We’re all for empowering one another, ourselves, and holding out for what we deserve. Yes, you are a queen. No, you shouldn’t settle for breadcrumbs. You’re definitely worth more than a late-night “You up?” text. Love should feel equal.
However, sometimes we create these checklists for our partners or potential partners that only a mythical creature could fulfill. When it comes to meeting—and holding on to—Mr or Mrs. Right, are our expectations setting ourselves up for success or sabotage?
Non-negotiables vs negotiables
When we think of non-negotiables, oftentimes they fall in the realm of, “Are they willing to hang out with my friends?” or, “Are they nice to their mom?” But sometimes, either after we’ve been burned or when we’re allowing ourselves to be a little too picky, they can fall into categories like, “They need to make a minimum of $100k” or, “They need to give me a foot massage every single night or they simply don’t love me enough.”
While we all deserve someone with a contributing work ethic and who spoils you with love, remember that some things aren’t set in stone and take time to develop. Give them a chance to work on their career with you as their cheerleader. Teach them what your love language is and see if they are willing and happy to please you the way that makes you feel best.
Determining what the “little things” truly are
Happiness in life is all about the little things. Do they compliment your hair after a fresh cut? Do they kiss you goodbye before leaving? Do they text you goodnight, or let you know where they are when away? These little things add up to a bigger, overarching depiction of your closeness, the undivided attention they give you, and how much they are thinking about you and your peace of mind.
However, sometimes we can nitpick many other little things, and let them add up in our minds as no-go zones. Things like, “They don’t wake me up to fresh coffee every morning—my best friend’s partner does that for her,” or, “They don’t always want to do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it.” We should be making sure we put weight on the little things that symbolize the bigger picture, like love and communication, rather than expecting constant favors or someone who gives in to our every whim.
How much weight to put on initial turn-offs
Maybe you didn’t like their laugh, or their choice of shoes, or a joke they made that didn’t land. Before writing someone off completely, consider they may be nervous, have unique—and actually interesting—influences, or have a different perspective on humor. It’s important to get to know a person on a more emotionally intimate level before determining one initial turn-off as a reason to abort altogether.
Evaluating your deal-breaker list
Knowing what your deal breakers are is a vital part of knowing yourself. They hate to travel? It’s not gonna work out. Cuddling grosses them out? That’s a no for us, dog. Rude to you in front of their friends? Buh-bye. If your deal-breaker list is succinct but reasonable, stick to your guns. But if your deal-breaker list is long and meandering, it might be time to whittle it down and think about more concrete values.
Checking in on whether your must-haves are physical or emotional
One key to checking in with yourself and evaluating whether or not you’re being too picky is to consider if your must-haves are more physical than emotional. Does this person need to look a certain way, dress a certain way, have a specific job, or have name-dropping-worthy friends? Or do they need to be comfortable with romantic eye contact and loving proclamations, build you up when you’re down, be able to be vulnerable with you, and not be overwhelmed when you’re vulnerable? That’s where the substance lies.
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