Give Your “Picker” A Tune Up

One thing that friends often hear me say is, “your picker is broken!”

Why is it that sometimes a person can end up dating dud…after dud…after dud? It’s often about who you choose to allow into your life and getting your priorities in order for what kind of person you really want to be with.

So, how can someone go about finding Mr. or Ms. Right if you are constantly going after the same person in different wrapping…or just dating plain ‘ol duds? Well, according to this great article in Psychology Today, here are 10 tips to help you identify and choose a good partner in life.

Barton Goldsmith, PhD shares the following ten things to do while driving the dating super highway:

1. People will tell you exactly who they are; it’s up to you to listen. If someone says they’re usually in a bad mood or don’t know how to be monogamous, hear what they are saying and don’t think you can change them.

2. Take a test drive. Go for an eight-hour drive with your intended. Whatever difficulties you may have will make themselves painfully obvious. This test is not for the faint of heart or for those with heart conditions.

3. Look for someone who is kind and loving. If you’re really lucky, your partner will also have a family who taught him or her how to be that way. Having in-laws who treat you like a member of the family will make your life much nicer.

4. Make sure the person you’re seeing doesn’t smoke, even if you do. If he or she is a nonsmoker, it may get you to stop. Think of it this way: you’re choosing happiness over death.

5. Find someone you can talk to. As time passes, this quality is more important than looks, money, or position. If you can’t talk to your partner or cry on his or her shoulder, it’s not going to be a good match.

6. Make sure you have the basics in common. For example, if one of you wants children and the other doesn’t, it’s a deal breaker. Spiritual and political differences can also be difficult to deal with. As we age, our feelings in these areas tend to intensify.

7. Make sure that you have enough differences that, if you are unable to go out, you can still entertain each other. If someone is just like you, it might get a little boring as time goes by.

8. Physical compatibility has more to do with touch than it does with sex. If you’re a tactile person, you need to be with someone who shares that desire. People’s desire for sex changes over a lifetime, but our need for touch remains fairly constant.

9. Beware of people who want to get married immediately. Engagements were created for a reason. They used to call them “handfasts,” and they lasted for a year and a day. Things move much quicker these days, but it’s wise to know someone for at least six months before getting engaged.

10. Find someone who makes you laugh. A sense of humor can help you overcome many of life’s obstacles. If someone can make you smile when you don’t feel like it, that’s a great quality.

All this good advice said, it’s still important to closely observe the words and actions of your intended partner over time. Remember that prospective partners are essentially strangers, no matter how charming , how well-intended they seem or how much potential you think they might have. They still need to prove who they really are to you.

So the next time you are lamenting the number of frogs in your dating rotation, remember that you will get your prince (or princess) if you give your “picker” a tune up and be on the look-out for the qualities and behaviors that bring real connection and happiness.

Any other tips we should add to this list? Tell me about them…

To check out the full article in Psychology Today, go to:

Photo credit:  glennharper Flickr photostream


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Categories: Tips


I'm a married publicist who holds a Master's degree in psychology, with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. I'd like to make the world a better relationship at a time.

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8 Comments on “Give Your “Picker” A Tune Up”

  1. October 24, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Love this!
    Keep up the good work and ill keep visiting your blog 🙂

    -Chris Styles

  2. pheartstring
    October 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    This is really interesting! I may have to keep this and store it away somewhere. As a single girl, I need all the help I can get!

  3. October 25, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    Thanks Chris! I hope you keep reading!
    PS _ I really like your site too!

  4. October 28, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    I have a great “picker” apparently.. lol My boyfriend is pretty amazing. We actually both smoked when we first met each other, and quit together about 5 months in to the relationship. I think it made our relationship stronger and showed that together we can accomplish a lot.

  5. October 29, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    Thanks for reading pheartstring!

  6. October 29, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Tamariez: What a great thing to do together! As you can see from my other post I really believe that when you see your coupleselves as on the same team, it really bonds you together! Sounds like you do indeed have a great “picker.” 🙂

  7. November 21, 2011 at 1:22 am #

    whoah this blog is excellent i love reading your articles. Keep up the great work! You know, many people are looking around for this info, you could help them greatly.

  8. December 5, 2011 at 4:49 am #

    LOL! I knew that I was going to marry my husband when we went on a roadtrip that was supposed to last 16 hrs and ended up being 21hrs. He didn’t get mad at me even a smidge, even though it was my fault. We also ended up staying at a bed and breakfast that was 65 miles from where everyone else was staying. That actually turned out to be a good thing, and again, he didn’t get mad at all. He was so easy going and laid back, and exactly what I wanted after 12 years and two marriages full of waaaaaay too much drama. We’ve been married almost nine years now.

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