If you asked me four years ago what my standards were for a man, they were extravagant. I’m not going to knock anyone and their preference but at twenty/twenty-one years old, I wanted an established guy but I wasn’t even close enough to being established. Heck, I hadn’t even moved out of my parents’ house yet and my dorm room did not count as moving out. I have standards and I believe we all should but I had some really high standards and it makes me laugh at times. Like I was silly. Not that you’re silly if you have a certain standard that someone needs to measure up to because you are not me and I am not you.
Let me talk about me, though. With my friends, I had these crazy height standards, his job, what a man for me should look like, etc.. I had this idea of a Lance Gross/Idris Elba/Michael Ealy dreamy image in my head. I wanted the guy from the movies and that’s hard to attain because movies aren’t always real life. It’s not always about being the dreamy guy that will do whatever you say and surprise you with gifts and flowers often. Movies gave me such high expectations but I’m the one that held on to those expectations. It’s not about that. It’s about chances and risks and taking them.
I had standards at twenty that weren’t going to add up to the average twenty-year-old male. I wanted someone who was put together and knew he was going to do great. I had these expectations where I was going to just have a prince charming that was going to treat me like a princess — which your boyfriend should treat you like a princess but not a legit royal princess that is spoiled with diamonds and doing whatever you want whenever you want. My standards didn’t allow me to meet anyone and to be honest, I was too concerned with school. I was a pre-medicine/biology major that was on a path where I didn’t want any distractions. If you were going to distract me then it better be for a good reason. That sounds so stuck-up when I read over it but that’s how I felt and I don’t think it was a bad reason to feel that way. I was putting in all this work and whoever wanted to be in my life had to give me a good reason to step away from my goals.
But you need to step back at times and wonder why you have these standards — I finally did that.
Why did I have these expectations, though? Previous relationships and relationships that my friends had. We were crying over these boys that weren’t all that great but we thought they were magnificent. Crazy how going back in time, I can shake my head. I can see where I was wrong and where I turned myself around. But that takes time, it takes a lot of time. That toxic relationship made me angry and bitter. I installed standards the summer after my first year of college.I had this idea that I had to upgrade and just be the winner but that’s not what it’s about. I didn’t need a man that was 6’5 with chiseled abs and worked in finance and always had time for me. That’s not attainable, at least not for me but if you got that, you go girl.
I let those standards go, not because they were silly but because I knew what I would and wouldn’t accept at this point. Then there’s the point where you have to take a trial run and I did that. I took a trial run and I felt stuck. That wasn’t fun but it revealed a lot to me. It revealed that when he wanted to get serious, I didn’t want that. That was almost like falling off the wagon because I slowly began to see what I had been avoiding. Once you rise up from toxicity and disrespect, sometimes you wonder back—You still have these moments where you wonder what you could have done to change things and where you could have made improvements. You think what if? That’s something to walk away from. That person was no good and you have to remember that.
When you find a person that likes your imperfections and thinks you’re wonderful, never lets you doubt yourself, you realize that all is right in your world.
I met my boyfriend — honestly how we met is a story for another time because people always laugh and are surprised by that story.
But my boyfriend, man. He is completely different from any standard I ever had. I said I would never date an athlete… it was my rule and he’s an athlete. He’s a lot of things that I never wanted to give a chance but I’m glad I did. It’s weird putting it into words because I’m just sitting here and smiling. Like I don’t think anyone outside my family has made me laugh harder. He lets me had my childish fits and hates to argue with me. When he does argue with me, he’s always right but I’m not going to admit it. Sometimes I wonder why he puts up with me but then I also wonder why I put up with him. It can be hard at times but we work at it — something I never really did with other guys. I’m used to giving up and throwing in the towel and he calls me up with a ‘we still fighting?’ with a grin like what? This is a person that goes out of his way to make me happy. Sometimes that’s weird to me because I’m just me, I’m not used to that.
High expectations aren’t a bad thing to have.
For me, they were holding me back from opening up and trusting people. I think it’s good to set up these expectations when you’re really going through it. Having a rocky relationship can really do a number on you but there’s always something good out there. There’s always going to be a rainbow after the rain, you just have to keep your eye out for it. Don’t let your last letdown keep you from your next blessing. Always know that you deserve the best and that the best doesn’t have to be the perfect man. The best can be that man that proves he’s worth the chance and puts up with you and your bullshit. The best can be the guy that you never thought you would end up with. Have faith and pray about it.