This is one advice I think every single girl has heard at some point in her life.
When people ask you why you’re single (by the way I find it surprising people haven’t figured out this question is annoying), they’re sometimes fishing to hear what barriers you’ve built around yourself, preventing you from finding eternal happiness. I always say “oh wow… I don’t know. Perhaps you can tell me.” Of course, this gets them excited and the next question comes – “What do you want in a partner?”
This is where you probably get shaky; there is a strong urge to not come across as shallow, and at the same time, not aim too high because you don’t want to be seen as a gold digger (whatever that means); so you find yourself rambling off the perfect textbook response; “I don’t care about looks or achievements. As long as he has potential and he’s sweet, I’m good”. This is the response that is supposed to get you the clap on the back as they sing your praises for knowing what it is exactly to look for in a man, yet it sometimes fails to impress. They might still say “why does he need to have potential? You can build potential into him when you start dating!” or you might get the “Don’t think men are always sweet; just be ready to look past the difficult times!” It seems you can never win, and will always get the advice to lower your standards till you have nothing left. You don’t want to hear the long lecture I get due to my precise list of standards, so I’ll spare you.
There is constant pressure on us single women to lower our standards; it is not about waiting for who you deserve, it’s about making the available desirable, and the world will not stop reminding us about that educated woman who married an uneducated bus driver, and succeeded in her marriage. Society will not stop pointing at that lady who married the unemployed man and is now the happiest wife on earth. Of course, they will not forget to point out that woman who earns more than her husband, so she gives him her salary and lets him decide what should be done with it. With your education, exposure, and independence, you’re still single because you are looking for a man who has everything you have, and more…. Like that is some kind of crime.
I watched a 25 year old doctor break down in tears on TV during the course of a dating show. She had her standards, very reasonable ones if I might add. She didn’t want a guy who drinks because she’d had a bad experience with an alcoholic in her past, and she wanted him to be a man who had a good relationship with God. This was a 25 year old medical doctor who was beautiful, and seemed to have excelled against all odds. Sadly, everyone, including the men themselves thought her requirements were just too high. She ended up in tears, like many of us have, wondering if we will ever meet this dream man.
Do not lower your standards except you can tolerate the lowered version! The reason many women end up brokenhearted over and over again is not necessarily because some men are jerks; it is sometimes because as women we tell ourselves to give an undeserving man a chance, because we might find happiness in the relationship. We lower our standards and instead of allowing kings into our lives, we open the door for clowns and jesters. We keep lowering our standards until we start to doubt our identity, and we find that with the barest minimum, we are unhappy.
I have come to learn that it is OK to want whatever it is that you want. If you want him to be tall, dark, handsome, and successful, and a good man, you should not apologize for it. Stay true to that, and you will get it! Stop compromising stupidly, and then spend the rest of your life trying to convince yourself it was worth it. From experience, I can tell you compromising to a point you can’t handle will only bring you loads of regret. You will ask yourself why you stooped so low, and you’ll always be on the lookout for someone better. What on earth is the point of the relationship in that case?
Stop lowering your standards except you can cope; I love men who are drop-dead gorgeous but it doesn’t hurt me to date a man who’s just good-looking, as long as he’s not an eye sore, and I don’t foresee my children being teased on the school playground. When it comes to drive, ambition, achievements, success, intellectual conversations and emotional maturity, those are non-negotiable! I should probably feel bad for wanting so much, but I don’t, and you shouldn’t too. You’ve worked hard to be where you are; you are still working hard to be where you want to be. Why should you aim lower when you can reach higher? XOXO