Should You Lower Your Standards?

Oct 3, 2016 | Cliché Alert, Rocking the Single Life

If you have ever been single, chances are you have been told to lower your standards. Because unfortunately, every time you share your single woes with loved ones, they attempt to comfort you through advice that makes you feel like it’s your fault you’re single. Your friends and family think they are giving you timeless advice; you, on the other hand, are tired of hearing cliches (e.g. “It will happen when you least expect it”).

Well, I feel you. As a fellow single person, cliche advice gets on my nerves; it is rarely helpful. That is why I want to explore these cliches on Thrivekey’s blog: Are they cliches because they are true? What do people mean when they say them? So on, so forth.

Let’s get started with the perspective that you should lower your standards. But first…

What are standards anyway?

I was talking with a young woman the other day who said she has high standards. I suspected we had different opinions re: the definition of “high standards,” so I asked her what she meant by that. Well, our opinions differ indeed because she meant that she rejects men in online dating when they have one selfie on their profile.

Now, I understand feeling apprehensive about people who only have selfies on their profile, but rejecting someone because of one selfie seems extreme, not to mention hypocritical. (Because I do not know one person who has never taken a selfie and shared it somewhere).

I provide this particular example because I think all of us should evaluate our standards. Or “standards” since this young woman perceives this odd deal breaker to be a standard.

If we are talking about the actual dictionary definition…

Standards pertain to acceptable morals in others.

I am a literal person, so that is how I personally measure standards. For instance, I want to be with someone who, in general, is kind to everyone. That is a standard.

Admittedly, I have high standards; I expect out a lot out of the person I end up with, just as I expect much from myself. But standards are totally different than deal breakers. I think that distinction must be made more often, as is clear in the above example.

So…should you lower your standards?

Having reflected on the definition of standards, I tend to think a strong “no.” You should not lower your standards.

Again, there is a distinction between standards and deal breakers. Standards refer to expectations while deal breakers refer to things you absolutely will not accept in a partner. Standards and deal breakers can overlap, having that said.

Should you change deal breakers that make little sense? Absolutely. But when it comes to standards, assuming you have written them down, given them a lot of thought, and review them often, I believe you should keep them as they are.

Learn more about how standards and deal breakers affect our chances of finding love in my video training:

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