Being called picky is a hard pill to swallow. When others accuse us, we doubt ourselves and lower the bar. But if we don’t have high standards, we attract what we don’t want. We allow low-vibrational people who don’t add value to our lives. Learn how to set high standards the right way and replace doubt and fear with the knowledge that your standards aren’t high– they’re just right. Having high standards will allow the one who is right for you to enter your life. (Estimated reading time: 7 minutes)
“Strong women don’t have attitudes. They have standards.”— Unknown
“You’re asking for too much.”
“You’re standards are too high.”
“No one THAT perfect exists.”
“You are too picky.”
If you’re a single person who has heard some version of this in your life, you probably found it a hard pill to swallow. It made you doubt yourself and question your judgment. Maybe you should give that person a chance? Maybe settling for good enough is a mature thing to do?
After being caught up in this whirlpool of thoughts, many people settle for less than they deserve. Whether it’s due to social pressure, a race against their biological clock, or a fear of being alone, they settle for what I call a “meh” connection.
When you fail to set high standards, you attract what you don’t want. You’ll allow low-vibrational people in your space who don’t add value to your life. We attract people like this when we allow outside influences to lower the bar.
Settling for good enough is a sad fate that is easily avoided. It requires clarity about your needs, some life experience to know what’s out there, and more importantly, a child-like hope (minus the naivete) that someone worthy of your affection is out there.
When you do this, you’ll remove the sting out of being called “too picky” and replace it with self-assuredness, healthy discernment, and a knowingness that what others call “having high standards” is just right for you, allowing the right person for you to enter your life.
Dating now vs dating then: how the current love landscape works against us
If you’re a single person struggling to find love in today’s dating climate, know that you’re not alone. Modern dating is complicated, and if you’re looking for a committed relationship, it’s no longer as simple as two people meeting under the right conditions.
In an article, psychologist and counselor Nikki Martinez said that instant gratification from dating apps skips the normal courtship of talking and getting to know each other. “I see the dating start and burn out much faster before they find the one,” Martinez says.
As a culture, our priorities have shifted. We place importance on career growth and development as individuals. That’s why we prefer to marry or commit later in life or find less structured relationships that do not box us in. Modern-day relationships revolve around the total freedom of individuals.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting more space and delaying the commitment of a long-term relationship, it’s created challenges for those who are ready for one. They’ve had to deal with the fallout from this new culture.
This includes being treated more like a commodity than a real person with feelings. Casual dating has enabled shallow communication (texting instead of calling) and a lack of accountability for behavior (ghosting and breadcrumbing).
This contrasts with old-fashioned courtship, where rituals and rules guided the process. There was decency and reverence in every act. Putting the effort towards gaining someone’s affection was seen as a privilege and not a game.
The scarcity of suitable mates made the selection process easier and simpler.
Singles in the past had to choose from only a handful of eligible prospects in a small town. Today we have hundreds of options and unlimited “swipes” available at our fingertips.
When the average pool looks like boys suffering from Peter Pan syndrome or girls with Princess syndrome, it can be tempting to blame yourself for your lack of options instead of the new reality we live in. But you can be rest assured that nothing is wrong with you.
You’re not too picky – it’s called having high standards. Keep holding onto those, no matter how frustrated you get or how bleak your chances of finding love appear to be. It will pay off in the long run.
Needs vs wants: having high standards about the right things
Before we can completely vindicate ourselves, we need to be sure that we have high standards about the right things. Focusing on the wrong ones can make us unhappy, dissatisfied, and perpetually single.
To make this distinction, it’s essential to understand our needs and wants. Our primary relationship needs should include these five basic criteria:
- Trust and loyalty
- Working through disagreements
- Listening and feeling heard and seen
- Open communication
Requiring these traits is essential, not just for a relationship but also for your wellbeing. This may seem obvious, but plenty of people are okay with comprising on these criteria if it benefits them materialistically. They choose to oversee the lack in their partnership if their partner can buy them designer bags or look good on their arm.
Letting go of these core needs leads to co-dependence, abuse, unfaithful behavior, and lackluster connections. Bottom line: it’s a recipe for disaster.
Wanting a healthy relationship means you want to be understood, valued, and respected. You want someone who wants to be with only you and not have it any other way.
It’s also a sign of healthy self-esteem. It takes a strong person to say no to a coveted person who looks good on paper but cannot show up and be fully present in a relationship.
Outside of these needs, we have our own personal ones rooted in our beliefs, morals, values, lifestyles, and relationship preferences. Relationships are much easier when we find someone with whom we’re compatible and share chemistry.
One way to get clarity is by creating a list of your needs and wants. Needs are things that you’re not willing to compromise on. For instance, if your religion is an integral part of your life, you’ll only want someone who shares the same faith.
These non-negotiables ensure that you don’t lower your standards or allow your limiting beliefs from getting in the way of what you know you deserve.
On the other hand, wants are those qualities on which we can be flexible. Usually, this extends to more superficial things like physical attributes, financial status, education, popularity, and talent. People who prioritize wants over needs tend to fixate on tangible assets they want their partner to have: a Ph.D., a Bentley, or six-pack abs.
Those who give more importance to those assets believe that coupling with someone who possesses them will make them look good and boost their social value. They prefer validation and social mobility over depth and meaning.
With this mindset, it’s easy to be seduced into giving our wants more weight than our needs. We develop high standards for the wrong qualities that don’t matter when it comes to the health of a connection. This is when having high standards becomes a problem.
The benefits of having standards: why having high standards does not make you picky
Once we set our standards, we must find the right balance when it comes to how closely we adhere to them. Becoming too rigid can lead us to miss opportunities. People are complex beings with many rich layers to them. We must be flexible about expectations – not every box will be checked.
There are many valid reasons why having high standards does not make you picky. Here are the main ones that I believe can have the most significant impact on your life:
1. You can open up and be yourself (and feel safe)
Having high standards increases the chance of finding someone who can see your value and appreciate everything you bring to the table. With them, you can be your most authentic and vulnerable self. Every person needs a soft place to fall, where they can feel safe, uninhibited, and share their worries without being judged or criticized.
2. High standards protect you from toxic and low-value partners
High standards make it possible to weed out anyone who isn’t healthy, positive, and supportive. We commit to only surrounding ourselves with those who treat us with dignity and respect. Holding yourself in high regard will keep toxic people away who prey on those with low self-esteem.
3. You’re more likely to succeed in life
Studies show that the person we marry and spend a lot of time with affects our work success. Having a supportive partner and someone you get along with will put you in a positive frame of mind and bring out your best. But if we let just anyone into our personal space, there’s a chance that they will burden us with their issues and add a dead weight that slows us down.
4. You’ll have more confidence and show yourself respect
Setting boundaries is a sign that you respect yourself and know your value. You love yourself enough to prevent anyone from mistreating you, and you’re unafraid to speak up or cut them out of your life if you have to. In this way, you protect the energy around you and remain your most confident, strong, and powerful self.
5. People have a lot more respect for people with high standards
People watch how we behave, how we treat others, and more importantly, how we treat ourselves. People have more respect for those who communicate and demonstrate their standards. Those who command respect from others are admired and treated with dignity.
We’re more likely to develop power couple status when we set high standards. Not the type that we hear about in the media, but power couples that consist of two strong, evolved, and kind individuals joining forces. Imagine how much good can come from such dynamic unions?
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: Do you believe that having high standards can work in your favor? What are some standards you’re willing to set to find your dream partner (or find happiness in your existing connection)?
Did you like this post? Sign up below, and I’ll send you more awesome posts like this every week.
'The Fast Track Guide to Turning Your Dreams into Reality'