How Having High Standards Affects Relationships (And What That Even Means)

Expect more than the bare minimum and you'll attract higher value men.

man looking adoringly at woman with high standards StockLite /

In my recruitment career, I used to feel excited when I met that one impressive candidate with the "edge" who was a perfect match, over a sea of boring, unmemorable ones.

They would meet the criteria for the job role, and more importantly, they had the attitude, character, and goals which were the perfect fit. This counted more than academic credentials and depending on the role, even experience.

It's much the same in dating. You're "interviewing" many potential matches, to see if you're compatible and if there's a shared interest to discover more about each other, in a low-pressure way.


For each role, much like in dating, we had at least five non-negotiable, must haves in additional to non-essential preferences for ideal candidates. And we maintained the non-essential standards without compromise.

The implications and consequences of not upholding those non-negotiables would impact on our guest service, our success as a business, the moral of the team, etc. We would be settling for low-quality standards, which doesn't work in the 5-star hospitality environment — or in any high-quality business environment.

During the 90-day probation (discovery) period, we'd express our standards and expectations as well as understanding theirs and if we noticed we weren't on the same page (i.e. there was no consistency, follow through, a bad attitude, tardiness, disrespect, and lack of progress), well, we didn't continue the relationship and wished them all the best.


This principle applies in dating during the early stages, yet it's a blind spot for many smart, strong, and successful women.

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It's important to balance the head and the heart and tune into your feelings each step of the way. This allows you not to attach to the outcome too soon. So let's reaffirm the importance of doing this because ultimately you decide how you want to be treated by the man you're dating.


Compromising your dating standards doesn't move you towards your dream relationship.

Many successful, smart, and strong women, who know their standards when it comes to how they want to be treated by a quality man at time dance around upholding them during the early discovery period of dating, and even beyond.

They may too flexible and accommodating of behavior and actions that don't meet their standards from the men they're dating, during this "probation" period.

Examples of a lack of standards in relationships

  • Accepting last minute meet up requests and generally being available when he asks, at his convenience.
  • Accepting texting conversations, rather than a personal phone call.
  • Overlooking a broken arrangement to meet. (i.e. Disappearing and re-connecting a few days later without mention of the plans you discussed.)
  • Being too available at this convenience for example after he disappeared in between conversations and dates, and reappearing to ask you to meet or chat, making you feel like an afterthought.
  • Perhaps rearranging your diary and other commitments so you don't "lose" the opportunity to see him again. Sometimes, even before he's confirmed or following up with him to verify because he hasn't.
  • Accepting or justifying the reasons, he isn't investing in you as much as you would like and hanging in there anyway (i.e. too busy, too stressed, family drama, or no courteous reason at all, but pleased he made contact eventually).
  • Remaining available and investing time with him, and ignoring the facts (red flags) that his behavior and actions are "showing you", and not trusting your intuition.
  • Not knowing or wanting to express your needs or showing him your standards, out of fear of how he will perceive you.
  • Allowing the constant comparison of what you share to past relationships or what he had with others.

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Your 5-star standards and how you express and embody them in a feminine way distinguish you as a high-value woman.

This begins with how you want to be treated, and conveying that in a low pressure, way through your actions, and by how you express yourself. It means having absolute clarity about what these are, then distancing your self from men who "show" you low-quality behavior and actions, which don't meet your standards.

When you are clear on these, in order for the quality man to respect them, and see you as high-value, it's essential you embody these during your communication.

It means, not "rewarding" behavior and actions that don't meet your standards. Rewarding looks like ignoring, dismissing, and/or justifying actions and behaviors which are not in reality okay with you.


And yes, that might mean the wrong man for you does disappear (which would be a good thing) and the quality high-value man is drawn to you even more because he values a woman who values and respects herself and "expresses" her feelings in a feminine, calm way and follows through.

No demands, no angry confrontations, no manipulations, no games.

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Below are a few shared qualities high-value men or the nice guys with "edge" have, which inspire attraction in women. As a reminder, looks, wealth, and career success have some importance but don't sustain deep attraction and connection alone.


These will support you to decide what behaviors are not acceptable to you when you're dating and in a relationship with a man.

10 examples of high standards that should be the bare minimum you expect in relationships

1. A partner who is proactive, not reactive.

He has a plan and goals in life and applies this to dating. He makes an effort, takes the initiative, and takes the lead by making plans and following through.

2. A partner who knows what they want in a relationship.

He knows what he is looking for in a relationship, why he wants it, has a vision about what it will look and feel like, and takes consistent action to attract it with class, quiet confidence, and style.

3. A partner who is honest and has integrity.

He is honest and respectful of the people in his life, even it means someone may be upset with him. He understands that being upfront and reliable is more respectful and expects it himself.


4. A partner who is kind, thoughtful, caring, and generous.

He invests time with people because he cares and genuinely wants to, not because they are going to gain something in return.

In dating, he is upfront about whether he is looking for casual dating or for a relationship. If the woman he is dating is looking for a relationship and he is not, he has the integrity not to mislead her and lets her go before intimacy.

He has a genuine spirit of generosity with his time, energy and understands that dating means paying for his date for the first few dates at least.

5. A partner who has independent opinions.

He is an independent thinker, expresses his opinions respectfully, and respect and appreciate views that are different to theirs.


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6. A partner who is passionate about something in life.

He is inspired by passions in his life, whether it’s his career, hobbies, or interests and actively get involved or are working towards it. If he hates his job, he doesn't focus on that, he finds enjoyment in his passions and works towards changing their circumstances.

7. A partner who is reliable and follows through.

He can manage and handle the busy-ness with low drama. He does what he says he'll do and means what he says. He doesn't make excuses or have a victim mentality.

When necessary work, personal events take over, he calls and re-schedule or is upfront. He doesn't make plans without integrity or not meaning them.


8. A partner who is emotionally intelligent.

They have reached the "adult" phase of emotional intelligence or working towards it. He can communicate openly, honestly, and confidently about what he wants and needs and listens equally even though it may feel uncomfortable to him.

9. A partner who respects women.

He appreciates and respects women in their own right, and doesn't buy into generalizations and stereotypes. He understands the woman he's dating is equally busy with her career and personal life.

10. A partner who is romantically evolved.

High-value men have evolved beyond their teenage/man-child behavior with regard to romance and sex. So, he doesn't rely on low-quality, adolescent tactics and manipulation to connect with women.

He respects a woman who says "no" and isn't ready to be intimate. He doesn't push for sex if she isn't ready and has expressed she wants to get to know him better first.


Not respecting your "no" without pressure is a massive red flag, and in my opinion enough to walk away from him. Never accommodate or justify him, not respecting your "no."

Quality men are more confident, discreet, subtle and sincere. They understand that connecting and romancing high-value women don't come from a place of neediness, but starts with being genuine and approaching her as a friend, not a conquest.

examples of standards in a relationship

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How to set high standards for a relationship

Nobody is perfect, successful dating requires an awareness of yourself and the person you want to attract and be in a relationship with.

So the next step is to clarify your own standards about how you want to be treated, which will help you discern if your date is a suitable potential candidate. Following that, it's important to stay tuned into your intuition and recognize that you cannot change anybody.

When he is showing you who he is and his actions and behavior don't meet your needs, you have the power to choose whether you will accept it or walk away from it, because you know in the long run it won't make you happy. Attraction is very subjective and individual.

For the best opportunities to attract and keep the ideal quality partner you want, it’s also important to understand the values, behaviors, energy, attitude your perfect partner is looking for; without assuming or pre-judging.




It isn't usually what you have been led to believe or hear from people around you, who are sharing their opinions based on their perceptions, personal experiences, lives and not yours.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are my top five non-negotiable dating standards?
  • What do I need a partner and how do I ensure my needs are met?
  • What does the man I want to attract want in a partner?
  • What qualities inspire him that I am not practicing as much?
  • What can I do to develop these qualities?

If you have identified all of these, with clarity and confidence, based on facts, and what's right and embody them, daily you already have the edge in dating. You're also much closer than you think to the perfect "candidate" and loving relationship.


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Maria Christie is a dating success, confidence and life coach. who supports those ready to attract and live their dream life and relationship by design.