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Tiare Talks
Are your dating standards too high? | Sunday Star Times

Managing dating expectations and finding fulfilling relationships

Tiare Tolks has a background as a psychologist, relationship therapist and corporate leadership coach, and is the managing partner - relationship expert for Compatico.co.nz, a premium matchmaking service for over-40s. In her fortnightly column for the Sunday Star-Times, she addresses reader questions and shares tips for nurturing healthy and fulfilling relationships.

I've been on a number of dates now but I'm always disappointed that I can't find the one. My friends say my standards are too high. Am I being too picky?

Let's unpack ‘picky’ a little and understand what makes it to your dating ‘checklist’. Do you bring a mental tape measure to your dates because certain characteristics have become dealbreakers? Does your date need to be able to do certain things like play a mean game of tennis or be able to recognise 20 unusual country flags? Or are your ‘dealbreakers’ more to do with how they view the world, their values, politics and personal visions for the future? Is how they make you feel the most important thing you consider? If your redundancy criteria are based on the former characteristics which create a spark for you, I gently encourage you to examine whether your search radar is doing you any favours. Whilst fire and spark is invigorating and gives you a dopamine hit, if you are after a long term relationship, alignment on values and life outlook are far more important for success.

Not to be underestimated is also the tyrant of expectation. Many people have really high expectations of themselves and others. These, sometimes unconscious, high expectations for ourselves and other people can serve as a coping mechanism to manage uncertainty and unpredictability. Perhaps the dating idea feels overwhelming, so having these high expectations feels like a guiderail and gives you a feeling of control over the unknown.

Read the full article here.