First of all, let’s establish that having high standards in relationships is not a bad thing. Everyone deserves to be happy, and everyone is free to define what that means for them. If that means that you won’t settle for anything other than a doppelgänger of your favorite movie star with the personality of a saint — so be it. It’s all good. It only becomes a problem when you don’t realize that your standards are too high. And if they are (and you don’t), hopefully this article can help.
1. You’ve never had a long-term relationship
You might have had many good friendships, many short relationships, but never something that would stick for a while. Not inherently bad, but if the common thread is that “nobody was good enough and there’s something wrong with them” consider they maybe your standards might be too high. It’s entirely possible you’ve just been unlucky with the people you’ve met, but also — maybe not?
2. You judge people. A lot.
Generally speaking, being judgmental isn’t a good character trait to have. And it’s one thing if you’re judgmental, you know about it, and you’re fine with it. It’s a completely different thing if you’re judgmental and it’s getting in the way of you meeting new people, making new friends, and starting new relationships. If your knee-jerk reaction is to judge people and immediately look for what’s wrong with them, you’re going to have a tough time avoiding loneliness. Just make sure you don’t overcorrect. It’s better to be judgmental than have no “filter” for the people you’re spending your time with.
3. You have standards you’re not even aware of
Like I’ve said earlier — high standards are not a bad thing. You can have high standards and live your life with them in mind, looking for people who meet them. What’s awful is when you have standards you’re not even aware of. If you haven’t done the introspection bit of thinking “who’s right for me” then you’ll constantly be hitting an invisible wall of finding things you don’t like about people at random moments.
4. Your friends are GREAT
Making friends (and meeting new people in general) is much easier when you’re younger. When you’re younger you’re surrounded with so many people in school, in the area where you live, and just generally in life. And there aren’t any “social norms” that get in the way of you sparking a friendship with them. So, with your high standards and your high likelihood of meeting new people when you’re young — you’ve likely already encountered many people who meet your standards and are now your friends. And they’re absolutely great. They’re supportive, they’re kind, they speak the same language as you (figuratively and literally), and it’s a joy to be around them. The only problem is that they’re friends, and you’re looking for something more than that.
5. You don’t give people chances
Not giving people chances comes hand in hand with being judgmental. Or at least it can. And not giving people chances isn’t great. Standards, in general, are good as a “filter”, but it might be unreasonable to expect somebody perfect to come by and meet all of them. Be on the lookout for people who meet most of them and give them a chance. After all, whatever they might be missing in one aspect of your standards, they might more than make up for in another. If you don’t give them a chance and get to know them better, you might not know what kind of a great person they are. You might be cutting them off because they don’t like the same music that you do, but they also might be the kindest person you’ve ever met. And, in this case, you’re missing out.
6. You give too many chances
The opposite is also true. It’s okay to have standards and boundaries. If someone is just not a good person you don’t have to continue giving them chances to prove that they’re good for you (no matter how cute they are). Remember — your happiness comes first, and if somebody continues making you unhappy, it’s not reasonable to continue giving them chances. Just because they meet your standards in a “check all the boxes” kind of way doesn’t mean they’re the person you should be with.
7. Your ideal partner is a demigod
No joke, I have a friend whose type is “Chris Hemsworth or Tom Hiddleston doppelgänger”. For what it’s worth, those are two very different kinds of people, but I can’t help but notice that both of them played gods in Marvel’s Avengers. And, on one hand, it’s fine… You go girl! On the other hand, if you’re literally looking for god-like characters to date, maybe your standards really are too high. Definitely something to look into!
8. You refuse to act first
Sometimes you have to be proactive in finding the right person for you. Your standards are already very high, and if that comes with you being judgmental then perhaps the perfect people for you are just too intimidated to approach you and show any kind of interest. Maybe sometimes you should consider making the first step and showing interest yourself.
9. You only ever look in one place
You might only be looking for people in one place. It might be your campus, your place of work, your neighborhood, or online communities with people who enjoy the same things you enjoy. However, if “proximity” is one of the standards in your book, you’re really narrowing down the amount of people that you could become friends with. Broaden your horizons! There’s so many fish in the sea (so to speak).
10. You know what you want
In the end, knowing what you want is a good thing. It’s always better to have high standards rather than no standards at all. There’s no way to be happy if you just settle for the first thing that comes your way, no matter what that is. You have to have standards and you have to have healthy boundaries. So, even if you find that having high standards is becoming a problem for you — don’t beat yourself up about it.
11. You know your own value
Don’t beat yourself up about your high standards. You just know what you bring to the table, you know you’re a good person, and you know you deserve to be happy. If you’re a great person, you deserve to be with someone who sees you as such and is also, in their own way, a great person.
12. You shouldn’t settle for less
At the end of the day, it’s important that you don’t settle for less. If you settle, you will be unhappy knowing that the person you’re with just doesn’t stack up to the person you imagined yourself being with. It’s one thing to understand that nobody is perfect (that’s healthy). It’s a completely different thing when you settle for someone that doesn’t meet even the basic criteria of being interesting, kind, and excited to be with you.