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Attention All Singles: Don’t Make This Mistake

In my observations and personal experience, I’ve discovered that many people who are single, looking and can’t see to find someone (including myself at one point) fall victim to one self-defeating habit: only pursuing people who meet their “checklist.”

We all do it. We build up this person that “perfectly” fills every single possible criteria there is to offer. First, there are the superficial expectations we have about appearance. We lust after a certain height, hair color, eye color, body type and smile. Then, we fixate on what we think matters a lot more than it actually should when connecting to a person. These entail interests, a certain GPA or ACT score, a specific job title and other things solely listed on a person’s resume.

Spoiler Alert: this person doesn’t exist!

I have friends who have a few immediate turn-offs. Some are valid, like starting off with a gross pick up line. Others, however, are not so valid.

Let me get a few things straight here. I think being interested in cars is stupid, I hate sports and neither math nor science is my cup of tea. A couple years ago, if you asked me if a guy who loved sports would turn me off, I would not hesitate in the least when I said, “yes.” And if you asked me who my boyfriend would be now, I would’ve told you he’d be an English major, dark and mysterious who would much rather engage in a philosophical life discussion than watch a football game.

Fast forward to now, and I actually proved myself wrong. I’m in love with a neuroscience/exercise physiology major who loves cars and sports. My “spot-on” description for my “perfect match” couldn’t be more off. Or so I thought.

While I didn’t think I would be dating the science-y, car loving, sports fan that I am, I did think I’d be dating someone who was kind, caring, funny and sweet. The standards you have when looking for someone should speak of their character and values, and the rest shouldn’t matter much. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but the necessary traits I’d need in someone were very baseline: be a good person, have a strong sense of self and treat me well.

I’m not denying that there needs to be a connection between two people to have a relationship, and this connection can form upon common interests. However, I’m bringing light to the fact that many pass up the chance to form a connection with someone because they think they won’t. How can you know if you don’t give it a try and test the waters? The issue isn’t that we set our standards too high, it’s that they’re too specific.

Going outside of the box can help you grow. Going for someone who is out of the ordinary for you can help you learn and like things you may not have thought you would. I’m not advocating a forced relationship with someone completely opposite, but you may find that going for someone outside of your usual type doesn’t necessarily mean they’re completely different from you. You may start to connect with someone in ways you can’t realize just by learning things about a person. That’s a very different concept than learning about a person. You grow to love someone because of who they are, not what they are.


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