My Standards Were Way Too High—Here’s How I Adjusted Them

I’m so lucky I have friends who’ll tell me like it is. They don’t hesitate to call me out on anything and I’m grateful for it. One of my close friends that I really look up to told me that the standards I hold potential partners to are unreasonably high. This was hard to hear but ultimately helpful.

  1. My friend told me I was too picky. I was talking to her about how the guy I’m dating sucks at texting. I told her I didn’t think I was going to see him anymore because I can’t handle it and she told me I was being unnecessarily picky and that my standards were too high. She said I’m expecting too much from a human and should really consider chilling out.
  2. She suggested I lower my standards. Since this woman is kind of like a mentor to me as well as a friend, I don’t take her suggestions lightly. They carry depth and weight. When she suggested I at least consider giving this guy a chance and lowering my unreasonable standards, that’s what I did. I didn’t lower them a crazy amount, just enough so that I’m forced to step out of my comfort zone.
  3. I’m not settling. She pointed out that I wouldn’t be settling for less or anything, I’d just be bringing my expectations down to a reasonable level. In other words, I’m meeting other human beings where they’re really at rather than expecting them to be gods who are capable of meeting all of my needs.
  4. I was offended at first. It was hard to hear that I’m too picky! At first I took it as an insult since my friend saying that I needed to chill out insinuated that I’m high-strung. However, I know she just wants the best for me. I soon came around to seeing her point of view and making considerations about how I can change.
  5. Now I’m running a test. I know I need to lower my standards all around, but I have to start small, so I’m running a test with this guy. I hate his texting style, it stresses me out, but I’m giving the budding relationship some space and time. I’m waiting to see if my view can change and if I can relax a bit more around this admittedly trivial issue. It’s only a test, so if I find that it’s still not working, I can abort mission.
  6. My friend’s dating life is interesting. When I’m taking advice from someone, I like to ask myself if I want what they have. Does their life and way of doing things appeal to me? With this friend, it’s a yes and no. There are some parts of her dating life that I don’t admire, but there are others that I certainly do. Most importantly, I admire that she’s able to fill her own cup before getting into a relationship.
  7. This isn’t the first time I’ve been told this. I’ve been told on other occasions that I have too high of expectations. That’s part of the reasons my ears really perked up when she said this to me. If several trusted friends have told me this, then it’s definitely worth examining.
  8. At what point do I still need to be true to myselfIt’s super important to listen to friends and I do all the time, but it’s also important to listen to that voice deep down inside of me. That voice knows what it’s talking about and sometimes it clashes with my friends’ opinions. This is OK. I try to strike a balance between implementing advice and staying true to myself.
  9. There are still some deal breakers I won’t give up. Naturally, we all have deal breakers. Some of mine are really big ones. Without them, the relationship is doomed for me. An example is that I absolutely can’t date people who smoke weed. I wouldn’t give this up. Bad texting is arguably another deal breaker but one that’s not as important, so I’m going to try giving it up.
  10. I really want a partner. At the end of the day, beyond loving myself, I’d really love to have a partner. It’s just something that I long for, no matter how independent and strong I feel as a single woman. I’m willing to try out different approaches to dating. This time I’m going to try having more reasonable standards.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at