Do you have a list of everything that your date must have in order to make it from date #1 to date #2 with you? Do you find yourself scrolling through profiles online and dismissing 99% of them because they just don’t make the cut? When someone sends you a picture of a potential fix-up and you’re not 100% attracted to them, do you decline the date even though you heard amazing things about them?

Having high standards is mega important and I encourage you to have them, as it shows a genuine respect for yourself and what you deserve.

However, if you truly do respect and love yourself, then you will do what you can to maximize the opportunity to meet the right one for you. When you are manifesting love, it’s important to let down your walls in order to be more open to something that might be slightly different from what you were looking for in the past. It’s important to be open so that you don’t pass up a possible opportunity to meet the love of your life.

While lists are important for what you want in a partner, if you get too specific, you might find yourself discarding a mate with a lot of long-lasting juicy potential.

Of course, you’ve heard the cliché, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and often you roll your eyes at the message but hear me out. If you can change your outlook on dating to a more open-minded one, your life will change… more specifically, your LOVE life will change.

Let’s go back a few years to the fall of 1999, the year I graduated college (ok that’s more than a few years ago but you get the point). I was probably the pickiest single girl out there. My guy had to be at least six feet tall (preferably at least 6’1” or 6’2”), dark hair, nicely built and he had to like sports. I’m not even a huge sports fan, (except for my Chicago Cubbies) but HE had to like sports… doesn’t make sense I know, but it made sense to me somehow.

He had to have a nice head of hair and if he had facial hair that was a bonus. I liked the facial hair to be around day four post-shaving. Ok I’m exaggerating but yes, a little scruff on his face was ideal. He had to look put-together, but he couldn’t be too nicely dressed because that would mean that he was into fashion or something and that wasn’t manly to me… so you get my point…. I WAS PICKY… and ridiculous! This routine went on until I had an eye-opening experience.

I was asked out by David, a guy who I had met briefly at a fundraiser a few weeks earlier; a mutual friend had introduced us. I clearly was soo not into him when we first met, that I hadn’t given that encounter a second thought. I accepted the date because I thought I had nothing to lose and I didn’t want to disappoint our mutual friend. David took me to a lovely little Italian restaurant and the date started out like any other date. We did the small talk thing and had a little interview-type conversation. Although, as I honed-in and started to really listen to him talk about his life, I found myself feeling something for him. He became so much more than what I saw with my eyes, and what I had known about him on paper.

He was a good man who, through his words showed me that he was a kind soul. He loved his family (big points), and he had passions and interests outside of his job and that was intriguing and attractive to me. David was philanthropic; he told me that he volunteered at a homeless shelter on Sundays. In my mind I started thinking “you had me at volunteer;” not sure if there is anything more attractive than a man who gives back and cares about people less fortunate than him. He happened to have a very demanding job and didn’t have a lot of extra time on his hands, but the fact that he took the time to help people was UBER yummy!

So, there I was in the middle of enjoying my rigatoni primavera, and I found myself enjoying him also… like really enjoying him. I’m a pretty smiley girl, but this was taking it to another level. My whole body, mind and soul were smiling. He literally became more physically attractive as I found myself looking into his eyes. Hold the fort- how could this be happening? An hour earlier I hadn’t been the slightest bit attracted to this human, and there I was experiencing something for the first time; “Attraction after an initial non-attraction”… needless to say, my mind was blown.

Attraction grows when getting to know someone:

I had always heard of the concept of attraction growing when getting to know someone, but I personally had never experienced it, and my picky self never thought that it could happen to me, until that evening. I started to wonder, did he notice the shift in me? Was it obvious? Was I drooling, because I felt like I was drooling. After dinner, he was a perfect gentleman and drove me home and gave me a very romantic kiss – I was hooked. David and I dated for a while but ultimately, he wasn’t the right man for me, Even though, in the end David wasn’t my Prince Charming, I’m sharing this story with you in the hopes that you don’t let someone pass you by because he parts his hair on the left instead of the right or she listens to country music and you like rap.

BUT what I learned from that experience was life-changing! From then on, I went into every date with an open mind because I knew what could happen if I didn’t judge and I was open to every and all possible outcomes. That’s how I live my life today, and THAT’S how you manifest, my friends.

When you have no attachment to the outcome, then you are open, and the universe knows that it can deliver to you what you need – being open is being FREE… free from yourself and all of the barriers that we as humans tend to build against love without even knowing it. The never-ending list of “must-haves” can actually be a defense mechanism that keeps you from experiencing real love because when you have those lists, no one will ever be good enough. Also, when you have a tight hold on everything your partner needs to have, there is no room for the flow of life to enter and deliver what is meant to be.

My message to you is to throw out your long picky list and keep three non-negotiables; things that are extremely important to you, your life and your values. When you’re on the date, listen to the person and get to know their essence.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How do I feel in their presence?
  2. Am I having fun?
  3. Am I intrigued and want to know more about them?

Check in with yourself to learn more about what you like or don’t like about the person or the experience. Whether or not there is a second date, take those lessons with you into your next relationship.

Trust that the universe knows what you NEED more than what you WANT. The One will show up at the right time if you are open and surrender to all of the beautiful and magical things that are just waiting for you to discover. @theluvexpert (Click to Tweet!)

When you are open, you can receive. Remain open and watch all of the incredible experiences that come your way…. Oh, and feel free to let me know when they do.

Jaime Bronstein is a relationship coach, radio show host of “Love Talk Live” on LA Talk Radio, blogger, author, wife and mommy. She has been a practicing therapist for 18 years. Jaime has a master’s degree in social work from New York University, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University and a certificate in spiritual psychology from The University of Santa Monica. Jaime focuses on teaching her clients how to unconditionally love themselves, how to be vulnerable, tap into their inner strength, and live more authentically in order to achieve their relationship goals.  Jaime will not only help you heal and extinguish any negative relationship habits, but she will also provide you with the tools needed in order to have a successful relationship. Find her online at and catch her on-camera radio show. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Image courtesy of Jorge Gardner.