Dating advice for the picky dater

Dating advice for the picky dater - Jade Hassan

Although often controversial, a common piece of advice for people in the dating scene is to make a list of qualities that you want in the other person. This seemingly clinical approach makes emotional decisions more rational and objective so you don’t fall into the trap of falling in love with someone that really isn’t suited. However it has the potential to make someone ‘picky’. You would have heard people say something along the lines of,

“The reason she’s single is that she’s too picky”

My name is Jade Hassan, and I am a picky dater. I have spent all of 2016 honing my list, rewording it and deciding what is important and what really wasn’t. A wise man once said to me:

“Don’t let your heart go where your mind hasn’t gone first.” -David Riddell

This is excellent advice when you’re looking for long term relationships. While she may be a smoking hot 10/10, the fact that she doesn’t want kids may cause you massive heart-ache, an eventual break-up and lost time. Figure out in your head if it’s going to work first.

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So make a list

This isn’t rocket science but having fewer criteria means more dating options and vice versa. Think of it using a Venn diagram, the more circles you add the smaller the red part in the middle which represents your dating pool. More circles = more picky.

Venn diagrams for dating criteria

Venn diagrams for dating criteria

To increase your dating pool you have two options:

1. Remove or change some of your criteria

Do you reallllly need a guy who can dance? Maybe you do – probably you don’t. Every month I Skype a couple of friends and we talk about our goals. Inevitably we talk about relationships as it’s important for all of us. One of my friends asked me a really good question which he wanted a quick answer on without more than a few seconds of me thinking:

“If you had to compromise on one of your criteria which one would it be?”

“Travel”, I said. Now this might sound like the wrong thing to say on a travel related blog but hear me out for the point.

Months previous, after compromising on my communication criterion and failing, I had actually changed the wording of my travel check-box to “Wants to live a life less ordinary”. For me, it’s the adventure that I crave. If this can be achieved in some other way then I’ll be satisfied. So if you’re struggling with too many criteria then ask ‘Why?’ to your criterion several times and see what’s behind it. Maybe there’s something else you can use to give you something broader.

2. Meet more people (my preference)

To the people who complain to me that they’re single my first question is, “How many new people have you met in the last 3 months?” Usually, the answer is dismally low and therein lays their problem: They aren’t meeting enough new people. They believe the myth that it only happens when you’re not looking or God will bring the right person along. Sometimes people get lucky, and they proclaim it like the Oscar award winner telling ALL aspiring actors to follow their dreams. But the people out there actively looking are the people more likely to find what they are looking for. It’s a simple game of probability. The more people you meet, the more likely you to find someone who you really like.

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Stack the Odds

In the Venn diagram, if the part in red represents 1% of the population then you’ll have to meet 100 random people on average to find a person who fits the criteria. Fortunately there are ways to increase the likelihood of meeting Mr/Miss Right – If a Christian faith is important to you, go to churches (and not just your own). If it’s long term travel, hang out at the co-working spaces, even the ones in your own country.

And then there’s online dating

Holy moly this is a game changer for the picky dater. It makes complete sense to do this and no one is looking down on you anymore for doing so. If they do, it says more about them than it does about you. Screw them, this is your life. You can go for big websites that will have more people or you can niche down to one of your harder criteria and go for an online dating site that caters to people that are interested in that thing. Try both.

One last thing

To do the numbers you’re going to have to get comfortable about having first dates/coffees with multiple people at the same time. Fortunately if you’re online dating this is expected. I would draw the line at getting involved physically with multiple people. Correct or not, people make assumptions about the status of a relationship if you’re getting physical.

My experience

In 2016 I have been on about 50 first dates. That’s an average of about one a week. I’ve had some fizzers and I’ve met some girls who would have very nearly worked out but each one helped me figure out the 5 things I really wanted. It’s a quest but when you get there it will be worth it. Whatever you do, if you’re picky, don’t sit around waiting. You may be there for a long time.

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It’s not the pickiness but the inaction that is the problem. When people say that someone is too picky it puts the problem with the person and so we either ‘lower our standards’ or we don’t (and then nothing changes). If we say that inaction is the problem, this empowers you with something to do to change your situation without compromising the core of who you are.

About Jade Hassan

Jade is an entrepreneur from New Zealand; He’s passionate about business for lifestyle hackers, music, dance and his Christian faith. He typically travels 7 months a year returning to Auckland for the New Zealand summer. Click the link if you’re curious to know his 5 dating criteria.

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1 reply
  1. Jade
    Jade says:

    I’d like to point out something else that I’ve learnt since writing this post or perhaps I just didn’t mention.

    You shouldn’t have a list of criteria for first dates, starting an exclusive relationship – yes, but first dates – no.

    Often we have a don’t realise exactly what we want and dating everyone will help you decide.

    As the author Henry Cloud says: “Dating isn’t for marriage”.


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