How To Have High Standards In Love So You Never Accept Less Than You Deserve

If you usually find yourself in unhappy relationships or you’re always taken for granted, you need to raise your dating standards. If you don’t, you’re going to keep ending up with the same toxic partners. There are things you can do to ensure that you only attract guys who have their acts together and treat you in the way you deserve. Here’s what to know about having high standards in love and how to set them.

A few things to consider

Everyone’s standards will differ a bit. While there are certain non-negotiables that should apply across the board — respect, affection, consideration, communication, etc. — there will be some items on your list that may not be on others’, and vice versa. For instance, maybe you simply can’t date someone who’s a smoker, or you don’t think you could be with someone who doesn’t love animals. While these may seem like insane deal-breakers to other people, they matter to you. That being said, you can’t expect everyone to adhere to every item on your list. If you truly can’t entertain the idea of being with someone who goes against these wishes, don’t bother starting a relationship. They won’t change, nor should they have to.

Your high standards will change over time. The standards you set in your 20s will be entirely different by the time you reach your 30s and will likely change again once you hit your 40s. This is natural — as we age, we gain more life experience and we grow and evolve in ways that make us reassess and prioritize things in our lives. Don’t be so rigid that you don’t allow yourself (and your potential partners) room to grow and change in this way.

How to set high standards in love

Lay out some boundaries. Having boundaries helps you to ensure no one takes advantage of you and treats you like a doormat. Some of the best boundaries you should set when dating include those related to how you take care of your needs. For example, you should ensure you get enough sleep. If a guy wants to hang out when you’re already in bed about to get your beauty sleep, jumping out of bed to please him isn’t doing you any favors.

Know what you don’t want. When last did you take some time to figure out what you don’t want in a relationship? You need to know this before you get into a new one, otherwise, you could be attracting the same old toxic guys you really don’t want in your life. Maybe you don’t want someone who’s arrogant or mansplains, or maybe you don’t want a guy who doesn’t have career ambition or is wishy-washy about where he stands in relationships. Get detailed about your list and stick to it.

Think about your exes. It can be helpful for you to think back to previous relationships so you can suss out what worked and what didn’t. This will help you to be able to set the dating rules you should follow for greater relationship satisfaction in the future. For example, maybe being cheated on by your ex showed you that you don’t want to be with someone who makes you feel you can’t trust them. That’s a dealbreaker to stick to in the future to save yourself from heartache.

Focus on the part you should play. It’s an unrealistic dating standard to think that you don’t have to do anything in a relationship but just expect him to make you happy. Having high standards isn’t just about what you want the guy you’re dating to do or not do. It’s also about what kind of GF you want to be. Think about what you will and won’t do for someone. For example, maybe you won’t change your values for someone else, but you will be willing to compromise when it comes to how you spend some of your spare time, as long as the person is on the same page.

Check for relationship equality. One of the most important high standards to stick to in a relationship is ensuring that you and your partner are both giving 100 percent of your energy to make things work. If you stay with someone who expects you to make all the dating plans or always be the one to send a text, you’re giving too much of your energy to a relationship that is bringing you down and, quite frankly, wasting your time.

Let your gut rule. You always have to listen to your gut when dating so that you can spot any red flags on a date. These might start out as really small, like a guy getting weird when he mentions his female roommate or being a bit short with his mom on the phone. You shouldn’t just ignore these things because they can give you real insight into what he’s about. Listening to your intuition is an important part of having high standards because you trust your gut and know that it will direct you to what’s best for you.

Show yourself some love. It might sound like a dating cliche to say that you’ve got to love yourself before you can expect anyone else to love you, but it’s so freaking true. Love is tied to respect. If you don’t love and respect yourself, you’re going to be fine with compromising your values or ending up in a bad relationship that’s no good for you. So, make sure you take some time to be kind to yourself and to respect what you’re all about. This will ensure you enter a relationship with a strong idea of what you want.

Don’t forget about your self-worth. Your relationship should make you feel valuable. But you should already know your worth even before you step into a new relationship. The truth is that you can’t set high standards in love if you don’t believe that you deserve them. Some ways you can cultivate greater self-worth include forgiving yourself for past mistakes, knowing what you have to offer someone in a relationship and why you’re a catch, and speaking to yourself like you’re your own BFF.

Choose a relationship that fits into your life. An important high standard in love is to ensure that the relationship doesn’t take over your entire life. You still need to ensure you have time and energy for other things and other people that are valuable to you. This will prevent you from losing yourself in a relationship, so when dating someone new suss them out to ensure that they’ll fit into your life and not shake things up too much to the point where you end up having to squeeze into their life and forget about yours.

Make sure you communicate well. Right, you can’t have a list of high dating standards in your mind and expect your partner to impress you or check all your boxes. You have to communicate what’s important to you so that they know where you’re at and what you’re about. This will also ensure you can work together to make the relationship work and resolve your issues. When setting high standards in love, the goal is to have a happy, healthy relationship.

Is it possible to have standards that are too high?

You’re two different people. While it’s extremely important to set the bar high for the people you date, that doesn’t mean you should go into relationships with unrealistic expectations (or get mad when the other person fails to meet them).”You have to remember that they are also a separate person with separate strengths and separate weaknesses,” says Dr. Chloe Carmichael, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Dr. Chloe’s 10 Commandments of Dating. “And just as you want to be loved and accepted for your whole self, so, too, do they.”

No relationship is perfect. Even if you’re on the same page with your partner the majority of the time and you’re both putting in equal amounts of effort to solve conflicts and foster communication and intimacy, there will be times that you let one another down. This doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed or not worthwhile, it simply means that you’re both humans and you should both make allowances for this. Accept your partner’s imperfections and shortcomings with grace.  You would want them to do the same for you, right?

Sometimes your disappointments are your own. If the person you’re dating fails to live up to your expectations, that’s not necessarily their fault. While demanding love, respect, and honesty from a partner are totally reasonable, there may be some things you want that are untenable or simply unfair.”If your partner isn’t meeting your expectations, it doesn’t mean they’re a flawed partner or that the relationship can’t succeed,” explains Dr. Shawntres Parks, Ph.D., a licensed marriage and family therapist and relationship coach based in Upland, CA. “There’s always room for growth in healthy relationships.”

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