This has been bugging me for the past 30 minutes. It's basically some sort of specific criteria you hold in order to even consider dating someone, like "My girlfriend has to like Star Wars," or "My Boyfriend needs to be muscular" or something of the like.
It's also a Slang term.

  • 2
    Are you asking a word for the set of criteria, the person who demands the criteria, or the general concept of having a set of criteria? You question is not that clear.
    – aaa90210
    Jun 1, 2015 at 23:39
  • 8
    Deal-breaker (if the person doesn't have the quality).
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 1, 2015 at 23:49
  • 3
    Or a must-have Jun 2, 2015 at 1:28
  • 1
    I'd say the guy has very specific taste in women. Jun 2, 2015 at 6:55
  • Isn't this person just "selective"?
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 1, 2015 at 11:36

3 Answers 3


Picky--(adj.) The word describes someone whose standards for choosing a girlfriend or mate are so high that hardly anyone qualifies. 'Pickiness' (noun) is often used to explain the continued bachelorhood of very eligible men and women who remain single well into middle age and beyond. It's a refusal to settle or compromise one's lofty standards in romantic relationships.


I am not sure if this is what you are thinking about, but if something does not meet minimum standards or requirements, you would say it is not up to snuff.

up to snuff and up to scratch
Fig. as good as is required; meeting the minimum requirements.
Sorry, Tom. Your performance isn't up to snuff. You'll have to improve or find another job.
My paper wasn't up to scratch, so I got an F.
The Free Dictionary by Farlex

  • That makes it sound like you actually think the person isn't good enough, rather than just not being the kind of person you want to date. I might say a guy isn't up to snuff if he's boorish or abusive, but not if I just want someone who's more into Star Wars. Feb 2, 2017 at 18:05
  • @MissMonicaE: I read criteria as a minimum standard. If it is just a matter of taste, I would use cup of tea.
    – jxh
    Feb 2, 2017 at 18:52
  • the Star Wars example makes me think it's just a matter of taste (whereas up to snuff sounds like a semi-objective value judgment), although the muscles thing is more ambiguous. Feb 2, 2017 at 19:29
  • @MissMonicaE: I have always understood different people would have different ideas for snuff. The subjective criteria itself could theoretically be applied objectively by a third party (such as a match maker, or online dating site).
    – jxh
    Feb 2, 2017 at 19:33

Not specific for dating, and not a slangword either, "a prerequisite" seems to fit.

  • "required or necessary as a prior condition" TFD
  • "something that you officially must have or do before you can have or do something else" MW


  • "Dedication is a prerequisite to promotion in our institution."
  • "A strong personality is a prerequisite to leadership."
  • "I'm not the type of guy who dates any woman. Sweetness and a quiet demeanor are prerequisites."

also appropriate, as Fumble Fingers suggested in his comment, "Sweetness and a quiet demeanor are "a must-have".

  • "It's also a Slang term."
    – Carl Smith
    Jun 2, 2015 at 1:38
  • @CarlSmith "prerequisite" a slang-word ?
    – Centaurus
    Jun 2, 2015 at 1:39
  • Why the downvote? It would be helpful to say why.
    – Centaurus
    Jun 2, 2015 at 1:44
  • 2
    @CarlSmith's comment was probably intended to point out that you did not include the criterion that the word was supposed to be slang ('prerequisite' is definitely not slang).
    – Mitch
    Jun 2, 2015 at 2:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.