“Standards” or “unrealistic expectations”?

by Natalie P.

May 3, 2009 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 5 Comments

I’m all for people having standards in a potential mate.  Believe me, I don’t think anyone should ever feel like they have to “settle” for less than the right person.   But by “standards”, I mean things like, he/she has a job, is not a drug addict, has no history of violence, takes care of him/herself (i.e. is not a slob), has some life experience, shares the same values, etc…

But, as per the above list,  I think “standards” should apply to those things another person has CONTROL over. However, some people extend “standards” for a suitor to apply to all kinds of superficial things that another person has no control over, like height, appearance, hair colour, family background, race, etc.  These people do themselves a disservice by excluding plenty of wonderful people via those exclusionary rules, and when questioned about the validity of such rules, they try to justify their biases by calling them “standards”, or worse, claiming they have no control over what turns them on.

I just don’t buy the whole, “I can’t change what/who I’m attracted to” line. Especially after reading Dr. Doidge’s “The Brain That Changes Itself“.  We very much DO have the capacity to change what we believe, what we think, how we react, and what/who we are attracted to. We just have to have the WILL to want to change.

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5 comments so far
  1. Open Your Heart to the Love May 4, 2009 5:23 am

    Although, I do believe you have to be attracted to your partner, attraction does not sustain a relationship. I agree with your article, and that so many people only base their standards on physical attraction, and look no further.

    Personally, I base all my relationships (friends, lovers, employers, etc.) on similar values. I have to surround myself with like minded people to be happy. Otherwise, it is hard to sustain respect, which is crucial.

  2. andrea May 5, 2009 10:41 am

    you took the words right out of my mouth.

  3. Jay Stewart May 9, 2009 9:04 am

    I found when I have opened my mind. Removed “standards” like gender, race and class. My love life was infinitely a lot better. As for mental illness? that’s subjective. Because ones neuroses and quirks does not make for illness.

  4. Jenny May 12, 2009 6:09 pm

    A history of mental illness isn’t something a person has “control” over either. But mental illness can be treated, recovered from, or lived with in many cases and with a lot of hard work. It’s not always easy, true. But please don’t discount us as potential friendships or even partners because of an illness that may have been in someone’s past, or even that they currently cope with.

    I do love Heartless Bitches though. Been enjoying it for years!

  5. Carmine June 21, 2009 7:41 pm

    Thanks Jennie for having said what I’d already clicked on the comments link to say, but I wanted to reiterate it.
    Mental illness is not in itself a bar to an adult and thoroughly fulfilling relationship.
    On the other hand, I’d like to also make the point that it is possible to be mentally ill *and* a bastard. If you’re interested in the story behind that one it’s in the final post on my (now closed) blog at http://ascarletwoman.blogspot.com/

    Don’t discount a person just because he or she might have been, or still be mentally ill. But don’t take every word they say as gospel either. I learned that one to my cost.


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