Lower your (dating) standards? Only to a certain point

This is a common bit of advice on dating sites:

Lower your standards, you are far from perfect yourself.

This is partly true – None of us could expect a beautiful/ handsome film star with lots of money and 100% devotion who will never cheat on us. If you expect too much, there is a time to lower your standards.

But it seems to be true only superficially. Think of a woman who is not very attractive to men, one whom men will superficially call a “three.” Now, I hate that system of valuing people – a truly attractive woman, a woman with lesser looks, and an aged woman who lost the good looks she had, are all equally valuable as people. But for the sake of argument, I will call this woman a three now. Suppose Miss Three wants a man who can give her conversation on her level, and who is at least capable to do his share in providing. She should not date a man who is a three (less than average) in conversation on her level, or a three in provision (while her capacity to provide for herself is a five).

In such a relationships based on low standards, Mr. Three will feel he accepted an unworthy woman because he is unworthy, and Miss Three will feel the same about her man. Such a relationship, for anyone who is less than perfect, is based on shortcomings. Such a focus tends to break a relationship down, not build it up.

If, on the other hand, Mr. Three and Miss Three instead went out to make a list of their good qualities, and tried to find partners who will appreciate that and have a need for that, they could have done much better. There could be men willing to look at Miss Three’s less-than-plain face and love her kindness and sense of humor, despite her face with the big nose and long jaw. There may even be a man who loves her face because he looks at the gentle eyes and pleasant smile, not the ugly nose and jaw. And that man may have some of the qualities Miss Three would want in a man.

Similarly, there could be women who don’t care about money or intelligent conversation, and mostly enjoy that Mr. Three is a glib and charming talker, whom they could move on from when they get tired of him.

Many people will be better off if they don’t judge themselves by how datable they are to the average member of the opposite sex, but look out for partners who will appreciate the good qualities they do have. It doesn’t matter what the average guy/ gal thinks of you – as long as the one you are with is above average enough to appreciate your special qualities.


About Retha Faurie

Attempting to question everything, reject the bad and hold fast to the good.
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