One of the most common traps in internet dating is to envision your perfect match. Over time, as we become more intent on finding that special someone, a picture forms in our minds that few people, if any, could live up to.
Part of the problem is the modern notion that we can somehow craft our perfect life if we just manage to assemble the right combination of pieces. Naturally people think they can find a “perfect” mate if they comb through enough prospects. If you add to the mix the idea that the variety of available mates is endless, then you’re really in for trouble. I can guarantee that you will never be happy. How could you be? Even if you find someone pretty darn close, you will be haunted by the idea that somewhere out there is someone who hits every point on your “perfect mate” list.
The idea that you have endless choices (and worse, endless time), is actually working against you. Time continues to pass by as we dither. Do not confuse discernment with being overly picky. Sometimes the internet can make the world seem larger than it is. I was online searching for six years. After six years you begin to meet the same people over and over. You begin to ask yourself, is it me? Guess what? It’s you.
So I encourage you to start a conversation with someone. Go on a date. And don’t start wondering if you’ve left a gem undiscovered somewhere else. Don’t give up after one date just because there were no fireworks. It won’t hurt to see someone again if you didn’t fall head-over-heels with her in the first hour.
When it comes right down to it, each one of us is only really concerned with a few traits. They are the big ones. The non-negotiables. The traits that ensure harmony and the ability to weather any storm as long as that person is by your side.
Similar taste in movies? Not important.
Similar taste in foods? Doesn’t matter.
What does matter is how you handle conflict, how you handle finances, and how you want to raise children. Whether you have similar faith and values. Physical attraction is important, but looks fade. You soon discover that who you marry is not as important as who you are in your marriage.
So, ask yourself if you are ready to commit and accept the responsibility of being a spouse and parent. As any married person will tell you, marriage is hard work. Once the initial fireworks die down, the perfection you once saw in your mate fades, and you begin to see your partner warts and all. Conflicts arise and compromise becomes paramount. The daily grind sets in. You begin to see your spouse’s faults and you become less adept at hiding your own.
Sure, it is okay to have list of traits you would like to see in a mate, but do not worry if he only hits 8 out of 10 of them. Or even 6 out of 10. My wife had a list of things she wanted in a mate, and I fell short on two things. Two very important things. She could have walked away, but she didn’t. And guess what? I changed on those things. She tells me that she married me knowing I might not change. She saw in me a man with a lot of good will, and that carried a lot of weight. She wasn’t too picky. And for me, that was a blessing.