A girlfriend and I were having wine and hilarious conversation last week when the subject of standards arose. We were discussing men, more specifically our exes, and how in the hell we wound up in some of the relationships that we did!
I’m sure you have a few of those in your own rolodex. Men or women that you look back at and wonder what part of your brain decided to stop functioning when you met them. Relationships that lasted way past the expiration date. People that did not deserve you and yet you loved them whole heartedly.
I have more than a few. Some make for great stories of passion and lunacy. All make for fantastic lessons in life. My greatest lesson? The one that took me years of relationship nonsense to learn?? It is okay to have standards. It is my right to not only have them but to not feel guilty about sticking to them!!!
Here are some of my standards:
- You should be completely single when I meet you. Not “coming out of something” not “we’re taking a break to explore ourselves” and definitely not “we’re done but I let her use my phone some times.” (yup he actually said that)
- You should have a career, not a job. There is a difference. At 33 years old it is my right to want a man who is on a path. He has goals for the trajectory of his career. There is a plan of action for his professional life. He is not simply clocking in at 9 and leaving at 5. The person who simply clocks in and out, with no plan for change, is unhappy about his Monday to Friday and is ultimately not excited about his life.
- He should be a gentleman! Open car doors. Open restaurant doors and pull out my chair at the table. Walk closest to traffic when we walk down the street together. Yes, I am aware it is 2014 but if you would like to be the King of my life then you need to figure out how a Queen is to be treated.
- I have dated many men because I saw the potential in them. I saw how great they could be, long before they had begun to do the work to get themselves there. Those days are over. It would be wonderful if “he” appeared in my life fully realized but I at least want “him” to be aware of how great “he” can be and is ACTIVELY taking steps to get himself there. This isn’t Build-A-Bear. I’m not going to create the person I want out of the mess I find.
These are just a few of the standards I have for my dating life! What is amazingly ridiculous is how many times I have sacrificed my own happiness by accepting men that met none of the above. Forget the rest of the list, they didn’t even have the basics. And I did this because I felt guilty.
Think back…we all have lists. I am not talking about your list that demands he be a 6ft 5 NBA player or she be a brain surgeon with double D’s. I mean the lists that have your basics. “He should be drama free.” “She should have an education.” “He shouldn’t still be club hopping.” Think about when you met someone who was the opposite of this, but they were “so nice” or “so funny” or the biggest downfall of all, “so hot”. Think about how you began to doubt your standards. You began to feel guilty for not giving this person a chance. I’m sure you created a very viable excuse in your head before giving yourself the green light to date them. And I can assume that this person is now an ex because in the end it was that very standard they didn’t meet that sunk your happy ship.
If you are serious about finding a relationship then you must become serious about what you deserve and what you will not settle for. When you meet someone, give yourself the time to learn about them. Ask the questions that provide the answers that show you who they really are. Figure out if this person fits the standards for your life. And do this BEFORE you sleep with them. Nothing clouds judgement faster than an orgasm. If this person doesn’t fit the life you are designing then you need to let them go. The life you wind up with is based on the choices you make. Make good ones. Let the guilt go. Realize how fabulous you are and how happy you deserve to be!