I met this delightful young woman last week. She is 29 and was feeling rather heartbroken that the relationship with the man she was seeing wasn’t going where she wanted it to. You see she is principled and has her standards. When she addressed the fact that she isn’t into dating a pothead, and that she has a successful career, and that he couldn’t compromise her standards. What did the young man do? Yep, see you later baby. You are cramping my style.

She is an amazing young woman. Why? Because she wasn’t willing to lower her standards. She effectively communicated her needs at the risk of losing someone she was very attracted to. She was feeling a sense of loss when I met her, however, I think she’s a winner. By sharing what her standards are she risked either keeping someone that was right for her or losing someone that was wrong for her. I think she’s lucky. If he wasn’t willing to cut back on hanging out and smoking with his weed-smoking buddies to be with a successful, smart and beautiful woman, then he wasn’t the man for her. 

There are rules and there are standards. Rules are something we make up. I want my man to text x amount of times a day, or be home with me at a certain time. We make rules, and they are flexible. We can choose to change them as our relationship evolves. Many times you will choose to bend the rule and choose your relationship over your rule.

Standards are different. A standard is a fundamental part of our belief system. If you don’t do drugs and can’t be around someone that does, then that goes against the very core of your being. It’s not flexible. It someone violates your standard, it’s very different from breaking a rule. 

What’s important is that when someone breaks your standard is to remain unemotional and calmly explain why what they are doing is causing you grief and that you can’t be with them right now until they change that behavior. This way you give the space and the time to go and improve and surprise you with their change. 

If they can’t modify their behavior we have to sum up the courage to walk away from the person and the relationship no matter how painful it is. It allows you to make the space to include more people in your life and potentially allow yourself to fill the void with someone who does meet your standards and will respect them. 

Losing the wrong man now will help you get to the right man faster.

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