If you’ve begged off of a date because of his bad haircut, the fact that he’s two years younger or he’s a bit vertically challenged, here’s a news flash: Lighten up! Here are seven characteristics that you might want to be flexible on.
[Editor's note: Erin Meanley writes for the Glamour.com relationships blog Smitten. This is an excerpt from that blog.]
A lot of single women remain single because they become hypercritical when choosing a mate. They get hung up on really superficial details. And while you should totally be attracted to the guy you end up with, no one is perfect, and there are some things you have to let slide. I asked my mom, who has been married for almost 40 years, to help provide some perspective.
What kinds of things do women notice about men that just don’t matter? For example, tassels on his loafers might make him nerdy but they don’t mean he won’t be a good partner. Here are seven things that women get hung up on — but shouldn’t.
1. His job.
On a superficial level, if you’ve always imagined yourself the wife of an attorney or politician and he’s a used car salesman, get over it. What really matters is that he enjoys his work and has goals.
2. If you have slightly more education than he does or you’re a few years older.
So he didn’t get his Ph.D. Or he’s your younger brother’s age. I never understood women dismissing people two years younger than them because of that. Who cares? You’d date a guy who is your older brother’s age. Seriously. Why cut yourself off from a big part of the population because of a number associated with your sibling?
3. Things he can’t help.
You think his accent makes him sound dumb? Why don’t you listen to the smart things he is saying? Or perhaps he speaks in a falsetto. I have found that, as important to me as the sound of a voice is, I have always gotten used to something I might have noticed initially. As you get to know someone, you grow used to the sound of an accent, a high voice, a low voice, or weird hemming-and-hawing noises.
4. His table manners.
Unless he eats like a barbarian, don’t dismiss the dude because he put his elbows on the table while there was still food out. Manners are only an issue when you’re raising kids and you want him to set a good example. You can bring it up then.
5. The hangouts he likes.
So he frequents divey, dodgy, immature places and it worries you. These establishments don’t fit in with an image you want to project. Perhaps you want him to settle down and you think he’s going to regress to spring break mode. But exchanging ribs and beer for filet mignon and consomme won’t make him grow up. So choose your battles.
6. His height.
I was just reading about how Prince Charles was the same height or shorter than Princess Diana. Photographers and movie directors want to make you think men are always taller than their leading ladies, but often, they’re not. Why does he need to be 6’4″? We’ll all shrink or stoop when we get older, anyway.
7. His style.
I don’t mean the occasional tee with holes in it that he LOVES to wear. I mean a consistent, overall look or way of dressing in public. Unless you are reeeeally into clothes and style, don’t get hung up about his sense of style or lack of it. Maybe it’s not your style — or the way you would dress if you were a guy. The bigger issues about clothes involve lifestyle, values, and compatibility on a deeper level than the look of houndstooth or cable knit. Is one of you dressy and one of you always casual? Do you hate the way he spends money on clothes? Does he not express himself sartorially, and you’d like a guy who has an opinion, no matter what the style? These are often things you can influence.