Today I want to talk about the concept of MPR – minimum physical requirement. Let’s talk about this concept as it applies to dating.
This concept is used in many types of organizations. For example in certain countries you need a minimum level of eyesight to join the air force, and you need to be a certain age, health condition and be able to do a number of sit ups and pushups to join the military. In the modeling industry for eligibility for high-end runway shows, women need to be at least 5’8 and men at least 6’0 in order to fit most designer’s clothes.
This concept of “minimum requirements” applies to many social situations. For example, back when I worked at Google, we had certain GPA requirements to even be considered for an interview. In school, you needed at least a D- to pass a class. You need to get 83% to pass the written test to get your license from the DMV (Department Of Motor Vehicles, US). For immigration purposes, there are minimum requirements for financial, work and education experience. The world has minimum requirements not only to screen out people who don’t pass, but to reward the people who do and ensure there is a higher likelihood they will succeed after they pass.
While it’s not often talked about, after working with hundreds of clients over the last 10 years I can say that most people have a MPR when it comes to dating. They just don’t think about it consciously.
An MPR is simply the minimum physical desire of a client when it comes to dating if their partner has all of the non-physical qualities they are looking for in a relationship. Generally, women have a more fluid MPR than men. It’s an important concept to help clients search more effectively for their ideal date, and also know when rigid requirements are actually hurting their chances for success.
Let’s look at a theoretical MPR example. Remember, this is the worst case scenario – it’s the final deal breaker if she has everything else you’re looking for non physically.
For example, a client may have the following MPRs for a girl:
“At least 5’4. This is because I’ve dated shorter girls and being 6’5 I didn’t like the height difference. I prefer girls who are skinner because I like someone who takes care of their body. I’ve also dated non-skinny girls enough times to know that’s not my preference and it’s not likely to change.”
So his MPR sheet can look like this.
- At least 5’5 | Medium (flexible)
- Skinny to slightly above average weight ratio/BMI
- Cute face I find attractive
- Fashionable – can dress well when going out and look good
In talking to many of my female friends or clients, their MPRs could like this:
- Taller than me
- Nice smile
- Keeps fit
- Doesn’t dress badly (or at least open to her feedback)
- Financially stable, able to have family (at least 100k a year in major city)
Your MPR may change depending on circumstances, so keep this flexible. You may go out with a girl who’s shorter but still find her fun and attractive. The goal of the MPR sheet is to crystalize your idea of what you’re willing to accept and help you focus on what you want.
Now, the ideal partner exercise creates an opposite scale of what you’re looking for. You’re going to list qualities that you want physically and non physically, and then on the 2nd column how important that is to you. There are 3 categories of importance: deal breaker, flexible, and bonus.
Here’s an example of a male client:
Ideal physical qualities
- Skinny – deal breaker
- Cute to me – deal breaker
- Not taller than me – flexible
- Nice body – flexible
- Long hair – deal breaker
- Tan skin/look – bonus
- Can cook – Bonus
- Good kisser – flexible if willing to learn
- Good in bed – flexible if willing to learn
Before you judge men here’s an example of a female client:
Ideal physical qualities
- At least 5’8 – deal breaker
- Not overweight – deal breaker
- In shape / works out – flexible
- Broad shoulders – bonus
- Funny/makes me laugh – deal breaker
- Listens – deal breaker
- Doesn’t cheat – deal breaker
- Financially well off – flexible to a point
- Good in bed – flexible if willing to learn
So, now you have 2 visions for what you’re looking for. One for your MPR, basically your minimum level of physical requirements for your ideal partner and and your ideal requirements – and which ones are deal breakers or not.
This exercise helps my clients identify what they really want and helps their Reticular Activation System hone in on the types that fit into their ideal profile.
Now. Some troubleshooting:
- Sometimes you want a quality but you’re not sure it’s a deal breaker. For example, maybe I’m not sure if under 5’4 would bother me, so I go ahead and date a few. For some people, it’s not an issue. For others, they just can’t wrap their head around it. It’s a big pool of singles out there, don’t fret. The key is to experience and learn about what you like and don’t like.
- For those of you who may think this is objectification – the 2nd exercise really hones in on what’s important to you other than physical looks and many times I’d had clients who originally had a physical hard requirement only later to discover that it didn’t matter anymore down the line. In being able to identify what’s important to you it will help you better find the right type.
- Some clients may have unrealistic expectations in their MPR given where they are in terms of “society’s standards” – in this case, I have them imagine they were in the role of their MPR or their ideal girl – and I would ask them to do these exercises based on what they think their ideal girl would want. When they see the contrast, they either change their blueprint, or they double down on getting in shape or getting to become the ideal guy that the girl wants. And vice versa.
- Sometimes you’ll have a person say they don’t have an MPR and they’re not superficial like that. I would say in my experience I’d never come across such a client. Everyone has a basic idea of what they’re attracted to and what they would like to date. In these situations I encourage them to go out with anyone they want, and see if they enjoy it. Most of the time, the guy or girl comes back and says they prefer someone taller/shorter/more muscular/nicer body. I’ve only met 1-2 couples who met in high school who are still together and appear happy in the last 15 years of coaching. And chances are, they fell in love so early they probably never got to really hone in and develop their MPR in the dating market. In Chinese we call this “qin mei xu ma”
- Another situation I get is an extremely rigid idea of MPR – certain clients just won’t budge. “I won’t even consider a guy who’s like 6’0 and athletic and rich” or “she has to be model height, model bust, model waist and look like a model at all times with makeup” Now, if this person is really at that level, usually they doesn’t need me as a coach. Maybe Dan Bilzerian before his company got into trouble or an A-list actress. To be honest most of the time, it’s an unrealistic expectation. In LA, sometimes I can get them 1-2 dates with a person like that, and they quickly realize there’s other things they don’t like about that person – it’s all an illusion – this happens a lot in LA with Instagram models… or they are happy for a while by sticking to superficial stuff and then becoming too clingy or realizing that ideal physical doesn’t mean a great match long term. Most of the time though, they end up dating someone who matches their ideal but not exactly, and as they get to know them, they realize how cool the other person is and end up in a relationship.
MPR maps are often used subconsciously by men and women for hookups, while ideal partner maps are used to evaluate potential relationships.
I once had a client who felt shame after sleeping with someone who she felt was below her standards. Using these exercises she became more aware, even when out drinking of her MPR. It also helped her avoid otherwise dangerous situations when she identified a particular creepy vibe from a certain type of guy and later learned to avoid that.
I had a male client who had unrealistic expectations of his ideal partner. When he did the ideal girl exercise in reverse, he realized he had to change himself to become her ideal to get the type of girls he really wants. He’s since worked on himself and also lowered his ideal standards to better match his blueprint. More importantly, he started dating a few girls and realized some of his “deal breakers” were not deal breakers at all… once he realized he actually likes the girl he’s hanging out with.
I’ve created a spreadsheet that you can download with examples of MPRs and ideal qualities. You can make a copy of this sheet and do your own MPR exercise using the link in the description. The next time you’re out, on a dating app or talking to someone who’s a potential date, you’ll have a much clearer idea of what you are looking for and a higher chance of achieving your dating goal.
Q: What if I fall in love with someone below my MPR?
That’s great! The whole point of the MPR exercise is to get you thinking about the things you really want in a partner. You may experience feelings and learn more about yourself – “Oh, I guess that doesn’t matter” as you fall in love and get to know the person. The things that are really important to you will start to surface. In the beginning however, it helps clients hone in on what they think they want so they have at least a working hypothesis. As you gain more experience you can determine for yourself what the truth is, and what you really want out of your love life.
Q: What about guys or girls who say they don’t care about these things?
Watch their behavior versus what they say. Some people simply don’t care but I would say in my experience, the majority of people place at least some importance to physical traits, even if they say they don’t care.