Author Topic: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?  (Read 26654 times)

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Yvaine

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2012, 04:57:51 PM »
When you date online (at least on the official dating sites-- I think it's different if you randomly start chatting with someone), it's easy to dismiss someone if they don't look like what you want "on paper," but if you go to a party/bar/church group/book club, and the 5'10 brunet with a mid-range salary makes your heart skip a beat, that's a little harder to ignore.

I mean, it's important to have standards; but actually meeting other people can help you determine what your standards should be to help you find your best match, and sometimes you might even get blindsided by a "type" you never thought you would be interested in.

This is a really good point. Online dating has its positives, but I also think it sometimes leads people to rule each other out (based on awkwardly written profiles or unflattering pics or just not ticking off all the right boxes) when if you met in person first, chemistry would have its chance to work.

Meanwhile same suitemate would always whine that men didn't like her cause she was faaaat. So many times I wanted to say "No, honey, men aren't interested in you because of your sour, bitter, man-hating attitude."

This too. I have a friend who thinks that every breakup and rejection she's ever had in her life is because she is overweight--but the thing is, she gets a LOT of initial offers. She's overweight, but she also has gorgeous hair and skin, and is also really fun to talk to, on the surface. What happens when guys get to know her better, though, is that they realize she has huge, huge piles of emotional issues that she isn't really honest with herself about. And it scares people off--but she tells herself it's because of her weight and so never has to examine her attitude.

Sophia

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2012, 05:21:09 PM »
I went through this with a friend I asked her: 

Of all the guys you have met in the last year not for dating, just in general
how many met her first criteria?
    (let us pretend it was 20)
How many of those 20 met the second criteria?
    (let us pretend that it was 2)
How many of those two were single?

Then I pointed out the conflicting requirements.  I said, imagine tomorrow you meet a guy that is blondle, blue-eyed, GQ build, owns his own business.  (Wait for the sigh of happiness to be over)  Will that guy have time to (then you bring out the conflicting requirements like) cater to your every whim?  Or will he be busy working out and running his business? 

For another friend (male) who was complaining bitterly that model beautiful woman wouldn't give him the time of day.  I pointed out that they were probably looking for model-beautiful men. 

I met my husband online.  I am glad he ignored my stated requirements.  I wanted someone taller than me just because I've had men shorter than me be annoyed when I wore heels, and I love heels.  I also said I didn't want facial hair because it has always been scratchy and kissing is important.  He has a soft goatee and is the same height, and he loves when I wear heels.  I couldn't be happier. 

RandomAngel

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2012, 05:34:23 PM »
Courtsmad25, I'm reading one thing -- that your friend won't be able to get the man she wants -- as the issue you're asking us to help you address, but I'm getting the sense that the thing you actually want to address is something different -- that you don't want to hear about her struggles anymore because you think she's doing it wrong.

Now, forgive me if I'm misunderstanding, but I think there's a very easy (or very challenging, depending on your friend's personality) way to address this.

Next time she complains that Peter was just perrrrfect until he wouldn't answer her call at 2 a.m., for example, you say:
"Friend, I know it's tough when a guy doesn't quite measure up. I really want you to be happy, and to find the right guy for you!"
"Thanks! Man, can you believe it? Peter was 6'5" and blond and spelled 'curmudgeonly' correctly on his profile, but when I called him for the 12th time he seemed a little ticked and ..."
"You know, I understand that you're looking for a really specific set of criteria, but I am having a hard time sympathizing right now. It's just hard to hear a good friend get let down by her own expectations time and time again."
"But I only want a perfect guy."
"And I only want to hear about your love life once you've found him! I want to be here for you, but it's getting tough listening to the same old story over and over. I can't keep going through this with you when I see you hurting yourself over and over."
(Ideally)"OK, well, I'll let you know when I go on a second date with someone."
(Or possibly)"You don't care about me!!!"

And you go on from there.

As far as one poster's comment that these sorts of guys don't look for dates online: I don't think that's true. A huge number of people look for dates online these days!

I also don't think the OP's friend's needs are unrealistic just because she's not super pretty or what have you (though the needy parts are unrealistic in my view because needy is not attractive to a mate!); lots of people are 'unequally' matched. But the less you stress about her stress, the happier you'll be! It takes some of us a lot more searching to find a good match than others, but that doesn't mean our standards are wrong.

I agree with this. It's really not about who's out there or whom she can attract, which is lucky because just about anything you could say about those would probably wind up being rather insulting. The issue is that you don't want to hear about it, and that's totally valid.

"Friend, I'm sorry, but I need to pull back from the day-to-day of your dating life. I'll be happy to gush over every detail when you've found someone you actually like, but hearing about the guys that DON'T work out so often is honestly dragging me down." Just disengage. "Friend, we talked about this. I don't want to know what each guy did wrong; just let me know when there's someone in your life you feel good about." And then, "Honey, you're doing it again. I'm going to go now; let's catch up on other stuff tomorrow."


On a side note, my dating criteria used to be: over 6', dark hair, light eyes, conventionally handsome with a solid build, excellent spelling, grammar, and vocabulary, a 4-year degree from a school I'd heard of, nonsmoker, alpha male, no previous marriages or children, impeccable manners, financially stable, wicked sense of humor, and no drama. When I met my DH, I realized that I didn't especially care about which of those criteria he DID meet, much less which he didn't. My list was just an excuse to keep potential boyfriends at arms'-length; it had almost nothing to do with my honest deal-breakers or needs from a partner. Your friend may be so wrapped up in finding the perfect man that she hasn't realized yet that she's not ready to meet HER perfect man, and her standards are a subconscious correction mechanism. If so, she'll sort it out...and she won't hear a word of contradiction until she does.

blarg314

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2012, 07:58:19 PM »

If you do talk to her about it, don't make it about her not being good enough to attract what she wants. Instead, bring up the statistical improbability of meeting a guy who fulfills her list - incredibly hot, tall, blond-haired blue eyed financially successful single men under X age are pretty rare, and probably don't need to go on-line to find potential dates. If she needs this in a partner, that's up to her, but she has to realize that she's likely going to be waiting a long time, so getting frustrated is counter-productive.

There's other illogic in her requirements. She wants a successful business owner who is willing and able to constantly be on call, providing attention. Does she have no concept of what being a business owner means?  Odds are he's either personally broke, or he's pouring all of his time and energy into keeping the business successful. Maybe she wants a guy who inherited lots of money, and has people to manage things for him.

Allyson

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2012, 08:55:40 PM »
See, I would never tell someone 'lower your standards' or 'settle' because that implies being with someone that you're only sort of into. But, having a laundry list is a problem because it cuts out a lot of people before you've figured out if you are into them or not.

I see a huge, huge difference between 'I will only date blond haired, blue eyed GQ models who cater to my every whim!' and 'I will only date people I am extremely attracted to and who treat me very well'. The first comes off as shallow and a little silly, whereas the second makes perfect sense. Attraction, I find, isn't really about finding someone who matches every item on a list. Your friend could meet her blond blue eyed business owner and feel 'meh'...then end up seriously falling for a redheaded gardener.

But I'm not telling someone they don't deserve a great guy or girl. It's possible that for some people, it might be helpful to broaden their definition of a *possible* great guy or girl. Not actually get involved with someone they aren't very into.

Yvaine

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2012, 08:58:07 PM »
See, I would never tell someone 'lower your standards' or 'settle' because that implies being with someone that you're only sort of into. But, having a laundry list is a problem because it cuts out a lot of people before you've figured out if you are into them or not.

I see a huge, huge difference between 'I will only date blond haired, blue eyed GQ models who cater to my every whim!' and 'I will only date people I am extremely attracted to and who treat me very well'.

This, x1000.

Venus193

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2012, 09:00:51 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.

This.

That sounds a lot like my life before I became the owner of Heartbreak Hotel.  Nobody seemed to think that I was worthy of an educated man with an elegant wit, a full head of hair, and who appreciated opera and fine dining.

I'm probably not, but I don't worry about it anymore; better alone than with the wrong person.  In any event, nobody forgets how it feels to hear something like this.   Oddly enough, Blanche is still friends with someone who not only said this to her but boinked her then-BF behind her back.

figee

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2012, 10:05:43 PM »
I was once told by someone who used to be a good friend that I was settling.  this was in front of my now husband, and she was meeting him for the first time.  I have a PhD, he left school at 16.  I look and sound very middle class.  He is career military, not an officer, and has tattoo sleeves complete with some very attractive ladies in various states on undress.  On paper, we are not a match, but he makes me happier than I've ever been before.

I haven't spoken to that woman since that conversation.  However, also as part of that conversation, she outlined what she wanted.  She wanted someone with at least a Masters, who was working in human rights or international aid, who looked like a male model.  She claimed that it was 'unfair' that she knew all of these guys BUT that they were only attracted to slim, stunning Amazons or models - which she decidedly wasn't.  When asked about men who were attracted to her, she said that they weren't educated enough or they all worked in 'right wing' institutions.  Hence me settling.

SAhe didn't like it when I pointed out that the men she wanted were rejecting her for many of the same reasons that she was rejecting other men, and that each was equally unfair.  End of friendship.

sweetonsno

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2012, 02:52:00 AM »
See, I would never tell someone 'lower your standards' or 'settle' because that implies being with someone that you're only sort of into. But, having a laundry list is a problem because it cuts out a lot of people before you've figured out if you are into them or not.

I see a huge, huge difference between 'I will only date blond haired, blue eyed GQ models who cater to my every whim!' and 'I will only date people I am extremely attracted to and who treat me very well'. The first comes off as shallow and a little silly, whereas the second makes perfect sense. Attraction, I find, isn't really about finding someone who matches every item on a list. Your friend could meet her blond blue eyed business owner and feel 'meh'...then end up seriously falling for a redheaded gardener.

But I'm not telling someone they don't deserve a great guy or girl. It's possible that for some people, it might be helpful to broaden their definition of a *possible* great guy or girl. Not actually get involved with someone they aren't very into.

I totally agree with this, though I don't think there is anything wrong with recognizing that there are traits that you find attractive. Do I have a "type"? Yes, sort of. Have I ever been attracted to someone who was not that "type"? Of course. Does it happen often? No. I don't think I'm superficial because I happen to notice a pattern in the traits that I admire (or find off-putting).

I also think it is important to consider this woman's potential partners. If you tell her that her standards are too high, then you're telling her that she should lower them (if she wants to have a guy). If you tell her that she should lower her standards, you're basically saying that she should go for a guy she's not excited about. This is not only an unfair proposition for her, it's horribly unkind for any potential partners. While it's normal for one person to be more dialed in than the other, it's not normal for one person to be really excited and the other to be thinking "meh" or "ew."

We all deserve to be with someone who excites us and who is excited by us. I think it's very unkind to date someone who likes you simply because you don't want to be alone or because you think it's the best you can do. That person deserves someone who will return their affection and passion.

weeblewobble

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #39 on: March 08, 2012, 07:45:43 AM »
Have you thought about pointing out to her that her list is all about looks and money, but not one thing about how a boyfriend treats her. With the exception that he must "amuse her."

It's OK to draw lines.  It's OK to say, "I won't date a man who enjoys recreational drugs" or "I won't date a man who talks down to me" or "I won't date a man who doesn't call me when he says he will."  And you don't have to date someone you're not attracted to.  But it's hard enough to find someone who you are interested in and is interested in you and treats you nicely, without pre-emptively cutting off a majority of candidates.

courtsmad25

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #40 on: March 08, 2012, 09:24:29 AM »
Thank you guys so much for all of the oppions and viewpoints : I wrote the original post out of anger and frustration and I'm rather ashamed that I wrote this in the first place. Our place of work already has several guidelines on who one should date (for instance no drugs or criminal record) so the rest is just gravy guidelines.

Any idea how to close out topic?

TurtleDove

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #41 on: March 08, 2012, 09:32:57 AM »
Our place of work already has several guidelines on who one should date

What??????

wolfie

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #42 on: March 08, 2012, 10:22:24 AM »
See, I would never tell someone 'lower your standards' or 'settle' because that implies being with someone that you're only sort of into. But, having a laundry list is a problem because it cuts out a lot of people before you've figured out if you are into them or not.

I see a huge, huge difference between 'I will only date blond haired, blue eyed GQ models who cater to my every whim!' and 'I will only date people I am extremely attracted to and who treat me very well'. The first comes off as shallow and a little silly, whereas the second makes perfect sense. Attraction, I find, isn't really about finding someone who matches every item on a list. Your friend could meet her blond blue eyed business owner and feel 'meh'...then end up seriously falling for a redheaded gardener.

But I'm not telling someone they don't deserve a great guy or girl. It's possible that for some people, it might be helpful to broaden their definition of a *possible* great guy or girl. Not actually get involved with someone they aren't very into.

I totally agree with this, though I don't think there is anything wrong with recognizing that there are traits that you find attractive. Do I have a "type"? Yes, sort of. Have I ever been attracted to someone who was not that "type"? Of course. Does it happen often? No. I don't think I'm superficial because I happen to notice a pattern in the traits that I admire (or find off-putting).

I also think it is important to consider this woman's potential partners. If you tell her that her standards are too high, then you're telling her that she should lower them (if she wants to have a guy). If you tell her that she should lower her standards, you're basically saying that she should go for a guy she's not excited about. This is not only an unfair proposition for her, it's horribly unkind for any potential partners. While it's normal for one person to be more dialed in than the other, it's not normal for one person to be really excited and the other to be thinking "meh" or "ew."

We all deserve to be with someone who excites us and who is excited by us. I think it's very unkind to date someone who likes you simply because you don't want to be alone or because you think it's the best you can do. That person deserves someone who will return their affection and passion.

I think there is a difference between "you should settle" and "you should expand your options". Like a previous poster who said one of her dealbreakers was people needed to be great spellers, and then she met someone who couldn't spell well but made her happy. So she shouldn't settle for someone she isn't attracted to but she should reconsider wether her deal breakers are actually dealbreakers or just nice to haves. Or maybe just too specific - she said "has to spell well" maybe what she really wanted was someone who could communicate well but was thinking of a specific example without realizing that it wasn't the specific that she wanted, but what it implied about the person.

The more dealbreakers you have the harder it is to meet someone who meets them all - and then out of that pool you have to find someone who also finds you attractive and you meet all of their dealbreakers. If you are satisfied that you would only be happy if all these conditions are met and you might never meet someone like that then good for you and best of luck. Everyone deserves to be with someone who makes them happy and I hope you find your person.

But if you aren't - if you really aren't okay with being alone then you should take a look at your dealbreaker and see if they are really something you need to be happy or are they just your ideal - like the blond hair blue eyes. That is an ideal but could a brown haired, brown eyed person be just as good as long as they meet your other criteria? And then you should look at the ones that are what people do - like the business owner. Do you really want a business owner or are you working on the idea that a business owner is hardworking and driven? In that case you can expand your options to people who are hardworking and driven but don't actually own a business. And if you look at all your criteria and decide the person has to be blond, blue eyed and a business owner - noone else will do - and you aren't okay with the idea that you might never meet this person you should see a counselor to help because I don't know what else you could do.

Reason

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2012, 10:29:01 AM »
Our place of work already has several guidelines on who one should date

What??????

Ditto.

Yvaine

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Re: How to tell a friend that they are too picky?
« Reply #44 on: March 08, 2012, 10:32:10 AM »
Our place of work already has several guidelines on who one should date

What??????

Ditto.

I am guessing she works in one of the professions where it is frowned upon to be involved with someone with a criminal record.