You’re looking for love but can’t find someone you want to settle down with. Maybe you’ve met some okay matches, or potential love interests no one who really makes you want to commit. This is common for most single adults today.
According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center singles today find dating harder than it’s ever been. If you are desperately trying to find a loving partner (and I use the word desperate in the most respectful of terms) this statistic should come as no surprise. There are various reasons why finding a partner is incredibly difficult for the modern single but in this article we’ll cover one particular reason that seems to plague almost every person that is single.
How many times as a single person have you heard – maybe your standards are too high. Or have you heard someone say, “I have really high standards.” It’s a concept that is often equated with singleness but one that is commonly misunderstood.
What Does It Mean to Have High Standards
First, let’s investigate what it means to have high standards.
Every person alive has both standards and values. Often values are non-negotiable beliefs that govern your everyday habits. Your values are the actions you engage in to get specific outcomes. You might go to bed early because you value being rested and you value sleep. You might stay in because you value your alone time.
You might believe saying ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ are the best ways to show respect so you always use them in your speech. Values often govern our behavior, while standards tend to govern our choices.
Standards are the level of quality (like an internal quality control) required for us to feel satisfied. Enjoying a good meal, having a clean home, buying items that cost more instead of store offered brands are examples of standards. The way you feel as a result something, your level of satisfaction, is often due to your standards.
Relationships are developed at the cornerstone of matched standards and values. In dating, if someone doesn’t share your values it’s difficult for you to connect with them. If someone doesn’t share your standards it’s difficult for them to connect to you.
Having high standards actually means that your bar for satisfaction is raised to a level that others don’t share. It means that even if you were to lower your standards and date someone who didn’t meet your highest standard, you wouldn’t feel satisfied. In order to make any decision, even the most difficult ones, you must be in some way satisfied with the outcome. If you don’t believe that you will be satisfied with the outcome, you will not choose a particular path.
How Having High Standards Impacts Dating
Because standards are linked to the satisfaction of our choices, the person that you choose to date must meet your standards, or you won’t choose them permanently. Unfortunately for single men and women, society links having high standards with having a scarcity mindset. And nothing can bloom from scarcity.
There is an assumption that standard and quality are interchangeable. If you have high standards then you expect things to be of high quality. Everyone knows that the higher the quality the less the quantity.
This might be acceptable when it comes to material things like watches, lobsters, Birkin bags, or Iphones, but not with people. Even when you believe that some things are in limited supply, quality partners happen to be all around us. The concept however is damaging to dating because no matter how many people you know with an Iphone, they still feel really, really, exclusive. If you can afford it, you might have a new phone per year, but NO ONE buys a phone for every day of the week.
Why? Because when it comes to high quality, you only need one.
That is not how love is meant to work. The idea that quality comes in limited portions is engrained in how most people live and it keeps many people single. It keeps men and women with “high standards” secretly searching for a soul mate. When what you’re really saying is – this person won’t make me as happy as I know I want to be.
High standards in dating means that you are looking for one person to satisfy you forever. While you may date many people in your life, you secretly desire to commit to one. The one you commit to must meet your level of satisfaction. It’s like you are saving your love for a special occasion. Unfortunately, love isn’t something that you experience just once (marriage might be).
Love is abundant.
This means that dating with high standards should lead you to many people who satisfy you enough to choose them every day until they don’t. As single men and women are swiping left and right on dating apps, faced with the undeniable truth of how many possible matches there actually are, something happens to the brain.
It begins to believe abundance means lower quality. Of course SO many people are single, they all suck.
If you have found yourself wondering where your person is, ask yourself this question: Is there more than one person that meets my standards?
When you start to separate your standards from the idea of limited quantity meaning – it’s not something that you only experience once in a while – you begin to see your options differently. Standards are not just luxurious experiences that you have on a few occasions, standards are a part of your lifestyle.
The reasons high standards keep most people single is because they believe that high standards equal one. You believe that high standards in a partner means that only one person can satisfy all of your needs, so someone who only satisfies some of your needs is not a good match.
Singles find it hard to meet partners because they believe that they are rare so they look for rare. Here is the secret. Love is not rare. It is the most common, and abundant element on this earth. Love is happening all around and it’s happening in you by just the mere desire for it. The fact that you have it to give to another is proof of its existence.
How Having High Standards Can Keep You Single
Your standards are your minimum threshold of satisfaction with anything. In dating, the way someone introduces themselves or makes a joke could violate your standards. This might sound ridiculous but these are the criteria in which we make choices of who we date, and how we date them.
A man that makes a woman pay for dinner, or a woman that doesn’t wear makeup could be standard violations in the modern dating world. Why? Because there are more areas of life that people need to be satisfied in before they can choose a partner.
The traditional marriage is dead.
Today, men and women need to be satisfied with work, their friends, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, etc. Their food needs to be organic, or vegan, locally sourced, ethically sourced, or farm to table. Peloton, Soulcycle, Lululemon, and Equinox are all ways in which our lifestyle choices have been changed, or upgraded.
It’s not enough for a man to have a “good” job. He has to have a six-figure job. It’s not enough for a woman to be beautiful, she has to be the baddest.
Unfortunately, because material things don’t satisfy the human desire for love, applying the way you choose your lifestyle to the way you choose a partner makes it harder to make the choice.
Finding a Partner With High Standards
It isn’t impossible to have high standards and find love. There are two simple strategies that can help you. Your standards are linked to your choices which determine your level of satisfaction.
Ask yourself one critical question when choosing a partner:
Can they satisfy my desires, wants, and needs in this moment. And how?
Most singles are willing to ask the first part of the question but not the latter. Not only should you know what your desires, wants, and needs are – you should also know what your partner can do to meet them.
If you are meeting potential dates that don’t meet your immediate standards, then it’s possible you’re not clear on what your standards really are. You don’t know what would truly satisfy you. In that case, ask yourself this: what would this person need to do to satisfy my need at this moment?
Because in the moment is where the decision is made. In the moment is where it matters most.