Tag Archives: relationships

Standards

339334267b61672f94b9858ba411f3c3I’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.

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The Starters in Life

e3cb72f92cbee1503db9a8cac27cb6abI recently read an article on Thought Catalog written by Danielle Page and her experience on being a starter girlfriend. After reading the article and relating a little too much, I realized that I share something in common with Page: I am also a “starter girlfriend”. But before you stop reading and assume this is a rant directed toward the “evils of men”, listen to why being a starter girlfriend will (hopefully) turn out for the better.
Yes, I am the starter girlfriend. I will root for him and tell him that he can do anything if he puts his mind to it. And he will listen because every word out of my mouth is heartfelt and true. And he will succeed. Hell, I once got a text from an old boyfriend admitting if I had not supported him through his course work, encouraged him to stay in the class when all wanted to do was drop out, he would not be where he is in life. But that didn’t stop him from leaving.
As the starter girlfriend, I will pick up the broken pieces of his shattered heart that his old relationship caused him, and show him that it’s okay to trust someone. Eventually, he’ll believe me. He’ll tell me his secrets, his fears, and he will confide in me and I’ll do the same. He will learn to trust again, but my trust will ultimately be broken by him.
Because I’m a starter girlfriend, I’m patient and understanding, but I’m also starting to get tired of being left. I don’t understand how when you give so much of yourself to someone, and try so hard to make things work, that they only fall apart. It scares me and makes me doubt myself and if I’m worth it.
But there is some guy out there who is referred to as the “starter boyfriend”.
As the starter boyfriend, he always puts his girlfriend before himself. He thinks of how his girlfriend would feel if he flirted with another girl, even if “all of his friends were doing it”. But his girlfriend won’t care. She will still accuse him of cheating and refuse to listen to his side of the story. He may trust her, but she does not trust him. Unlike her, this boyfriend would never accuse someone of such a horrible offense without solid proof.
The starter boyfriend will tell his girlfriend she is beautiful, even when she wears his old t-shirt and has second-day-makeup because she fell asleep before washing her face. She might be embarrassed to look like that around him, but he will not care. He will expect her to have bad, moody days and give her space when she needs it. He will expect the same curtesy, but she may not oblige. Instead, she will nag and demand attention which will only lead to a fight he wanted to avoid. He will introduce her to his family and know they will love her because she is special to him. She won’t understand the importance.
The starter boyfriend will spend time with his girlfriend because he wants to, not just because he wants to have sex. He values the time they spend together. He will mean it when he tells his girlfriend he loves her. He will not throw these words around and use it for just anyone. This is something special to him and maybe she will say it back. Maybe she even means it for that moment and quite a few to follow. But those words will be turned to nothing when she breaks up with him. He will be left broken and once again wondering when someone will give him a true chance.
Out there, somewhere is this twisted and crazy world, there is a boy wondering the same things I am: Why am I not good enough? Why am I always, always, always the second choice? But then we will find each other. And maybe we’ll even be a little guarded at first, expecting the other to leave, but it won’t happen. It won’t happen because we both put effort into relationships and we will fight to make it work. And say it doesn’t. At least we will both know it wasn’t because either of us did not try; instead we will understand some people are just not meant for each other. He will hurt and I will hurt and then we will be move on and with the knowledge that we are good enough and we are first choices. He won’t always be a “starter boyfriend” and I sure as hell won’t always be a “starter girlfriend”.

Danielle Page: http://thoughtcatalog.com/danielle-page/2014/12/haveyoufeltthisway/

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