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by Jennifer Brown Banks

"Standards" Versus Stumbling Blocks

"Love is where you find it."

Are you standing in the way of your own happiness? You could be.

Perhaps it’s time that you examine some of your dating standards and strategies to determine why you haven’t found the person of your dreams. Or in many instances, why you may not even have interaction with the opposite sex that qualifies as quality company!

Here’s a case in point. My friend “Edwina” would love to be married. Though she’s attractive, fun, educated, and engaging, she spends her time waiting and wishing for Mr. Right to come along.


The problem? She has a laundry list of requirements.

- He can’t be too short, or too tall.

- He can’t be of a different race.

- He can’t smoke.

- He can’t be blue collar.

And the list goes on…. By the time she weeds out from the already slim pickings, she puts herself at a terrible disposition. Perhaps you do too.

Sure, everybody should have standards. For example, I won’t date guys who are chronic liars or chronically unemployed. But, I do allow myself to be open to the possibility of finding love in some unexpected places and profiles. And you should too.

Another friend of mine actually refuses to date good-looking guys. Crazy, wouldn’t you say? But she swears that hunks have a harder time being faithful because of all the attention and opportunities thrown at them. Give her a guy who is aesthetically challenged, and she’s happy as hell!

But be forewarned. When it comes to dating success, we must be careful not to make “standards” stumbling blocks! Author Kay Allenbaugh, (creator of the Chocolate for a Woman's Heart series), puts it best. She shares in one of her books, how she found her mate, Eric, as a result of allowing herself to be open to dating shorter men. She eventually married this little guy whom she refers to as being “tall in character and the way he lives his life!”

Here are a Few Other Things to Consider in Establishing Your Criteria:

Do you possess what you seek in others?
For example, if you want someone who’s physically fit, you should be at least somewhat active and have a body that’s eye appealing as well. If you’re looking for someone who is faithful and honest, can you offer the same?

Are your expectations realistic?
Don’t seek out a companion who will make you happy and fulfill all your needs. That’s a do it yourself project. No one can be everything to anyone else. Seek someone who complements you rather than completes you.

Do you have dating goals?
Like everything else in life, goals guide us.

Is there a negative pattern in your previous choices?
As a popular expression states, “Those who fail to learn from the past are destined to repeat it.”

Are you trying to have what you think your friends have in the way of relationships?
Though the grass can sometimes look greener on the other side, it rarely is. When it comes to matters of the heart, never compare or compete.

Are you carrying “excess baggage”?
Bitterness, bad attitudes, and unresolved issues are sure to make your journey on the road to love bumpy and long!

Are you allowing other people’s opinions to dictate your choices?
For example, if you are allowing your mom to influence you not to date blue-collar men because she considers them beneath you, it could be to your dating detriment. Be a real grown up and make up your own mind. It’s your life.

Remember this. The next time you’re searching for a soul mate, make sure to do a little soul searching first. Make sure your standards aren’t stumbling blocks on the path to real romance! And heed the warning signs. Happy travels.


Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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