My friend said this to me a couple of weeks ago and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.
We were talking about what the "ideal guy" would be like. Bare in mind that she's only dated one person who is her current boyfriend of four years and I've not dated at all in my adult life. She regularly says to me that she's unhappy or he annoys her and asks for my advice a lot - their relationship definitely isn't perfect and I personally don't think she is very happy in it. They've been together since she was 17 - she's now 21. Her parents also don't have a great relationship and have struggled a lot.
Getting back on track, I was describing qualities I would like in a future husband such as:
- Can't be homophobic, sexist, racist, or any other 'ist'
- Genuine, honest (but not in a blunt/nasty way)
- Wants a family & to be married
- Doesn't carry a lot of hate
- Relatively smart - not necessarily 'intelligent', more like not dumb. I have quite a lot of thoughts and things I want to discuss and I need someone that I can talk to.
- Open minded about the world
- Adventurous - likes to do a lot of activities but can also stay at home and be content
- Can carry the conversation most of the time, but can also listen. Mostly I just want my feelings validated by the person I'm with.
- Accepts me as I am
- Good with finances (not a requirement, just a preference because I'm terrible with money)
I don't feel any of these are asking for anything specific - apart from smart and talkative, but a listener. The rest I think are just basic qualities that make up a good person. However, after reeling off the list she said to me your standards are too high. That really rubbed me the wrong way at the time so I just simply said "I don't think so". I've thought about it a lot since and have come to the conclusion that so many people hear from others that they should lower their standards and I hate it. Just because your parents or someone you know says that doesn't mean you should listen and put their negative advice into action. You need to think about what they're saying and correlate it with their relationship. Are they happy? If not, then don't listen to them. If they have an unhealthy relationship, don't listen to them. You can take in what they're saying and make up your own mind about your own life and relationships.
I think by lowering your standards you're bound to end up in an unhappy, unsatisfying relationship. I do think the people you fall in love with will surprise you and won't be exactly who you thought that you'd end up with and that's great. It's great to be surprised.... but I'm not going to lower my standards and just get into a relationship with any guy and settle for second best. Pretty much everyone I know has settled in their relationships and I refuse to be like that. A lot of people just don't know what they want or need so they do lower their standards.
Think about what you need and want from a partner. What kind of person could you spend your life with? Figure it out and don't settle for second best. I'm going to keep my standards high and my eyes open and see who comes along and I think you should do the same.