Have you decided to only date:
- People of a certain height or body size/shape?
- People with a college degree?
- People who earn a 6-figure salary?
- People who have the same hobby as you?
- People belonging to the same culture/ethnic group?
- People with the same religious/political affiliation?
- People with a certain personality type/humor style?
What do these preferences have in common?
They are irrelevant criteria when it comes to building and nurturing a happy and healthy long-term relationship!
Although you're entilted to like what you like, having such preferences result in one common and tragic dating mistake:
Inadvertently shrinking your original large dating pool into a small puddle!
When you select prospective partners based on criteria such as the examples above, you end up purposefully avoiding a huge number of people who could very well be a great match, while actively selecting a smaller subset of people based on criteria that are completely irrelevant when it comes to predicting the success of building a happy and healthy relationship.
It’s like if you were attempting to choose a cake based on its type of frosting, and then hoping that the one with the frosting fitting your very specific vision would also be the best tasting and highest quality cake. Wouldn’t it make more sense to choose a cake based on its taste and the quality of its ingredients first, and consider frosting afterwards?
Each additional preference that is irrelevant to the future happiness and health of a relationship makes you shrink your dating pool a little more, possibly until there is no one to date at all because most prospective partners have been excluded and the remaining ones are not interested in dating you.
For example, do you know that in the USA, only 15% of men are 6 feet or taller and only 7% of people earn $100,000 or more? If you combined these two preferences, you would be able to date… less than 1% of all people! And that’s before considering anything else!
If you’re looking to build a happy and healthy relationship, you must vet prospective partners by using relevant criteria first:
- Compatibility of values and lifestyle
- Character qualities and relationship skills
- Ability to love in concrete actions
- Ability to commit to something for the long-term, throughout its ups and downs
If you went on dates and got to know prospective partners looking for these essential criteria, you would discover that you are actually able to feel attracted to a greater diversity of people, and you would also be able to be assess the long-term viability of your new relationship sooner in the dating process. Win win situation!
Your best match might look very different than the picture you have in your mind. Remove the picture and replace it by a mind-body-heart-spirit sense of how it would feel like to be in a relationship with your future partner. At the end of the day, what truly matters is being able to copilot together a relationship for life. A great relationship copilot does not get their qualifications by having a certain body type, college degree, hobby, etc.
Expand your dating pool. Give a chance to more diverse prospective partners. Be ready to be surprised!