In relationships, there’s a clear difference between having high standards and unrealistic ones. While you can’t expect your partner to conform to your ideal of the perfect person, it’s important to uphold boundaries and expectations that protect your mental, emotional, and physical well-being and ensure you get the respect you deserve. So, how do you do it?
What is the meaning of “high standards” in relationships?
When you’re dating someone, it’s important that you have certain expectations that your partner lives up to. By this, we don’t mean them paying for everything or treating you like a princess. Instead, high standards include things like showing courtesy and respect, putting effort into the relationship, and expressing affection. Certain standards will differ depending on the person. We’re all different, as are our needs and desires. And while another person can never meet every one of them, there’s nothing wrong with wanting someone who can at least do a few.
In essence, high standards are all about ensuring you are treated well in a relationship. It’s getting back what you put in, not being taken for granted, and receiving love and consideration from your partner. Also, it’s a way of protecting yourself from unnecessary pain and hurt. By recognizing when someone is not up to par and has no interest in meeting you halfway, you can identify the need to leave much earlier. This way, you don’t waste any more time and cause yourself any more heartache than necessary.
Standards you should have for your partner
- You need someone who will make time for you. While many will look at this as a high standard, it really is a basic tenet of a healthy relationship. This doesn’t mean your partner needs to be with you 24/7. We all have our own lives, but we must set time aside in order to make relationships work. You shouldn’t feel alone in your relationship or have to seek companionship elsewhere. Your partner should ensure they make “relationship time” a priority. Otherwise, what’s the point?
- Your partner should introduce you to their family and friends. Some people claim that not doing this is a way to keep things private or lowkey and that it’s the best way, but sometimes that isn’t the case. Sometimes partners avoid introducing you to the people in their lives out of shame, perhaps because of multiple partners or maybe because they aren’t taking the relationship seriously. Expecting to be integrated into their life doesn’t mean your standards are too high.
- There must be clear lines of communication. Everyone deserves to have their space, but how can anyone be comfortable not hearing from a partner for days at a time? It’s not too much to ask of your partner to let you know beforehand that they’ll be busy during the day and won’t have much time to speak. Similarly, if they’re in a bad mood, they should share it instead of ignoring you for hours.
- Financial stability is a requirement. For some people, money isn’t an issue; for others, it’s a requirement. Some say this is too high maintenance, but it’s all about you and what you prefer. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a partner who has a stable financial situation, meaning no huge debts, a good career, and a comfortable lifestyle. That eliminates a ton of problems from the relationship and the focus can be placed on other areas.
- There’s no room in your life for someone who “hates” everyone and everything. There’s a thin line between not liking something or being passionate about a subject and being completely hateful or discriminatory. No one is going to like everything, but being with someone who seems incredibly angry all the time can be very uncomfortable, especially if you don’t share the same views. It is often better to separate those types of people from your dating pool.
- You expect to be aware of all important decisions. When you’re in a serious relationship, every important decision your partner makes ultimately affects you. Though some may be indirect, it’s not nosy to want to be involved in the decision-making process. You shouldn’t be made to feel overbearing for wanting to be a part of the loop because you’re much a part of the relationship and your future as your partner is.
- Your partner should listen to your problems and show support or concern. Your partner isn’t your therapist, but they should at the very least be a listening ear or lend a shoulder for you to lean on. You have a right to expect consistent care and support in whatever problems you encounter and whatever challenges you undertake. Your partner should be willing to support you through thick and thin.
- Loyalty is a must. You got into a relationship because you want that person to yourself, not because you plan to share each other with the world. Therefore, loyalty is expected at every turn. This includes honesty, trust, and faithfulness. It is not realistic to tolerate any form of cheating or lying from your partner regardless of the circumstances.
- Don’t accept comparisons. Every relationship is different and no matter how good a couple may look together, you have no clue what happens behind closed doors. Your partner should not use other relationships to criticize what you share since your bond is unique. Comparison is the thief of joy and once it comes into play, the relationship will always seem like it is lacking joy, happiness, and love.