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Higher Standards: Why Going Low Only Leads to Lousy Relationships

If you’ve been complaining about having a crappy relationship, then maybe you need higher standards next time. Here are some guidelines for you.

Higher Standards

No one took a class in school called “Relationships 101,” although I think that would be something that all of us could benefit from! In fact, no one teaches us how to have a good relationship skills at all. Because of that, many people find themselves in bad relationships. In order to be happy in relationships, you have to have standards – more specifically higher standards. You simply can’t accept bad behavior from people. You teach people how to treat you, so make sure you choose a person who will do it right.

Higher standards and the kind of relationship nonsense you should never put up with

If you’re the kind of person who has never had a healthy relationship, you might not even know what one looks like. Or what kinds of characteristics, behaviors, and qualities you should be looking for in a partner. So, let’s take a look at some examples of higher standards.

#1 Kindness. It’s important that you have higher standards when it comes to kindness. This seems like a no-brainer, but I always shake my head because there are so many people who are with downright assholes. Why? I have no idea. Why would someone want to be with someone who isn’t kind to them? It’s beyond my comprehension. [Read: 22 early warning signs of a bad boyfriend]

#2 Respectful. Going hand-in-hand with kindness, you also need someone who treats you with respect. That means never calling you bad names, always saying nice things, and doing the “little things” that show that you are important to them.

#3 Keeps their word. Ohhhhh… this is a biggie! It seems like no one keeps their word anymore. They say they’re going to do something, and then they never follow through.

How can you ever trust someone like that? It’s virtually impossible. So, make sure if they say they’re going to do something that they actually do it.

#4 Loving. Being loving goes beyond saying “I love you.” It’s easy to say those words, but can the person really follow it up with their actions? Do they do things for you like change your oil or make you dinner? Do they say how much they appreciate you? Those are things you should be looking for. [Read: 16 secrets to a perfectly happy relationship]

#5 Affectionate. I know that not everyone likes a lot of affection – I get that. However, if you are someone who does like affection, then make sure you find someone who can give it to you. Hand holding, cuddling, kissing, hugging… all of that is a physical expression of their love for you. It’s important.

#6 Makes you laugh. Who doesn’t like to laugh? I haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t! Now, they don’t have to be a stand-up comedian or anything, but they should at least have a good sense of humor, and you should have fun with them. They shouldn’t take themselves too seriously.

#7 Displays empathy. Can the person really see things from your point of view? Or is it always about THEM? Having empathy for someone requires you to set your ego aside and truly feel what they feel. A relationship without empathy is ultimately doomed. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for happy love]

#8 Treats everyone with respect. Even if your partner treats you with respect, if you witness them being rude to the waiter at a restaurant or the cashier at Target, well, that really shows their true character. They should be kind and respectful to everyone – not just you.

#9 Communicates. There’s nothing worse than someone who won’t talk through the problems the two of you have. If they avoid conflict, or just simply won’t tell you their feelings, well, that’s going to get old really fast.

You can’t become emotionally intimate if you don’t communicate with each other. And it’s pretty important to have higher standards when it comes to communication.

#10 Can control their anger. No one wants to be around a hot head, right? It’s like walking around on egg shells because you never know what’s going to set them off. That’s no way to live! If your partner can’t control their emotions, then it’s time to high tail it out of there! [Read: The 9 unspoken relationship rules every couple must follow]

#11 Does nice things for you. Does he bring you flowers? Does she write you love notes? It’s important to do nice things for each other in a relationship. So, if you are doing all the giving and not getting anything in return, that’s sad.

#12 Is consistent with their behavior. We build trust with other people based on their actions and words. Just as I said earlier, make sure they’re a person of their word. But, also, make sure that their behavior is consistent so you know you can count on them. However, make sure it’s GOOD behavior, not bad.

#13 Can work through conflicts calmly. Most people have terrible conflict management skills. They think of it as a win-lose situation where they must win. But in reality, you are a team. So, make sure you find someone who can talk through your problems calmly and rationally. [Read: 17 ingredients to a happy, monogamous relationship]

#14 Your best friend. You don’t want to be dating someone who you complain about all the time, do you? And then have to call your best friend and vent? Don’t you want that person to be your best friend? I mean, that’s the ultimate, right? And if you don’t consider them a friend – let alone a best friend – then there’s something wrong.

#15 You feel safe. Do you feel like this person has your back? Can you call them in the middle of the night if you need help? Bottom line – do you feel safe with them? A lot of people can’t say that about their relationship, believe it or not! [Read: 50 Relationship questions to test your compatibility]

#16 They think you’re the best thing that ever happened to them. Don’t settle for anyone who thinks that you are disposable. You need to find someone who can’t believe how lucky they are to have you! But they can’t just say it or believe it, they have to show you too.

#17 You look at life the same way. This is a huge one. It’s almost impossible to have a successful relationship with someone who is very different than you. You have to share similar core values and see life the same way. If not, then you will always be at odds with one another whether you even know it or not.

#18 You can’t imagine life without them. And they can’t imagine life without you either. You need to fit like a glove. You must have the feeling of, “Omg, I never thought a person like you existed, and I’m never going to let you go!” If you can imagine your life without them, then maybe you should move on and find someone you can’t.

[Read: How to be a happy couple that’s envied by all]

I hope I have convinced you by now that you really do need to have higher standards when it comes to your relationships. But remember, relationships are a two-way street, so you need to hold up your end too.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...