Dating standards and thoughts

Stef Sampa
5 min readDec 29, 2020
Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

Everyone has a past
Everyone has a dating past. Either a good one, or a bad one, we all have a past. It’s a past which incorporates our life path, our choices, our mentality, our approach in life, and of course pure luck or coincidence.
Each past is unique and multifaceted. Some were lucky to have found their soul mate on the first shot (kudos!); however the vast majority of us have had to make multiple attempts into relationships in order to form an emotional pattern and be equipped for our future quest of happiness.

“Should I think about it?”

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Well, that’s actually a tough question with a complicated answer. From a certified evaluator’s perspective, the past has a lot to do with our future in most aspects, let alone relationships. As a result, flashbacks are useful in order to form patterns, which in turn contribute towards a more informed all-around approach to the future.
From another point of view however, there’s B.J. Harvey’s quote “Whatever happened in the past belongs in the past. Learn from it, grow, and move on. Don’t let it determine your future”.
Neither is correct or wrong in my opinion. Eventually, it all comes down to your personal way of thinking and approaching things.

Dating standards
Based on our previous relationships, we have all pretty much set our dating standards. We all want to keep the good characteristics of people previously in our lives and discard the ones we didn’t like. We also want to be capable of identifying our mistakes (voluntary and involuntary ones), learn from them, evolve and not repeat them in future relationships.
The combination of these thoughts (and many more I’m sure!) lead to the formulation of our personal dating standards, based on which we tend to move forward to our next relationship. And since each relationship is a life lesson, these standards are constantly evaluated and updated; kind of like our love KPIs!

Pole vaulting

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With our standards set then, everything should be simple onwards, right? Kind of like pole vaulting: the bar is set at a certain height and all we have to do is aim to vault over it! Ahhh, if only it was that simple..! The problem is that the vault doesn’t necessarily move only upwards. Since we’re only humans (set for mistakes and hopefully learn from them!) evaluating data on a personal scale, the vault can be very low on some aspects, or even unnecessarily high on others! And the funny (?!) thing is that while most of us tend to see ourselves as athletes of the highest caliber on the matter — a “I know what I want” kind of approach — we still tend to fail surpassing the vault on some aspects, or in other aspects not even realizing there was a jump to begin with!

“I’m not a rookie you know!”
Don’t get me wrong, we all know at a significant percentage what we expect from a relationship. We have all been pole vaulters, we have all succeeded and failed at jumps. However, even Olympic athletes set the bar at the wrong height from time to time; a wrong momentary evaluation of one’s capability could lead to elimination from a certain contest.
The key to success for an athlete of this caliber is confidence, training, effective evaluation of their surroundings, knowing their opponents’ capabilities and of course listening to their coach’s advice.
I’m a firm believer of such an approach in order to set the standards for upcoming relationships.

Ok, so what do you suggest I do?

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Let me be clear, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed recipe for success! If I knew it, I would throw this article in the recycle bin and empty it, while this article’s title would be: “Guaranteed dating success”!
Given the fact that we are all in this together, I do believe there are some points worth taking into consideration before setting the standards in our relationships to come:
 Non-negotiable confidence (in this context — knowing what we actually have to offer) and expectancy of its appreciation
 Stick to our training — but not too much (in this context — assimilate what we believe matters from our past experiences but not develop guidelines based on them)
 Setting the pole (in this context — the acceptable standards in relationship aspects) at a reasonable and achievable height
 Knowing our audience (nobody is appealing to everybody and that’s ok — lets start focusing on the ones that do like us from the start)
 Listening to our coach (in this context — taking the advice of people that love us, know us and can give us a subjective bird-eye view of the situation)

As a closing point, I would like to underline the fact that the standards we set, are a complex cluster of timing, psychology and experience. There are no right and wrong ones, only right and wrong FOR us! They are not always easy to develop and they usually require a trial — error approach. But, rest assured, they will eventually be set and they will be rewarding in the end. Besides, as Mark Twain said: “Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions”.