Should You Lower Your Standards?

When it comes to dating, it's important to have a clear idea of what you're looking for in a relationship. To help you better understand what you're looking for

When it comes to dating, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in a relationship. To help you better understand what you’re looking for, it’s crucial to understand dating standards. In this article, we’ll explore what dating standards are, why they’re important, and how they apply to relationships.

What are dating standards?

Dating can be a complex journey filled with excitement, uncertainty, and the search for compatibility. One common question that arises is whether individuals should lower their standards when seeking a partner. While the concept of “lowering standards” can be controversial and subjective, it’s essential to explore this topic with nuance and consideration. In this article, we’ll delve into the pros and cons of lowering your standards in dating, empowering you to make informed decisions that align with your values and relationship goals.

Understanding Standards in Dating

Before delving into whether you should lower your standards, it’s crucial to understand what standards entail in the context of dating. Standards refer to the criteria, values, and expectations that individuals hold when seeking a romantic partner. These standards can encompass various aspects, including personality traits, physical appearance, lifestyle choices, and relationship dynamics.

The Pros of Lowering Your Standards

1. Increased Dating Pool

Lowering your standards can expand your dating pool, allowing you to meet individuals whom you may have overlooked previously. Broadening your horizons can lead to new connections and opportunities for growth.

2. Openness to Different Experiences

Lowering your standards can foster openness to different experiences and perspectives. By stepping outside your comfort zone, you may discover unexpected qualities and qualities in potential partners that resonate with you.

3. Flexibility and Adaptability

Lowering your standards can promote flexibility and adaptability in your dating approach. Being less rigid in your criteria can lead to more organic connections and a greater sense of ease in navigating the dating landscape.

4. Focus on Compatibility

Reevaluating your standards can shift your focus from superficial attributes to deeper compatibility factors. Instead of solely prioritizing external traits, you may prioritize qualities such as shared values, emotional intelligence, and communication skills.

The Cons of Lowering Your Standards

1. Compromising Core Values

Lowering your standards too drastically may lead to compromising your core values and non-negotiables in a relationship. Sacrificing essential aspects of compatibility can result in dissatisfaction and long-term relationship challenges.

2. Settling for Less

Lowering your standards may inadvertently lead to settling for less than what you truly desire and deserve in a partner. Accepting subpar treatment or compatibility can diminish your self-worth and hinder your personal growth.

3. Increased Risk of Disappointment

Lowering your standards without careful consideration may increase the risk of disappointment and disillusionment in dating. Unrealistic expectations and unmet needs can erode trust and emotional intimacy in relationships.

4. Missed Opportunities for Growth

Maintaining high standards can encourage personal growth and self-improvement. By holding yourself and potential partners to high standards, you may foster healthier relationship dynamics and mutual respect.

Finding Balance and Authenticity

Rather than viewing the concept of lowering standards as binary, consider reframing it as a process of recalibrating and refining your relationship criteria. Strive to strike a balance between maintaining realistic expectations and remaining open to new possibilities. Here are some tips for navigating the complexities of standards in dating:

1. Define Your Non-Negotiables

Identify your non-negotiable values and qualities that are essential for a fulfilling relationship. These may include traits such as honesty, respect, and emotional compatibility.

2. Prioritize Compatibility Over Superficiality

Focus on compatibility factors that contribute to a healthy and sustainable relationship. Look beyond external appearances and societal expectations, and prioritize qualities that align with your long-term relationship goals.

3. Practice Self-Reflection and Growth

Continuously reflect on your dating experiences and reassess your standards in light of personal growth and self-awareness. Remain open to evolving perspectives and refine your criteria based on your evolving needs and priorities.

4. Trust Your Instincts

Listen to your intuition and trust your instincts when evaluating potential partners. Pay attention to red flags and warning signs that may indicate misalignment with your standards and values.

5. Seek Support and Guidance

Seek support from trusted friends, family members, or a professional therapist who can offer objective insights and guidance. Surround yourself with individuals who uplift and empower you to honor your standards while remaining open to meaningful connections.

Examples of common dating standards

Here are some examples of common dating standards that people might have:

  • Honesty and transparency
  • Respect for each other’s boundaries
  • Emotional availability and vulnerability
  • Shared values and interests
  • Good communication skills
  • Shared goals for the future
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Compatibility in lifestyle and beliefs

It’s important to note that everyone’s dating standards will be different, based on their individual needs, values, and preferences. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to dating standards.

Why do you have dating standards?

People have dating standards for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Self-worth: When you have clear dating standards, you’re less likely to settle for less than you deserve. This can help you feel more confident in yourself and your abilities to attract the kind of partner you want.
  • Relationship compatibility: Defining your dating standards can help you attract people who share your values, beliefs, and goals for the future. This can lead to more compatible and fulfilling relationships.
  • Emotional well-being: By having clear dating standards, you can avoid getting into relationships that may be emotionally harmful or draining. This can help you protect your mental and emotional health.
  • Communication and boundaries: By setting clear dating standards, you can communicate your needs and expectations to potential partners. This can help you establish healthy boundaries and build strong, positive relationships.

How to Adjust Your Dating Standards: Tips for Reevaluating and Maintaining Healthy Standards

If you’re considering adjusting your dating standards, here are some tips to help you reevaluate and maintain healthy standards:

  1. Identify Your Core Values and Needs

The first step in adjusting your dating standards is to identify your core values and needs. What are the things that are most important to you in a relationship? What do you need from a partner in order to be happy and fulfilled? By being clear about your values and needs, you can make better choices about the people you date and the relationships you pursue.

  1. Be Flexible and Open-Minded

While it’s important to have clear dating standards, it’s also important to be flexible and open-minded. Relationships require compromise and negotiation, and no partner will be perfect. By being willing to adjust your expectations and be open to new experiences and perspectives, you can increase your chances of finding a compatible partner who meets your needs.

  1. Seek Feedback from Trusted Friends or a Therapist

If you’re struggling to adjust your dating standards, it can be helpful to seek feedback from trusted friends or a therapist. They can offer an outside perspective and help you identify areas where you may be setting unrealistic expectations or limiting your dating pool.

  1. Be Patient and Persistent

Adjusting your dating standards is not always easy, and it may take time to find a partner who meets your needs and goals. However, it’s important to be patient and persistent. Don’t settle for less than you deserve, but also be willing to put in the time and effort to find a partner who is a good match for you.

How to Maintain Healthy Dating Standards While Being Open to Potential Partners

Maintaining healthy dating standards while being open to potential partners can be a delicate balance. Here are some tips to help you maintain healthy standards while also being open to new experiences and perspectives:

  1. Focus on the Most Important Qualities

When evaluating potential partners, focus on the most important qualities that you’re looking for. It’s important to have non-negotiables, but it’s also important to be flexible and open to compromise on some of the less important qualities.

  1. Look for Compatible Partners

While it’s important to be open-minded, it’s also important to look for compatible partners who share your values and goals. If you’re not on the same page with someone about the things that matter most to you, it’s unlikely that the relationship will be successful in the long run.

  1. Establish Healthy Boundaries and Expectations

Maintaining healthy dating standards also requires establishing healthy boundaries and expectations. Be clear about what you want and need from a relationship, and be willing to communicate those needs to potential partners. By being upfront and honest about your expectations, you can avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings down the line.

  1. Be True to Yourself

Finally, it’s important to be true to yourself and your values. Don’t compromise on the things that are most important to you, even if it means passing up a potential partner who doesn’t meet your standards. By sticking to your values and priorities, you can attract partners who share your core beliefs and goals.

In conclusion, understanding your dating standards is crucial to building healthy and fulfilling relationships. By defining your standards and setting clear expectations, you can build strong, positive relationships with people who share your values and goals for the future. So take the time to reflect on what’s important to you in a relationship, and don’t be afraid to set clear boundaries and expectations for yourself and your partners.


OkCupid is an online dating platform that was launched in 2004.