Stop Apologizing For Having High Standards

Standards“But he’s got hair!”

This is my mom’s reasoning these days as to why I should date someone. This is what it’s all come down to. 37 years on this earth, at least 20 solid years of those spent looking for my Prince Charming…and this is the lone standard I’m trying to meet?!

In my mom’s defense, she wants to see her daughter get married sometime before she’s in the nursing home. And she does make a valid point: A full head of hair on a man is good. And also increasingly hard to come by when you’re dating in your 30’s. But, still…that can’t be all there is to it. Just because I’m 37 and single, does that mean I should have to compromise every standard I’ve ever had for myself and for the person I hope to marry just so I can actually get married? Does single at 37 have to = SETTLING, just to avoid winding up alone?

I don’t think so. In fact, I refuse to believe so. I didn’t wait this long and come this far just to give up and settle for OKAY. Or even for GOOD. Just “good” or “okay” is not going to cut it for me when it comes to the person I spend the rest of my life with. And I’m not going to apologize for that. I think past the age of about 28, single women with standards are too often labeled “too picky.” Or “too high-maintenance.” Too “hard to please.” A “diva.” — All because we happen to know what we want and we’re not going to settle for less. Well…I say NO MORE. We have to stand up and OWN our right to have standards for our lives and the people we welcome into them.

Does this mean I think you should stubbornly refuse to give any guy a chance who doesn’t look like Channing Tatum? Or that you should dismiss every guy who’s shorter than you hoped or blonder than you visualized or a little older or younger than you planned? NO. There certainly should and needs to be flexibility and openness to the idea that the person God has for you might not fit some preconceived mold that you have for him. There does have to be a willingness to compromise when it comes to the fine print. But the BIG things: Does he love God/Is he loyal and honest and kind/Does he have goals and dreams and ambition/Does he do what he says he’ll do and follow through and keep commitments and show up for you/etc/etc…those are areas that you have a right to stand tall and firm on your standards and not back down. Because here’s the thing: Yes, singleness can be a little lonely. It can be a little sad. It can be difficult, and awkward, and let’s be real: It just plain sucks at times. But nothing…NOTHING…is lonelier or sadder or more challenging than waking up one morning to find yourself trapped in a relationship with someone who is wrong for you, simply because you compromised your standards to avoid winding up alone.

It’s time to tell the world that yes, we are single, YES, we have standards, and NO…we won’t apologize. Because high standards don’t signify a “diva.” They signify a woman who knows what she’s worth.

Has anyone ever given you grief about your standards or expected you to compromise? Sound off in the comments below!


36 Responses to “ Stop Apologizing For Having High Standards ”

  1. June 17, 2016

    Great post!! I can totally relate; I’m 37 and I desire to get married and have a family one day. It seems like every time I’m out somewhere my family is trying to throw me off on some random guy. Ugh, not cool.

    • Carina
      July 19, 2016

      I am 39 and single.. but I definitely agree with Mandy… I choose to be single and happy.. not married but bitter I waited and I learnt a lot… (unlike my Friends we rushed into a relationship and then divorced)
      Fortunately, Mr- Right has just appeared… on a dating app.. and he meets my standards.. I know he worths it.. and I was just getting ready for him.

  2. June 17, 2016

    I’ve been given grief about wanting a Christian guy since junior high. After high school and college, it became grief for wanting a Christian guy that encouraged my goals and ambitions (amazing the number of Christian men who want a stay-at-home wife to pop out a millions kids for them). There’s no winning with a lot of people, and being told that no one else will ask is highly offensive, and it always puts me in the mind-set of, “If they’re all acting like that, I’ll be fine.”

  3. Katie Rose
    June 17, 2016

    I’ve been told “you are too picky” and “you’re not getting any younger, take what you can find.” It upset me that someone would basicall tell me I should settle. I don’t want to settle. I know what I am looking for, someone who can handle the fact that I am an independent woman who doesn’t necessarily need a guy to do everything for me. And for some guys, that is hard to take.

  4. Pearl
    June 17, 2016

    Yap,i am 35 and still single.Have been told countless times that I am high maintenance that’s why guys are afraid of me and so I should lower my standards.But also my main standard has actually been that I will never marry someone who is not a born again Christian because I strongly believe that anyone who is not capable of loving the God I am worshipping then that anyone is not capable of loving me either…and that is the standard I am planning to keep for as long as it takes…no one has a heaven to offer me after this temporary life has fade except Jesus and I intend to cling

    • Jennifer
      June 17, 2016

      Stay strong!! I’ve been told I intimidate guys. Well, if they are scared of me they must also be scared of their shadow. You deserve someone who will accept you for who and what you are, and marvel at the fact he won your heart.

    • LP
      June 19, 2016

      Stick with it girl! Never give up.

      People are so insensitive with their “settling” comments. I am 34 and have the same issues with society’s comments and also the world telling me that what I am looking for doesn’t exist.

      How dare they limit a God who made humans walk on water, and resurrected men from the dead. I pray for you, myself, and the rest of the women facing these challenges, that we can rise up and keep believing, keep pursuing God’s will for our lives–relentlessly!! And not let the shallow comments of others, limit out thinking about our Amazing God!

      I don’t like the waiting as much as the next single gal, and I have made a lot of mistakes. But God is working in me, he’s making me better, and stronger, and my choice of man is much more Godly. I believe there is purpose here, and I believe we are on the right path. Sending encouragement to you hearts, our God is limitless. Keep believing and sticking to your closeness with him.

  5. Mayra
    June 17, 2016

    Have definitely being granted that label as of late and I am in my late 20’s. Yes a lot has to do with the State I live in but is never the excuse. It wasn’t until my 3rd and what I hope final run-in with my Mr. E that I understood I needed to start owning up to my standards and hold them. I came to the conclusion of making a list, yes that famous list I always recommend people do…this time it was my own prescription. As I wrote my columns of wants, must and wont have…I realized that in order for me to believe that a guy with those qualities existed I needed to let go of the shame of “I am too picky” or “your standards are too high”. How can we not hold high standards, this is the person we want to spend our lives with, the person that I hope holds the same high standards that define me. As I prep to once again brave the single/dating world….I can only say my guide is God and the list that I will from now hold tight. May our high heels be high….and our standards higher!!!!

  6. Rhonda cowdery
    June 17, 2016

    I’m 48 and single I’ve settled for way less than I deserve physical abuse,emotional abuse I’m away from it all now but it took me a long time to get out…if that’s what’s left at this point in my life I’m absolutely ok with being single and just doing me… unless I meet a man that can move my soul when I’m next to him .I believe I will feel him as much as he feels me…I REFUSE TO SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS!!!

  7. June 17, 2016

    YES! I cannot compromise on a God fearing man, a man of integrity, a man who is honest, faithful and mature! I am recently divorced and I know the consequences of NOT putting GOD FIRST in your relationships. God has put it on my heart to remain celibate until I get married again, AND YES I WILL get married again, GOD TOLD ME SO, but this time it will be a man that He has ordained for me. I see and hear people who think that I will never find someone that meets my standards, but it will happen because GOD is in charge!

  8. Jennifer
    June 17, 2016

    Yes. It happens all the time. I am often shocked and saddened by the way Christians–men and women–judge me for my choices. The Bible says we are to wait for marriage for intimacy, and by God’s grace alone, I have held onto my virginity as a gift for the man I hope to someday marry. But because I won’t jump into bed with a guy–even a Christian guy–I am suddenly someone they are no longer interested in. I’m trying to follow the path Gid has for me, and I am getting beat up by the very people who should understand and support my choice to wait. When did Christiand decide that at a certain point you no longer have to wait, but can jump from one sexual relationship to the next? (I am not implying I am perfect–I am far from it, please know that!) It saddens me that the place I feel the most alone, the most ashamed if you will, for my singleness is in church. And that makes me sad. The church–my fellowship with other believers and my relationship with God is where I seek my strength to hang in there in this crazy world built around couples and families. Yet it is where I feel most alone. Like you, Mandy, I do not want to compromise my values and I don’t think I should. It would just be nice if every now and again we singletons had a cheering section for us. Being single is just exhausting…but I am 41 and this is what God has given me. So, I try not to be angry, sad, or bitter about my station in life (some days are better than others), and I try to trust that God has a plan. And, I look for things I do that I can celebrate. Yay me for figuring out how to mulch and landscape all by myself, or researching the best lawn mower to buy, or for climbing the ladder and changing the lightbulb in the scary spot. Yay me for cooking and cleaning and paying the bills and remembering to walk the dog and pick up the dry cleaning. And yay me for getting out of bed each morning and working through the day. As singletons, we need to celebrate who we are and all that we accomplish each day. We are fierce. This blog reminds me of that.

    • June 17, 2016

      Amen to that sister. At 45 and single for all of those years I definitely hear you. That’s why we have to support each other as single Christian women. I have seen too many of us who have compromised and have ended up in bad situations. Let’s encourage one another to stand strong and not compromise our Godly ideals and enjoy the great things God has in store for us as single Christian women!

    • Wondering
      June 18, 2016

      Thank you so much for sharing this, Jennifer. I seem to spend way too much time being angry, sad, and/or bitter — and not just at my status, but at God for assumedly keeping me in it (or maybe it’s just been my choices…I don’t even know anymore). I am not one to “put myself out there” and believe so much in the beautiful “Isaac and Rebekah” way of two people coming together: the woman just “doing her thing” and the man (or someone representing the man) coming along and matching the two people up. So I’ve been “doing my thing” for a long time (and yes, even tried dating sights in between – yuck) and it just seems that things don’t work the way I want them to. I’m struggling with this as well as with a lot of the things you mentioned, so I am grateful to know that I am not alone in these feelings. I just wish I could find that place of “final contentment” instead of having to fight (usually daily) the battle of finding meaning in being single. May God show us that or whatever He wants to show us…soon. Love in Him.

    • LP
      June 19, 2016

      I totally echo your feeling…. Church and my hometown church family were my place of peace, my solace, until around age 25… And every time I would attend the verbal attacks were constant and wounding around my state of singleness. I was once the kid they wanted all their sons to marry.. And their daughters to insulate, but somehow my age made me “expired” in their sense of worth and value. I watch my mother and others pour over baby showers and weddings of Christian women 10-15 years my junior. And now my younger sister as well. It’s really hurtful that the place I once felt so uplifted and safe. The irony is, the young girl they loved who had so much “potential” was no where near as good and strong and resilient of a person as I am now and have Learned to become bc my life has been filled with adversity, and finding the strength to move through it.

      I am praying I can find a church I can feel like I belong in, instead of judged bc of my lack of marital status. I miss church, but these days I participate in church online to avoid being so violated and persecuted when I actually do attend. I have learned to have less people in my life, and to really lean on God when I am aching with loneliness–of not having a partner and also bc of being ridiculed so much by my home church and community, even family. It is really hard, but I will not let it ruin me.

  9. June 17, 2016

    I kept my standards high,even though a lot of my family kept pressuring me to “find a man & get married” . At the age of 46, I met my perfect match. We were married when I was 47. I have never regretted holding on to what was important to me.

  10. Ngoni
    June 17, 2016

    I am 43 now. I wrote on this blog two years ago that I was happy with my single life. I have found my closure and am thrilled beyond belief at my single status. I bought myself a $10 wedding set from AVON and I plan on wearing that ring for a very long time. Christ is TRULY all I need. I will be 44 in the next couple of months. I know in my heart, mind, spirit, and soul that I am not alone. I will not lean on my own understanding and feelings that I am. God is AWESOME!

  11. Kathryn
    June 18, 2016

    I am 27, been waiting for right so long all i found was mr wrong…. As the song goes… Thought i had found that person finnally, when it abruptly ended leaving me scarred. After i had time to grieve and look back on my situation I realized i had completely compromised my standards just to paint a pretty picture that would never come true! Never again!! I refuse to let my standards be compromised again. I am working on myself and my relationship with God as I had put him on the back burner.

  12. Karen
    June 18, 2016

    I am just about to turn 55 and i am still single! Been on my own now for 10 years and had a few dates, but no-one has come up to my standards and because of a bad past with men, am very cautious now. Everyone says to me ‘your too fussy’, but i don’t think so. I’m happy with life now, but know i would be happier if i met the ‘right person’. xx

  13. Kathleen
    June 18, 2016

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. I am 52yo and never married. Always a dream and for reasons only God knows my prince charming has eluded me. Yes, I hae standards; unrealistic ones…No. I believe God will complete my circle all in His time; not mine. Lonely at times yes but I refuse to settle. I chose to proceed with motherhood as a single at 45. I have beautiful thriving, loving 6 year old boy/girl twins. Hard as we approach Father’s Day? Yes! Especially when my daughter asks, “Mama, when are we going to have a daddy?” Breaks my heart…but then my son will answer anyone who asks, “I have a father, My Heavenly Father!” The Lord knows who is perfect for us and I pray for him constantly.

  14. caroline
    June 18, 2016

    I have been told I intimate men, I am too picky and it’s my fault that I don’t date and still single. Unfortunately men seem to want me to do all the work to check on them, to drive to them, to wait for them. I am waiting for the one who will spend time with me, make time for me and can’t wait to see me.

  15. Lara
    June 18, 2016

    Standards must be high to pick someone it doesn’t mean ur single means ur wrong ..things will come in the right time. ..why people always think to much if the guy care and honest with his feelings sometimes the standards go down and u start to change u cant say i want 1 2 3 in a guy and just waiting for the guy with 1 2 3 … women are smart can change a man if he is willing its not always its one side game its always played by 2 not just women i want i want i want…coz men always do that i want i want…so its both way situation. .. and when u find the person u r willing to give a chance and that person starts to change how u think and ur standards .. u will know if he the correct one for u or not

  16. Erin Pruneau
    June 18, 2016

    Love this! I am also 37 and single and here the same things from people. I realize I need to open up a little more, but I still have high standards. I feel like everything you said is exactly my life! Lol All of your posts, blogs and books are so good! Thanks for sharing.

    • Erin Pruneau
      June 18, 2016

      *hear not here

  17. Wondering
    June 18, 2016

    Wow. I wouldn’t normally comment (because even though I’m not mentioning names, I feel like I am gossiping..), but this post comes on the very day that – for the umpteenth time – someone that I have shared a sense of relationship with for the past ten years…once again, we have “gone our separate ways” and boy am I depressed/finding it hard to really care about stuff. One of the main issues (well, my main issue) is my need, at almost 50 ripe years old (so hard to believe!), for stability. The good ol’ “S” word…and this person not understanding that for most of my life I have lived a rather unstable (though obsessively functional) life; that is, I have worked very hard taking care of almost everything on my own, don’t feel I have a lot to show for it (I don’t have children), and still do not feel “settled” (and at this point, am crying out to God wondering if I ever will – or even know what it LOOKS like and if I “deserve” it…). Things he says makes me feel guilty even (like saying I’m ego-centric) for desiring this; and I have even started to subconsciously believe him (I think). Why shouldn’t I be happy renting a room, having other people’s children to minister to, and yes a great job…why should I want more? Well, and I also don’t want “less” – meaning not having to work a lick more or harder. Is it wrong to want “S” (stability)? I WANT to live life and love someone (and I have hoped for ten years that it would be with this man) — but I’m also getting tired and don’t want to have to work so hard. Is that wrong? And Jennifer — boy can I relate with the things you wrote (as can most reading it probably). I don’t find necessarily that the churches I have attended “judge” and make wrong suggestions about “singletons,” but I do find that they are not really sure what to do with “us” I don’t think — except see us as those who should have “so much time on our hands” to babysit, volunteer, serve, serve, serve….when in reality that is really not the case. After a 40 day work week, laundry, light bulb and oil changes, bills, wonderful pet loving caring, learning yet another thing about car insurance, retirement, or WHATEVER, and yes trying to still reach out to others in between — there really is very little time (or energy or…sadly on my part these days…little desire) to serve, serve, serve. Sometimes we just want someone to serve us (and love us and look at us and say, “Wow, you’re really something…a survivor…I could NEVER do all of that…”)…is that selfish? Maybe it is…and it surely makes it very hard not to want to enter into a relationship even if you have to sacrifice your “S” (stability) or your “high standards”. God bless you all very much. May God please reveal His plans for us – whether to be partnered with someone or not – so that we can stand firm and GLAD wherever He may have us. Love in Him.

  18. June 18, 2016

    Oh, yes, my grandma is queen in offering me good “deals”. She once suggested I should be with a man, because he has a house. Doesn’t matter, if he is 27 years older than me. 😀 Funny thing is, she never approves my choice.

    Otherwise, I agree. We shouldn’t settle, that brings us nothing good. Way better to be single and happy, that in a relationship and miserable.

  19. Anne
    June 19, 2016

    Your on point Mandy. Your on point

  20. LP
    June 19, 2016

    I actually heard encouragement to “settle” from a therapist. She basically told me that I will be alone if I do not settle. She suggested I specifically start looking at divorced men, men with children, and other guys who do not bring the same things I do to the table. I’m not saying that either of the two groups can’t be good guys, but for me, I have waited and not settled and I don’t have baggage and I don’t think I’m being “too picky” or “ridiculous” bc I simply want someone with a heart for God, who doesn’t bring baggage. This therapist has told me time and again, I must settle. I settled for finding a new therapist.

    There were times in my life I would have let this deflate me, let it make me bitter and angry at God, at myself (for not being enough to snag the kind of man I wanted when I was younger). But here’s the deal, I am not perfect, but I have worked hard to become who I am–someone who keeps picking herself Back up and pursuing God with all I have. It is not easy but it has made me strong and confident and I want and deserve a man who has the same resilience in the face of adversity. Not a perfect man with a perfect past, but someone who has the same heart for God and strength to rise after being let down again and again. Maybe I will end up with a man who has a different past than mine, if that is what God has in mind for me, but I will never settle. Praise God for the strength and wisdom that has come through this season I would really prefer to shake.

  21. Queen
    June 20, 2016

    Spot on Mandy – My single life is so interesting & annoying at the same time – people are very interested in my life , everyone including women , they always trying to find out what’s happening in my life . I get to be gossiped about , guys always compete to get me at gyms – I get targeted all the time , its so painful . At some point I was stalked to a point that I wanted to go to a police station to get a protection order – its usually different guys at different gyms starting from unknown calls & text messages of guys claiming that they know I’m single & they can offer me a relationship – How disrespectful is that ? how do you invade a person’s personal space & tell them you have something to offer ? I pray to God all the time for protection – most guys see me as a trophy not someone who deserves to be loved its sad because I’m not that kind of a person at all . I mind my own business , I run my own race , what ‘s offensive about that ? Sometimes i wish people can just leave me alone to run my race to meet the one that I deserve instead of jumping hurdles that are always thrown in my lane .

    • Miss T
      June 20, 2016

      OMG!!!Queen…I can totally relate with you,your situation resonate so well. For me also most guys both married and single young and old seem to see me as a trophy too…they target and stalk me for the same reason to offer companionship,some shamelessly will simply only ask to sleep with me…I hate being seen as an object…and people like to know what I have been up too lately and if there is a man in my life or not…it’s challenging really…

  22. Wendy
    June 20, 2016

    People who have low standards will always try and bring you down to their level, often out of shame. Ignorance and low self esteem love company. If you have standards and integrity, you will always be challenged by those who don’t.

  23. Suhani
    June 21, 2016

    Awesome article!!
    loved it

  24. Alli
    June 23, 2016

    I’m 41 still hoping but the only standard I have is he be a Christian and ‘somewhat’ easy on the eye. No need to be perfect, but I’m okay either way at this point

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  26. July 17, 2016

    at 26 im still trying to find my mr ryt. i hv standards tht sum guys wont settle for. i value myslf more. ive bn rejected jst becos i refuse to go to bed with them. it hurts bt its soo worth it. i know tht GOD has the right person waiting for me.. who will respect my decisions. i cant wait to meet him

  27. becca
    August 11, 2016

    I agree!! I have been told by someone twice that maybe I’m being picky erm nope. Certain of what I want and what I’m worth yes, aware of what attracts me to a guy in terms of physical attraction and an attraction to his character/who he is ABSOLUTELY, just because we know ourselves well enough to know what we want and need and what we are worth does not make us picky etc, that is the lies of the world.

    Attraction is highly important and even more so godly character he wont be perfect but does he trust God is his faith in God steady is God first in his life because if yes after God coming first you will always be first before any other thing in his life.

    I want to leave a quote to encourage everyone ”a women should be so hid in Christ a man has to seek him just to find her” 🙂 x

  28. Anna
    September 19, 2016

    This is “Oh sooo true!” Haha! You should never settle no matter what others say. Because it is your happiness that is on the line. I’m 26 and I never had a boyfriend ever. Haha! Seriouly tho, being single for like eversince makes me question myself. Like “What is wrong with me? Why is it so easy for others to have a relationship? Maybe happily ever afters aren’t meant for me.” They say that it’s because I have a high standard and sad to say there are times that I believed them. But really as I reflect on it, they aren’t that high. I just know what I want and I haven’t found it in those who courted me. And as I read your blog and your book The Single Woman (seriously, your book is a life saver), it strengthened my belief on a lot of things. My belief that maybe it’s because it’s not the right time yet. And that instead of wishing and hoping and waiting for “The One” to finally arrive in my life, I should just invest in myself more and enjoy life more. And that love and “the one” will definitely come in God’s own time. Mandy, I salute you for being steadfast in your faith. At 36, I can’t imagine what you’ve been through. Because there times that the world can be a cruel one for us single women. People often say hurtful words that its our fault and that we should settle for what is available, blah blah blah. Like duh, I don’t even settle when I’m shopping, how much more when were talking about “The One”. Always have faith Mandy, because we believe in you. Thanks Mandy for helping me. Love you. Mwuahugs

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