Lovehoney has surveyed 2,000 Brits to discover the reasoning behind our selectivity when dating while partnering with a relationship expert to give insights into our dating habits.
The rise in focus and attention to mental health has changed how we practice and perceive connections and relationships. Those results are quite significant when it comes to dating.
The ‘pickiness’ comes from a place of defence, in a positive sense. Individuals are not only becoming more aware of what they like and dislike in a partner, but they’re also being more mindful of what could cause them disappointment in the future. Thus, making them ‘picky’ regarding the people they choose to date or not.
Being unwilling to settle for less than they deserve
The survey found that over a third (37%) of Brits agreed that being unwilling to settle for less than they deserve was the main driver of their selectivity while dating.
Relationship expert Callisto Adams adds: ‘Being less willing or unwilling to settle for less than you deserve makes you more selective of your romantic (or potentially romantic) partner(s) since you’re not looking for ‘anyone’, you’re looking for ‘someone’.’
‘You set particular criteria, expectations, and values you’d like to see in a partner, hence that ‘anyone’ becomes a ‘someone’. Meaning you’re not settling for anyone for the sake of partnership, you’re choosing to settle with someone for a healthy and happy partnership.’
Learning to love yourself
A third (34%) of Brits also stated that learning to love themselves was another key reason they have become more picky while finding a potential partner.
Sexologist Ness Cooper states: ‘We’re now more aware than ever of the importance of not people pleasing and listening to our own needs. More information is also being shared about our different options for loving ourselves.’
‘In the past, loving ourselves had more social stigmas around how we should and shouldn’t do it, which never worked out very well for anyone as it often missed the things that made the individual feel as if they were listening to themselves and loving themselves.’
‘We also now talk more about emotions and navigating these; as a result, there’s more acceptance for a trial-and-error approach when it comes out who we are and what we want.’
You are raising your standards for a partner
Almost one in four (24%) Brits say raising their standards for a partner has made them pickier when finding ‘the one.
Callisto states: ‘Having particularly high standards for a partner makes you ‘pickier’ since not many people can meet those standards. So you instead go through several people, meeting or analysing them until you find someone who meets those standards.’
One in six (16%) admitted talking stages made them more selective when considering a potential partner.
Callisto adds: ‘The talking stages tend to slow the pace of connections keeping the focus on one’s personality, preferences, likes, and dislikes.’
‘When a person has particular expectations for a partner, the talking stages tend to put one’s characteristics above the surface. When one approaches the other while knowing exactly what they want in a partner, the talking stage brings out these qualities, making it easier for a person to decide whether that is ‘the right’ partner or the one they’re looking for.’
Friends with benefits
Over one in ten (11%) admitted the rise of friends with benefits has made them more selective when considering a potential partner.
Ness Cooper states: ‘It’s becoming easier to compartmentalise different types of relationships and intimate needs away from romantic ones. People are learning that sex and intimacy do not have to be tied in with romance.’
‘Some studies have shown that more people are happy to seek out consensual sexual encounters to gain intimate connections without romance. Dating apps and profiles are also making it easier for people to state what they are looking for, whether a committed relationship or a casual one, so there is no need to have an awkward conversation that may lead to a misunderstanding.’