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Learning To Adapt Your Standards

Learning To Adapt Your Standards

standards

Standards are like opinions, noses, and butts—everybody has them and almost everybody tries to stick them where they don’t belong.

Case in point: an article about a desperate Austin man’s plea for a mate has recently gone viral on the Internet, primarily for the sheer amounts of racism, homophobia, and narcissistic sexism that it displays. The article includes his list of standards for a girlfriend which include no black women, no women over 130 pounds, no tattoos or piercings other than earrings but she must also be obedient, unselfish, and have a high sex drive. For the full list of requirements, click http://www.sleeplessinaustin.com/about-the-girl-i-want-to-fall-in-love-with/.

Coming to terms with relationship standards is a challenge I recently faced myself. I know I have what can sometimes be excruciatingly high standards for people, particularly for guys I’m interested in dating. Though the standards do change with time, here’s a quick rundown of the usual ones:

Funny, intelligent, non-smoker, non-partier, respectful, good listener, doesn’t do drugs, not promiscuous, loyal, honest 100 percent, not rude, doesn’t try and control me, has to have a job/try and be employed/not a hobo in a cardboard box, be at least fairly cute or attractive, independent thinker, and someone who reads.

By now, half of you are probably sitting there wondering how I ended up this delusional. I’ve been told multiple times in the past that my standards are too strict, they’re ridiculous, I’m being too picky, guys like that don’t exist… you name it, I’m sure I’ve been told it at one point or another. Of course, being up on my high horse, I simply brushed these comments off and told them something along the lines of “Well, I may be picky, etc. but I won’t be happy with a sub-par guy.” I know that I wouldn’t be happy settling for someone who wasn’t completely great.

Every single time in the past that I fell for a guy, once I discovered something about him—either he was a borderline alcoholic, a misogynist, or a drug user usually—I just somehow stopped liking him, washed my hands of the situation and moved on. My standards kept me strong and I knew these were the types of boys I didn’t want to date and usually didn’t want to be associated with at all, as I fell for some SERIOUSLY terrible guys.

Until I fell for someone new. A guy that I already knew really well. I’ll be honest, I knew some pretty bad things about him. He’s not always respectful or polite, he’s rude, sometimes borderline chauvinistic but in a joking way, he’s a huge partier and drinker, did drugs back in college, sometimes can be quite self-involved and has terrible grammar. In short, he hardly filled any of my criteria at all and smashed the rest to smithereens.

At first I tried to just brush it off, tell myself I was being silly, he didn’t fit my standards, it would never work, etc. But this really started to get to me. I couldn’t understand WHY I liked a guy who, while he was a great friend, was also just not a fit for my standards at all. Up until this point I’d always relied on my standards, they’d never done me wrong and it seriously pissed me off that this guy was basically dancing around my brain flaunting this blatant disregard for them. However, after a while, I was so upset that I decided to try to start dissecting why I actually liked him.

He does have a really cute smile. He’s intelligent, though he doesn’t always show it. He’s fun to be around, he makes me laugh more than most people I know, he knows about a lot of interesting things that I don’t, and he always has great stories to tell about almost any topic. He can keep me in line when I start going a little too crazy or have my head up in the clouds, he always listened to what I had to say even though he liked to pretend that he didn’t, and he’s always honest with me, even when he knows that the truth is going to hurt. He even offered to read something that I’d written.

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