We have strong values and beliefs and seek companions with the same. This drastically narrows the dating options, leaving us to wonder, is their any chance of finding a match?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

High Standards

Standards--a word often used in dating.

Don't lower your standards.
Have high standards.
Your standards are too high.
He/she has no standards.

I have been thinking about this word and its meaning quite a bit for the past year or so. Since I'm reviving the blog--and as the plight of the religious dater is worse than ever--I figured this was a fitting topic to start things up again. 

I believe that I have reasonable standards. I am committed to living the principle and teachings of the gospel in which I believe. I want to date a man with similar standards, and who expects the same from me. Is that too much to hope for? I didn't think so, but I'm beginning to wonder. 

About two years ago I posted about the guy who just never followed through. We had a great first date, and then for the following year he kept asking about me from our mutual friends. Finally, about eight months after that one date, my girl friend got fed up when he asked about me.

She said, "You keep talking about her, so why don't you just ask her out?"
He replied, "Yeah, but with a girl like Bridget, I'd have to work for it. I'd have to step it up. I already have girls who make it so easy." A year later he was married to one of those girls, and then four months later they were separated.

Recently I have found myself surrounded by some great guy friends. They often say that they think highly of me, yet none ask me out. One night I decided to ask two of my close male friends why that is. They basically gave me the same response. "You know what you want and a guy would have to step it up to date you." Partly flattering, but partly insulting. Why am I so far off from the men with whom I associate? I have a job, I hold a calling in my church, I have many hobbies, I have a great circle of friends, I cook my own food. Are these bad things? Does this put me in a different category of humanity? I would certainly say no. I am like everyone else. I have insecurities, challenges, frustrations; but I suppose the difference with me is that I face them and that I do everything I can do improve upon them.

And this is where the difference lies.

When I look at my girl friends, I see women like me. Women who develop their careers, who have hobbies and interests, who serve, who travel, who do and talk about interesting things. When I look at our peers in the opposite sex, sadly I do not see equality. I see men who lack motivation and ambition, who have self-doubt, who work in entry level jobs with poor pay and no career paths, and I see rampant pornography addiction. When I look at the single men at church it scares me. I have spent my whole life limiting myself to dating within the LDS community so that I was dating boys who had to the potential to one day marry me in the temple. However one day it hit me; if I marry outside of the church I may marry someone who never believes what I do, however if I marry within the church, I will have to lower my standards and expectations. The irony of this statement is heartbreaking.

I may be a woman with high standards, but I'm keeping them high, because I keep them high for myself. I want to wake up each day with joy in knowing that I'm doing important things and working towards my goals. I want to go to bed each night feeling good about the choices I made that day. I want to pray each day in confidence about the way I live my life. If that puts me on too high of a step, shame for the boys behind me, but I will not lower my standards.

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