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 in 2016. 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, working towards and/or don’t 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 or list of demands for their next relationship. Yet, 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, they don’t contradict and that they exist on sliding scale.
Contrary to popular belief you not only can have too high of a standard, but you can also have too many to the point that 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 we think we’ve found it, we vilify those people for being too good to be true. Or we seek out certain characteristics but don’t realize what else we sign up for when we get it. We often demand finished products but want to be accepted while still under construction. We want all of the understanding and the working with to be done on our part; and that’s selfish because it suggests that we should never have to bend, give or have to change. It shows that we’ll never be equal partners in this relationship.
So in the New Year, try something new:
Focus on being and searching for a compliment or 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, that they won’t be perfect. They will have issues, drama, history, baggage, and will need to grow in some areas, just as you do. Realize that they 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 the 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 standard might have to deal with: healing, bonding, mending, support, intimacy, redemption, growth. Most standards are about what we are not willing to do, question yourself on what are you 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 often are always looking for better and can’t appreciate what they have. A fine line exists between never settling and never being satisfied. Never underestimate or forget the power of a blessing in disguise.
Let’s work on our standards for ourselves of what we wish to be in our next relationships, so just in case you find this person that meets all of your criteria, you won’t be under qualified for them.
Written By: Johnny Brownlee II
Follow Johnny on Instagram : @slin_k_polymath