Sex & Love

High Standards or Unrealistic Expectations?

Let’s not talk Dickens. Let’s talk about the great expectations you have when it comes to dating. Read More

By / March 28, 2011
Jewcy loves trees! Please don't print!

Let’s talk about Great Expectations. And not in the way that you were probably forced to in 9th grade, with an endless list of questions about Ms. Havisham when really you were just contemplating whether or not Adam, your dream Senior boy crush, was going to be waiting outside of the door when the bell rang and sweep you off your feet and ask you to prom. Nope.

I mean talking about great expectations when it comes to dating.

Sure, we all have expectations for what we want in a mate. But I think that one of the biggest problems, at least from what I’ve seen (you know, in my seasoned tenure observing the mating rituals/flirting dances of boys and girls at bars and parties while pretending to text on my phone but totes snooping) is that our standards are just too damn high. (Not unlike rent. Too Damn High.)

I admit, that as a high-achieving female, I set the bar for myself, and others, pretty lofty. I know that’s an issue of mine. As it is for a lot of other professional young women (and men) I believe. But we have to figure out when those standards are just never going to be met.

I get asked to set people up a lot, and I often see the same type of guy or girl: someone fantastic themselves (no lie) but someone whose standards for their mate are basically never going to happen. Look, you’re not going to find a supermodel who studied Nietzche (well, maybe?) or a James Franco look-alike with a humble attitude (definitely not.) The point is, you sort of have to choose your nonnegotiable in someone else and be okay with it.

A lot of us have this perfect person in our brains – from endless teen movies, Jake Ryan, Never Been Kissed (HOTTAY Michael Vartan and the crazyness of that teacher/student suggesting film), etcetera. Of all the stuff we are bombarded with – movies, TV, popular culture, it’s made to seem like that dream person is just waiting in the wings of your high school somewhere, like Blaine, smart and rich and wanting nothing more than Andy. But it doesn’t really exist.

It’s great to have a high opinion of yourself – but when you think you “deserve” a certain kind of person, it can get dangerous.

Pick a few attributes – whether they be physical or personality traits – that you can’t live without. And be okay with that. You’re not perfect either. I’m not telling you to “lower your standards,” but if nobody is ever meeting them, they’re definitely too high. That’s what dating is about – you have to go out with some duds to know which NJB is for you. Who am I to talk? I’m just here to entertain you in the five minutes when you’re not gchatting. But I went out with a lot of people (okay maybe don’t make it another FFJD necessarily).

Even if you think you have that “perfect” person (I’ve thought I have in the past) it’s often just a projection anyway.

So beam yourself back down to earth and be realistic about what you see in someone else. Now who has the answer to 9C on the reading comprehension questions about Pip?

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Email meredith@theffjd.com

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