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Q: Am I being too picky – should I settle for second best, because I’m struggling to find Ms Right?

Dear KitschMix,

I’m struggling with this right now. I don’t know how “picky” I can afford to be, since the lesbian dating pool is so small in my home town. Maybe my standards are too high.

I recently broke up with a really sweet girl because I thought I wanted to be with someone I had more in common with.

It wasn’t that I was unhappy with her; it was just that I thought maybe there was someone out there who would be a better match. I did like her; I just thought I could like someone else more.

But now there’s the problem of there not being anyone else who I think is “as good” as her, and I’m wondering if I made the wrong decision.

A: Well, Reader, my answer to this question depends on what you mean by “settling”. I strongly believe there is a “right person” out there for everyone – but at the same time, there is no such thing as “perfect”. You have to take an inventory of the things that matter to you in a relationship, and decide which are the most important.

For example, the reason you gave – someone you have more in common with. Common traits and interests are a wonderful thing, because they help us to understand a person better, and sometimes they even help us decide who we want to date. But not having everything in common is actually a blessing, as it allows you to have your own autonomy.

Picture your future: Are you going to want to be with someone who you spend every minute with? Most likely not, because having a “shadow” can get irritating after a while. Ideally, you should be seeking someone who you have some things in common with, but who accepts your differences as a part of who you are.

In other words, it’s not as important that you be similar as it is that you be compatible.

If you’re a vegan, for example, you probably won’t want to date someone who’s an avid hunter, just as someone who’s highly religious won’t likely be happy with someone who’s a self-proclaimed heathen. (I’m not saying that I believe anyone is truly a “heathen” by a broad definition, but I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.)

This girl who you broke up with. Were the differences things that truly clashed, or were they just differences? I strongly feel that you should never settle for someone who doesn’t mesh well with your core values. They don’t necessarily have to agree with you on everything, but they shouldn’t fight you on it, either.

In my own relationship, my partner has long wanted her partner to carry a child. But I made the decision when I was much younger that I would rather be an adoptive parent – I have genetic traits that I choose not to pass along to a child. To me, it didn’t matter if my future child was biologically related to my partner or if we both adopted – just that I did not conceive and give birth to a child.

It caused a bit of tension in the beginning, as she was convinced that I was going to change my mind, and I was quite adamant that I had made my mind up 20 years ago (yes, I made the decision at a very young age). However, as our relationship grew, we reached a compromise: I have a brother who would be willing to donate on my behalf, in order to conceive a child that would be biologically related to me. I was willing to accept the idea of us using a surrogate in order to have a child when we’re ready. She came around and realized that who carries the child is not as important as who raises the child – a family is built on love, after all.

If I were you, I would probably try to get back in touch with the girl you broke up with, although depending on how you left the break-up that may not be possible. If she’s not willing to give it a second chance, you have to respect that.

However, before you do anything, it’s important that you take an inventory of the things you want out of a partner and determine which you are absolutely not able to live without. If your partner meets all of your requirements, but not necessarily all of your requests, give it a chance! You never know. That “imperfect person” could be exactly what you need.

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