Wellbeing

Are You Single Because You’re Too Picky?

If you’re single, chances are some nosy Aunt – or perhaps even your own brain, lying awake at 4am – has rudely suggested “maybe you’re being too picky”.

It’s as though dating is just a big a game of musical chairs. At some point, you need to choose one and sit still.

Actually, there shouldn’t be some rush to rid you of your single status and it’s not a bad thing if that’s where you are (quite the opposite). But if this statement has been delivered to you, perhaps ask yourself not if you are too picky (standards are a good thing), but if your mindset when it comes to dating is a little too negative. And no, that’s not the same thing.

Do you reject before you are being rejected? If someone hasn’t replied to your text or returned your call, do you straight away dismiss them? If someone doesn’t have a good enough job, do you decline a second date, missing out on exploring any connections or chemistry? Do you swipe left because that person just didn’t look like your type?

Whilst some might perceive this as being picky, it’s more likely to be a negative mindset that is flowing through from other areas of your life. Instead of being able to focus on the positives or the other side of the story, your mind is focused in one particular way.

That person might not have returned your call yet because they had a busy day and were in meetings. The not-super-hot person has a great sense of humour and is a lot of fun to be with. To see the bigger – and potentially more positive and hopeful – aspect in dating, first it’s a matter of calming the negative mind, and being able to focus in a different way.

It sounds straight forward but also seems impossible. How do you change your thought process just like that? There is no switch and you can’t just think your way out of it. And it actually starts with other areas of your life that have nothing to do with dating.

Firstly, challenge the media you consume and friends you associate with. These are two major areas that can pull a mood down and impact a person’s state of mind.

But most importantly, take the time each day to look at the positives instead of the negative. Every time a negative thought comes into your mind, challenge it with why it’s there, does it make any sense and if there is another view or reason in the scenario that could be a possibility?

A gratitude journal can also be a great way to achieve this: writing down three things each day that you are grateful for, no matter how big or small. By starting with these everyday scenarios, you will be able to take this attitude into the dating world too. Also remember to enjoy your life, celebrate it and have fun whatever you are doing, whether it’s dating or just everyday activities.

Nothing happens overnight, and in a world where social media delivers us constant bad news, it might only be reasonable that many of us are fearful, negative and move forward in life looking at the worse side and possible negative reasons for scenarios. But little steps can help us to change our thought patterns, see more options in the dating world and look at possibilities in situation that at first glance we can’t see are there.

Be picky because you believe in yourself, not because your negative mind is clouding your judgement. Instead of feeling that pairing off is an immediate must, take the time to breathe and look at the situations you are in and the people that are in them with you.

And the next time that “picky” line is delivered, know that if you are positively single, there is nothing wrong with being exactly where you are right now.


Australia’s modern day expert on all things sex, relationships, dating and love. Dr Nikki is the author of #singlebutdating, regularly contributes to a variety of publications, can be heard nationally across our radio waves and appears onscreen regularly within Australia and globally.