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.

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

Popular Right Now

An Open Letter To The Boy Who Made Me Feel Worthless

You broke me and tore me down until I was nothing.

You know who you are.

To this day, you still deny the fact that anything you did was wrong.

You made me feel like I was the only girl in you world. You made me feel like I was everything and all to you... in the beginning.

These feelings faded away quickly when you let your ego get in the way of our relationship. You hated me within weeks of us being together, you made me go behind my parents' backs, belittled me, and abused me mentally.

But with this being said, what gives? Why did I stay with you for so long if you did all of these bad things to me and never felt remorse for any of it?

It's because of love. I loved you, but you did not love me back.

Love blinded me of the ways that you made me feel, it blinded me of the words that you used every time words came out of your mouth, it blinded me of the way that you treated my friends and family, it blinded me of the way that you treated me...

I don't hate you. No, I don't. I thought I did hate you. I thought to myself that you were the worst thing that has ever happened to me and that you were a sick and cruel human being. But I can't hate you. Why? Because you were consequently the first person I ever imagined a future with. You were the first guy who ever loved me. The first guy who ever gave me the attention that I oh-so always crave. I forgive you, but I hope that the next girl you're with doesn't get the same treatment that I did. Maybe one day you'll realize that you were in the wrong and you can't get everything in life your way.

But, here I am... still wondering to this day why you did these things to me? What was the give? What was the takeaway? To break my heart and make me numb? Because I can promise you that you did that to me. I can promise you that you made me feel worthless.

I know that you might think that I hate you, but like I said... I don't. I just want people to know what you did to me and how love blinds people. I loved the memories and time we had together (for the most part) because you made me the happiest I'd ever been. But, it was time for the abuse and the dominance to be taken out of my life, as much as I did love you.

Cover Image Credit: me

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

My Broken Fairytale Part IV

Unhappily ever after...

[Continuation and ending of Part I, II, and III]

Joseph was only the beginning though. Another vivid memory was my forced interaction with a man named Vincent as I speak to you now. Another scar that I’ve wished to erase from my mind but was unsuccessful. It happened when I was working at a pet store. Our relationship was purely professional in the beginning until we became comfortable and more casual with each other. We spoke of inappropriate things: sex, fetishes, physical attraction. I made the mistake of complimenting him. I was simply trying to be nice, however, he believed something else.

I went into the basement of our workplace, preparing the small gray cart with food for the animals that were displayed on the floor. I was in the middle of grabbing hay for the chinchillas when I suddenly felt my hair being pulled back tightly. I turned back to find Vincent. The look within his deep brown eyes wasn't malicious, but lustful; animalistic even. He pressed himself against my rear, retreating slowly to bang hard against my behind. He repeated it, his hand still wrapped around my ponytail. His fingers snaked themselves into my mouth, attempting to make me suck on them. I couldn’t do anything but I go along with it. My body went limp, unable to protest and losing all my words of objection. The only thought in my head was, ‘if I give him what he wants, he’ll go away.’ He than pushed me down, forcing me on my knees as his other hand unzipped his pants. He exposed himself to me and shoved his member into my mouth.

My body was numb, becoming a posable doll for his amusement; a puppet for his own pleasure. He groaned, he still keeping my head in place to take in as much of him as he desired. It happened in a flash, within a minute or two, and he spilled into my mouth. The taste was disgusting; the taste of raw egg yolk and acid. He sighed happily, zipping up his jeans and walked away like nothing happened. And I, still on my knees, couldn't move. As if I was paralyzed, my mind unable to compute what had happened. He was still in my mouth, lingering as the slimy hatred that seeped through my skin and into my soul. I ran quickly to the sink and spat any trace of him.

I told you I was hesitant in telling you this. This isn’t what would happen in a Disney film and I’m sure as hell this kind of thing isn’t in any fairy tales I’ve read. But it happened. I allowed myself to be taken advantage of. I lost all respect for myself and let my body to be used however they pleased. I’m still attempting to pick up what I glued back together from the aftermath. From James to Joseph to Vincent, I lost pieces myself along the way and I’m not sure I’ll ever get them back. However, after a while I began to wonder: if I got those pieces of myself back, would I even recognize them?

Author’s Note: You must be wondering why I decided to share this. I chose to tell you my story because I want others to avoid my mistakes, and the signs I was too blinded to see. I want people to learn that sometimes what you think is love really isn’t. That you may have good intentions, but others could abuse it or mistake it for something else. Take heed in this tale, and, hopefully, your ending won’t be like mine.

Cover Image Credit: Unknown

Related Content

Facebook Comments