I came across a post on Facebook the other day of a screenshot of a woman’s tweet. In the tweet the woman stated that if a guy doesn’t offer to pay for babysitting and a to go meal for her child, she was not going on the date. In addition, she stated that she nor her child’s father should have to pay for child care when it was the guy who was asking her out. She also stated that everything about the date should be planned out ahead of time. As expected there were quite a few extreme reactions to this post. Most of which were men stating they wouldn’t date this woman. But what I found most interesting about this post was the amount of women who felt that these “requirements” this woman was asking for were her “standards.”
I find the word “standards” is problematic in dating, especially for women, because it gives the person who believes in them the idea that their “standards” are the only things they should accept and to accept anything else means they have “lowered” their standards. People need to understand what “standards” really means. Standards means “something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example.” Basically a standard is a custom that’s established for pretty much everyone. An example of a dating standard is a dinner date because going out to dinner on a date is a normal custom. I know there are those who would argue that an individual can establish “standards” for themselves however that’s not what they are establishing.
An individual does not create standards, an individual creates preferences. A preference is “the power or opportunity of choosing.” This woman only wants to choose men who immediately provide for her child, which is probably not realistic, but is perfectly fine for her to desire. There may even be men who don’t have an issue with what she wants however, in no way are her preferences standards. Personally I think it’s downright crazy to think it’s someone else’s finically responsibility to care for your child during a date, but if that’s what she prefers, that’s what she prefers. The problem is that this is not an established custom for dating. While there are men who do offer to pay for babysitting, even some who offer to buy meals for children, this is not a normal dating custom. To expect men to pay for childcare and food for her child immediately is probably damaging to her dating life because it’s outside normative dating culture and will rarely be met. I imagine that she’s probably quite frustrated with men and dating because most refuse to meet her preferences. And this is where the problem comes in, she probably also believes to date men who do not meet her preferences means she’s “lowered her standards.”
Ladies, it’s important to know that it’s ok to have preferences but also to know that if someone you happen to date does not meet all your preferences that does not mean you’ve “lowered your standards” in any way. It just means you might date someon who isn’t exactly who you thought you would be dating. And sometimes those men who you thought weren’t your preferred type actually turn out to be.
So please, please, please stop believing you have “standards” because you don’t. You have preferences, and preferences are ok. Just don’t have your preferences so set in stone that you miss out on a great dating life.
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