Why Being Picky Gets You Nowhere

Some people like to flatter themselves.

It could be that they simply don’t get enough flattery from others.

Or it could be that self-delusion is the only way they can get through from dawn to porn.

There’s one phrase that you hear self-flatterators use quite often: “I’m very picky.”

This, they assume, shows them in a good light.

They believe it expresses discernment. They believe it speaks of them like bow-tied experts, examining a myriad objets d’art and deciding that only one or two are worthy of note.

Then, when they discover a potential lover that has enough looks and money (and possibly brains) to be worth of them, they pick them. Yes, they reach up toward the branches of the tree from which they’re hanging and just pull.

The picky, you see, are in this world to grab anyone they think is smashing. Love is like shopping. You browse, you sniff, you reject, until you find absolutely the right thing.

Can humans really be divided into two groups — the picky and the picked?

Do the picked stand by passively, hoping to get noticed by the picky, praying they don’t find them icky?

Such a system would make life very convenient. You’d decide early on whether you were partial to being picky or not.

If you weren’t, all you’d have to is wait. Sooner or later, someone who’s supremely picky would sidle up to you with their checklist.

The sheer glory of math would ensure that, at a certain point, your characteristics would be precisely those required by a picky person.


This way, the picked would constantly advertise themselves, passively or even actively. The picky would, like house buyers, seek the perfect home.

The picked would be grateful to be picked by the picky. The picky, on the other hand, would delight in the idea that their shopping list was finally complete.

Why doesn’t life turn out to be like this?

When I hear someone describe themselves as picky, I see only one thing: miserable whininess.

He doesn’t have this, she isn’t that, they complain.

It was great until he took his pants off and there was a large varicose vein, perched on his calf like a leech looking for lunch.

I thought she was Miss Right, until her right eye moved independently of her left. I died. So did love.

Why is it, then, that so many people fall for everything that wasn’t on their picky list?

How come everything we thought we wanted gets tossed to the oceans when we set eyes on someone of whom we say: “I just knew”?

When people say they’re picky, what they really mean is that they have no instincts or that they don’t trust them.

They’re like functionaries who need a rule book and will quote from it at every tricky turn.

They need the picky-list as a reference, a Bible and an excuse.

To describe yourself as picky is to say: “I know I’m so wonderful. I just can’t understand why there are so few people, if any, quite as wonderful as me.”

The picky are more likely to be petty and prickly.

When it comes to love, the most pointless thing in the world to be is picky.

You might as well date an Algernon or an algorithm. (No one could ever be happy with either.)

If you think that constantly rejecting people leads you to joy, love or even laughter, you’re going to have a rude awakening when you open your eyes one morning and realize you’re being picked at by vultures.

There’s a very simple reason that being picky gets you nowhere.

You don’t pick love. Love picks you.


Image: Synyster Gates/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk