The Difference Between having High Standards and Being Too Picky

The Difference between being Picky and Maintaining your High Standards

Have friends and family joked that you’re too fussy which is why you’re single?

Do you worry that if you’re not picky, you will be compromising and settling?

Perhaps you’re happy being picky, as you know what you want and aren’t lacking in great dates.



It’s essential to be clear about what you need in a partner and a successful, loving, committed relationship.

Your “list” can and often does make the difference between moving you towards a meaningful, committed relationship or holding you back from one.

Here’s why it’s important to distinguish between being “picky” and having the right high standards. 

The differences between having High Standards and being Picky.

You know yourself better than anyone.

It’s worth reflecting whether your high Standards (non-negotiables) and preferences (things you’re picky about) are all grouped together into one long list?

If they are, and you don't give quality dates a chance because of that extra long list, you are probably limiting your prospects.

Of course, if your standards (core needs) aren’t met, you won’t be happy after the excitement of a new romance has settled down.

So a question to seriously consider is what your bottom line needs in a partner are? 

What’s on your High Standards List?   

These should be your non-negotiables. It’s worth taking the time to reflect and be honest with yourself about the standards you live by, those you want in your future partner and for the relationship:  They will include:   

Values, beliefs, morals, principals, faith, relationship and life goals, worldview, emotional health and stability, lifestyle,  financial independence and security, children, intellectual compatibility, temperament, personality, communication style and attachment needs.  

I challenge my clients to shortlist their non- negotiables down to just 10 or less and be laser focussed on what’s most important to them.


What does being “Picky” really mean?

Over and above your bottom line needs are your WANTS; the little annoying habits, and preferences....…that often occupy too much of our thoughts when thinking about a potential partner.   


Things like; looks, physical attributes, style, hobbies, travel, too quiet, too loud, messy or tidy, timekeeping ….and they shouldn’t be deal breakers.

Some have some significance, but these can be influenced by a person motivated by love, so shouldn’t be ruled out.

Bad table manners or always being 30 minutes late can be annoying, and may not be something you want to change in a potential partner, I understand.  But, one of only two or three "annoyances" are worth overlooking in a person if you're compatible in the more essential non-negotiables. Is anyone perfect? 

If your WANTS influence your judgment first; instead of your NEEDS; it’s likely you are setting an impossible standard for a potential partner and limiting your chance of meeting someone genuinely right for you. 

Choosing a partner based on your superficial "wants" act as barriers keeping you from a long-term committed relationship. A real and lasting relationship consists of imperfect elements too!


Here are five things to consider to avoid being PICKY and closing the door to a quality partner for you.


1)    Start a new List. Separate your absolute Non-negotiable needs and your Preferences (WANTS).


Ask yourself, if I meet someone special tomorrow, what 10 High Standards will be enough for me to be very happy with him/her?


2)    Separate which annoying things and preferences can be influenced /changed and which ones can't.


Superficial annoyances don’t mean someone won’t be a great long-term partner. A bad temper and rudeness can’t be changed. The caliber of both is very different and shouldn't be in the same category. (Get your free guide "I wouldn't  be in a Relationship Without.. here) 


3)    Understand that the traits you don’t like may actually be a positive complement to you.


Someone being too quiet and laid back when you are very chatty, loud and energetic, might just be a good balance unless you want someone exactly like you!  Opposites can attract if your standards match. Give it a chance to see how it evolves. It may just be a positive thing.


4)    When something your date does annoys you, ask yourself “Why?”


Are you reacting to something that has more to do with you than them?  For example, maybe your date hasn’t made plans, shows up, and asks you. “What would you like to do?”  This might be a turn-off because you disliked an ex for doing the same. Consider that it could be more psychological on your part, rather than your date’s problem. If you find yourself making these judgments, take the time to understand your triggers and work on clearing them. Avoid unfairly imposing these expectations on the person you’re dating and in the relationship.


5)      Be honest with yourself and really learn your core personality type and attachment style. 


Do you need to adjust and be flexible in some areas to be compatible with other personality types?

If you find yourself on the picky side, with someone who seems to have many of your core standards in order, give it a chance and discover who he/ she is on the inside before dismissing them too quickly based on superficial judgments. If they don’t meet your core standards, move on quickly.

Finally, be patient with the journey, have fun, be pro-active and open-minded, which will generally attract people to you but never compromise on your high standards.


Best Maria x

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