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Is there any better word than picky?

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Could be lonely? – z7sg Ѫ Jun 6 '11 at 14:17
Virgin (somewhat tongue-in-cheek). – jyc23 Jun 10 '11 at 2:03
up vote 3 down vote accepted

How about romantic (or relational) perfectionist?

They developed the Multidimensional Romantic Perfectionism Questionnaire (MRPQ), to assess seven aspects of romantic perfectionism [...] (7) prescribed romantic perfectionism for one's partner (i. e., the tendency to have rigid, inflexible standards for one's own romantic partner).

"The Effects of Romantic Perfectionism on Disclosure in Romantic Relationships," Dustin P. Bailey William E. Snell, Jr.

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fastidious might fit in that description


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You might consider "particular" as in "She's very particular about prospective mates."

From The Free Online Dictionary:

particular [pəˈtɪkjʊlə] adj ... 4. exacting or difficult to please, esp in details; fussy

If that's not strong enough, you could use over-particular.

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The closest I could find is non-random mating without resorting to words like "discriminating", "selective":

Even without the intervention of farmers, most animals select mates carefully--they do not mate randomly. Charles Darwin noted this fact in his 1871 book Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. He suggested that mate selection is a powerful force of evolution similar in its effect to natural selection. This idea was widely rejected in Darwin's time, but later research showed that he was correct.

see also assortative mating or assortative pairing

Assortative mating (also called assortative pairing) is the phenomenon where a sexually reproducing organism chooses to mate with individuals that are similar (positive assortative mating) or dissimilar (negative assortative mating) to itself in some specific manner. In evolution, these two types of assortative mating have the effect, respectively, of increasing or reducing the range of variation (trait variance), when the assorting is cued on heritable traits. Positive assortative mating, therefore, results in disruptive natural selection, and negative assortative mating results in stabilized natural selection.

using those terms you could probably use something like "assortative selection" or "positive assortative selection". If someone was picky in the opposite sense (i.e. going for more diversity) then it would be disassortive mating (or arguably, "pairing"):

Disassortative sexual selection is a form of sexual selection in which one sex chooses the other, in such a way that the offspring benefits from the diversity of the parental genotypes

You can also try homogamy (or "homogamous")

Homogamy is marriage between individuals who are, in some culturally important way, similar to each other. Homogamy may be based on socio-economic status, class, gender, ethnicity, or religion. It is a form of assortative mating.It can also refer to the socialization customs of a particular group; such that people who are similar in religion, class, gender, or culture tend to socialize with one another.

or even heterogamy or "heterogamous":

In a sociology, heterogamy refers to a marriage between two individuals that differ in a certain criterion, and is contrasted with homogamy for marriage or union between partners that match according to that criterion. For example, ethnic heterogamy refers to marriages involving individuals of different ethnic groups. Age heterogamy refers to marriages involving partners of significantly different ages. Heterogamy and homogamy are also used to describe marriage or union between people of unlike and like sex (or gender) respectively.

so to answer you question - that person might probably a non-random mate selector/an assortative selector/a disassortative selector/a homogamist/a heterogamist

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+1 for homogamy and (if I could) another for heterogamy. I'm using these the next time anyone allows me near a discussion of same-sex marriage. – PSU Jun 6 '11 at 17:22

She's too choosy about mates.

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Too Picky / Too Selective

For example,

She's too selective when it comes to romantic partners. That's why she's never found one.


She's too picky when it comes to romantic partners. That's why she's never found one.

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