We get conflicting messages as women as when to lower our standards and when not to. Sometimes, as little girls, we are told that we are princesses who must never give up and hold out for our knight in shining armor, so that’s what we do, passing up other choices along the way until we meet this imagined savior. Other times, we are told we shouldn’t be so picky and to accept what comes our way, leading to disastrous consequences. Because of these mixed messages, it can be hard to know what should really happen. The truth is that we should do both. When it comes to our expectations of a partner and relationship, we should lower our expectations if someone doesn’t quite fit the mold of who we were expecting. If we hold out for that knight on a white horse all of our lives, we may be waiting a long time. The truth is that most of us have some emotional baggage and/or hang-ups from our childhoods that define who we are, so that means no one is perfect and it will be hard to find someone that is. We are all persons who are constantly learning, coping with past hurt, and hoping for a better outcome.
However, when it comes to our standards for how we should be treated by a partner and in a relationship, we should never lower those standards. We most hold steadfast to our beliefs in how we should be treated and never expect less. When we do lower them, we do not know it, but we are agreeing to a contract where the other person sees that less is expected of them and may treat us worse. The worst part of this is that as young women, most of us do not know what standards we should be holding, so we blindly go through relationships until we figure out what we like and don’t like and what we can accept and what we can’t. As parents, it is crucial to instill standards in all of our children at a young age to help them through their journey. This starts with having standards for yourself and what you are willing to do with your own life.
Above all else, it is the standards that we set for ourselves that should matter more than anything else. If we can’t even live up to our own standards, how can we expect someone else to live up to them? And if we fall, we must learn to forgive ourselves as well, because many women are trapped in a cycle of guilt and remorse that doesn’t allow them to move on. So what standards should we have for ourselves? They can be as simple as watching how we speak about others and how we treat them. When we can achieve our own standards, we will begin to understand how we allow others to treat us. If we see ourselves as worthy, we know we should be treated as such. Not all of us are looking for a mate, but if we are, we must remember to lower our standards in regards to what we expect them to be, but never in terms of how they treat us.