Relationship Standards: How to Set Them to Attract the Right Man
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If you want to lower your relationship standards when you go out and meet men, try this.
Rip 10 shots of Fireball in under 2 minutes. Then you won’t feel feelings anymore. Trust me.
Your standards will vanish into the air like an eagle flying through the night!
On the other hand…if you do want to have high standards for the people you surround yourself with, and of course, the men you end up in a relationship with, I’ve got some advice that’s a bit different.
My goal with this video and article is to help you establish high relationship standards to attract true love…not to settle.
When I say “lowering your standards,” what comes to mind?
Most people assume it means going out and meeting people — ugly people — and hooking up with them because you’re drunk (and maybe don’t care so much about his looks).
But honestly, that’s not that the end of the world. If you’ve ever done that, if you’ve woken up next to someone who legitimately looks 5 points less attractive than they were the night before…the world kept turning, right? You probably learned your lesson fast (don’t talk to men after 10 shots of Fireball!).
But this isn’t about stupid one-night mistakes. I want to talk about what it really means to hold standards for finding love, and how to avoid lowering them as you go through the dating process which, admittedly, can be quite frustrating, especially if you’re 40 (or older) and single again.
The way I teach my relationship coaching clients, as well as the Sexy Confidence community, about setting relationship standards is by looking at it from two angles: one is people standards, and the other is relationship standards.
Let me explain.
1. People Standards
Think about the people you choose to invest your time in. In general, you’d like to think you have pretty high standards. Your friends are rock stars, so why would you lower your standards when it comes to the men you date?
When it comes to lowering your standards, most people kind of assume it happens overnight.
You, swiping on a dating app:
Nope, He’s ugly. Moving on!
Nope, he’s fat. Moving on!
Ooh, he’s hot, a doctor, and has a great 401K and a vacation house in Cape Cod. I’ll go for him!
In that moment, you feel good about yourself for upholding your “high standards.” After all, what could be higher than a successful doctor?
But here’s the thing: it doesn’t work that way.
The lowering of your standards is a gradual chiseling away. It’s a slow process.
In the example above: when it comes to that doctor, who looked fabulous on the dating app, you find out down the road that he’s a total jerk. Oh, and he’s got a pretty nasty drinking problem. Oh and then it turns out he doesn’t like to have sex and has gay porn search history on his laptop.
So…clearly what you thought was you having high standards when you totally judged this guy based on his dating profile didn’t end up being the truth. And actually, you would have low standards if you stuck with this guy, despite the fact that he didn’t meet any of your criteria for a partner other than his social status.
Your standards might creep down slowly. At first, you ignore how much he drinks because, hey, you like your bubbly too. You might choose to ignore what an ass he is to waiters when you’re out together. And before long, you look at the list of things that you’re deliberately overlooking, and that list is a lot longer than this guy’s positive attributes.
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Having high people standards doesn’t just mean weeding people out immediately…quite the opposite in fact. It means being open-minded at first to lots of different people, but being quick to leave a guy when you do find out that he’s not upholding the relationship standard you’ve set for yourself.
Questions to Ask Yourself About Your People Standards
So…where do your people standards fall right now?
If you have no problem attracting great guys, you probably can afford to be picky. But maybe you’ve had trouble meeting men (online and offline), and so whenever you do meet someone, you’re willing to come down in your standards quite a bit. It’s a date, right?? You don’t have to marry him!
While that’s absolutely true, and I do want to encourage you to loosen your expectation about the kind of man who will make you happy, sit for a minute for a quick gut check. Is there something you’re already ignoring just because you want to go on a date? Maybe he said something racist in your dating app and you chose to overlook it. Maybe he smokes, and usually, that’s a dealbreaker, but you decided maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.
You know your full-stop dealbreakers and relationship standards. (Interestingly, a study in the U.K. showed that for 71% of people, lack of cleanliness is the biggest dealbreaker when dating). If you have never, ever dated a smoker, do you really think this guy could be so magical that you’d forget how it makes you cough and your eyes water? Do you think he maybe didn’t mean the incredibly racist thing he said?
You hear me.
Rather than letting people slide initially, know the baseline of what you’re looking for in a man. He should be kind. Witty. Maybe into travel or cooking (though those might be nice-to-haves). It really shouldn’t matter what kind of job he has or what he drives because you know what? In the long run, those things can go away. But who he is as a person will never really change.
And if a guy starts out seeming great, don’t necessarily assume that’s the whole story. We tend to let people see more of who we really are over time, so you might learn in the weeks after you meet a man that he’s not as perfect as he first seemed. The key is reminding yourself of those high people standards and realizing that he’s never going to meet them.
2. Relationship Standards
For the second aspect of having high standards, we look at relationship standards. Realize: you can have high people standards but low relationship standards.
Let me explain: sometimes you can choose a good guy to date, but still, the relationship doesn’t work. It’s neither of your faults. You just aren’t compatible. It’s like some chemicals. Some combine to form unique substances, while others are toxic and highly combustible. Consider that you’re one of those chemicals. It’s only natural that you won’t combine well with everyone you date.
This is the worst, to me. You know the guy you’re dating is amazing. You know you’re not sweeping any of his negative attributes under the rug. So why does this relationship not work?? That’s just how it is, my dear. I’m truly sorry.
Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Relationship Standards
So how can you set high relationship standards?
Be aware of how the two of you work together…or don’t.
Are you constantly fighting? Do you always want a night away from him? That’s probably a sign that you’re not jibing.
And it may not be that you argue a lot. It may be that you want different things for the future. Maybe you don’t want to get remarried, but he’s looking for his next wife…and mother of his children. Maybe your career comes first right now, and it’s just too hard to manage a healthy relationship and work at this point in your life.
Upholding your high relationship standards means you might have to leave a really great guy because he’s not what you need (nor are you what he needs). It can be tough, and it can hurt both of you, but it’s better to end the relationship now before you lower your relationship standards any further.
The first step to establishing both those people and relationship standards is truly believing that you are a high-value woman. You have to believe that you are worth whatever standards you set, and that slipping on those standards only means you’re feeling less than confident.
Make a list of those relationship standards, if it helps to keep them in the forefront of your mind. When you’re dating a new guy, refer back to that list. Is he hitting the mark on most of them, or have you already started lowering your standards?
And as your relationship develops, consider whether the two of you are really compatible in personality and life goals. That’s really important for finding a long-term and loving relationship.
The bravest thing you’ll have to do is end it with a man who isn’t meeting either your people standards or your relationship standards. He may not understand why you’re ending what he sees as a great thing. But the fact is: he may have lower standards. Or, you’re wonderful, so of course, his standards are getting met! But still: be true to yourself and your own needs. That’s the only way you will find true love.
So please comment below: (be honest!) have you ever lowered your standards with men? How’d it end up?
I found this article very helpful. Sometimes I do lower my standards. I met a very nice guy but he smokes. I quit 16 years ago. I’m 58 years old and most men my age have baggage that they haven’t fixed. This guy seems to be okay. But I’m listening to you.
Yes I have lowered my standards.. didn’t end well
I met a guy,on the second date I knew a relationship with him won’t work,but I went against my gut and after an year of personal turmoil, I ended it. I should have followed my gut sooner.
Sometimes we hope too much for how perfect someone is until we know the truth about them.