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If you are someone who has been single for awhile, your friends and relatives may talk down to you and tell you that the reason you are still alone is because you are “too picky.”

As women, we are taught to have high standards, but once we start to get to “that age,” suddenly everyone wants you to drop your wants and desires off and settle so that you don’t die aloneBut there is something to be said for being “picky,” as long as it comes from a place of confidence versus fear.

Dr. Jennifer B. Rhodes, licensed psychologist and relationship expert, and forthcoming author of Toxic Insecurity: Why Relationships Matter Most in Our Search for Love, Happiness, and Authentic Power, told Elite Daily that we have to learn the difference between discernment and fear.

“I love discerning people,” Rhodes says “They always make decisions from a place of love but with a strong dash of boundaries.”

However, “picky” people are sometimes operating from anxiety, fearing commitment because they think they will choose wrong. She told the site that when picky people are asked to make a decision, their ego keeps them indecisive versus their boundaries. They don’t trust themselves, so they don’t trust other people.

When picky people make decisions, their ego is actually the one at work. If a picky person insists on judging characteristics like height, financial status, and education as the only factors that matter in partnership, they are missing out on the character attributes that actually create a foundation for a healthy union. That’s not to say those things aren’t important, but to harp on those superficial aspects above all other qualities someone may bring to the table is picky.

On the other end, you can be overanalyzing potential suitors just to protect yourself from being hurt again.

Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist, relationship expert, and author of the new book Training Your Love Intuitiontold Elite Daily,

“Some of the most common fears are getting hurt or putting up with mistreatment for longer than you want to admit to yourself,” Wish said. “One of the most confounding experiences you hope never again to repeat is feeling fooled.”

“It can be wise to be picky,” she explained, and the tools can help you “gain some valuable maturity time for your brain.”

So as long as you can be self-aware enough to decide if your pickiness is a protective mechanism or a true, learned boundary, you will make the right choice.

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