7 Unrealistic Dating Standards Guys Need to LET GO
Not getting what you want in your dating life? Then I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this question: “Do I have unrealistic dating standards?”
Let me put it this way. I don’t even know you, but as an expert dating coach and matchmaker who’s been in this business for 9 years, I’d say the answer is YES.
Of course, there are exceptions. But for the most part, we usually want more than we can get. Think about the last time you shopped for something big, like a new car or a house. You probably started off with high hopes — you wanted to live in an exclusive neighborhood, or get that new Tesla — but then had to settle. We all do it.
The thing is, dating becomes much more fun once you let go of your unrealistic expectations. Once you stop being so picky in dating, the whole world opens up.
So today I have a treat for you. I sat down with Jackie Untermeyer, a senior matchmaker on my team, to answer this question: How do we know when a guy is being too picky with women or has unrealistic dating standards? Hint: It depends on what you bring to the table.
Below is our full breakdown. Get ready, because we pull no punches here. Some of this might be surprising; other things maybe not. But just know… we get 100% of our information from experience.
(PS: Just in case you think we’re not being fair, we also include advice for women at the end!)
“Do I Have Unrealistic Dating Standards?” Scroll Down to Your Type and Find Out
All guys are different. So we decided the easiest way to answer this question would be to show you expectations that are unrealistic, moderately realistic, and totally realistic.
Keep scrolling until you find an expectation that sounds like you, and we’ll let you know whether you’re too picky in dating.
You want someone more than 10 years younger.
Unrealistic. First of all, statistically speaking, an age gap greater than 10 years isn’t likely to work because you won’t have the same reference points.
For example: Imagine having lived through Coronavirus but the person you’re dating has no idea what that is because she was a baby when Corona happened. You wouldn’t have that in common — and it’s a huge life experience! Whenever you’d make reference to it, she’d have no clue what you were talking about.
Situations like this happen all the time when there’s an age gap greater than 10 years. Generational differences make it hard for you to understand each other.
Plus if you’re, say, 50 and looking for a woman who’s 30-35, you’re at a disadvantage. Here are a couple of reasons why:
If you want kids, you’ll be a senior citizen when the kids are just hitting puberty. That’s a risky move for a woman who wants to raise kids with someone who will be around to see them grow up.
You also have to compete with more men. A 33-year-old woman may date men in their 20s all the way up to men in their early 40s. You have to compete with all of them. And what would make her want to date someone so much older when she could date someone younger?
Actually, you probably know the answer to that one. A woman who is 32 and always dates 50-year-olds may be looking for financial stability instead of love. This may last a few years before they leave for someone closer to their age. The rare exception might be the intellectual or “old soul” who prefers older men.
Your height is 5’6” or below and you won’t put in the work.
Unrealistic. Real talk: Women prefer tall guys. The average woman is 5’3”. When we put on heels, we’re 5’6″ minimum. If you’re shorter than 5’6″, you have a smaller pool of women to date.
Why? The simple answer is, women like men to feel larger than them so they feel safe. (Honestly. It’s an evolutionary thing.) So having unrealistic dating standards with women isn’t a good idea when you have less to choose from.
This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though. I dated a guy once who was 5’3″ (I’m 5’6″) and I totally loved him.
Just expect to put in a lot more work to find women who are excited about you. To give you an idea: I teach my clients that it takes roughly 100 messages sent on dating apps and social media to secure 1 date. If you’re shorter than 5’6″, expect those numbers to double or triple. So, set your expectations accordingly.
Kids don’t excite you, and you’re between the age of 25 and 35.
Unrealistic. If you’re in this age range, I assume you’d want to date women who are between 20 and 40. Those are the prime baby-making years, so if you don’t want kids, you’ll have a harder time finding someone. Best to focus on women who also don’t want kids (again, hard to find) or who are older.
You are deeply religious and only looking to date the same.
Unrealistic. When you have a traditional religious mindset — no matter what your religion is — it is very limiting, especially if you only want to date the same. And double especially if you’re under 40.
Religion is not as “popular” today. Even if people have spiritual beliefs, many don’t observe a lot of traditional religious rites and customs. You may also find lots of women who consider very religious men a dealbreaker.
The answer? Join some local church groups and try to meet women there. Also, think about dating someone who is a member of your religion but not actively practicing.
You’re a Republican in a very liberal city or state.
Unrealistic. Hmm, and you’re really asking “Do I have unrealistic dating standards with women?” I’ll say this: The cards are stacked against you on this one. We see this issue the most in California, where our very Republican clients have a hard time finding someone who shares the same political beliefs.
Still, I’d say don’t hide your beliefs. Obviously, if you can date across the aisle, so to speak, do it. But if you can’t, consider putting some hints about your political leanings into your dating profile so you attract more conservative women. Do this in a joking way, not too obnoxious. Then, accept that you have a smaller pool to deal with. The combination of these strategies will attract better women for you and keep you sane during the process. It’s either that or move!
You could stand to lose a few pounds… but want someone fit.
Unrealistic. Here’s the thing. If you’re not fit and they are, then you don’t share the same hobbies or lifestyle. Full stop. A fit person is going to want to wake up and go for a jog or long bike rides and you won’t. Not only that, but one of you may always feel inferior to the other, causing relationship issues. (And guess who that would be?)
Women of your own race don’t turn you on.
Unrealistic. When you only date outside of your own race — especially when you’re only open to one race outside of your own — that’s very limiting. For example, you may be Asian or Indian and prefer to date white women. That’s okay, but the majority of people don’t want to date outside of their own race, unfortunately. And excluding your own race means you won’t meet potential partners who may be a deeply compatible match.
I see this bias within all races and it always surprises me, to be honest. My theory is that the media portrays white women as more desirable, which is unfair and inaccurate.
Personally, I went through a phase when I was only interested in dating black and Latino men. I had grown up with white guys who had the same cultural experiences as me, and that was boring after a while. I also wanted to rebel against the norm of what I’d seen growing up. But after my 100-date experiment, I stopped differentiating based on race. It became much more important for me to be attracted to what was inside, not outside.
If this sounds like you, challenge yourself to date as many different races as you can. Look at it as an experiment. Examine whether you really aren’t attracted to women of your own race, and if so, why.
You smoke cigarettes.
Moderately unrealistic. This is a dealbreaker for most people. It’s a VERY hard sell. I’m just being honest. If you’re being picky with women and you still smoke, expect a tough road. That said, it’s not impossible if you’re attractive.
You are 30-45 and looking to start a family.
Totally realistic. This is the best age range for men to find a partner because there won’t be any “age gap” issues. Women who want to get married and start a family see this age range as ideal. Even 45-year-old men often date women in their late 30s+ and still have children.
You’re older, divorced/widowed, and your kids are grown.
Totally realistic. If you’re a guy between, let’s say, 50 and 60 who’s no longer married or raising young kids, you should not be afraid to start dating again. There is definitely a dating market for this group. Bonus if you’re attractive, fit, and successful.
We see a lot of divorced and retired executives who were married for 30+ years who are afraid to “get back out there.” And I understand this. The game has completely changed since the last time they were on the market. All the dating apps and websites must seem completely bizarre to someone who met their wife in the ‘80s.
So what do they do? They hire a matchmaker and totally kill it. Makes me so proud! Often, we pair them with other divorced or widowed execs. That way, they can have a completely financially free retirement and travel the world.
You have very little dating experience.
Totally realistic. As long as you keep your physical expectations in check, this isn’t a problem. The reasons for your lack of dating experience could anything… maybe you’re on the autism spectrum, or super shy. Or maybe you’re just a really busy engineer type who hasn’t prioritized dating in the past but now wants to find a cute, intellectual, well-educated woman to nerd out with. All of this is very workable.
You’re divorced with young kids and looking for the same.
Totally realistic. Let’s say you have kids between the ages of 2-7 and want to find another divorced parent so you can build a blended family. No problem. You then would not have unrealistic dating standards.
Many single parents want to date other single parents. That’s because people with kids understand that the kids come first. For example, you might have to reschedule plans last minute to accommodate your family. You don’t want to have to explain or justify this.
Also, single moms who wanted more children but can no longer have them love blended families so they have siblings for their kid(s).
Just keep in mind, many single parents like the idea of their partner having kids who are past the infant stage.
Bonus for Women: “Do I Have Unrealistic Dating Standards?”
As promised, here are our quick recommendations for women. See if any of these types describe you (or a friend) and whether or not you have realistic expectations.
You’re a woman over 6’ and not willing to put in the work.
Unrealistic. You’re in a similar boat as short guys — you have fewer men to choose from, but it’s definitely not impossible. To put this in perspective, roughly 1% of US women are 6 feet tall or taller. The most comparable group of men would be those at least 6’4” (only 1% of the population is taller).
So, our recommendation would be to keep an eye out for very tall men and keep putting in the effort. But ultimately, you never know what some guys are into. We’ve even seen short pro athletes look for tall women because they want tall kids!
You are a cougar.
Unrealistic. By cougar, of course, we mean a woman who wants a guy who’s significantly younger. Generally, this goes against the norm. We’ve only seen it work in a few scenarios: when the guy doesn’t want kids, is extremely intellectual and wants someone who’s his equal, or… needs financial support.
You’re over 40 in New York City and simply want a guy your age.
Unrealistic. I know. Ouch. But NYC has more women than men, which makes it harder for women to date there. Pair that with the fact that men — even older men — tend to prefer women who are younger. That’s probably because the men in NYC have historically not been interested in settling down until they’re older… and then they still want kids.
Plus, the competition is just fierce. Everyone is looking for the “next best thing.” They stack multiple dates at the same bar to save time (it’s practically the MegaDating capital of the world!). Best to stick with men who have kids (especially if you’re a single mom) or men 50+ who aren’t looking to have kids.
You’re 25-35, don’t want kids, and not flexible in dating.
Unrealistic. Even though men in this age range may be undecided on children themselves, they usually don’t like the definite “no” when it comes to whether a woman wants kids. Be willing to date a bit older if that’s the case.
You are a 26-38-year-old career woman who wants kids.
Totally realistic. This is the ideal age range for women to find a partner because a lot of men still want kids. Having an established career also takes the pressure off the guy and helps ensure a more stable lifestyle.
Are My Dating Standards Unrealistic? Wrap-Up
Hopefully, you have your answer! But being too picky with women, or too picky in dating period, doesn’t have to mark the end of your dating career. We’re here to help.
Book an intro call with us today to find out if our Signature 1-on-1 coaching program can help you create the results you desire. Our services are designed to get you in the right mindset to succeed.