Why Your Standards are NOT Too High

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I’ve spoken to so many girls who have been told their standards are too high. I’ve even been told that myself. But, as a friend recently reassured me, high standards attract high standards. I think it’s natural for many men to be initially intimidated by women with high standards. That doesn’t make them any less of a man. The test is whether they’re willing to push through the fear and ask you out anyway because they believe you’re worth that risk.

Whether I’ve accepted their invitation or not, I’ve had more respect for guys who have explicitly and intentionally asked me out on a date than those who have casually dodged the point or vaguely suggested we “get together sometime.” In demanding intentionality and responsibility, I’ve been able to see them flourish or wither. A man who withers under the pressure of those high standards in the early stages merely shows that he won’t live up to them in marriage. A man who tackles the challenges you lay before him head on and pursues you with sincerity and commitment is ultimately the man who will prove worthy of winning your heart.

You deserve someone who will lead you to Christ. Someone who will give everything they have and everything they are to make you a saint. Someone who will willingly lay down their life for you as Christ did for the Church. But if we want men to step up and be men in that way, we have to give them the space, opportunity and encouragement to do so. That means setting high standards and challenging them to meet them.

“To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, and goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.” Fulton Sheen

In Wild at Heart, John Eldredge writes that “I married a woman I thought would never challenge me as a man.” I don’t want to be a woman who doesn’t challenge a man to be a man. I want to be a woman who draws that man out of himself, affirms him in his strength and inspires him to greatness. Allowing men to settle for what’s comfortable isn’t loving them authentically. As women, we need to show them that we believe they’re capable of more, and—in love—motivate them to reach their potential.

The beauty of God’s design for men and women is that we complement each other perfectly. When we’re at our best, we enable each other to be our best. Being our best means seeking God’s best for us—knowing that His plan is always ‘to prosper and not to harm us’ (Jer. 29:11). If you know that someone doesn’t meet the standards you have in your heart, then don’t settle in your relationship. Trust God that He has something better in mind for you.

“Dear young people, do not settle for anything less than the highest ideals.” – Saint John Paul II

Ultimately it’s not just you that your choice of husband or wife will affect: it’s also your future family. Women—look for a man who will strengthen and affirm your sons, and instil a firm sense of dignity and worth in your daughters. Men—seek a woman who will nurture your family as it grows, and build you up in your fatherhood.

You deserve God’s best for you. Don’t settle!

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Esther Rich 2Esther Rich has a bachelor degree in Psychology from Oxford University, UK, and is currently completing the Sion Community Youth Foundation Year, working on their youth ministry team. She loves Theology of the Body, Papa Francesco and a good worship band. She is passionate about empowering women to be who they were created to be, and blogs at “For Such A Time As This.”

18 Comments

  1. Literally, every single time I read an article on this site that I LOVE, it’s always from Esther. Girl, you have got it going on! You are so eloquent & thoughtful. Can we grab coffee sometime? I’ll be living in London for a year come this march and would love to meet up.

    By Ziba | 1 year ago Reply
  2. i want Gods best too. I love you Jesus and I trust in you

    By Laura Anne | 1 year ago Reply
  3. I have 4 daughters, 19, 18, 16 & 14. This is exactly how I feel, & you’ve expressed it perfectly! They are my beacons of light in this crazy world we’re in. This shows them they can be proud of being made for more, & to want higher expectations!!

    By Ellen A. | 1 year ago Reply
  4. Awesome! Exist the possibility to have this page in spanish?, we need it! I’m Mexican.

    By Andrea | 1 year ago Reply
  5. I’m always reminded of being my being a woman, am always assured that i am making the right choices reading your works Esther Rich. I hope we could meet someday or email each other once in a while and share blogs. God bless and continue writing too!

    By wein | 1 year ago Reply
  6. Hey! How do you deal with a situation where a guy asks you out, but doesn’t match those standards? Think specifically of a case where the two people involved are really good friends, but the guy is someone who doesn’t at all reach the standards set by the girl. Thanks!

    By A | 1 year ago Reply
    • Hi, A!
      I don’t know if Esther will agree. But, I remember Crystalina Evert saying something that really applies to your situation. Think this over: what do you want in a man? What kind of man do you want to marry and be a father to your children? What kind of relationship do you want to have with this man? Think about it. Go to a Church or sit in a quiet place and pray and write a list of character traits. Remember: God put all the desires in your heart for a specific type of man. If your friend doesn’t have at least the nonnegotiable

      By Michelle | 1 year ago Reply
      • … Continued… If your friend doesn’t have at least the non negotiable traits, you have no business dating him. You can’t change him or fix him, you can only pray for him. She (Crystalina) also said “Never commit to a person HOPING he or she will change. Only commit to them if you like them exactly as they are. Otherwise you will be committing to an imaginary person.” I reccomend that you read How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul: 21 Secrets for Women by Jason & Crystalina Evert

        By Michelle | 1 year ago Reply
  7. Very well expressed Esther…i am in agreement with what you have written….chastity is pleasing to God and He Himself will see to it to bring good holy men to us women…may God be glorified….

    By Renita | 1 year ago Reply
  8. Very encouraging! God bless you!

    By Ines | 1 year ago Reply
  9. You’ve so eloquently stated precisely what God’s placed on my heart for so many years. Even as I approach mid 30’s, I believe in God’s will and love love love that I’ve read this article at this precise moment. God’s graces to you sista!!

    By Miranda | 1 year ago Reply
  10. wow you are a great bloger. what you have shared it is so true.thank God for continue using you.

    By faith serem | 1 year ago Reply
  11. You’ve just put in writing what all single women and men should be looking for, it’s nothing new, that has always been the teaching from parents and standard of the society until we leave the responsibility of molar education to the schools or government, instead of teaching our children

    By annie | 1 year ago Reply
  12. You’ve just put in writing what all single women and men should be looking for, it’s nothing new, that has always been the teaching from parents and standard of the society until we leave the responsibility of molar education to the schools or government, instead of teaching our children

    By annie | 1 year ago Reply
  13. Awesome! This is exactly what every real man most desires to find in a woman. Some think strength is not found in women, and that their beauty exists only to be used. On the contrary, true beauty commands respect and when a man sees this in a strong woman, he cannot help but respect her personal dignity. He sees a noble lady, a royal queen, like the Blessed Mother! He sees God through her.
    I don’t understand why modern feminists , to act rebellious( supposedly against men ), trash chaste modesty and throw their bodies to “whom ever they choose”. Such rebellion is niether strong nor noble!
    True womanhood is strong, and the beauty thereof obliges men to become more and more strong. This is what is ment by the complimentarity of men and women, which is why homosexuality is wrong. Femininity strengthens masculinity, and vise versa.

    By Gabriel | 1 year ago Reply
  14. Everyone’s standards are too high. Guys and girls. 90% of girls desire a select 10% of guys, and this goes even more so for guys. If you are in the 10% of people who are desired, great! Your standards can be as high as you please. If not, lower your standards or prepare to be celibate. If you keep waiting for the right one to come along and he/she never does, it’s because the kind of calibur of people you are interested in simply aren’t interested in you. Maybe instead of viewing this as God’s sign we need to keep waiting, maybe we should see it as God’s sign we hold ourselves in too high esteem and need to banish the pride that makes us think we deserve to exclude potential partners on the basis of our “standards”. Our only standard should be that the other person truly love the Lord and live their lives like they should if they do love him. Instead, our standards have become “is he/she pretty enough” or “he asked to hang out instead of go on a date”.

    By Arael | 1 year ago Reply
    • Hi,
      I just want to comment – not criticize. :) I think that there is a simple solution to this problem you described. If someone hopes they are called to marriage, they must pray for the woman or man God created for them. They need to pray A LOT because their prayers will transform their future spouse into the person who God created them to be. The standards that God has written on our hearts are true, and yes no one is perfect, but I believe if we cover our future spouses in prayer and take all of our concerns to the Lord, ask for guidance and protection from settling, He will be faithful. Jason Evert was transformed into the man he is today because of Crystalina’s prayers for him which began years before they met and continues today in their marriage. We have a gift from God, the ability to pray instead of plan. To give Him our dreams and hopes and let Him be the Author of our love story. But prayer is the way He will change frogs into princes!! :) I strongly desire you and anyone else reading this to take mu advice to heart and practice it. :) God bless you!

      By Michelle | 1 year ago Reply
  15. To: Arael
    Hi, I’d just like to comment too. Great job with saying that our standards should be that the man/woman love God and live a Christ-like life! You are totally on point with that statement! However, I think you may have misunderstood this article slightly. When Esther talks about standards, she doesn’t mean “how cute is he/she?” or things of that nature. What she means are standards like “how loyal is he/she?” or “does he/she support my faith?”. Does that help clarify a little? Also, the reason Esther thinks it is better when guys ask girls clearly and intentionally to go on a date rather than a vague “see you around” is because it takes some of the pressure off the girl. I’m sure many women have been in that awful situation of wondering if a guy just wants to be friends or if he wants to be more because he wasn’t clear. By specifically asking a girl to go on a date, the guy is showing her that he would like to get to know her better in a more-than-friends way. Lastly, sometimes it seems like us girls’ standards are too high. It seems that we expect too much of guys and need to lower our self-worth and hopes of a better man who will love us like we deserve to be loved. The point of Esther’s article was to reassure us ladies that all of us (no matter what our past) deserve a great guy. Not just any guy that “kind of” meets our standards and hopes, but a guy who meets most, if not all of our standards (aka. is he kind? Pure? Faithful? Striving for holiness? Humble? etc.). No one is perfect, but don’t we deserve men who are going to treat us right and who are at least striving to become the best men they can be? I think we do (once again, no matter what has happened in the past). Hope this helps! Have a nice day!

    By Olivia | 1 year ago Reply

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