Having been called picky one too many times by well-meaning relatives, or friends who don't know better, many single people feign open-mindedness as a defense against this most distasteful of labels. Being called picky is akin to being called conceited – a quality universally despised.
The result is that many people try to suppress their own needs in order to avoid being branded as picky. Then they end up feeling angry when everyone pushes them to carry on with someone with whom they can't imagine spending their life.
On the other hand, many people have a list a mile long of what they are looking for in a spouse. There is a certain haughtiness that often comes with these lists, as if the bearer of the list is entitled to only the very best. Our grandparents went looking for a "good enough" husband, a "good enough" wife, not someone so special that their friends would tear their hair out. And once married, they worked, they compromised -- life wasn't about ‘rights,' it was about ‘obligations.' That generation could more easily focus on their true mission -- working together to raise a wholesome family with good values.
Know what you truly need, stripped of all the Hollywood fantasies and misguided notions of what is important.
And what most people don't stop to recognize is that getting everything they want will never make them happy in the long run anyway. Only getting what you truly need has that potential -- and unfortunately, most people have no idea what they truly need to be happy.
Thus, the secret. Know what you truly need, stripped of all the Hollywood fantasies and misguided notions of what is important. Sounds easy? You'd be surprised how resistant people are to searching inside themselves for the very answers they are searching everywhere else to find.
It turns out that the answers to their search are right in their back yard after all. You see, the greatest antidote to being picky is clarity. And that just takes a few hours to gain. Imagine that...
In order to obtain this clarity, first you must understand the specific obstacles that might be standing in the way of finding your beshert. Then you can work on different strategies of how to overcome them.
There are many different obstacles that keep people from getting married. Below is a listing to get you started on the road to clarity. See if you can recognize what obstacles might be in your way.
1. Moving the Mountain – overcoming our own resistance to working on finding our spouse. People are under the mistaken impression that marriage just happens by itself. But it requires the effort of first discovering what we truly need, and then the work of getting out there to find it.
2. Chasing Fairytales - recognizing that we have all kinds of fantasies in our mind about what a potential spouse should be like and look like. These ‘pictures' may be so ingrained and so elaborate, that we don't even realize that we are measuring every potential person against an imaginary image of someone who doesn't (or couldn't) even exist.
3. Toxic Expectations - realizing that many of our expectations are not our own, but are a product of the influence of media on our subconscious desires. Before you hold out for something you are determined to get at all costs, sit down to examine whether getting it will truly make you happy in the long run anyway.
4. The Yenta Trap – many wonderful potential spouses are overlooked because we are so concerned about what other people will think of that person, that we dismiss them before we even attempt to get to know them. We ourselves might be willing to give them a chance, but we aren't willing to risk losing public approval.
5. Smorgasbord Syndrome – recognizing our own tendency to pick positive attributes from various different people we know or have dated, and creating a composite image of that person in our mind. We then compare our current date to this meaningless image, and everyone we date will of course never match up to that fantasy.
6. Misguided Pickiness - being picky about the wrong things -- such as unimportant attributes or traits. The only way to avoid this is to gain clarity.
7. Warped Mirror – failing to recognize our own failings so that we expect much more in a potential partner than we would demand even of ourselves. It takes work to look deep into our own heart to see how we could be a better spouse and what we have to offer a marriage partner.
8. Comfort Zone - being so attached to our lifestyle that we can't bear to give it up, even if it means losing the opportunity to grow and share our life with our soul mate.
9. Familiarity Factor – being so drawn to a certain personality type, irrespective of the fact that it possibly promulgates a warped, or even dysfunctional relationship that parallels our patterns from the past, which may not be healthy for us.
10. Prejudgment Pitfalls – recognizing that there is a natural tendency to jump to conclusions about a person, rather than to take the time to really get to know them. If we gave someone half a chance, over time, they may be just the person we have been looking for all along!
The main take-home message here is, the better you understand your own obstacles, the better equipped you'll be to get beyond them. Pickiness is nothing more than using the wrong criteria to choose your spouse. In the next article, we'll help you to determine what the right criteria should be.