Don't Tell Me My Standards Are Too High

Don't Tell Me My Standards Are Too High

I will wait, and I will not settle.
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Seven years ago, I sat in the back of my parents’ mini van on the way to my first college tour. My mom and I were chatting away about all of the exciting things that would be coming up in the next few years: graduating high school, moving into a dorm and of course, dating college boys. It was during that conversation that my mom encouraged me to make a list — that is, a list of traits and characteristics I was looking for in a guy. This way, I would have standards to go by, making it much more difficult for me to settle for just any boy who came along.

So that afternoon in the back of that minivan, I started writing my list. At the very top of the list were the really important things:

Loves Jesus

Taller than me

Great personality

Hard worker

Good sense of humor

Then as I went further down the list, I got a little more specific:

Likes to cook

No piercings

Plays/loves sports

At least six feet tall

Brown or blue eyes

And the list kept going.

Once I finished it, I would tell my friends and family about my list, very proud of the fact that I had standards, and high standards at that. However, many of the people I told about this list were not as proud. In fact, a lot of them were downright discouraging. I would hear things like:

“That’s a pretty lofty list, Kristen.”

"I wouldn’t get your hopes up.”

“You’re going to need to tone that list down a little if you want to find someone.”

“I hope you’re willing to be single for a long time.”

“You’re never going to find someone that fits all of those standards."

Or my personal favorite…

“Good luck with that."

I look back at this wrinkled piece of paper now and can’t help but chuckle, because my list was really detailed, and looking back now, those people had a point that it was going to be pretty difficult to find someone who matched every single item on that list.

So over the next few years, my standards changed pretty drastically. As I navigated my fair share of dating disasters, I started to realize what was really important, and what wasn’t.

Now, seven years later, this is what my list looks like:

  1. Has an obvious, growing relationship with Jesus
  2. Has a heart for others
  3. Has a kind, gentle spirit
  4. Strives to fulfill God’s call on his life
  5. Pursues me and treats me with love and respect
  6. Thinks my character, my faith and my personality are attractive qualities
  7. Wants a family
  8. Strives for purity, even when it’s difficult
  9. Taller than me

OK, so the last one carried over from the first list, but everything else is pretty much new. Either way, I thought that this version of my list would be much more realistic and would make it much easier for me to find someone. Not only that, but I thought other people would be much more supportive and encouraging about this list than they were the last one.

Boy, was I wrong.

Once again, I heard the same old lines, all of which could be summed up in four words:

“Good luck with that.”

For a while, this discouragement really bothered me. Partially because I’m a people pleaser, and I want people to like me and not think I’m an idiot. But mainly, it bothered me because for 5 years, I never got past a second date with anyone. So I couldn’t help but wonder if there was some truth to what these people had been telling me. What if I really was going to have to lower my standards if I wanted to find someone? What if I had no choice but to settle? What if they were right?

Thankfully, it didn’t take me long to realize that these discouragers weren’t any more right about my standards than I was about thinking Rachel was going to pick Peter in the "Bachelorette" finale.

I have a list that I not only believe I can be proud of, but I have a list that I believe my Heavenly Father is proud of, too. Every single thing on my list (other than the one about being taller than me) is backed by what He talks about in His Word.

He desires all of us to have a growing relationship with Him. (Ephesians 3:17-19)

He asks all of us to be kind, caring and gentle towards other people. (Galatians 5:22-23)

He tells us to value someone’s character over their appearance. (1 Samuel 16:7)

He commands us to live a life purity, to love each other and to respect each other. (1 Timothy 4:12)





So, to all of the people who have discouraged me over the years because of my list, to the people who have said I’ll never find someone according to my standards, please hear me when I say this.

Don’t tell me my standards are too high.

I truly believe my standards for a husband are in line with God’s standards for all of His children. He was the originator of this list. He came up with each and every quality. So if you have a problem with my list, then feel free to take it up with my Heavenly Father.

And let me be the first to say, good luck with that.

Cover Image Credit: Courtesy of Noelle Leopard

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30 Things Guys Wish Girls Knew

Things a best male friend would tell you.
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1. The sexy, crazy fun girl doesn’t always win the guy.
Yes, we are attracted to the fun party girls that never settle down, but at the end of the day, we can’t bring those girls home to meet our moms. Every guy is looking for the sweet, beautiful and down-to-earth girl that makes us laugh, keeps us grounded and believes in us. We want a girl that we can talk to about more than just how many shots we can take before we blackout. Guys want to date a Megan Fox and marry an Emma Watson.

2. Men are not mind readers.

3. Sunday sports are like the sun rising in the East and setting in the West. It's a fact of life, and you've just got to let it be.

4. When a game is on, please only talk during commercials.

5. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions, so neither do we.

6. Ask for what you want.
Let me be really clear about this one. Whether the hint is subtle or obvious, we're probably not going to get what you're trying to say. So, just tell us what you want.

7. Anything said a week ago becomes null and void and cannot be brought up in an argument again.

8. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how to do it. Not both.

9. We only see about 16 colors.
For example, the term "peach" is a fruit, not a color.

10. If we ask what’s wrong, and you reply, "Nothing," we will act as if nothing is wrong.
We probably know that you’re lying, but it’s not worth the fight.

11. You have enough of my fraternity shirts.
Don’t keep asking for more, and don’t just take them. You have to earn them.

12. Stop telling me to make you my #WCW.
Everyone gets annoyed with the couples that make each other their #MCM or #WCW every week; we will not be that couple.

13. It’s not attractive to hear you talk bad about other girls.
I know you don’t like one of your sisters because she stole your Big-Little shirt idea, but keep that talk for your sisters, not us.

14. Being smart is very attractive.
We want a girl that can read a book and carry on a good conversation.

15. Allow me to open the door for you.
Don’t let chivalry die. I know you’re 100 percent capable of opening the door yourself, but see it as a nice gesture. It’s something our dad taught us to do.

16. I’m going to try and fix your problems.
Don’t vent to me if you don’t want me to try and fix what’s going on. That’s what guys do.

17. Don’t take my fries.
I’m a growing man, and I need my food but will gladly take whatever you don’t eat.

18. Don’t be dramatic.
Guys don’t like girls that are crazy about drama, plain and simple. If you enjoy the attention that getting jealous gets you, you will not get my attention.

19. Don’t say you miss me after an hour or a day.
That’s when you begin to edge into the "clingy" zone.

20. It’s okay to compliment us.
We like when you tell us we look good. We will just never say that out loud.

21. But don’t call us "pretty" or "beautiful."
This is not "Twilight," we do not sparkle, and we are not "pretty".

22. “I’m not looking for a relationship” can sometimes be directly translated to "You’re great, but we’re just not ready to be tied down quite yet."

23. We’re all on that college budget.
So know that we would like to give you the world, but can only afford the dollar menu sometimes.

24. If my friends don’t approve of you, then odds are we won't be able to date.
The same sentiment goes for my family.

25. I will smile, but not 100 times.
I’ll take pictures because you want to, but if I’m being honest, you’re going to look just as good in the first one as you will in 100th one you force someone to take.

26. We don’t always have to be doing something.
We can enjoy Netflix and a large pizza.

27. You have too many shoes.

28. You have enough clothes.

29. Don't ask a question that you don't want an answer to.

30. We are in shape. Round IS a shape.

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An Open Letter To The Love Of my Life

Happy four year anniversary, Kaylee.

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She is the most perfect thing on this planet. Her hair, her face, her body, her personality, her everything is perfect. Her name has even been "perfect" on my cell phone since I met her over four years ago. The second my eyes met hers, I knew she was the one. I know many people say they fell in love at first sight, but mine was one hundred percent real. Our four year anniversary is coming up and I couldn't have been happier. This perfect woman is Kaylee Clever.

It may sound funny to others, but I actually met the love of my life at the local McDonald's. I was from Schaumburg and she was from Elk Grove. My Schaumburg friends knew Kaylee from a prior event and we all met up for the first time at McDonald's. She went to grab some food from the counter with another guy and my heart shattered thinking she was taken. I was very relieved to hear that she was just friends with this guy so I had a shot. She was so beautiful when I saw her, even with the smell of greasy McDonald's fries in the background. I had some small talk with her but was too nervous to even get a number. I thought that was the last time I'd see her, but I was thankfully wrong.

A week passed and I eventually saw her again at a friend's house. We started talking about "Flappy Bird" and we tried to beat each other's high scores. I made her laugh some and we added each other on Twitter. We would DM each other every other day when we beat a high score on "Flappy Bird." We laughed a lot and started texting. I started to fall for this girl even harder because she was so easy to get along with. She had the same personality as me and I knew she was the one.

A few months passed and we talked every day. I knew I had to do something. I asked her out and she wasn't ready yet. My heart shattered and I didn't use my phone for weeks. I was blaming myself and I didn't know what I did wrong. I thought our friendship was over because we didn't talk for weeks, but one day I saw a text from her. We started talking again and I felt happy again.

We got to know each other better and on July 6th, 2014 we officially started dating. I was the luckiest guy on earth. We went to Cici's to grab some macaroni and cheese pizza, to later realize it sucked, but we had a blast. She met my family and I met hers. And that day ended in a wonderful first kiss. I blushed like crazy and she made me so happy. It's been four years now and I look at her like it was the first time. She is such an astonishing human being who will forever be perfect. I couldn't have been luckier to have met the love of my life at the age of seventeen. I thank you for every second together and I hope to spend the rest of my life with you. You complete me and I complete you. Thank you so much for everything Kaylee Clever, I love you so much. Happy four-year anniversary sweetie.

Cover Image Credit:

Josh Baca

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