Avoid partial matches to boost your self-respect

In the course of your life, you’ll meet many potential matches.

Jobs you can take—or not. People you’ve gone on a date with and could go on a second date with—or not. Annoying past clients for whom you could do another project—or not.

If you’re doubting whether to pursue these matches, if they’re not an obvious “yes”, then they are partial matches. 

It isn’t always easy to avoid partial matches, and sometimes you’ve got no choice. But, as often as you can, look for matches you’re excited about. Or, as Mark Manson puts it: Fuck Yes or No.

Here’s a question to ask yourself when you’re wondering whether to pursue a potential match: “If I already had plenty of similar things, would I do this?”

So, for example, if you had already met someone you want to go on a second date with, would you still want to go on a second date with this person you’re not sure about right now? (Or are you actually considering going on a second date with the partial match person because you’re afraid to be alone? Or because you think you should be going on lots of dates?)

Or, for instance, if you already had plenty of good clients, would you work with this client again? If the answer is “hell no” then… maybe avoid this client.

When good matches seem scarce, it’s tempting to lower your standards. Don’t.

The number one benefit to avoiding partial matches—to not settling—is that you will improve your self-respect. That will boost your confidence, which makes you more attractive, regardless of whether that’s attractive in dating, in business, or in another domain.


— Peter

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