Are These Insidious Dating Criteria Limiting Your Chances At Love?

Are These Insidious Dating Criteria Limiting Your Chances At Love?

Posted By: Jennifer Foster Date: 11-10-2016 Comments: 0

We all have standards when it comes to our love lives. But there’s a difference between standards and expectations. Over the years, I’ve witnessed my fair share of singles with unreasonable expectations, many of which do more than than good in their grand pursuit for love. Some singles won’t even consider or meet a potential partner if the smallest of criteria are not met.

You’ve got the purpose of dating standards all wrong.

Let’s take, for example, the woman who won’t meet a man who has everything she is looking for, but happens to be 5’11’’ versus her 6’ plus ideal height; or the man who won’t consider meeting a woman who is perfect for him in every way, but happens to be two years outside of his predetermined age range. In both cases, things like an inch or a couple years would not matter to them once they met in person and felt the sparks flying and the chemistry shooting through the roof. Sadly, these two perfect matches never agreed to meet. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence they are both still single…

These singles are so focused on their dating standards, they won’t even consider meeting someone who could very much be the exact person they’ve been looking for. Following this dating behavior can be very detrimental to your success and it’s something I strive to educate my clients on. Your expectations should help you narrow in on finding the right person, not disqualify your perfect match.  

It’s time to upgrade your dating strategy.

The online dating phenomena taught us how to check boxes and describe in limited characters what we want in a partner. Where did that really get us? An email back, a three-month average waiting period before actually meeting someone face-to-face? The online-dating world has a valid purpose, but it has also dumbed us down on our dating standards by making us check boxes that aren’t actually standards, but mere preferences. You may prefer to drink tea over water, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never take a sip of water, does it?

Here’s what I’m getting at: We’ve learned to give importance to things like age, height, body type, ethnicity, education, income, religion and marital status without a single thought to the WHY behind it. But the “why” is the “money”! YOUR WHY is truly the most important part of finding the one for you.

If you understand why you are looking for particular traits in a potential partner and stop checking off  a list of boxes, you’ll discover that you can raise your dating standards to a whole new and higher level. The more you dig deeper into what you truly want in a partner, the more you will learn what is you are really looking for and the easier it will be for you to actually find it.

I’m sure most, if not every adult has disqualified a potential partner for superficial or biased reasons, but I urge you to look at “why” this dating strategy might not be working in your best interest.

8 ways to raise your dating standards

Let’s take a look at eight of the most common traits that make up most people’s dating criteria:

  • Age
  • Height
  • Body Type
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Education
  • Income
  • Marital Status

Let’s explore how we may view each of these traits in the context of dating, how they can be easily misinterpreted and transform these dating criteria into higher standards for yourself.



  • Single Man: “I want to date someone at least 10 years younger than me.”
  • Why? Because he wants to have kids one day and prefers to be with someone who is youthful, vivacious, excited about life, active, fun, takes care of herself and isn’t bitter or hanging onto any baggage.
  • New Dating Standard: Someone youthful who is open to having kids, emotionally mature, and passionate about life.



  • Single Woman: “I want to date someone who is at least six feet or taller.”
  • Why? Because she feels more secure with someone who is taller than her and likes to wear heels.
  • New Dating Standard: Someone taller than her who makes her feel secure – being exactly six feet or taller doesn’t really matter.



  • Single Man: “I only date women who are fit and wear a size four or smaller.”
  • Why? Because he wants to date a woman who cares about her body and health, and takes pride in her appearance.
  • New Dating Standard: Someone with a healthy lifestyle who works out regularly and takes care of herself mentally, emotionally and physically.



  • Single Woman:  “I only want to date within my ethnicity.”
  • Why? Because dating outside her ethnicity hasn’t really worked for in the past and she wants to make her family happy by dating within her own ethnicity.
  • New Dating Standard: Someone with whom you feel a deep attraction to on multiple levels; your family can learn to accept him.



  • Single Man:  “I only want to date someone who practices my religion.”
  • Why? Because it’s important to my family, I enjoy practicing my religion and I would like to raise my children with my religious beliefs.
  • New Dating Standard: Someone open to your religion, spiritual evolved and not opposed to raising children with your religious beliefs.



  • Single Woman: “I only want to date someone who makes over $100k a year.”
  • Why? Because she wants to live a certain lifestyle and doesn’t want to make more than the man she’s with.  
  • New Dating Standard: Someone financially independent with ambition and drive to continue growing his career.



  • Single Man:  “I only want to date someone with a college degree.”
  • Why? Because he believes that people with college degrees tend to have more stable careers and would like to date someone with whom he can have intellectual conversations.
  • New Dating Standard: Someone intellectually stimulating who is personally driven and has good work ethics.



  • Single Woman: “I only want to date someone who’s never been married before.”
  • Why? Because marriage, and the commitment it stands for, really matters to me and I want the person I marry to have the same views on marriage as I do. Also, I don’t want to deal with someone’s messy divorce or crazy ex-wife.
  • New Dating Standard: Someone who values marriage and commitment, fought for his first marriage and isn’t hanging on to any ex-wife baggage.

Most happy couples look back on how they met, what they were looking for at the time and what they had in common. They often can’t believe how someone seemingly so wrong for them turned out to be so right for them. It’s not that opposites always attract or you need to find love when you’re not looking for it, but the overwhelming standard to finding the right person for you is to truly understand what you are looking for in a relationship partner. You need to understand yourself first and foremost. Ask yourself why you want what you want, figure out what personality traits match you best and stay as far away from artificial boxes as you possibly can.

Supplement your dating efforts. Connect with a matchmaker today!