Dating Dilemma: Are Your Standards Too High?

Look around.

Can you spot a single man you’d feel excited about dating?

Even if you look on a dating app, it can be hard to muster much enthusiasm.

Nearly 1 in 2 adults in the U.S. feel that dating has gotten harder in the last decade.[1]

A whopping 3 in 4 singles say it’s somewhat or very hard to find someone to date.

And yet, by the numbers, singles today have it easier than past generations.

Not only is there a record number of single people, but dating apps and sites have turned the dating pool into an ocean.

What gives?

Why It’s So Hard to Meet Someone

The two most common reasons women find it difficult to meet someone are:

  1. It’s hard to find someone who meets their expectations, and
  2. It’s hard to find someone who wants the same kind of relationship.

(These are less of an issue for men, who tend to struggle most with having the confidence to approach someone.)

In my coaching practice, I often hear women express these concerns.

They tell me they’re picky. They want a loyal, loving, trustworthy relationship. They refuse to settle. They’ve been there, done that. This time, they’re going to set the bar high and trust that the right person will come along.

Does that decision lead to greater romantic success?

The answer is:

It’s complicated.


Before you tear your hair out in frustration, let me explain…

Every single one of us should know our standards.

We get to choose the type of people we surround ourselves with.

We don’t have to continue relationships that harm us or bring us down.

Having standards is vital when it comes to choosing a romantic partner.

Without standards, you may stay in a relationship where you’re treated poorly. This can have long-term consequences for your health and happiness.

At the same time, your standards are for you.

They’re not an invitation to judge and dismiss people.

Just because a man doesn’t meet your standards doesn’t mean he won’t be the perfect partner for someone else.

So, absolutely, we should all have standards…

But we should be careful about how we’re using our standards.

If we’re using them to sit in judgment of other people, they’ll backfire.

If we’re using them to ensure we’re treated well, they’ll usher in greater happiness.

How can you use your standards to invite in better partners?

You can make these subtle shifts in language.

Don’t say, “He has to live up to my standards.”
Do say, “The way he treats me has to meet my standards.”

Has this ever happened to you?

You meet a man who has all the qualities you ever wanted in the opposite sex…

And it’s a dud. There’s no magic.

Then you meet a man who’s nothing like the type of person you imagined yourself with…

And a spark ignites. You can’t stop talking. You end the evening with stars in your eyes.

This isn’t just a curious thing that happens on occasion.

Research has shown that great relationships are born from the dynamic between two people, rather than their objective traits.

So be open-minded when it comes to the type of person you’re willing to date.

Keep your focus on what matters most: the dynamic you create when you’re together.

Don’t say, “He has to accept me just as I am.”
Do say, “He has to like who I am.”

How many people in your life unconditionally love you?

They accept you exactly as you are, flaws and all?

If you’re like most people, that number is fairly small.

We’re unconditionally loved by our parents, our children, perhaps a best friend…

And those relationships are often decades in the making.

So how realistic is it to expect a man you just met to accept you exactly as you are?

Do you accept him exactly as he is? Or are there things about him you’re not sure about?

In the early stages of a relationship, we don’t need unconditional acceptance.

What we do need is to like one another.

That means we like most things about each other. We don’t like other things, but those things don’t seem as important.

So go ahead, expect a man you’re dating to like you. That’s non-negotiable.

But understand that full acceptance, like all good things, takes time.

Don’t say, “You need to know straight from the beginning that I’m only interested in a relationship.”
Do say, “My long-term goal is a loving, loyal, lasting relationship.”

When you open a date by telling a man that the only options on the table are relationship or nothing, he might very well pick nothing.

He hardly knows you. It takes time to know whether you’d be good in a relationship together. He’s not willing to make that call until you’ve spent time together.

To increase your chances of romantic success, tell him what your long-term goals are and find out his.

You’d like to keep seeing him ifhe also shares the goal of a loving, loyal, lasting relationship. That doesn’t have to be in the cards right away, as long as you both agree that this is what you’re working towards.

As you can see, none of these suggestions require you to lower your standards.

You get to keep setting the bar high.

Just use your standards a little differently.

Instead of using them to judge men, use them to spot situations where you’re not being treated with dignity, kindness and respect.


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