If your relationship standards are high and your expectations are long and detailed like mine, you’re probably just a thoughtful, smart woman who knows exactly what she wants. That being said, if you’re like me, you also might be guilty of holding your guy to standards that you’re unwilling to meet or haven’t met yourself. Recently, my friend called me out for doing this and what she said makes total sense:
You have to set the example.
Leading by example is important at work AND in the dating world. They say that if you want a guy to take you seriously, assert yourself as such. If you want a casual fling, make that known. But it doesn’t stop at being vocal about your expectations. If you want a guy who’s responsive, considerate of your feelings, and always honest with you, you also have to be those things too. It’s not all on your partner to do the work, you have to offer the same in return.
You can’t get mad at him for failing to meet standards you’ve never met.
Along the same lines, if you shame your guy for failing to meet your standards when you’ve never delivered on them yourself, you’ll look super hypocritical. If you seem hypocritical, you’ll lose credibility with him and your relationship will head south faster than a flock of birds in the winter.
He’ll start to resent you.
It might make him feel like he’s putting in all the work and you’re just waiting for him to perform for you. It might make him feel like he’s not good enough—and maybe he’s not, but your case is so much better if you can point to your own actions and say, “Hey, here are the things that I do in a relationship such as [INSERT EXAMPLE HERE] that I think we both should be doing.”
This is not your job and you’re not his boss.
This one resonated with me so much and when my friend said that to me, I totally rolled my eyes at myself because I’m so guilty of this. In the workplace, there’s a hierarchy for a reason. If you’re a boss, you set expectations for your employees for them to meet because you’re in charge and roles are necessary to run the business. In a relationship, it really shouldn’t work like that. Both people should meet the same standards and expectations even if the way they meet them differs.
Your expectations might be a little outrageous if they’re not ones you’re willing to meet.
It’s so easy to levy huge expectations on someone and list all of the very objective reasons why they should meet them. It’s harder to take those same expectations and apply them to yourself without trying to come up with a million excuses about why they’re too complicated to meet. Sometimes we have to put ourselves on the other side of the request and see how we’d respond. It can help us tailor our expectations to something more reasonable.
You’ll know what it takes to get there.
For example, one expectation I do think is reasonable and that I ensure I meet regularly is financial security. After being in a relationship with a man who didn’t have his money together, I’ve vowed NEVER to date a guy who isn’t on it ever again. That being said, I’ve made it a point to make sure that I’m also secure—or at least on my way. Financial security is an amorphous, vague term that has totally different meanings for everyone despite the fact that it is important to all of us. As a result, I can set this expectation for a guy because I know what it takes to achieve it.
Tailor them to fit the guy you meet.
If you’re like me, you have general criteria of your perfect guy and that’s fine. But once you meet a guy you like and that you’re building a relationship with, it’s kind of important to make sure that your expectations reflect the person you’re spending time with too. You should totally set your standards high and obviously do your best to meet them for all of the aforementioned reasons, but also realize that some guys just won’t measure up. At that point, you have to decide if you can tailor them ever so slightly or if he’s just not what you’re looking for.
At the same time, don’t compromise on your sexual expectations and standards.
My friend told me that the only place I should never compromise is in the bedroom. Let’s face it—there’s nothing more frustrating than being with a guy who checks all the boxes but is horrible in the sheets and unwilling to give you what you need or even try to give you what you need to feel satisfied. This is one of the places where parity isn’t always possible, especially because a woman’s pleasure is a completely different ballgame than a man’s.
There’s a difference between settling and being out right selfish.
My biggest issue is wondering if I’m settling for less than I deserve. Do you ever feel that way? It’s just that I know my worth and I have a good idea about who I am and where I want to be in my life. I’m scared of even compromising that even a tad. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that if we’re not meeting the expectations we set for the people around us, then we’re doing ourselves a disservice by being outright selfish and closing ourselves off to important growth opportunities.
Remember, you’re not the only one with standards and expectations.
Guys have them too and we have to make room for them because relationships require balance. The truth is that if women like us always have these extra high, long and detailed standards and expectations that we’ve never met and are unwilling to meet, we’re not going to be happy with anyone we date. I’m all about only allowing the most amazing, best people into my life, but I have to sometimes remember that living life according to a set of rules could mean that I’ll miss out on life itself.
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