Updated: Feb 26, 2021
Alright, let’s talk about standards. A topic that I feel so important to discuss, maybe because I am still trying to figure out what mine are and how to implement them into my dating life. The funny thing I have come to learn about myself is that I am a person who feels things very, very deeply; yet on the outside I tend to never let people in on how I really feel. I don’t know if it is my coping mechanism, a toxic trait or if it is my fear of vulnerability, but what I have come to understand is the importance of being open and effectively communicating your standard with others.
It has been through my years of dating that I am actively working towards owning my standard when a person I am dating doesn’t choose to meet them. I have always been known for being "too nice,'' as I value people’s feelings significantly and never intend to make anyone ever feel inferior. I felt as though if I told someone that their behaviour was less than desirable, they would think I was the biggest bitch in all the land which was (and still continues to be) a big fear of mine. I don’t know why I stress and work myself up into a tizzy when I am simply letting a person, who is practically a stranger, know what I will tolerate and what I will not.
It has been over the past year that I made a vow to myself to “level up” and own my standard regardless of how handsome, sexy, funny or perfect I thought a certain guy was for me. It has been through casually dating a few people here and there that I have put into practice what I preach. Let me tell you, if you were privy to the times I have typed a message (in my iPhone notes, I must add) stared at it for days on end pondering if it was too “bitchy” or “crazy.” Then proceeding to precisely select what smiley face to use and continue over analyzing every single word before I would finally gain just enough confidence to hit send. All of this was then followed by throwing my phone across the room before bursting into hives due to stress. I am not over-exaggerating any part of that grueling process... and trust me, I wish I was because simply typing it out makes me feel like an absolute tool.
I have always envied women and men who have no problem making their standards known and adhering to them no matter what circumstance they find themselves in. Why do I feel like I am going to burn in hell if I tell someone that I am no longer interested in pursuing the connection when their behaviour, attitude, beliefs or values do not align with mine?
Although I nearly stroke out every time I tell a guy off (which by my family and friends standards is still, “too nice”) I have gained so much power and respect in myself. For all of the anxiety that led up to the moment prior to me hitting send, it is all worth it to experience the overwhelming feeling of owning my worth and stepping back into my power. My power of knowing what I have to offer and politely saying no to those who choose to not see and value the person that I am.
Growth is supposed to be uncomfortable and scary, but if you never push your limits then you will never receive your desired outcome. One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Einstein stating that, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I now understand that in dating, I was living a life of insanity. I would date guys and allow them to treat me a certain way when I knew deep down it was not what I deserved or that I wanted long-term; yet I was so paralyzed by my fear of owning my standard that I would find myself in these situations countless times.
As I sit here writing this, still as single as they come; I now am truly ok with it. My phone might be drier than the Sahara Desert, but it is far better than entertaining red flags simply because I needed my ego stroked.
I am so proud of the woman that I have and will continue to become.
I am excited to continue to evolve, own my standard and expectations with less and less angst. Today, I now choose to express my needs in a respectful way, yet walk away if they are not being met. People might say I set the bar too high, but that is only because for my whole life the bar was on the ground and people still found a way to go under or around it. I had no boundaries, but now I have finally come to realize that the people who get upset about my standards were the people who benefited from me not having any in the first place.
My message to those reading is to own who you are, own your non-negotiables and break your toxic traits. Please know you are deserving of love and do not ever settle for a person, job or situation that does not ignite a spark in your soul. Refuse to lower your standards simply to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs. You got this!