woman and man in a relationship with high standards

5 Musts When Setting Relationship Standards

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We’ve all heard that we need relationship standards when we’re dating, but sometimes that’s easier said than done.  When some people think of relationship standards, they jump straight to ‘the list’ of things they want in a partner.  The old cliche is to want a man who is tall, dark and handsome. 

The list of attributes you want in a romantic partner is not the same as the standards you set for a relationship.  Relationship standards are a reflection of the standards you are really setting for yourself, and what you think you are worthy of when looking for love.


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I have read Matthew Hussey’s book Get the Guy multiple times. He drills into setting relationship standards. I’ve always been able to set them, but sometimes I let them slide when I met certain guys. And that’s a problem. The standards are in place to protect you from getting anything less than what you deserve (I always ended up with a broken heart when I lowered my standards).

Check out Get The Guy here.

We all have different things we expect from a relationship and things we look for in our counterparts. However, I have my list of 5 must have relationship standards that I think you should be setting before dating anyone.

Must Have Relationship Standards

1. Must take you out

The number one requirement I have when a guy asks me out, is that he has to do just that: take me out. This has nothing to do with making someone spend money on your or getting a free meal (I don’t always like to go to dinner on a date). It has everything to do with seeing how the guy you just met is as a person.

It’s a high priority for a guy to take you out, because he’s taking you in public. You’re able to have a conversation without worrying about him making an inappropriate move like you would be on his couch. It also shows him that you expect a little effort on his end before you will want to move things on in the relationship.

Not only that, but this is the FUN part (One of my favorite things about dating is the dates. That’s the only reason I had a Tinder account when I was single). You can get out in a relaxed, neutral environment and get to know each other (Check out my article on end of summer date ideas if you want some new places to try).

2. Must be independent

One summer, I dated a guy that didn’t have a car or a license. He also owed a lot of debt to society so he couldn’t pay for things most of the time (luckily, my interest in bad boys was brief). It was after this that I enacted a checklist of sorts that all guys had to have before we could date. It included things like must have a car, driver’s license, job, and place to live (preferably not his parents’ place!).

This is important to have because it shows you what kind of guy he is. Does he have motivation? Is he stable? Able to pay his own bills and hold a job? How he lives his life now is a good representation of how he will live if you are in a long-term relationship. Make sure it’s something that you would be ok with.

Remember that anyone can have a period of time when things have gone a bit wrong.  If a guy is temporarily without a car or a job, I’m not saying not to consider him!  But if that is how he lives all of the time, then you have to decide if it’s something you are willing to live with too.  And not only live with but support, because supporting him is exactly what you will end up doing if he thinks he never needs to work a day in his life.

On the other hand, don’t assume that just because a guy has a car, a house and a good job that he meets all of the standards!  Sometimes we place too much on material things and forget the next three things on the list…

3. Must Follow through

When my husband tells me he’s planning a super fun date, I get really excited. I envision how it will go and build up anticipation until it happens. Nothing is more crushing than if the date doesn’t happen.

Once in a while this is going to happen, because life happens. But if broken promises becomes a repeat occurrence, you need to set the standard that this is not something that you will tolerate. If it continues, then you should end the relationship since he’s not reliable and only sees you as a welcome mat to walk all over.

4. Must have similar values

This is one of Matthew Hussey’s main points in his book Get The Guy. Any person you date needs to have similar values to you in life.

If you’re a career driven person who values position and monetary gains, you need a counterpart that feels the same. If you love to hang out with your family every week and can’t wait to start your own, they need to have the same desires.

Values also extend to expectations of your role in the relationship.  If you meet a guy who expects you will clean up after him and cook his dinner every night, just because that is what he thinks the woman should do, then you need to consider if you have the same values.  

Values are the things we see as most important in life. The only way to have a lasting relationship is to have similar values. Having some differences of opinion is ok, but when they stretch into how you value life, it may be a sign that you should look elsewhere.  

5. Must treat you with respect

We learn in grade school that we need to respect ourselves and others, but even as adults we need reminded. When you picture relationships in your life, how do you expect to feel around those people?

It’s important to feel loved, safe to be yourself, and happy when you’re in relationships. If you feel less than this (I mean overall, not in a tiny moment because you had a tiff), then you may want to reconsider whether your standards are being met. This is also a two-way street. You have to give respect to expect it.

It’s worth remembering that people tend to show themselves over a period of time.  So if a guy was respectful to you for the first month of a relationship, but as the relationship has progressed he is putting you down and you spend more time unhappy than happy, then maybe he is not the guy for you.  

Don’t spend time wishing that you have the guy you knew at the beginning of the relationship. Once time has passed, people will show you who they are.  And when someone shows you who they are, believe them.

Final thoughts on relationship standards

Don’t be scared that you’re going to turn a man off for having standards. Guys actually find women with them sexier, because it shows that you love and respect yourself.

If you are having trouble with setting standards in a relationship, it might be that you need to work on your own feelings of self-love and worthiness. A great way to do this is by using positive affirmations – head on over to my article and try some out today.



  • Kay Nulia

    It’s very important intending couples have the same values.

    If you live a luxurious lifestyle, make sure you be with someone who likes spending money on him/herself.

    If not, you’ll be constantly nagged about frugal living.

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