Why Picky Is Perfect

by Jon Pinney on September 12, 2009

I had two conversations tonight that touched on being picky.  Why is it that “picky” has such a negative connotation?

I found this picture of me being picky.

I found this picture of me being picky.

Picky is a word that many people have used to describe me (including myself).  And it is most often used when talking about members of the opposite sex.

I am told I shouldn’t be so picky; that I need to lower my standards; that I’ll never find someone because my expectations are unreal.

To all those people who think picky is a four letter word, I’d like to give you my opinion of why picky is not only okay, it’s the perfect way to be.

Here I am being picky again.

Here I am being picky again.

What does picky mean? According to Merriam-Webster, picky is “fussy, or choosy.”  Choosy means “fastidiously selective” or “particular,”  and one of the multiple definitions of fussy is “requiring or giving close attention to details.”  When looking for a mate, both of these are qualities worth having.

I expect my future companion to stimulate me on many levels.  The first of these is physical attraction.  I must be attracted physically, and it needs to be a strong attraction.  If this attraction is not there, the likelihood I’ll try looking for the other levels of attraction is not very good.

The second is intellectual attraction.  If she is boring, you can’t expect me to pursue her.

Wow I am so picky

Wow I am so picky

The third is emotional attraction.  If she doesn’t have any emotions (or has too many), you can’t expect me to be interested.

The fourth (and possibly the most important) is spiritual attraction.  Not only must she have similar beliefs as me, they must also be important to her as mine are to me.  If we don’t match in this area, a future is likely impossible.

I normally sum all of these up by saying I have two requirements: (1) that she be attractive (2) that I want to spend time with her.  It is not my fault that I can’t find girls that match these criteria.  But I hope you can understand why I feel a future companion should.

I'm even picky when I'm on my phone

I'm even picky when I'm on my phone

In my mind, being picky is recognizing the options that are out there, evaluating them against what you are looking for, and dismissing the options that do not fit your criteria.  If this is picky, then I wholeheartedly and with enthusiasm embrace my pickiness.

I don’t think it would be fair to be with someone I didn’t adore–or to feel like I’ve settled.  It wouldn’t be fair to me, and it would definitely not be fair to her.

This post may sound harsh to some.  It is not my intent to be harsh, only to tell the truth as I see it–the truth as I feel it.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

sean September 12, 2009 at 8:35 am

I think picky has a negative connotation because people picture the kid “picking” at the scab on his knee or the weirdo “picking” stuff out of there food like all the sausage in stuffed bell peppers (the sausage was like 30% of the meal).

If we think about it like a fine food, real parmigiano versus the fake craft crap, home bake versus KFC, and so forth it changes the feeling towards the word. Suddenly you are a consumer of fine foods. So my addvice to you is to drop the word picky and “pick” up the consumer. You are a consumer of fine women! Ok, maybe that doesn’t work either.

Jon Pinney September 12, 2009 at 12:36 pm

haha consumer of fine women… i definitely agree with the awesomeness of the title :)

Melody Conway September 12, 2009 at 12:58 pm

I agree, I agree, I agree!!! The pictures with captions are a nice touch to this post, too, Jon! haha!! :)
Tarryn has a theory that there are 6 attractions. You mentioned 4 of the 6: physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. She would add personality (ie. sweet, humorous, etc.) and recreational (their hobbies/activities align well with yours). We call it the PIPERS theory! The couple should match with 5.5 of these for the relationship to work (recreational can be a half–it’s not quite as critical as the others). :)
It’s important to keep an open enough mind so that you take time to really get to know people and evaluate all of these attractions. Picky doesn’t mean cutting off your options right away. Timing is everything. People change–it’s okay to re-evaluate someone that you dismissed before. That’s the beauty of timing.
For years people have told me that I’m “too picky” or “bitter.” I used to let it offend me because of the common idea that these are negative things. Often this was heard from those who would set me up on blind dates…sorry, but I didn’t feel any chemistry, despite the fact that every time the guys have been very cool guys. You can’t disregard chemistry–there is a level of physical attraction that is literally up to the body’s chemical make-up. Pheremones, etc.
I have a brother that has been happily married for 11 years. The last time he told me I was being “too picky”, I realized that this is the correct way to be. Why is it okay for others to find exactly what they are looking for (not perfect, but perfect for them), but just because I’m getting older I have to settle? Of course, my brother says this to me out of love, to be helpful, and he really wants to see me happily married with kids like he is.
Suddenly I realized that my brother’s accusation was an insult to my sister-in-law. So he wasn’t picky? He just married the first cute girl he saw and thought, “cool…she’ll do for eternity”. Yeah right!! Once this was pointed out to him, my brother has never mentioned another word about what I should do in the dating scene to snag me a guy that adores me and that I adore back! I too have fully embraced my pickiness! :)

Jon Pinney September 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm

wow melody you could’ve written my post… i couldn’t agree with you more. that was what I was trying to point out. it is not wrong to be picky. everyone is picky all the time. all those people that found someone they love were picky too–they just found what they wanted sooner than me. i don’t apologize for being the way i am. in fact i embrace it. i deserve the opportunity to pursue happiness, and to me happiness is being with the right girl. i dont know who she is or when i will meet her. i don’t expect her to be perfect. i just expect that i will feel that we are right for each other, and it will be because of the attractions i mentioned in my post.

Amy September 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm

There is nothing wrong with being picky. We should be picky…we are going to spend the rest of our life together with this person, or at least we believe we want to. Thanks for making being picky perfect. And pointing out that physical attraction is a huge part. I believe that you have to have some “lust” factor for the person. Anyway, here is to you finding your mate-who ever she may be, she will be lucky to get you. Peace-God Bless Always. :)

JoAnn Conway September 15, 2009 at 9:24 am

Dear Jon…you are…how can I say it…like my daughter’s “brain-twin”. Could you two think any more alike? I don’t think so! I taught her to keep her standards high and not to settle. Heavenly Father has great things in store – why should anyone settle. You will only be happy and content when you know that you reached out for the very best for you and got it. No looking back…no regrets. Here’s to those who “embrace their pickiness”.

Also Picky September 20, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Maybe we should all stop being so “picky” and focus on making ourselves worthy of being picked by the one we pick.

Jon Pinney September 20, 2009 at 8:22 pm

also picky, i agree that we should be focusing on becoming the best person we can be. that is definitely something i am always striving to do.

though i disagree with the “stop being so “picky”” part… we are who are are and we’ll be interested in the ones we’re interested in. being picky is part of our nature. though sometimes i still think arranged marriages should be started up again… it would make the whole “picking” process a lot easier (at least for us–not the parent’s setting up the match).

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