“Lisa. I’m just picky. That’s the first thing you need to know.”

And I get it. You are successful, smart and savvy person. You know what you’re looking for and you’re ready for that love of your life.

So, there’s nothing inherently wrong with being “picky.” You don’t have time to say “yes” to everyone and everything.

Plus, being picky in other areas of your life has probably served you pretty well. You’re selective about the work you do, the apartment you live in, the clothes you wear, etc.

In your professional life, you’re killing it. Those selective choices played a huge role in getting you where you are today.

But when it comes to finding a partner, many times, you think you’re being picky when you’re actually being limiting.

How to tell the difference? I have three guidelines to help you out . . .

Pick 3, Not 12.

I am not telling you to ditch your standards. What I am telling you is to take a good, hard look at your dating criteria and get rid of the nonessentials.

My general rule of thumb? You get to have 3 hard-and-fast must-haves, not 12.

If you want to get technical, write down all your ideal traits in a romantic partner. Number them out and be as ridiculously detailed as you want.

Then, play the elimination game.

When you get to the marrow of what you want in a romantic partner, how many of the items on your list just don’t matter?

Sure, it’d be nice if he was at least 3 inches taller than you and lived in a neighborhood less than 30 minutes away.

It’d be nice if she was a Knicks fan who also loves Monty Python.

But in the grand scheme of life and love, you could probably do without those things . . . right?

It might help if you focus on how you want your partner to make you feel, rather than specific qualities that he or she might have.

Try this…

“My ideal partner will ­­___________________ (make me laugh/encourage me/believe in me/make me feel safe/fill-in-the-blank).

Will you eliminate all of your slightly more superficial preferences by going deep?  No. And that’s okay. (Maybe he just HAS to be tall, for example.)

But use this as an opportunity to get real with yourself and what’s important to you. Keep 3, ditch the rest.

Chances are, you’ll find that much of what you’ve written down is actually limiting you, not helping you find love.

To stay focused, continually ask yourself the following question. . .

Do I Want a Date or a Partner?

What makes someone a good date does not necessarily make them a good partner.

A good date is fun and exciting—maybe even a little wild and adventurous.

A good partnership will sustain you through the highs and lows of your life. Pretty big difference, right?

Sure, a good partner will also be a good date. But don’t confuse the two. When you’re looking for the long-term, fancy exteriors, convenience and oodles of charm just won’t stack up against a nurturing spirit and kind heart.

This is what a matchmaker can help you do a lot faster than doing it by yourself. We focus on someone who is truly right for you – not just in the moment – but for a long-term, healthy relationship.

Whether you are looking to become a client or meet a client, we make it a point to be your wingwoman and have 20+ years of happy couples under our belts.

The easiest way to decide what you need is to come in and meet us. We can help you choose what’s best for your dating journey.

You can get started here.

With the “date vs. partner” criteria in mind, take a look back at your answers from #1 for the next step …

Start with 3, Then Go Beyond

Once you have your 3 non-negotiables, go inside them. Play with them. Expand them.

What would it look like if you got creative with your list?     

Maybe she’s not the perfect age you imagined your match would be. But is she young at heart? Maybe your ideal number is standing in the way of true love.

Remember, you can keep the essence of your “must-haves” and ditch the specifics.

The more open you can be, the more opportunities come your way—and the greater your chance of finding real, lasting love.

I leave you with this: you don’t always know what’s best for you.

We’ve all heard those stories, right? “I said I’d never marry an outdoorsy person. And then I met my mountaineer husband and within a year, we were climbing Kilimanjaro together.”

When it comes to love, remember to keep your eyes on the bigger picture and don’t sweat the small stuff. Stay open. Allow yourself to be surprised. You might be amazed at what happens.