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How to Tell if Your Dating Standards Are Too High “Are my dating standards too high?” “Maybe I should lower my standards…” I hear this often from men who aren’t getting the matches they want online or in person. It seems like wherever they look, all they see are women who’re either (a) amazing but already taken, or (b) not taken, but not as amazing potential matches for them.
So, what to do? Should you lower your standards as a default option to date more women? Doing that means you’re more likely to risk falling into a relationship and settling for less than you want. For many men, this is way worse than being single. Or do you determine whether your standards are legitimately too high (or too low, for that matter)? Going through this kind of thoughtful analysis is wise and helpful, and we’re about to do that together now!
In this post, we’ll follow up from the other post I wrote on . We’ll explore how to know if your standards are too low/high, and how to tell if you’re a match maturity-wise for what you’re seeking. First, What Are Healthy Relationship Standards? Are they legitimate requirements to ensure a high quality of life, grounded in self-respect?
Or are they excuses based on fear, in place to conveniently avoid real intimacy? Here’s the answer: As long as your standards for a woman are consistent with what you are offering her as well, they are legitimate. However, if your standards do not accurately reflect the man you are today, that’s something to look at. If they are inflated or deflated compared to what you are bringing to the table, that is when they are blocking you from intimacy.
Fixed Versus Flexible Characteristics Tied to Standards In terms of your lifestyle, quality of life, emotional health, social wellbeing financial sturdiness, career, age, and place in life, some parts of you are fixed, and some parts are flexible.
Fixed qualities include ethnic background, age, and some aspects of appearance. It also includes your history that has shaped you, though you can continue to grow and use anything for your development and good.
Flexible qualities include your attitude, health and fitness, relationship with money, and your career. Some of these things take time to build, but they are buildable, which is key to acknowledge.
You don’t need to wait to be at x specific point in your development before meeting someone. That said, it is smart to at least start on that path and stay super aware that you’re building yourself. You are still building, even once you’re deep into a relationship.
Growth never ends, which is one of the best parts of life! We can always improve and grow, and as we do, entire other worlds open up to us. When we grow quite a bit, we feel almost like different people peering out through the same eyes. We are the same, and yet we are very much not the same. Let’s now look together at whether your standards are too high or low when it comes to a few main areas.
Are Your Standards Too High or Low Regarding… • Values and Depth of Character • Social Lifestyle and Family Desires • Emotional Maturity in Relationship • Physical Presentation • Extras (Education, Career, Finances, Travel, Culture, Arts) Values and Depth of Character Why This Matters: Your values shape who you are as a man, and the same is true of any woman you’d like to date. Her values shape her. The deeper your values as a core part of you and your thoughts, the deeper your character and integrity.
The deeper your character and integrity, the more you can be trusted (by yourself and by others) across the board. This is so important in relationship! Being in touch with your values gives you the go-ahead to safely set “deeply held values” as a standard for yourself and the women you date and grow a relationship with.
Standards Too High: If you haven’t given much thought to your own values, then your standards of a woman who has full integrity may be too high. Similarly, if you have thought about your values, but your life is quite disconnected from them, are your standards too high there?
Yes, they could be. Rather than lower your standards to a woman who is disconnected from her values, it’s much better to improve your awareness of your own values!
You can do that through the exercise in my ebook . Standards Too Low: If you find that people are taking advantage of you in any part of your life (work, social life, family, romance), notice that. It is a signal that you may be cutting others way too much slack, allowing them more access to you than they deserve. The way out of this is to first realize that’s happening. Then practice viewing yourself the way you would a close friend.
Reason being, you’d encourage your friends to stand up for themselves and choose more carefully who they let into their lives!
So you can then extend the same care to yourself. Social Lifestyle and Family Desires Why This Matters: Your relationships will be happiest when your needs and desires are met inside and outside of the relationship, according to what those needs are and what makes sense to fill them!
This includes your groups of friends, your families, and the way you lead your life on a day-to-day basis. Standards Too High: If you want a woman to be your entire world, then are your standards too high? Yes. Reason being, no one can ever be your *everything* no matter what 80’s love songs say.
Standards Too Low: If you’re willing to become exclusive with someone whose family or lifestyle desires are very different from yours, consider upping your standards to better match the person you are today.
It’s not doing anyone any good to compromise on cornerstone pieces of life. Areas that are not worth sacrificing are… • Wanting to have kids or not have kids • Close proximity to loved ones or distance • Desire for nomadic life versus locational stability Emotional Maturity in Relationship Why This Matters: Hand-in-hand with quality of life and lifestyle is interpersonal relating.
When an issue comes up, are we reactive (clingy or pushy), or are we self-reflective? If we are more self-reflective, that is wonderful and yet the danger there can be doormatism.
This is where we trust the other person more than our own hearts and intuition. In this case, we can easily be pushed around or overly responsive to their reactivity. This is just as unhelpful, or more so, as being closed off in the first place. Standards Too High: If you are quite reactive and/or have weakened boundaries, it is very important to give proper attention to that. Before you can be in a relationship with someone discerning and healthy, you must be that too.
Standards Too Low: If you are measured and responsible with your emotional expression, but you keep attracting people who are all over the place, then perhaps your standards are too low. If your standards are too low, that is an invitation to see what inside of you is hurting or hiding or creating painful situations where there need not be any.
Physical Presentation Why This Matters: Your physical presentation is the way you present yourself to the world. It’s your first impression and your throughout-every-interaction impression! Even though there are so many more parts to you than just your physical self, it is an important part of you too. It signals to a potential partner, “Hey, here’s how I value myself.
Here’s how I perceive myself.” Standards Too High: If you are only attracted to women who take their fitness and health much more seriously, then that is a mismatch.
To solve that, you can actively bridge that gap by changing your lifestyle. And/or you can embrace your own place in fitness and health and feel that attraction with women who match your lifestyle. If you are attracted to women who dress really well and you’re not at that level yet, some intentional improvement there can be helpful too. Or again, you can go the other direction of embracing where you’re at and accurately seeing what would be a match. Standards Too Low: If you are in-process with your presentation improvement journey, then you are a match with women who are also in-process, not women who are not actively in-process.
So even though you may appear the same from the outside, if you’re moving forward but she’s not, then your directions are different. It’s important for your directions being aligned for it to be a good match. If her direction doesn’t match yours, then your standards may be too low. The more you acknowledge and feel proud of the direction you’re going, the more you’ll only be attracted to women who are also actively growing in the first place.
Extras (Education, Career, Finances, Travel, Culture, Arts) Why This Matters: Life areas outside of what we’ve already covered tend to matter to different degrees to different people. These areas tend to circle around education, career, finances, travel, culture, arts, and social groups. It’s good to note which ones are more important to you, so you can be aware of that as you choose your best match!
Standards Too High: If you are wanting a woman who travels all the time and knows six languages, and yet you haven’t left your hometown, that’s not necessarily a match. If you’re attracted to worldliness in excess of what you’ve developed, then what would be her motivation to sacrifice on that developed part of herself? Standards Too Low: Alternatively, have you achieved quite a lot in education, career, or any other area that’s important to you?
(And if you’ve been successful with it, then that’s likely a reflection that it’s important to you!) If so, then you can reasonably ask for the same in a partner. Examining Whether Standards Are Too High “I either need to improve myself or lower my standards.” Correct! If what you’re bringing to the table is less than what you are wanting in a partner, the solution is to either (a) improve yourself or (b) settle for less than what you want.
Since (b) is completely uninspiring and wholly unnecessary, let’s not do that one! Let’s go with (a) on improving yourself since that is both inspiring and necessary to attracting what you want. Here’s an example of an Introverted Alpha reader who was wondering, “Are my standards too high?” // IA Reader: Hey Sarah, I’m trying to get more higher-quality matches online. In the last 2 weeks, I went on dates with 3 women that I met online. One was very cool, but she declined my latest offer at a date.
One was okay, and she hasn’t texted me in several days. The third woman and I like each other, but she lives about 90 minutes away (in light traffic) In short, despite getting some mid-to-good quality connections, they’re not going anywhere. One reason may be “chemistry”, so I need to improve my flirting (or something). Or I need to lower my standards. Thanks, S / Sarah: Hi S, Great email, thank you. Where are your standards currently, and what specifically would you consider lowering?
/ IA Reader: Good question, I made a list a while back. I used to want a professional woman who is ambitious and has more hobbies than Netflix and drinking. After the last few months, I’ve removed those from the list because I couldn’t find enough of them.
My “ideal” list is now: Smart Beautiful Responsible Doesn’t want kids Introverted Not Too Busy (in other words, we make time for each other) Doesn’t want to party all the time Nonsmoker, not an alcoholic or drug addict Agnostic/atheist/not too religious Has a healthy lifestyle (fitness, sleep, mindset) Sometimes if I wonder if I should lower my beauty standards. I’m a pretty average-looking guy, but I’m physically fit.
At the same time, I want a partner who is normal-sized. Does that make sense? What do you think I should do going forward? // Your Standards: Too High, Too Low, or Just Right? Let’s wrap this up Goldilocks-style, with “too hot, too cold, or just right.” To answer S’s question and wrap us up, most of attractiveness (and the basis for our standards) comes from how we care for ourselves inside and out.
Inside, it’s about being loving to ourselves and building our uniquely confident vibes. Outside, it’s about health, fitness, skincare, grooming, clothes… those are most important. So, as long as you are aware and building towards attracting a great true match on those levels, you’re good to go! For more on attracting an awesome partner starting with very little dating experience, check out .
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Hollywood ruined real life relationships didn’t it? We expect to have relationships like Chuck and Blair or Allie and Noah. We like to think that falling in love just happens or that you’ll randomly meet your in the back of a limo. Sure there are going to be ups and downs but in you usually you’ll end up with the person you are suppose to be with, right?
We will find our soulmate and have a happily ever after. But that’s not how real life works because we don’t exist in an episode of Gossip Girl or a Nicholas Sparks novel (as much as we would love that). We don’t date certain guys because we’re afraid they aren’t our , but how do you know what your type is before you’ve even been on a real date? Somewhere around middle school it was “cool” to make a list of traits that your future boyfriend or even husband was going to have. Yes, that was utterly stupid for many reasons other than the fact we were in middle school and had zero idea what “” was.
I mean, we just thought it meant holding hands in the hallway. Now fast-forward to college and you see that people are still sticking with the whole “ he’s not my type” thing. What if we have a set of expectations that could be too high for real people to fulfill?
What if we are setting our standards to those of fictional characters and then miss out on all the fun we could be having with someone who may simply surprise us with their refreshing realness . What if that tipsy boy from that Frat party last weekend was your soulmate, and you totally blew him off just because you don’t think that you can fall in love while .
Maybe he has more confidence from that shot or two of whisky and, built up the courage to talk to you and you totally judge him because this isn’t the way you envisioned to meet the love of your life. High standards are great.
I’m not saying you need to lower them in any way at all. I’m also not telling you to just go date the next guy that walks by you on the street. But what if you are just being too picky for the wrong reasons. There’s a difference between not wanting a relationship that is harmful to you and not giving any relationship a chance because he’s not what you consider “marriage material.” You’re still in , what you deem “marriage material” now may not be the same when you’re actually ready to get hitched.
Here’s a secret: You don’t have to only date guys you think you are going to . Sure every relationship has the possibility to become a marriage but in no way does that mean every relationship will or should. Stop looking for the guy you’re going to marry and just start looking at the guys you like to hang around.
Chances are they have more qualities you like then the prince charming or the Chuck Bass you’ve been waiting around for. Our culture right now allows us to not have to worry about marriage too much until we are ready for it. I think that’s one of the benefits to a hookup culture, so why force yourself to live in a box when you don’t have to?
You end up limiting yourself without even realizing it. Featured Image via
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