Standards… We all have them.
They are a way for us to know how we feel about something, whether it is an event, a place, or a service. Was the hotel room up to the standard you had set beforehand, did the food meet your standard, was the cleaning service at the standard you wanted for how much you paid?
When people think of relationship standards, they want to jump to a ‘list’ of things they want in a partner.
We can all say we have a type, maybe long brown hair, maybe bad boys with a soft heart. The list of things you are attracted to is NOT the same as the standards you want in a relationship.
Relationship standards should reflect the standards you keep for yourself and others, what you believe you are worth, and what you are looking for when it comes to love.
What Should I Do When Setting Relationship Standards?
We all have different things we expect from a new relationship and things we look for in our love life counterparts.
I have my list of 4 must-haves that I think you should be setting before dating anyone.
1. Expect To Be Respected
In elementary school, we learn to respect ourselves and others, but we need to be reminded of this even as adults. When you imagine the relationships in your life, how do you hope to feel around these people?
It’s important to feel loved, feel safe to be yourself, and to be happy when you’re in a relationship. If you feel like any of that is missing (in general, not just for that moment after an argument), you may want to rethink whether your standards are being met.
It is also a two-way street. Just as you want respect, your romantic partner will want the same.
Don’t waste time wishing to have the person you knew at the beginning of the relationship if it starts to go south. As time goes on, people will show you who they really are.
When someone starts to show you who they really are, you better believe them.
2. Do They Keep Their Promises To You?
I get really excited when my partner tells me that they are planning a super fun date. I imagine how it will turn out and keep guessing until it happens.
The incredible disappointment of being let down when the date doesn’t happen is hard to describe. It can put a strain on any relationship if it keeps on happening.
That’s not to say it can’t happen from time to time because life happens. But if broken promises are standard, you need to set the standard that this is not something that you will not tolerate.
If this continues, you should end the relationship as they have shown to be unreliable and just don’t respect your time or feelings.
3. Be Someone Outside Of Being A Couple
When you first get into a relationship, it can seem like you and that person are the same. Maybe you like the same things or are willing to try new things just because they like it so much.
That is perfectly fine! But you will see, as time goes on, that synchronicity will start to fade.
It can be a bit of a shock, going from finishing each other’s sentences to finding out they absolutely hate doing your favorite hobby. Sometimes, the shock is so great, and you care for this person so much that we lose our way and put aside the things we like to please the other.
This can lead to codependency and losing your own happiness. You might even start to resent the person you are with.
If it is a healthy relationship, you both will understand that you both can like to do stuff outside of you being together. Maybe they like Star Wars, and you like Star Trek. Maybe you like baths with bath bombs, and they like quick cold showers.
That’s okay. It doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker just because you enjoy something they don’t. You are a human being with your own wants and dreams.
As long as no one is being hurt and there is a healthy compromise, it’s okay to be your own person outside of being a couple.
4. Communication In A Healthy Relationship
How is someone to even know your relationship standards in a relationship if you haven’t even told them?
Look to any talk show, other articles, even friends and family members. They all say the same thing; communication is key.
Be Up Front
Tell them your standards in the beginning. Let them know about how you want to see your life and the minimum requirements you have with dating.
Now is a good time to let them know if you want a serious relationship, sexual preferences, and other important components. If you are afraid of how they might react, they may not be right for you.
Be Willing To Compromise
Healthy compromises benefit both parties, reinforcing the reality of each other and bringing relationships closer.
The opposite is in an unhealthy compromise, where you or the other person have to make changes all the time. You start to become less authentic to yourself. You lose your happiness and your willingness to see the brightness in life.
Are You Ready For A Serious Relationship?
If you have:
- Set Your Standards
- Partner Has Set Theirs
- Reached Fair Compromises
- Are Generally Happy With Each Other
Then it might be time to move to the next step and consider a serious relationship.
It may sound a bit cheesy, but if it feels right to you, it probably is. Don’t scare yourself out of something beautiful and life-changing just because of your fear.
If you and your partner have done the work, take a look at your lives together, and are sure this is what you want: you’re probably ready.
The best sign of being ready for a serious relationship is to want it deep in your soul. The fear is gone. The anxiety of being in a relationship has passed.
You want something deeper, and you are ready to find it, fight for it, and pursue it.
My Final Thoughts
Remember, these are just some things I have noticed and worked on in my own life. You can always add more and change others.
People will say you have high standards for just wanting them to reach your bare minimum. You don’t need them in your life.
You are allowed to have standards, and you can say no to anything you don’t want.
I hope you will continue learning and growing into a better version of yourself every day.
Remember to love yourself and others around you.