Don’t tell me to lower my standards

With today’s world of online culture and strong desires for instant gratifications, dating and relationships have completely changed. For better or for worse, it all varies on personal opinions and preferences. The rise of the hookup culture and postponed marriages has made loving relationships reserved for romantic comedies and fantasies.

As a young, ambitious woman who desires someone who is liked-minded and self-motivated to acquire more out of life, I am told over and over again, “you should lower your standards. You’re never going to find someone that fits your list”. And I cannot begin to describe to you how angry I feel and at the same time, disappointed I am in our society every time I hear this.

As a driven twenty-something year old, I cannot begin to grasp why we, as a society, are encouraging each other to downgrade and lower ourselves. It honestly AMAZES me how people want to be average, and sometimes even less than average, so much so that we are settling for half-assed attempts and bullshit apologies for not meeting the basic requirements.

I understand that this will be a sore topic for most because most of us, have either said it or accepted the fact, that we expect too much. The funny thing is, having these unfilled expectations doesn’t reflect badly on the other person for not meeting them, no. Instead, it reflects badly on us for expecting more out of a person and wanting them to do better. HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?! Why are we being shamed for wanting to more out of life, wanting to do more, be more than the average John or Jane Doe?! Why do we continue to lower the standards more and more and accept half of the efforts? Is it because we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings? Or is it because we want them to like us?

This topic reflects on everything from relationship expectations to our education system. It honestly blows my mind that my friend has to vent how some guy thought he “talked funny” and my friend was shamed for speaking basic 8th grade English with good grammar and proper sentence structure.

The guy said “you sound all smart and shit.”

WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT OUR SOCIETY?!

It honestly DRIVES ME INSANE that we continue to settle so much so that we are grooming a generation of illiterate and absent-minded children who only care about social approval, measured by the number of likes and Twitter followers, and material goods. The same generation who lack, not only ambition to achieve more and contribute to society, but a plan to acquire their goals.

Listen, I understand that we are all trying to figure out this crazy thing called life. I honestly do. I am too in fact, however what bothers me is that so many people are doing absolutely nothing to make a difference, in society, in the world, or even in their own lives. And yet, we continue to reward them and praise their minimal effort because we are afraid to discourage them. We nurture them, cater to their needs, and do everything for them. Then wonder why is it that they are incapable of raising themselves and doing more to make something of themselves. At that point, is it really their fault or ours for babying them?!

With all of that being said, No. I WILL NOT lower my standards because you fail to meet them. And yes, I understand that I will be single for a probably a very long time (at this rate, for good) and I am okay with that. I rather focus my time and energy on important things, such as my career, my personal development, and contributing to society. IF, and when, I meet a person who is extremely intelligent, extraordinarily ambitious, and wants to make a real difference, then thats when it’ll happen.  Until then, please do not try to make me feel guilty for wanting more out of life because you don’t.

Thank you.

Melissa

 Inspired by Taye Diggs’s character when he commented to his partner “You should lower your standards” in his new show ‘Murder in the First’

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14 Replies to “Don’t tell me to lower my standards”

  1. Although there no hope of you finding this person, that is where an extraordinary thing happen. The combination of Dopamine, Oxytocin, and testoserone with a flick of neuro synapses synergistically conjures the “love” response. Such a reaction is hardly considered a rare occurrence, but we think it is. And that is our biggest mistake.
    Despite that there is still a chance you will find that person, given you explore the depths of every canyon to the fullest extent within your demographic variance, and let us also assume no other potential lovers can demonstrate behaviors atypical of what you would find in a less constrained society of either the behavioral objectives (your generic boyfriend), or so to speak, or the less common, but well sought after derivationally motivated contingency (THE ONE).
    So you will find this person, but their presence won’t trigger alarms or ring any bells, because the majority of our lives we rely on gut feelings and neuroreceptors as official litmus paper for attraction. It’s extraordinary how such a significant event can pass by us so quietly without leaving a trace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Ivan. It’s interesting you bring this up. Science proves that the neurological process of what happens when the we “fall in love” is the result of chemicals in the brain. However, when it comes to trust development, we rely on the chemical reactions that happens somewhere else (in what we believe is our “gut feeling” and our intuition). It’s always interesting to look at human behaviors and patterns because you’re right, one may meet the “one” but not know that it is them since the chemical reaction did not occur.

      On a less scientific level, at that point, I would be more than happy to be friends with someone if they showed the signs that I enlisted as desirable qualities in a partner but like a physical and sexual attraction.

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  2. Hi Melissa:
    I’m responding to this particular phrase here “IF, and when, I meet a person who is extremely intelligent, extraordinarily ambitious, and wants to make a real difference, then thats when it’ll happen.”

    It is admirable that you are determined to maintain a high standard, however even at the cost of conjugality, but as I expressed, finding a person to meet your “Standard” is not the issue.

    You are emphasizing a high standard, I’m questioning the relevancy of a standard at all because a standard is nothing more than a quantitative mean to measure a person. If you measure a man by his height, intelligence, erectile length, muscle to fat ratio, hair color etc etc, you’ll find plenty whom will fit the same criteria, no matter how “high” you believe your standards are. A man measured by his level of integrity and character doesn’t need to meet any standard.

    Standards fluctuate and their value depreciates with time. Character and integrity are substances of unequivocal value measured in absolutes, not standards. You are, or you are not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ivan,

      I am very glad you brought this up. I had a conversation about this very topic of what my “standards” are and you touched on the exact topic of what I mean by my “high standards”. Typically, when people ask, I describe to them my “general standards”: physical features, level of ambition, etc. Even then, people are turn off by how hard it is to find someone that meet those so-called “standards”.

      With being said, you’re absolutely right, it’s not hard to find someone that is attractive. The world has plenty of good looking people and looks depreciate over time. It’s not even hard to find someone that’s smart. There are plenty of intelligent people out there, you simply have to know where to look. What is hard is to find someone of high integrity, character, and aspirations to make a positive change in their community. I typically don’t discuss this with many people because most are already overwhelm by my mentioning of my “generic standards”. I can’t imagine what they would say if I were to describe what I really wanted of the expectations I have towards a future partner, in terms of the conversations we would share and how we would challenge each other.

      In conclusion, I am glad that you were able to question me further after seeing that my writing did not reflect what “high standards” really are. It also shows a lot about you that you were able to see that and bring it up. So thank you.

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  3. Quite frankly, I feel you made it absolutely clear what you want in terms of character, integrity and commitment to societal and community improvement. With that, you need to know where to look for individuals that meet those attributes, just as with someone who is “smart.”
    Let’s get the rhetoric out of the way and state the obvious — you will find someone who rings every bell and fits your type as you appear to exemplify all the characteristics you are in search of in a mate. You will continue to put yourself in situations where you will come across mind-liked individuals and a spark will happen. It won’t feel like a chemical reaction or anything remotely as base as that. It will be love that fits so much more than a type or chemical chain reaction and you will be impassioned by this new relationship. It’s so much more than ordinary occurrences. So, go forth with your ambition and know that one day love will you.
    Best Wishes!

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    1. Thank you Peeksi for your comment. The type of chemical reaction Ivan mentioned, in my opinion, is what most people would categorize as “love at first sight”. Although I grew up idealizing romantic comedies and Disney love stories, I learned that “love at first sight” isn’t for me. The type of love I am interested in grows over time. As you said, “it’s so much more than ordinary occurrences” for it takes time to learn about someone, their character, and eventually love them. The notion of falling in love and relationship should be less of a tripping and hit the ground motion but more of a snowball effect that gets bigger and better as it goes.

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  4. I completely agree with what you’ve written. During my middle school days, I excelled in the classroom and thrived in advanced honors classes, and actually loved learning. My group of friends, smart as they were, were some levels behind me. I never thought anything of it, until I started getting picked on and left out because “being smart” and liking class “wasn’t cool.” I took the bullying to heart and lowered my standards for myself, and curtailed my potential. It took quite a few years to be able to validate my own standards and repair my self esteem. My last two years of college were my proudest, namely spring semester of senior year, during which I completed 17 course credits, held an internship and worked three on-campus jobs. Perhaps I expect too much of myself from time to time, but I am happy pushing myself to my fullest potential and constantly testing my limits. This may not be a quality many people have or value, but I won’t pull back to ensure their approval. In fact, I have been lucky enough to be approached by a number of people expressing their respect and appreciation for the work that I do and the example I set. It’s an amazing thing to think my actions and self-standards are able to motivate people to bring out their best selves, and it makes my life worth every bit of work.

    Additionally, I began dating someone about 10 months ago, which is admittedly my longest relationship. We’ve had our bumps in the road and had seemingly worked through them all, but after six months, he revealed that he had been cheating on me with his ex-girlfriend (a mutual friend) and had been lying to me and all of our friends about the affair. He expressed remorse, but with all the lies, I couldn’t bring myself to forgive him. In fact, I was quite vocal in my disapproval of his deceit and how disrespectful it was towards me and all of the folks he had lied to. We were separated for about a month before we ran into each other again, and he asked for an opportunity to speak with me. Knowing that he thinks pretty highly of himself, I was surprised when he started the conversation with tears and apologies, and he proceeded to fill me in on the happenings of our month apart. He thanked me for my candid honesty during the breakup, and had reevaluated his own standards in the interim. He had since sought professional help to understand and control his actions, and has gone above and beyond to mend relationships with all parties involved. We did begin dating again, and for the first time in my life, I understand what it means to be in love. There are difficult moments, mind you, but we’re working through them together. He told me a few weeks back just how much he admires the high expectations I have set for myself, and that it inspires him to do the same. He asked me to stay true to my standards and never lower them to accommodate him. We both understand that his improvements are not just for our relationship, but for him to feel truthfully fulfilled and successful.

    I have big dreams and goals for my life, but I am unapologetic and unwavering in my efforts to achieve them. As validation, I have had some amazing opportunities to advance my career further than I ever thought possible. I was also sure that these standards and expectations would leave me single for a long time (possibly my whole life), but I am beyond happy to say that this is not the case either. The short moral of this reply: never lower your standards, but be weary how you use them to judge others. My blanket idea of ‘high standards’ is the willingness to constantly improve yourself. Not everyone’s potential is the same, therefore their standards will not all match and they may be unable to ever reach the expectations you set for yourself. But, if people feel motivated by your example to reach their highest ideals, they will rise to the occasion. I have seen it happen, and in turn, it continues to inspire me on a daily basis.

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    1. Kris, thank you so much for your honest and personal response. It means a lot to me that you were willing to share so much.

      To start, I can definitely relate to your experience. In college, I loaded myself with my studies, extracurricular activities, and had a lot of me-time. I was also judged by some and respected by others. Now looking back, I couldn’t have been happier with my choice to push and better myself for it lead me to be who I am today and I have met some really remarkable people who appreciates me for who I am. I know one shouldn’t relay on others for their approval but it honestly is an amazing feeling to meet someone who’s liked-minded and appreciate all the things about you that other people use to put you down for. I am glad you were able to have that rewarding experience as well!

      Also, I am so thankful for your advice: “never lower your standards, but be weary how you use them to judge others”. It is something that I am currently facing. I know that I am different from most people, well the people that I grew up with and some of the current people that I surround myself with. I understand that I want different things in life, however I am continuously work to accept them for who they are and try to pull myself back from pushing too much of my goals onto them. You’re right, “not everyone’s potential is the same” and “their standards will not all match and they may be unable to ever reach the expectations”. It is unfortunately because I see myself wanting more for them than they do and it’s an upsetting feeling to see someone wasting their potential.

      Anyways, I really appreciate your comment and advice. I will keep in mind. Thank you

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  5. I usually never comment on blog posts but I felt I had to on this one because you hit the nail right on the head and I felt like you were speaking ME. I can insanely relate to this, as I am a twenty-six year old girl, ambitious and want to and WILL change the world one day. I have been asked out and proposed to numerous times from guys of all backgrounds but have turned down every single one of them so far because I just cannot settle for someone whose life revolves around him only and his family and daily needs and pleasures. I want someone who is determined to make an impact on people’s lives, and there is no hell of a way I can settle for less than that. People say I will not find that person but you know what? I will. And even IF I don’t, I would rather be single and changing the world on my own than to be in a relationship I am not happy in and spend every day miserable thinking what I could have done. All this to say, stick to your beliefs and thoughts and one day you WILL meet that person and everyone will realize how it was all worth the wait.

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    1. Thank you Itsybitsy for sharing your experience.

      I am touched to hear that you felt so connected to this piece. I also relate to your comment about wanting a partner who wants to make an impact in the lives of other. A rare trait to find, I will tell you that. Not settling just because you’re lonely or bored is powerful and I wish more woman had your attitude. Furthermore, I am also proud to hear of another strong, ambitious woman who aspires to change the world and make a difference. That is AMAZING and I hope you never loose that drive.
      In closing, I am excited to share with you, since this post, I have found a partner, who is working on changing the world himself, and we are very happy. I have no doubt you will find an amazing partner that fulfills your needs and so much more. If I may share something from my experience, you’ll be surprised at how you may find someone in the most unexpected way.

      Best of wishes, and thank you for reading.

      Best,
      Melissa

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      1. Hi Melissa,
        Thank you for replying to my comment. It is wonderful to know that you have found your partner! I am truly very happy to hear that. It would actually be amazing to hear your story on how you have found your partner. Is there a blog post where you share your story that I can read?

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  6. Hi Melissa,
    Thank you for replying to my comment. It is wonderful to know that you have found your partner! I am truly very happy to hear that. It would actually be amazing to hear your story on how you have found your partner. Is there a blog post where you share your story that I can read?

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    1. @itsybitsy, thank you for your kind words. I did referenced my relationship in my recent article Why Everyday Should Be Valentine’s Day (http://wp.me/p4o2TN-d0) and I’m sure you’ll see sprinkles of it here and there in future blog posts since he is influential, both as a partner and as an individual.

      Also, to thank you for being such an awesome reader and inspiring woman, I’ll leave you with this: the secret to our relationship is our uncompromisable desire to grow. As long as we both have good intensions towards one another and aim to grow to better ourselves and individuals and as partners, than we’re happy. I hope this helps!

      Best,
      M

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