I’ve been told I have too high of standards; that when it comes to guys, I ask for too much. People have pointed out that while it’s nice to envision a six foot tall man with a winning smile and an ambitious life plan, it’s just too specific. With sympathy in their eyes, they told me it’s unrealistic to dream of a guy who makes a point to come to the front door to pick me up instead of honking the car’s horn or sending me a text saying, “I’m here”. Fantasizing about going out to dinner and having a real, intellectual conversation is sweet, but then expecting my date to pay for the dinner—that got a few laughs. Wanting a man to accept me for who I am on my worst and best days and then also respect me—unheard of. I started to think that maybe everyone was right; maybe I was single because I did expect too much.
I was told that if I chose to lower my standards I would have better luck at love, so I did what they suggested.
I made a new list. I stopped looking for a guy who had a life plan and decided I’d settle for someone who had some sort of idea of what they wanted their life to be like. That wasn’t so bad. I stopped assuming my date would want to come to the door and resolved that a text wouldn’t be that bad, as long as it wasn’t the horn. Maybe expecting my date to pay for dinner was a little too much, but splitting the bill wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Well, at twenty wanting a guy to accept me is maybe asking for too much, but respect, I still needed that.
Still, I was told my standards were too high.
So I revised again. Maybe it was too much to ask for someone to have an idea of what they wanted to do with their life, maybe it was too ambitious. But then again, they type of guy I’m attracted to—excuse me, was attracted to—is ambitious. A smile is important but perhaps not as much as I make it. I shouldn’t expect to be brought on a date, my era is different from my parents; people my age don’t go on dates, we hang out. And then I went from dreaming about a man who respects me to some guy who simply just wants me, and there is a difference between the two. And it wasn’t until “want” took the place of “respect” that I came to the realization that my standards are not too high.
Yet that time I was asked out.
And looking at my new list and comparing it to what it once was….I’ve realized that I shouldn’t have to lower my standards. Instead, I should have to compromise. So maybe that boy doesn’t have the winning smile I always dreamt about, but his laugh can make me laugh for no reason. Maybe he doesn’t exactly know what he wants his life to be like, but his ambition says he will make something of it. Perhaps we don’t go out on dates that much, but when we do, he always comes to the door, knocks, and is amazed by the way I dressed up for him. I should learn to compromise, but I should never have to lower my standards, no matter how high they are. I have the right to have high standards and I have the right to decide which aspects are the most important to me, and I will never compromise respect. I encourage you to do the same.