, has an awesome stable job… eeeek single women say now and now balk at. Just like one article stating how single women have signed up for being set up on dates through a dating agency and they dismiss PERFECTLY, PERFECTLY AWESOME GUYS, they dismissed every single guy the dating agency lady sent her and they were PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE MEN. But then ones SHE picked all those men emphatically said NO and she was enraged and said to the dating agency how dare they say no. The dating agency lady said you have way too high of standards and you lady think that just cause you are you you think your this most awesome, never do anything wrong and only deserve creme de la creme simply just cause. Hell with that outlook you’ll be single for life. Honestly most men are not that picky. Yeas standards are good for both men and women but REASONABLE i.e. be educated, good stable job, own or soon to own a home/condo, isn’t a slob, knows how to do basic household chores (iron, clean, both guy and lady know how to cook) (not microwave, actually cook) few (now I said a FEW) additional requirements such as dog lover, likes to go out once in awhile have fun (obviously) and simply leave at that. Women need to be REASONABLE with men’s height (as in he might likely not be 6′).

  4. XYZ

    “It can be a hard balance – trying to figure out if you’re being overly choosy or just sticking to your standards. My brother asked me the other day why I wasn’t seeing a particular guy anymore and I answered, “Because he insisted on putting steak sauce on everything.” While I want to think this is a valid reason for a break up, I realize that on its own it is a ridiculous reason. Of course I didn’t really end it over steak sauce, but that was just one of a lot of indicators that there wasn’t anything solid there, and it wasn’t going to go anywhere.”

    Ok I just got so furious over the above statement… Oh hell with this statement above this just proves how bat shit crazy some single women are. Steak sauce on everything and that’s a reason and or one of many reasons????? Steak sauce on everything is a reason!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING??????? Hopefully that brother bitched slapped some sense into her :). If your that psycho nuts, and break up with a guy over simple shit like “steak sauce on everything” then you will have ZERO, ZIP, NO chance in hell of getting a guy nor do you deserve a guy especially since you clearly are not a grown up lady, your still a little girl (with a reason to break up with a guy over silly shit like that). Pull up your effin panties and GET WITH REALITY. Hell if a guy broke with a lady over some silly shit like that, first of all his friends would kick his ass for being a dumb shit, second the lady would be in a furor because of that silly shit… But it’s alright for HER to break up with him over BS silly immature BS reason. Just wow!!!! I couldn’t imagine when it comes to actual ADULT shit (compromise on banking situation when close to marriage, deciding on cake for the wedding (that would be hell), hell a pie would do since she would obviously “want HER cake and of course eat it too”. A lady like this it would always have to REVOLVE AROUND HER. Hell, and ladies say dumb shit like we mature faster then men. Um righttttttttt, CLEARLY not in the dating game. So many single ladies (not all) but alot or actually little girls even though you are in you mid 20’s these days are soooooo immature and so CLUELESS when it comes to adult shit, adult decisions. This girl/lady makes every guy wince and run like hell from HER and girls/ladies like her!!

    • Thanks for reading and for your feedback. It sounds though like maybe you misinterpreted what I meant – I totally agree that things like having a strict height requirement or breaking up with someone over steak sauce are ridiculous. I even say that in my post – “I realize that on its own it is a ridiculous reason. Of course I didn’t really end it over steak sauce…” I was poking fun at myself, because I think we all can have the tendency to nitpick. I want to be very clear that I don’t – and never have – think that’s a valid reason to break up with someone. My point was that – with me at least – I’ve found that some of these little things are part of a larger problem of incompatibility. With the right person, these little things won’t be a big deal, and you’ll want to work through them because you are with the right person.

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