Author Topic: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?  (Read 27025 times)

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courtsmad25

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How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« on: March 07, 2012, 01:13:57 PM »
BG: I met this friend through work and although we are complete opposites on most things we managed to still be friends. Shes has decided on doing the internet dating thing, which is fine, but her standards are what I feel are crazy. The guys have to have:
1) Great grammar
2) good looking (and very specific, preferable blond hair, blue eyes, perfect teeth, GQ build etc)
3) Very successful (business owners are a plus)
4) *if they made it this far* must be at her beck and call and must be able to "amuse" her.
5) Must be between age x and y, z's too old
These seem minor like "well yeah, everyone deserves someone like that", but the way its presented is hideously shallow. I hear about these standards and problems while at work via work IM, then get bombarded at home with texts messages or phone calls, all complaints about these men, and how they aren't just right..and its been going on for months.

  The etiquette question: Can you politely tell someone that a) you don't have the looks NOR personality to be that picky and b)Can you politely say "look, until you decide to give an average guy a chance, I don't want to hear about this anymore?".  :o

  If I'm being too snarky please feel free to call me out on it.

MerryCat

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2012, 01:22:43 PM »
Unfortunately, unless you're very close to this friend I don't think there's anything you can say. We all know people like this - individuals who hold their potential mates to unrealistically high standards while bristling at the suggestion that they should change anything about themselves. All I can suggest is that you give your friend a few vague platitudes (I'm sure it will work out, you always find someone when you stop looking, etc) and change the subject as fast as you can. You may have to pull back somewhat, depending on how beandip resistant your friend is.

rashea

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2012, 01:29:30 PM »
Would she admit she doesn't live up to her own standards? If so, I think I would point that out to a close friend.

I think I'd tell her that very few people are going to meet her list, and if she's fine with that resulting in her being single then fine, otherwise, she should consider bending her "rules".
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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bah12

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012, 01:39:25 PM »
If she doesn't ask you for advice or isn't asking you why she can't find the guy she's looking for, then you can't make your opinion known politely.  If she does, and she's very close, you can say something like "What's your ideal criteria and what are the priorities?  Do the guys have to be blond models and treat you like a Queen, or could you see yourself falling for a brunette non-model that makes you feel awesome?" 

I told a very close friend once that his expectations were unrealistic...that the girl he wanted didn't exist.  But I would never tell anyone "You aren't hot enough to go out with someone that physically beautiful".  Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder!

TurtleDove

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2012, 01:41:55 PM »
  The etiquette question: Can you politely tell someone that a) you don't have the looks NOR personality to be that picky and b)Can you politely say "look, until you decide to give an average guy a chance, I don't want to hear about this anymore?".  :o


It depends on how close you are to the person.  If it were me, and a friend continued to bombard me with complaints about her dating life, I would ask her to stop.  If she continued, I would be blunt (not cruel, blunt) and provide her with ways to solve the problems she seems to be having.  If she ignores your request to leave you out of it, then I think she has opened the door to hearing a harsh reality.  This will likely affect the freindship, but in my opinion, a friend who ignores your requests isn't that great of a friend.

SamiHami

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2012, 01:42:33 PM »
Instead of saying that she doesn't have the looks or personality (however true that may be), you might point out to her that any guys that are that wonderful are not going to be looking for a girlfriend on a dating site.

I would ask her if she wants advice or if she wants to vent about it. If she wants advice, then I'd tell her that she is being unrealistic in her expectations and that she needs to decide if she wants a relationship with a real guy or if she wants a fantasy man that is never going to materialize.

Either way, I wouldnt put up with a lot of complaining/texting/calling from her about this. She can either be realistic about finding a suitable man or not, but it's not fair for her to dump all her woes at your feet.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

HorseFreak

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2012, 02:06:20 PM »
It's a lot easier to complain to your friends about this magical man that hasn't appeared on your doorstep than it is to take a chance and possibly get hurt. Setting very high standards may be a defense mechanism to prevent herself from being rejected.

I personally have some pretty high standards for potential dating partners (only moderate for physical appearance) after having long term relationships with some guys who were fine for someone else but just weren't going to cut it forever. I know I'm picky and I've accepted that the kind of guy I want is in VERY short supply in my current location. There have been interested men who are nice and funny and not half bad looking, but have major lifestyle differences that I know I just can't tolerate. The difference is that I don't whine to anyone who will listen that Mr. Perfect hasn't galloped up to my front door on a white unicorn! It sounds like you'll have to find a firm, but gentle way of telling her to knock it the heck off if you don't want to hear it anymore WITHOUT insulting her.

courtsmad25

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2012, 02:07:32 PM »
Thanks guys!! ;D We're actually fairly close and she's ALWAYS saying that she wants something like my husband and I have...he's 11 years older (too old for her), Bald, factory worker (not important enough),can't call during the day (its  NOISY factory)  but he cooks like a gourmet chief, cleans, and treats me like a queen..

Surianne

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2012, 02:09:08 PM »
People tell me this sometimes.  It's not a lot of fun hearing that I have neither the looks nor personality to attract a person I'd actually like.

Strangely enough, it doesn't make me think "Wow, you're right!  I need to start wearing makeup and make serious changes to my personality so that I can fake being a girl that guys will be attracted to!"  It also doesn't make me think "Wow, you're right!  I should start dating people I don't respect or like!" 

It actually makes me think "Wow, that person is a jerk.  I'll make sure I don't hang out with her anymore" or in the past, when I was feeling low to begin with, it led to a lot of tears and self-injury.  Good times. 

I'd recommend simply saying that you'd prefer to talk about another subject and direct her away from the dating talk if it bothers you.  Please don't tell her that her looks and personality are lacking.  It will make you feel better, but her feel a lot worse. 



 


courtsmad25

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 02:17:33 PM »
I would never ever just come out and say that straight out exactly the way it was phrased here because beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder...I'm not saying that she needs to settle for a drug addicted convict  that doesn't work, has 15 kids and lives at home...I just wish she understood that maybe she should go for an average guy. If she chooses not to go for an average guy don't wake me in the middle of the night when the "perfect" jerk does something to "lower" his date-a-bility

Surianne

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2012, 02:23:12 PM »
I would never ever just come out and say that straight out exactly the way it was phrased here because beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder...I'm not saying that she needs to settle for a drug addicted convict  that doesn't work, has 15 kids and lives at home...I just wish she understood that maybe she should go for an average guy. If she chooses not to go for an average guy don't wake me in the middle of the night when the "perfect" jerk does something to "lower" his date-a-bility

For sure, it's the same with me -- a lot of people in my life wish I would understand that I don't deserve a great guy. 

My personal opinion is that no one is horrible enough or clueless enough to be told that, no matter how you phrase it.  I just don't think it's worth hurting someone in that way even if there's a good goal at the end. 

I know others will disagree, and think it's helpful, and it may well be for some women -- if they want to marry in a hurry, for example.  So I'm just speaking for myself, but I thought it might be worth providing the perspective of someone on the receiving end.  So my personal advice is "Please don't." 

I won't start a debate about it though because I've gotten caught in the past -- just a personal take and I definitely don't speak for all women  :)

rashea

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2012, 02:28:48 PM »
I would never ever just come out and say that straight out exactly the way it was phrased here because beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder...I'm not saying that she needs to settle for a drug addicted convict  that doesn't work, has 15 kids and lives at home...I just wish she understood that maybe she should go for an average guy. If she chooses not to go for an average guy don't wake me in the middle of the night when the "perfect" jerk does something to "lower" his date-a-bility

For sure, it's the same with me -- a lot of people in my life wish I would understand that I don't deserve a great guy. 

My personal opinion is that no one is horrible enough or clueless enough to be told that, no matter how you phrase it.  I just don't think it's worth hurting someone in that way even if there's a good goal at the end. 

I know others will disagree, and think it's helpful, and it may well be for some women -- if they want to marry in a hurry, for example.  So I'm just speaking for myself, but I thought it might be worth providing the perspective of someone on the receiving end.  So my personal advice is "Please don't." 

I won't start a debate about it though because I've gotten caught in the past -- just a personal take and I definitely don't speak for all women  :)

But if I remember your previous posts correctly, you know you have very high standards, and that as a result of that you might not find a match, and you're okay with that as a possibility. Or do I have you confused with someone else?

In any case, I think it's fine to tell anyone, "you have high standards. That's fine, but that means that your dating pool is tiny, and you might not find someone who meets all your criteria. If you're okay with that, then keep your standards right where they are. If you're not, then it's on you to fix it." I also wouldn't have an issue with pointing out to a close friend that they don't meet their own standards. To me, that's something that I would want them to note and be aware of.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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Yvaine

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2012, 02:33:28 PM »
People tell me this sometimes.  It's not a lot of fun hearing that I have neither the looks nor personality to attract a person I'd actually like.

I think there's a difference between "a guy like this doesn't exist outside the movies" and "a guy like this exists, but you couldn't attract him." The first, I think, can be a valuable reality check, while the second is rude and mean-spirited. It's also useful for people to remember that setting too many parameters can close them off from people they could conceivably fall in love with. People have the right to set whatever dealbreakers they like, but they have to do that with the understanding that they are limiting their dating pool.

I have some of my own. I don't have an income minimum or a weight limit or a required hair color, but, for example, they have to be a SF/F geek, and funny, and it's a plus if they have a creative outlet. I know that closes me off from wide swaths of the population, but I'm ok with that, and I just go where the geeks are.  :D

Meanwhile, one of the things I've relaxed on is grammar/spelling. I used to disdain anyone who couldn't spell as well as I could, and am now happily in a relationship with someone who can't spell to save his life. Part of what got me past that was realizing that, as a former spelling bee champion, I'd have a very small dating pool if I stuck to that requirement. Another part of it was that I didn't meet my guy online, and so I got to know him before I ever saw anything he had written or typed. Thus, his spelling wasn't his first impression on me, while in online dating it is.

Surianne

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2012, 02:35:38 PM »
Rashea -- nope, you remembered perfectly!  Yes, my situation is a little different than the OP's in that I'm good with ending up alone and would prefer that to ending up with someone I didn't genuinely love.  I meant to allude to that a bit in saying it might be helpful if her friend was looking to marry in a hurry -- I have a friend like that, who wants babies NOW, so is deliberately lowering her standards.

I do still feel, though, that it's a very, very hurtful thing to say, so to me it isn't worth doing.  I think a better approach might be suggesting the friend see a counsellor or a life coach who can help figure out why she's not meeting guys.  (A friend of mine -- the BABIES NOW! girl -- did this and the counsellor was able to phrase things in a way that was much, much less hurtful, but also got through to my friend.)

I think that most of us probably don't have the training (or intuitive understanding sans training) necessary to have that conversation properly.  I know I wouldn't be able to do it.  It's possible the OP might, but I think it's an area where she should tread very, very lightly.  I've seen a lot of people really hurt by the "No, sorry, only average guys for you" line of thinking, including myself when I was younger. 


Surianne

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2012, 02:37:55 PM »
People tell me this sometimes.  It's not a lot of fun hearing that I have neither the looks nor personality to attract a person I'd actually like.

I think there's a difference between "a guy like this doesn't exist outside the movies" and "a guy like this exists, but you couldn't attract him." The first, I think, can be a valuable reality check, while the second is rude and mean-spirited. It's also useful for people to remember that setting too many parameters can close them off from people they could conceivably fall in love with. People have the right to set whatever dealbreakers they like, but they have to do that with the understanding that they are limiting their dating pool.

I have some of my own. I don't have an income minimum or a weight limit or a required hair color, but, for example, they have to be a SF/F geek, and funny, and it's a plus if they have a creative outlet. I know that closes me off from wide swaths of the population, but I'm ok with that, and I just go where the geeks are.  :D

Meanwhile, one of the things I've relaxed on is grammar/spelling. I used to disdain anyone who couldn't spell as well as I could, and am now happily in a relationship with someone who can't spell to save his life. Part of what got me past that was realizing that, as a former spelling bee champion, I'd have a very small dating pool if I stuck to that requirement. Another part of it was that I didn't meet my guy online, and so I got to know him before I ever saw anything he had written or typed. Thus, his spelling wasn't his first impression on me, while in online dating it is.

I think that it absolutely makes sense to come to these realizations.  There are standards I've relaxed in my life too (particularly when it comes to friends -- I'm a lot less picky now about the type of people I enjoy spending time with, but when I was a teenager I was a complete snob and thought only brilliant friends would do).

Where I run into problems is when it's other people trying to move you to make those realizations.  In my experience, and what I've seen with other similar friends, being *told* you need to relax your standards just isn't helpful -- we need to figure it out on our own (as you did with the spelling issue).  Perhaps it would help someone else to be told by a friend -- I don't know and I definitely can't speak for everyone.