I had a great conversation with one of my best friends about dating standards. He’s a good looking guy, currently in med school, and even hits the gym every now and then. He also has extremely strict dating standards, and as a result, he’s been single for every one of his 23 years of life. That is, until he changed his perspective recently.
What Actually Matters In a Partner?
My friend had his list of dating requirements down pat.
She had to have a prestigious career planned out, because how else could someone stimulate a future doctor?
She had to be the same age or very close to it, because how else could they understand each other?
She couldn’t be taller than him, but she couldn’t be too short too, because that would look weird.
And most importantly,
She had to be Indian, because he was Indian. How could he ever date a girl from a different culture? Why would he?
We all have certain attributes in mind when we think about the “perfect” partner for ourselves. But how many of those attributes actually matter when we transition from fantasy into the real world? What features are arbitrary, and wouldn’t even be known unless they were explicitly told?
Happiness Doesn’t Come From A Checklist
You know what’s great in a relationship? Being able to laugh and have incredible experiences with each other. Having someone that you can trust, that trusts you in return. Knowing that there’s someone out there willing to take the world on along with you.
What does height have to do with those things? What does ethnicity have to do with it? Does hair color, career, education, pet preferences, or whatever other characteristic really matter? Think about it.
My friend met someone that fit all of his standards. She was in med school as well, same age, just the right height, and also Indian. But you know what? They weren’t right for each other. My friend placed this girl on a pedestal for months, but it turned out they weren’t even on the same book with each other, much less the same page. That’s how it is sometimes.
Date Outside The Box
After he got over his “perfect Indian soulmate,” my friend started noticing a female of Caucasian descent that was always staring at him at the library. He decided to say hi, and it was a wrap.
No she didn’t check all of his boxes. Not only was she a completely average chemistry major, she was also a previously unfathomable whopping 1 year younger. She did have the right height though, but did I mention she was WHITE? White, without a speck of Indian in her entire family tree. Madness.
His requirements and standards sound silly because they were. He lived his entire life with a narrow dating focus, and he couldn’t find anyone as a result. But the second he opened up his horizons, he was able to find his special someone. Someone that didn’t have the same skin color, but was able to touch his heart nonetheless. She didn’t have eye popping career goals, but the ability to inspire mutual passion was still there.
She had the things the standards that truly mattered on the inside, not just the outside.
A lot of you are in the same shoes that my friend was. You’re stuck on this idea of Mr. or Ms. Perfect, and you’re letting yourself miss out on all the other great people that are out there. It’s not a matter of “lowering your dating standards,” it’s a matter of lowering your ego.
There is no single attribute, or group of attributes, that will guarantee compatibility. Love isn’t found from a checklist, it’s made by exploring and developing relationships with others. Rethink your standards, and open up your dating world. You might just be surprised.