Last week, I talked a bit about how you should give more matches a chance. Just because you’ve seen and ignored the same tired profiles over and over again in your zip code doesn’t mean that they aren’t a good match for you! This is true. However, I tend to play devil’s advocate quite a bit (with myself) and was thinking: why date people you aren’t interested in just because they are available? I might only find a dozen young men in my area who are my age, but what if I don’t want to date any of them? Should everyone in the same zip code just pair off with another person they find the least intolerable? Is that how marriage works?
I’ve come to the conclusion recently that some people are just naturally more picky, or, excuse me, selectively-inclined, than others. And this is fine. If we all dated like Jerry Seinfeld, no one would ever get married, family structure could break down entirely, and we’d all end up alone eating lots of cereal. But if everyone were forced to just “pick someone,” many people, though not necessarily all, would be miserable. If someone has found a happy medium between these extremes, please inform me what it looks like.
How do you know if you’re too picky? I’ve definitely been accused of having an overly healthy degree of selectivity. There are likely several reasons for this, none of which I’ll describe here, because honestly, I’m not sure what they are. But am I being too picky when I reject an offer to be set up with the cousin of someone’s neighbor who is 20 years my senior, lives in another country, and just finalized his divorce? I say no. Mrs. Goldberg at shul might say otherwise. But I’m holding my ground. I mean, you see how picky I am about my shoes, and they only go on my feet.
In my opinion, there’s no need to go out with someone out of pity, convenience, spite, revenge, or obligation. If you aren’t interested or don’t see the possibility of potential, it’s okay to pass. If you’re feeling that resistant toward meeting someone, it’s much more likely that you’ll feel resentful or act rudely than feel surprisingly delighted after meeting him or her. Feeling neutral is one thing – if you don’t know someone or feel on the fence, by all means – it’s just a date – go! But feeling repulsed by a photo, getting in an email argument over opposing views of the world, or even a strong negative gut feeling – these all warrant some selectivity.
Those examples might be pretty straightforward, but what if you don’t want to date someone because one of her nostrils is a little bigger than the other, or because he won’t let his food touch on the plate? Or because she didn’t go to an Ivy League school, or his glasses are out of style? This is where pickiness gets interesting. There can be a fine line between appropriate selectivity and self-sabotage, so give people the benefit of the doubt, but trust your gut. There’s a lot more to say about this topic — stay tuned for a future related post. In the meantime, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Clueless this month, I’m Audi!