Dear Annie, What do I need to do in order to meet a high-quality man? I've been on more than a hundred first dates in the last couple of years and haven't met one man who is a good match. I'm very attractive at 48, and look much younger than my age.
I try to give men who are interested in me a chance, but I've yet to feel chemistry with them. On the rare occasion that I meet someone to whom I'm attracted, he disappears and I never hear from him again.
I took a good look at my failed relationships so that I'm aware of what didn't work in the past. I have made a list of all of the essential qualities that I require in my next mate. The next time I fall in love, I think that I deserve to be in a relationship with a man who will meet my needs.
When I tell my friends how difficult it is to meet the right kind of guy, they say that I'm too picky, but I'm the one who has to live with my choices. Louise
Knowing what you're looking for in a relationship is important. However, there are some things that are better left to serendipity.
Love and partnership is about having a heart-to-heart connection with someone simpatico who shares your values and long-term goals. A good relationship includes things like quality time, commitment and sharing. But other things on your must-have list are not essential for a rewarding, loving relationship.
For example, many women in urban areas will only consider becoming involved with a professional man with a college degree who makes around $100,000 a year, is over six-feet tall and loves to travel.
On the surface, this doesn't sound too unreasonable, but realistically you are shrinking your dating pool to a point where you're using superficial criteria to rule out a huge number of men who are potentially great partners.
Would you want to miss out on experiencing the love of your life because he's a retail business owner, a working actor or a teacher? Or because he makes around $50,000 annually, but has other assets that make for a financially comfortable life?
According to this recent article in the Huffington Post, less than 27 percent of Americans earn more than 50K annually. Only nine percent of Americans earn over $100k a year.
You, like the majority of women in the US, are looking for a man who is over six feet tall. But only about fourteen percent of men meet that requirement. Needless to say, those men can afford to be choosier because they have many more opportunities for romance than a guy who is shorter.
Since the average height of a man in the US is 5'9", you are severely limiting your dating pool before you start taking critically important things like character, compatibility and common relationship goals into account.
If you're only comfortable dating someone taller, you'll vastly increase your odds of meeting the right guy if you go for a man who is at least couple of inches taller than you.
If you believe that not having a college degree means that a guy is less intelligent, ambitious and able to see things throught than those with baccalaureates, you're mistaken.
Would you pass up an opportunity to connect with someone like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or Steve Martin? This long list of famous and/or wealthy college dropouts includes actors, kings of industry (many of whom are billionaires) and technology, and other men of all professional stripes.
There are many ambitious, intelligent, successful men who don't have college degrees who are looking for love. Some are duds—just like some who hold degrees. Ruling out men who don't have degrees is a great way to needlessly lessen your chances for finding love.
The most important things on your list are those that reflect his personality and his character. Pay attention to how he treats you, whether you're together or apart. Is he attentive, thoughtful and respectful? Do you enjoy each other's company? Is he honest and generous in his dealings with the world at large?
Your list will be most useful to you if you prioritize it by sorting it into qualities that you absolutely must have and those that would be nice, but that aren't necessary to sustain a loving, long-term relationship.