With the new year, many of us often set goals, resolutions, and standards that we plan to live by in to make for a happier and more prosperous year. I’m positive your social media timelines have been filled with “New Year, New Me” posts and memes declaring all the things that people are leaving behind. As we make those changes and explore what we will be expecting and accepting in our relationships, it is important to make sure we are not hypocritical by asking for things we are not willing to do or don’t even possess ourselves.
Year after year as we prepare to raise the bar, raise our standards, go to another level and mature in our relationships, many people’s standards read more like a wish list of demands. However, many forget to evaluate the one constant from all their failed relationships– themselves.
There is nothing wrong with having relationship goals, standards or expectations, but it is important to make sure they are realistic, not contradictory and exist on sliding scale.
Contrary to popular belief, not only can YOU have too high of a standard but you can also have too many to the point where nobody–not even Jesus— would meet your criteria.
It’s good to have standards but you can’t apply all at the same time. Sometimes you need to prioritize.
For example, if you want an ambitious and enterprising mate, it’s important to understand that their time and money is extremely connected. When they have the time they may not have money, when they have money they may not have time; so it’s a “love them busy or love them broke” scenario. Or they may do a lot of travel, or are constantly studying; life doesn’t fit comfortably into a box just for them.
Many often set up this extreme double standard where we ask for something too good to be true. Then if they think they’ve found it, they vilify that person for being too good to be true; Or they seek out certain characteristics but don’t realize what else they signed up for when they get it. People often demand a finished product but want to be accepted while they’re still under construction. They want all of the understanding and the working with to be done by the other person and that’s selfish because it suggests that we should never have to bend, give or change. It shows that we’ll never be equal partners in this relationship.
So in the New Year, try something new: Focus on being complementary to someone and accept your unique differences. You don’t have to be carbon copies of each other. What’s good for the goose is still good for the gander, so don’t just focus on what they bring to the table; focus on what YOU bring to the table…especially if they bring the table. It may also be wise to remove some stuff from the table. Not all standards are necessary. Some are just gravy.
Set a realistic standard and accept that he won’t be perfect. He will have issues, drama, history, baggage, and will need to grow in some areas just as you do. Realize that he will be under construction or in transition just as you are. Set a standard of understanding, grace, and mercy for yourself. We’re all ready for perfection but are you ready to not only be loved, but to love a person’s flaws and all? Are you willing to appreciate the transparency and vulnerability of someone showing you their flaws?
To get the relationships we want in the New Year, our standards might relate to healing, bonding, mending, support, intimacy, redemption, or growth. Most standards are about what we are not willing to do, but ask yourself what you are willing to do. Who are you willing to walk with and grow with? What is the amount of manageable problems you can deal with? Attempting not to settle, many people are always looking for better and can’t appreciate what they have. There’s a fine line between not settling and not being satisfied. Never underestimate or forget the power of a blessing in disguise.
Work on your standards for yourself so that when you find the person who meets all of your criteria, you won’t be underqualified for them.
Written By: Johnny Brownlee II
Follow Johnny on Instagram : @slin_k_polymath