We are happy to feature a guest blogger this week, Nancy Pina, to discuss your dating standards.

How High Are Your Dating Standards? By Nancy Pina, Founder of Right Relationships

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If you’ve been dating for any length of time, inevitably someone (who is married or otherwise in a committed relationship) will express some exasperation with remarks such as, “You are too picky!” While is it evident that some people who are off the singles market develop a type of amnesia after they say “I Do,” simply forget just how difficult it can be to figure out who is the right one for love. With that in mind, there is some truth to their words, especially if you have a series of relationships with the same type of person.

Dating standards are not unrealistic expectations, which focuses on superficiality and changeable things such as looks, income, property. Smart daters zero in on integrity, morals and values. Examining your own dating habits and history. What are your main priorities in love?

I describe dating deal breakers as character qualities and lifestyle differences that are not compatible for a long term relationship. The foundation which you build your life on and your moral convictions should be uncompromising. Strong chemistry and physical attraction are not foundational for a commitment and possible marriage. From my experience as a relationship coach, most people know (but unwilling to admit) they are dating someone who is incompatible early on in the dating stage, but allow their fears about the possibility of not finding another person to influence their judgment. Usually, their heart is broken because they failed to heed multiple warning signs.

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Why do daters settle?

The “I can’t do any better” mindset. At any age, it is vital to not allow the fear of this person being the last chance one has for love to overpower the choice of staying with the evolving relationship. The longer you date, the more emotionally attached you become and the more you rationalize and justify staying with the wrong person. The purpose of dating is to ascertain compatibility, not to lower your standards because you believe there is a scarcity of available daters. Being alone is more desirable than being in the wrong relationship.

The “I can change them” mindset. Mindfulness of character flaws should initiate an internal signal to run in the other direction instead of toward that person. Your strong will cannot change change a person who does not have that desire and sees nothing wrong with themselves. Most people have some redeemable qualities, but that is not enough to establish a solid foundation when differences are very apparent.

What should my dating deal breakers include?

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  1. Compatible religious beliefs. It is so easy to choose to see a person's good qualities and ignore the foundation which a long term relationship should be established. Do not discount your faith as a negotiable and something you can practice alone. Shared faith allows a couple to solidify their connection with one another and builds unique unity.
  2. Life stage agreement. An empty nester may not want to relive the teenage years again. Before you decide you can't live without that person, make sure you honestly express your true feelings and assess if you want to repeat a stage you’ve passed.
  3. Monetary similarities. Many men and women I speak to become targets for those with tremendous character flaws because they are lonely. If you are dating a person who is undisciplined with their income, in and out (mostly out) of a job, or starts looking to you as the bank, stop dating that person immediately. Temporary monetary set backs happen every now and then, but should not be the norm.
  4. Compatible temperaments. Some people love staying at home and living a quiet, relatively inactive life. Others love adventure, travel and participate in a range of physical activity. Some people are in the middle. One of the joys of marriage is sharing the things you love with one another.

The right relationship happens when you know what is important in love and commitment. Do not be passive about dating and ignore red flags out of fear of being alone. Having standards is not being picky; it is knowing yourself and what you can comfortably live with in a long term relationship leading to commitment and ultimately marriage. A special thank you to our guest blogger, Nancy Pina of Right Relationships.