When I was in my twenties, I knew exactly the type of guy I was searching for. He was Brad Pitt. He also had an unrealistic list of qualities, mostly superficial ones, that I was sure one person could possess. I often heard my friends in their thirties and forties tell me that as you get older, you tend to compromise on certain qualities and eventually settle for someone who’s just nice enough. I refused to take this advice. So I dated a lot of people and sent them left and right because they weren’t meeting my long list of demands.
Now that I’m thirty, I realize that a lot of the “qualities” I was looking for contradicted each other. For example, I wanted someone with “family values” who also knew every new hot spot in town: what I ended up going after were party boys.
In reality, I really did not know what I wanted. I meet a lot of singles that seem to have the same problem as I did. Recently we hosted a focus group at the JCrush headquarters, which consisted of single New Yorkers between the ages of 21-30. What I realized after speaking to this group of single men and women for almost two hours was that the reason they were single was because most of them were too picky. While it’s good to know what you think you want (and I’m not saying to settle), it’s also important to realize that your dream girl or guy will not fit a list of 20 non-negotiables.
Stop comparing potential dates to the picture perfect: it’s a recipe for disaster!
For example, if you live in Manhattan and you say that you will never date anybody who lives in Brooklyn, then this is a big loss for you. I’ve even heard one girl say that she was not willing to date somebody who did not live downtown in her area, so the Upper East Side and Upper West Side were complete deal breakers for her — let alone traveling to another borough. Ladies, let’s not be so extreme! I know so many stories of girls who met guys that did not live in the city, but after dating and falling in love, they ended up getting an apartment together in the city. So you see, first you have to give the other person and your relationship a chance and living arrangements can be figured out together later.
How picky is too picky?
Well, if you have a list of 20 non-negotiables, cut it down to 3-5 right now.
Pick the top 3 qualities that are most important to you. For example:
• Is he or she kind and respectful of others?
• Is he or she an honest person? Nobody wants to date a liar.
• Is he or she ambitious in life and wants to contribute to society?
• Is he or she attentive to your needs or more on the selfish side?
• Does he or she make you laugh? For me, nothing is more attractive than being with someone who makes you laugh.
I know what you are going to say: “But Sonya, what about physical traits? I only want to date men who are over 6 feet tall with blue eyes and have a full head of hair.” Well, it’s great to know who you are attracted to and perhaps when you meet him, he will also luckily have the top three qualities that matter most to you. But, don’t be so dismissive of everyone else who doesn’t necessarily fit your “Brad Pitt” type. Some of the best dates and experiences I’ve personally had (and many of my girlfriends) were with people I least expected to be into. Go outside your zone of familiarity and attraction. Take a risk. Try something different. And always remember Charlotte from Sex and the City who met Harry, a bald, hairy, overweight, and very sweaty candidate. Yet she admitted he was the best sex of her life, eventually accepted him for who he was and got married. Your Brad Pitt named Harry is out there somewhere.
Sonya Kreizman is the co-founder and CEO of Crush Mobile, a company that develops mobile dating apps like JCrush and MiCrush, targeted at specific singles markets across the world. Sonya is responsible for managing day-to-day operations such as overseeing developers, designers, marketing strategy and most importantly, answering each and every dating question sent by an existing or future user. Her no-nonsense, pragmatic advice has been heralded by many critics, especially within the dating app scene. It is Sonya’s wide-ranging knowledge of millennials and online dating that has set her apart from the rest. In a business where most “dating coaches” have a book and a couple of life experiences as credibility, Sonya is the only dating app CEO offering real time advice. As online dating and traditional dating quickly become part of the same fabric, Sonya’s words are proven more and more invaluable.