What Is The Difference Between Not Settling And Being Too Picky?

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Tyler Nix / Unsplash

Whenever someone asks me why I’m still single, I can either reach for the truth or my rehearsed made-up speech about not settling. I can explain the last 4 years of dating disasters which sounds something like this, “I like assholes, I like a challenge, I chase fuckboys, and I choose unavailable men.” All very true, however, no one wants to admit that, unless they’re in a therapy session or drunk at 2:05am on the way home from another unsuccessful mission with their bff. So, when I reach for some variation of the two that’s more like the filtered truth, it goes something more like this, “I haven’t met the right person and I’m not settling.”

Who am I kidding, I have definitely considered settling on more than one occasion, and I have believed that I met the right person. But for some of us, who can admit to this, finding love isn’t that cut and dry as–he’s single, I’m single, we’re around the same age and both have a pulse-it’s go time! At a certain age, settling seems like the best option for some. They might not think they are settling at first, but then once they are too far in and start to feel that they have folded too quickly, they stay in as to avoid activating their Bumble and being subjected to more fishing pictures and being asked how their day is going so far.

But for the girls like me, who refuse to get that far into anything without probable cause, the problem is reversed. I refuse to put any time, effort, an energy into anyone that may initially feel as if I am settling, aka someone who doesn’t reach my standards to begin with. Insert my mother, sister, and friends,

“Marcey, it’s time to lower your standards a little.”

Yes, I recognize that my current bar is unreachable for most, but my mantra remains that I refuse to settle. This does not always mean that I am too picky, as clearly I have picked many unsuitable guys. For those of us who want it all, looks, chemistry, similar interests, security and fire sex, is it that wrong that we demand and expect these things when choosing a partner this late in the game or for the second time around? I’m still undecided on this. However for the girls out there rocking flawless IGs, with no man in sight, getting endless DMs, I’m right there with you, I can’t seem to understand how someone hasn’t scooped you up yet. Everyone around you is wondering the same thing and comes up with the conclusion that the issue must be you. Yea she looks good and seems mad cool, but what’s wrong with her that she’s still single?

Let them think that, but remember that refusing to settle is not a flaw. Being too picky could be considered one and staying in a situationship with a dude that has everything you want except they won’t commit to you, definitely is. Typically the girls that seem to got it all goin’ on but are still single are probably struggling with something like this but will pass it off as having too high of standards that no one can touch. Problem is, they are settling for giving unrestricted access to someone who doesn’t deserve it and is lacking the most important criteria of all wanting to be with you.

For those of you picky girls, stuck in this place, I get it.

You want what you want and refuse to settle for less than the butterflies you get once a guy gives you the runaround. And that’s totally fine if that’s okay with you. But chances are, it’s probably not okay with you deep down inside knowing that they can’t/won’t give you what you want in the long run. It’s important to recognize how chasing your idea of the perfect man someone could be, isn’t the same as not settling for someone who might already be. And more importantly, it can and will hold you back from being more available to the many men who actually want to date you.

And these men turn up everywhere for “quality chicks”, as my guy friend “J” refers to me as. It’s like they have radar for your high standards and want to be the one to crack the code. They’re flooding your dating apps, messaging you on social media, they’re approaching you at the bar, (even if you are 10 years older than them), they are friends of friends who want to hook you up and they’re hollering at you when you cross the street. You have offers all over the place but somehow still end up spending frequent weekends begging your best friends to go out or on your couch watching Mean Girls for the millionth time. This seems like a better option than settling on that potential date with the guy you met online who doesn’t have any pictures smiling with his teeth because you’re worried that his teeth are hit. What should you do? You can’t settle for bad teeth and won’t even consider it, so you stay home. Good call.

But is it? I’ve had so many people tell me that you can’t expect to find a connection if you don’t try. But I think there’s an important middle ground to consider. You can’t go out with every guy that asks you and your time is valuable. You can’t fall for anyone that gives you attention and you can’t settle on a relationship with someone just because you both were born in 1981 and both breathe oxygen–what a crazy coincidence they must be the one! If someone has bad teeth and that’s a deal breaker for you, don’t go. You have to be attracted to someone to find a connection. But if you’re avoiding a date because they like the Red Sox and you like the Yankees, that’s a no-no. I have learned that dating a guy who doesn’t like the same sports teams as me and other unimportant differences, does not mean I am settling. Going out with guys who run marathons, hike and bicycle for fun, however, a dealbreaker for me.

I admit that I still get that annoyed feeling when someone comes to me talking about so and so and how they just met someone, or are getting married or OMG they are dating who?!!? But then I remember that my standards might be a little higher, or I don’t want to settle on someone just because they are divorced too, or they have money, or they’re “really nice” or just because they look good. I want it all rolled into one.

Yes, I’ll make sacrifices and considerations where and when I need to, but only I know what’s right for me.

And for the girls out there going through the same, just know that I feel you and that it’s okay. It just might take you a little longer to find your person. So when your relatives come for you at family parties and on holidays, just keep saying you aren’t settling. TC mark

Marcey Rizzetta

With her raw sense of humor and counseling psychology background, Marcey tells it like it is in her blog "Everyone Thinks It But I Just Say It."

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He only wanted validation.

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