How To Avoid Lowering Your Standards In Love (And Why You Never Should)

We all have a little checklist of the qualities we look for in a romantic partner. That list might consist of very basic qualities that our partner must possess or it might contain certain characteristics that seem rarer but we’d still like to find. Whatever your personal standards are when it comes to finding someone, you should never feel the need to lower or do away with them just because finding love can be difficult. Here’s how to keep your standards high no matter how tempting it might be to lower them.

  1. Assess your standards and find out what’s most important to you. Think about the things your future partner would need to have. What is their personality like? What are their values? What is their lifestyle like? Decide what is most important to you, even if those things are rare or different than what most people look for, it’s about what matters to you. Set those standards and stay true to them.
  2. Don’t listen to outside influences. Your friends and family might be likely to tell you that you’re being too picky or you’ve set the bar too high when looking for someone simply because you know what you want and you’re not willing to settle. Try your best to ignore others’ opinions because ultimately, your relationship will consist of you and the person you choose to be with, not anyone else. Who cares what the rest of the world thinks? You know what’s best for you. Don’t lower your standards just because people tell you that you should.
  3. Be intentional with your standards. It’s totally okay to have a very specific idea of what your ideal partner looks like, but when you’re setting standards for romantic relationships, make sure to be intentional with your desires and choose things that are going to truly benefit you and enhance your life. For example, some great standards to have for a partner are that they’re kind, they’re hardworking, and you feel like you can trust them. Specific standards are good, but you have to really decide if having a partner who, say, went to Ivy League school is so important to you that you’d turn down someone great just because they don’t check one specific box.
  4. Know your worth and what you deserve. True love for another person starts from within with self-love. You have to tell yourself and truly believe that you’re worthy of the greatest love of all time. If you don’t believe that you deserve that wonderful kind of love, you will subconsciously settle for less than what you deserve in every area of your life, including your love life. Do the work within yourself to truly embrace the person that you are and know that you deserve everything you want in life. This will help you stick to the standards you’ve set for yourself because you will know that you’re worthy.
  5. Believe what people show you. When we find ourselves in unhealthy relationships or settling for treatment that we don’t deserve, it’s not usually because the person we’re with has tricked us or lied to us about who they are. Sometimes that’s the case, but most often we’ve just been in denial throughout the development of the relationship. We’ve ignored signs that this person is not who we thought they were or who we actually want to be with because staying with the familiar, even if we’re unhappy, is often easier and less scary than starting over. As scary as it may be, I promise that you won’t regret going after what you want and refusing to settle. We only get this one life. Don’t waste it on someone who doesn’t even deserve you.
  6. Hype yourself up. If you struggle with finding your self-worth and often feel as if you’re inadequate, I can’t stress enough the importance of hyping yourself up, sis! Look at yourself in the mirror every morning before you go out in the world and tell yourself how beautiful, smart, and strong you are. Even if you struggle believing it now, trust me, the more you say out loud all of the ways that make you a wonderful, magical being, the more you will start to see those qualities in yourself and believe it. This will do so much for your confidence and help you to keep your standards high.
  7. Learn from your past. One of the best ways that we can improve our future relationships is by taking the pain we may have endured from past relationships and use it to remind us of what we never want to go through again. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and that can be so true for relationships. Don’t let someone else come into your life and put you through all of the stuff you’ve had to go through before. Keep those standards right where they are and learn from the past, using it to make all of your future relationships better.
  8. Be patient. Having high standards can sometimes mean waiting a long time before you find someone who lives up to your expectations. This can get difficult when you see your friends getting into relationships and you’re the only single one. However, it’s important not to let what other people do pressure you into rushing into something you don’t want simply because you’re tired of being alone. Good things come to those who wait, so be patient. You’ll find your person.
  9. Be hopeful. Don’t let the pain of the past and negative experiences sour your outlook on love. It’s common for people who have been hurt badly by love to set impossibly high standards that no normal person could meet because they’re afraid of letting anyone in and risking getting hurt again. It’s okay to have high standards but make sure you’re putting them there for the right reasons and not to hide from love. Amazing relationships are out there. You just have to be open to receiving them and know that you deserve them. That outlook will change your life.
Shelby is a journalist and fiction writer raised in the South but built for the big city. She's a book nerd (well, an overall nerd, honestly) and coffee addict and obsessed with all things leather and lacy.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Sam Houston State University and worked for her university newspaper, The Houstonian, as well as serving as a producer and part-time entertainment anchor for Cable 7 Huntsville. You can follow her on Twitter @shelby777.