038. 2 Words Women Often Confuse in Relationships
Why is it everyone tends to confuse standards with preferences in relationships?
I hate when people say I’m high maintenance because I have STANDARDS. Having standards doesn’t make me bourgeoisie. Standards are not obsolete. I am entitled to my standards. And preferences! Every woman is entitled to standards and preferences of her own. A while back I read a post from Tony Gaskins that really differentiates standards versus preferences. If you read Tony’s post you know standards are your morals and values, while preferences are the things you'd “like” your partner to have or be. And I agree (at least to this distinction of the two).
First, let’s break this down two-fold: standards then preferences.
I like to think standards are the minimum requirements to meet your relationship needs. It’s definitely good to identify and maintain clear concrete standards. Especially when it comes to relationships, you want to be with someone who is the best possible match for you in terms of personality, integrity, intelligence and spirituality. Your morals and values should be rock solid and nonnegotiable. Before you seek any relationship, make sure your relationship with God is good. Make sure your relationship with yourself is good. How can you expect your mate to know your relationship needs, standards or expectations if you do not even know for yourself? But I seem to observe a lot of relationships in which females sacrifice their standards because a guy meets some, if not all, of her preferences. It’s time we as women stop lowering are standards for the sake of being in a relationship or the hope that we can mold a man to be our ideal mate. For example, I know so many females who will accept a guy with no religious values but he’s physical attractive, meets her height or weight requirements or makes a certain dollar amount. “Girl he may not know the Lord but he fine though!” Now, if you know you have a solid relationship with God and your ideal mate must also have that strong foundation, why are you putting this need on the backburner? You should not compromise on your standards, doing so will inevitably deplete you physically, spiritually, financially, or emotionally, if not all of the above.
On the other hand preferences are the attributes you desire in a relationship or your significant other. There is nothing wrong with having preferences. However, with that being said your preferences should be somewhat negotiable. When it comes to preferences, I recommend splitting your preferences into two categories: deal breakers and comprisable. As an example, I am adamant about my no kid preference. This is a deal breaker for me but I do not have a desire to have children and preference to date somewhat with the same mindset. But on the other hand, I also prefer to date taller men, but at the end of the day, I would not overlook a gentleman suitor solely on the basis of his height. Preferences are not cookie cutter characteristics, each person is different and so are your deal breakers.
Tell God your needs and your desires. I firmly believe God is capable of giving us the desires of our hearts…if we ask…and if it is in HIS will. So why settle beloved? Do you believe God yearns to provide the desires of your heart? Then trust God and walk in faith! And if God is in the blessing business and more than capable of honoring your desires, trust that God will send you a suitor that exceeds not only your needs but your desires within His will. Now why I say it is okay to have preferences is because as we grow and experience different phases of life, life has a way of evolving our desires and preferences overtime. If you have something on your preference list that is not in God’s will for your relationship, He will show you it is not a necessity or meant for you and you will find solace in it.
Whatever your standards, whatever your preferences make sure that when you settle down you are not settling. It’s okay to compromise but don’t settle. In fact, in all honesty any relationship entails compromise to some degree. Just make sure you are steadfast with your standards, morals and values. Let your preferences be flexible and take the time to get to know a man for who he is. You should also consider what value he can bring into your life and how he makes you feel. Don’t take on a relationship with the hopes of changing a person or with the notion you are just filling a seat. Often we find ourselves feeling stuck and these types of relationships rarely workout to our good. Take your standards to the bank! In 2016 we will no long compromise our standards in relationships. We will no long be steadfast on preferences that God has removed from our desires and His will. If God has said no then it is truly time to stop trying to squeeze that square peg in a round hole…it is just not gonna work darling. We will be the confident women God has created us to be with clearly define relationship goals, expectations and needs.