Turn Setbacks into Setups

How to Identify And Maintain Your Personal Relationship Standards

December 11, 2018

Relationship Standards:

Think fast: Who’s your ideal romantic partner? On the fly, you probably immediately come up with a vague laundry list of details: smart, attractive, kind.

But these surface ideals aren’t what you most need to focus on when considering your relationship. What’s really important is figuring out what matters most to you, at your core. What are the things you simply must have in order to be happy in a relationship?

What you need is to identify your relationship standards. And from there, work to maintain them. But what exactly are personal standards, and how do we adhere to them?


Identifying Your Personal Standards

First, let’s talk about the meaning of the term “personal standards.” Standards aren’t items in a wish list like the one at the top of this blog: funny, pretty, sweet. Instead, standards are the very foundation of your relationship, the things you need to feel happy with your partner in the long term.


Essentially, standards are a set of foundational guidelines at the core of any relationship you develop. They’re the minimum requirements for entering into a relationship, the lowest threshold for behavior and values. Failing to meet these high standards, this threshold, can cause conflict and leave you feeling unfulfilled—so not meeting these minimum requirements is a “deal breaker.”


For example, maybe you personally wouldn’t ever date someone who doesn’t want children, but you’d be flexible if your partner traveled a lot for work.


It’s up to you to identify these standards, these “deal breakers,” so you can better understand what you seek in terms of an ideal relationship. To do this, write down any qualities that, for you, are non-negotiable in a relationship: standards for communication, career goals, their relationship with your family, etc.


How to Maintain Your Personal Standards


This should come as no surprise, but there’s one thing you really need to focus on when maintaining your standards: communication.

It’s absolutely crucial to communicate with your partner about your relationship in general—after all, that’s what keeps a relationship healthy! Talk often about your goals, where you see your future, your personal needs. As you do this, make sure you communicate about your personal standards in life. The sooner you identify and consciously begin to adhere to your own personal standards, the sooner you’ll be able to seek and find a partner who can meet those standards.  


Of course, there’s give and take in every relationship…and everyone needs to make compromises at some point. Maintaining your personal standards will allow your partner to either grow and learn to meet those high standards, or tell you it’s time to move on. In the end, if your partner can’t or won’t commit to your personal standards, you’ll need to turn the page. For example, a partner who treats you badly or makes no effort to get along with your family isn’t worth the investment of your time.


At the end of the day, you should never lower your high standards for anyone. Life’s too short to settle for a relationship that leaves you unfulfilled. Stop wasting your time, and find someone who meets your personal standards, someone you can truly become enamored with.

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