Let’s Hear It for Flexible Pickiness

“I’m picky” is a phrase single gay men use a lot when people ask them why they’re single, or why they don’t date very much. It’s usually meant as an all-encompassing excuse. And it’s an easy one to make because it’s open to interpretation.

It could mean “I’m too busy to think about dating,” or “I don’t really want to date right now,” or even “It’s none of your business.” Sometimes it means, “That’s a really personal question and I don’t know you well enough to answer you with complete honesty so I’ll just give you my standard reply that’s hard to argue with.” We can convey some of these difficult things without opening a can of worms or offending anyone when we say, “I’m picky.” It tends to end the line of questioning right then and there. We can all relate on some level, so pickiness gets a free pass as an excuse, even when it doesn’t quite make sense.

To me, however, it always makes sense. Not because of any of the reasons I stated above but because of this simple fact: It’s okay to be picky.

There, I said it. Pickiness gets a bad rap in the dating world. We tend to think of it as a negative thing. I think of it as a positive quality. I like it when my clients are picky. For a few reasons.

First, I want my clients to be happy. That means meeting and connecting with the kind of person they’re looking for. If it takes a six-foot tall, blond-haired, blue-collar type with a moustache and a green thumb to make you happy, then let’s find you a six-foot tall, blond-haired, blue-collar type with a moustache and a green thumb.

Second, it helps narrow the field. A whole lot of thought goes into my process of matching my clients and it’s not just about who you’ll spark to. It’s also about who you absolutely will not spark to. Being picky focuses both of us on the goal.

Third, while I routinely challenge my clients to go beyond their limits, I also want them to speak their truth. And you can’t do that unless you’re honest with yourself about what you want.

All that said, I do love it when a client stays open to the concept of “flexible pickiness.” If I want to introduce you to a 5’10” black-haired, white-collar type with a beard who collects 18th century Lithuanian flatware, then naturally I’m thrilled if your answer is “Okay, I’ll give it a shot.” I’m asking you to consider it because I think there’s potential there.

So, by all means, be picky. Voice your preference for the blond plumber if you think he’s the only man who can make you happy. But stay open to the red-headed banker. You might just be pleasantly surprised.