You’ve fielded profile pictures of men who didn’t bother to put on a beamng life, endured first dates with clowns who asked about your favorite sexual position, and yawned through coffee with guys who yammered on and on about themselves.

You asked yourself, “Is this as good as it gets?”

And then, if you’re like too many women, you went home and said to yourself, “I wonder if he likes me.”

Because of the unnecessary pressure society puts on females to marry (yes, even in 2012), some women are so focused on getting a second date, getting a relationship off the ground, and finally getting to show up at a family event with a ring on their finger, they can’t think straight. It doesn’t matter if they’re 20 or 64.

They don’t know if they’re being too picky. They don’t know if they’re not being picky enough. They ignore a man’s obvious faults (a man who freaks out when he forgets where he left the car now will be hell on wheels later). Tip: Don’t date anyone who exhibits qualities you wouldn’t accept in a friend.

Next time you come home from a date, ask yourself a new question: “Do I like him?”

But, before you can answer that question, you have to know what you want in a man. Do you know? Here’s how to find out:

Write down a list of the qualities you don’t want in a man. Think back to all the clods who disappointed you. Now list their most rotten qualities. If you had a bad relationship with your father, think about his less-than-stellar traits and list them, too. Then, find the opposite for each of those qualities and put them on paper.

For example: You dated a cheater. You want the opposite of a cheater. Jot “faithful” on your list.

Writing down the qualities you want helps you to recognize a man who possesses those qualities. The very act of putting down in black and white what you want helps ensure you get what you want.

Another thing: Have you ever been on the fence about a guy you’re dating? A list of the qualities you desire helps you determine whether you should keep seeing him or not. After you get home, consult that trusty piece of paper with your desires on it, and see how the man measures up.

This may sound silly to you. It may sound too simple to work. Do it anyway. Do it now.

A lot of women date the same type of guy over and over again. They’re drawn to that type. The same type of men are also drawn to those women, but when a woman steps back and decides where she’s gone wrong, she can break the pattern. Once she knows what will make her truly happy, she’s less likely to be attracted to her former type. (And if she is attracted, she’s armed with the awareness to give a faulty guy the slip.)

If you’ve tried online dating, you know there are a lot of faulty guys out there looking for action. But once you’ve written your list, you can set your bar for better men. Excellent men exist, but you have to weed out the duds before you can find them.

(NOTE: Having high standards is not the same thing as being critical. A man who mistakes a salad fork for a dinner fork may be a much better catch than some guy who takes phone calls during dinner. Having high standards is not the same thing as being unfriendly. Smile. Be welcoming. Always make a man glad he met you. You can decide if you like him when you get home.)

And once you set your bar, keep it high.

That means, if you don’t want sex, don’t let some clown coax you into checking out the art collection he keeps in his apartment. If you want a laid back man, don’t date anyone who gives a waitress a hard time.

Also, never mistake a series of text messages for a relationship. Text messages are merely words on a screen. Devious men (and women) have been known to send the same flirtatious text to multiple unwitting recipients. Remember, relationships are built eye-to-eye. If a man wants you, let him make time for you. Let him reach for you.

High standards may keep you alone longer, but wouldn’t you rather be alone than waste life fretting about some jerk who treats you like a yo-yo? Use your time alone to love yourself, to treat yourself as you want a man to treat you (how do you want a man to treat you? Have you thought about it?). Always talk to yourself as you would a beloved child.

Men will start to pick up on this. Correction: Better men will start to pick up on this.

Don’t waste your time with any guy who doesn’t treat you as well as you treat yourself. Set your sights on a happy, satisfying, drama-free relationship. You don’t have time for anything else.

This is your life we’re talking about.

write by harris