Monday, March 3, 2008

Am I too picky?

I often find myself wondering if I'm too picky when it comes to men. Some might rephrase that and say that my standards are too high. While I think there is overlap in these two phrases, I do think they're different. To me, 'picky' implies that there are certain criteria that must be met (i.e., he must be at least as tall as I am, but preferably taller; or that he must not be a drug user). On the other hand, 'high standards' denotes a need for specific qualities or personality traits or (i.e., he should believe that women and men are equals, he bathes regularly, or he has greater ambitions in life than being a couch potato).

I think my standards aren't unreasonable. I do not expect the guys I date to be perfect, since I don't hold anyone else in my life to this standard. Everyone has their imperfections and flaws, so I can handle those. However, I am picky. I like tall men. I greatly dislike men who think playing video games for hours on end is a good use of time. I like men who appreciate culture (art, music, literature), even if their preferences don't match up exactly with mine. I dislike men who are self-absorbed. I like men who are witty and clever with words. I dislike men who can't be bothered to write in complete sentences with proper spelling and punctuation. Finally, since I'm generally a glass-half-full kind of person, I'll end with one more 'like' (which is eerily reminiscent of a Third Eye Blind song): I like men who like me for me.


Ily said...

You know, I don't think being picky is a problem, unless it's causing you undue distress. People aren't picky enough, and that's why the divorce rate is so high. Folks feel desperate, they settle, and then realize they made a bad decision...yikes!

Katie said...

From my friend Superquail, who is behind the Great Firewall of China:

I was just thinking about what you said about standards and pickiness visa-a-vis men. That got me thinking about standards in general. I think standards are incredibly useful things to have, so long as you know why it is you have them and what function those standards serve. For example, when it comes to dogs, I have a standard that I will never own a dog that weighs more than me or is stronger than me. I developed this standard after walking a dog for the humane society who managed to yank me around wherever he wanted and I had no control.

This is not to say that I do not like large dogs, nor that I think large dogs are bad pets or any way dangerous. Rather, I do not want to own 150 lbs dog because it would put me specifically at risk for getting my shoulder dislocated.

Thus I consider your standard of wanting the guy to be as tall as you are. What function does that serve? Please do not see this as a criticism but rather as genuine curiosity. If you have rules about guys make sure they are rules working for your own benefit. I do not think you suffer from internalizing your parents' desires the way a lot of people do, but you see what I mean.

Keep blogging!

Katie said...

My response to Superquail:

In response to your question about height: I think it comes from the fact that, in general, I am a fairly independent, self-sufficient woman who likes being tall and feeling physically powerful; however there are times that I feel small and vulnerable and I like being comforted by someone who is bigger than me. Freudian as it may be, this is probably because my dad has filled this role until fairly recently. In a very primal way, I like be protected and I've never felt as protected by shorter men as I have by taller men. Does that make sense? It's a good question though… definitely one to keep thinking about.

Anna said...

Love the blog!

I think it's okay to have high standards. I have some things that I'm willing to be flexible on, and others that are definite dealbreakers. I'm flexible with height -- being 5'11", I feel like I have to be, although I do prefer taller men. Smoking, drug use, and inability to write emails in proper English are both major dealbreakers.

My ideal guy is tall, laidback, gets excited about little things, likes to travel, enjoys foreign films, uses big words, enjoys culture, loves smart women, encourages my fascination with Eastern Europe (and may share it, but he doesn't have to), is multilingual, and also likes me for me.

Too much to ask? Perhaps. But it's okay to have an ideal man.