It’s Ok to Be Superficial

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Soul Mate

Over the years, somehow men and women have been made to feel bad for having “superficial” standards. I’m not going to prescribe for others what defines a superficial standard. Arguably, every standard can be considered superficial. For example, people without college degrees probably think it’s superficial to prefer people with college degrees. Short men hate when women prefer tall men and broke people hate when people have income-based standards. The list goes on and on. Basically, people think it’s fine to have superficial standards until they run into a person they like whose standards they don’t meet. I personally believe it’s fine to be superficial as long as you own your superficial standards.

What does it mean to own your standards?

For a time, I got caught up in this #ToughLove Miami show on VH1, which inspired this post here. There was one episode when the host asked all the women to define their standards, and he used these standards to visually display the affect they had on the women’s dating pool. They started with roughly 50 men to choose from, and the host asked the men to sit down each time the women listed a standard they didn’t meet. By the time most women were done, most (if not all) of the men were sitting down.

I don’t say this to mean that women should have less standards or no standards at all. As I said in the beginning, it’s ok to be superficial; you can have as many or as few standards as you want. But, both men and women need to do a better job of owning their standards and the impact they have on their dating pool. Most people have never sat down and figured out what standards they are looking for in a potential partner. Even if they have, many people haven’t taken the next key step and figured out which of their standards is negotiable versus non-negotiable.

Negotiable vs. Non-negotiable Standards

When you’re dating for the sake of dating (as men often do), honestly, standards don’t matter. When you don’t have much vested in the outcome, you don’t have much to lose. Mind you, I’m saying “dating” and not “sexing” – although many people (incorrectly) see these two terms as synonymous.

However, when you decide you’re going to start dating with purpose – meaning you’re looking for one person, a committed relationship, or marriage – you should change how you approach dating. After all, if you’re dating with a purpose then there should be a purpose to who you do (or don’t) date. It won’t matter if you have 1 standard or 100 standards, if you don’t know which of your standards are negotiable or non-negotiable before you meet someone you’re interested in seriously dating.

I have a few friends, men and women, who do fine when it comes to dating. They have plenty of options and they’re never technically lonely. I love them to death, but they all make the same mistake. I recognize it’s a mistake because I’ve done it myself, numerous times. What is their consistent mistake?

They continuously date men and women they see no future with. I had to ask a good friend of mine point blank recently, “Why are you even wasting time dating women you see no future with?”

He had an answer, but it wasn’t a good one. I’m not picking on my friend, because I know 100s of people just like him. In fact, his story is exactly why it’s important to have a negotiable and non-negotiable list. Frankly, it removes any excuse – because that’s exactly what it is, an excuse – you might give for dating a man or a woman you don’t see a future with. If you are exclusively dating someone that possesses a quality that falls on your “non-negotiable” list, dating them is a waste of both of your times. It’s also possible that dating them is a waste of your energy – energy that would be better spent looking or preparing for the person you claim you want in your life.

Every Standard Shrinks Your Dating Pool

While it is ok to have as many superficial standards as you want, you have to be mature enough to realize that each standard you have will (and should) shrink your available dating pool.

Gentlemen: If you’re a man who only wants “bad [female dogs]” because you have a self-diagnosed “f***king problem,” then you need to be man enough to accept that you will miss out on a lot of quality women who don’t fit these superficial standards in which you imposed on yourself. I’ve seen a lot of men perform extensive searches for wives in places like the gentlemen’s club, but when they don’t find one there they declare, “THERE AINT NO GOOD WOMEN OUT HERE! ALL THEY WANT IS MEN WITH MONEY!”

You, my friend, are an idiot.

I’m 30 years old. Most of my friends are at or around this age as well. Frankly, assuming you want one, I can’t listen to excuses for why you can’t find a wife anymore. Whatever their standards, I’ve been telling my friends one simple quote for the past few years, “If you could…you would.”

After a certain age, you need to own the impact your standards have on whom you can or choose to date. If you want to talk about where to meet quality women, that’s one thing. If you’ve decided no quality women exist, you are wrong. This isn’t a debate. If the standards you’ve self-imposed on the dating pool has made dating so stringent or “impossible” to find a wife, then I’m 110% more likely to question your standards than I am to question the women available in the population, and I suggest you do the same.

Ladies: I didn’t forget about you all, but the message is the same. I have a number of women friends, and I love them all to death, but they have a habit of creating standards as if their standards/preferences have absolutely no impact on their dating pool. This makes less than sense.

More importantly, I’m not sure how many have truly sat down and differentiated between what they want in a man and what they need in a man – actually I’m pretty sure some think this is the same list.

I’m confused how a woman (or man) could ever know if they’re dating the right person if they haven’t even figured out what they want in a man (or woman) in the first place. As I said above, you are free to impose an unlimited amount of standards – that is your prerogative – but it does not exempt you from owning the affects your standards have on your dating pool. If you want a man who is “tall, dark, and handsome…plus educated, good job, and good [Richard],” that’s fine. It’s even perfectly reasonable. However, please realize that you are describing 10 – 25% of men in the world (at best).

I repeat: After a certain age, you need to own the impact your standards have on whom you can or choose to date. If you want to talk about where to meet quality men, that’s one thing. If you’ve decided no quality men exist, you are wrong. This isn’t a debate. If the standards you’ve self-imposed on the dating pool has made dating so stringent or “impossible” to find a husband, then I’m 110% more likely to question your standards than I am to question the men available in the population, and I suggest you do the same.

——————

Keep in mind, doing what you’ve always done will likely only return more of the same. It’s easy to decide you want to change the results, the hard part is accepting some personal accountability for how you’ve gone about solving the problem. It’s funny how men and women are great at pointing out the problems with dating, but they’re not near as good at coming up with solutions. If we’re  honest with ourselves, we all know “the dating game” doesn’t change much between when we’re dating for fun and when we’re dating for purpose. The game doesn’t change, we do. Our expectations change and somehow dating becomes the common scapegoat. Instead, we should first determine what we’re looking for and then we can have a discussion on how to find it. Many people haven’t even defined what they’re searching for and yet they wonder why they’re lost.

It is bad to have superficial standards? Have you ever continued to date someone even though you knew they didn’t meet a non-negotiable standard, why or why not? Is dating without a purpose a waste of time?

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  • http://twitter.com/sabadaga @sabadaga

    At what age should we own the impact of our standards?

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

      i dont think its an age thing, but rather what exactly you’re looking for

    • http://www.singleblackmale.org/author/wisdomismisery/ WisdomIsMisery

      I wouldn’t say it’s age based, but managing ones expectations is an admirable quality at any age. Plus, the younger you are the more you naturally have to choose from anyway. I’m simply saying people should own the overlapping affect their personal standards have on whom they date. If your standards reduce your available dating pool down to 1 – 10%, you really have no one to assign blame to but yourself. Being picky is fine as long as you accept what being picky means, which I feel most people don’t do the latter.

      Another point on which I didn’t touch on in the post is the changes people refuse to make for their own standards. For example, if you want a college educated, gainfully employed man/woman who is looking for a serious commitment, I don’t understand why you continue to search for that type of man/woman in the club and/or bar. “Because that’s the way I’ve always done it,” is not a very good answer. That isn’t to say college educated, gainfully employed people don’t go to clubs/bars, but they are definitely a much smaller subset of the club/bar population. Basically, I don’t see a lot of people’s actions mirroring what they claim they want. Just because something worked fine in your 20s doesn’t mean it’ll work fine in your 30s and 40s.

      - sent from iPhone

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

    Nothing wrong with superficial standards just as you said understand you’re shrinking your own pool. We constantly try to guilt others into liking everybody but we’re grown aint no buddy system needed. People just like to get in their feelings at the idea that someone doesnt want them, even if the feeling is mutual (see sistas & RG3).

    Personally, I date to date, i enjoy meeting new people. If a woman didn’t meet my non negotiable standard especially if im learning early on i will probably leave things as platonic as possible, if its someone i have feelings for i will reassess whether what i want is more important than who.

  • Smilez_920

    There’s nothing wrong with being a little superficial. It becomes an issue when you can’t meet the standards you set for others and when you set so many superficial standards they begin to cancel out or ignore the standards of qualities you need ( not just want) in a partner.

    Also people tend to have all these superficial qualities that they want in others, but throw a fit when someone imposes their superficial standards on them, and they don’t fit the standard.

    I’ll say it like this, when you continue to date someone who doesn’t meet your non- negotiable standards its only two reasons you could be doing it for 1) you only want to sleep with that person and they won’t be around for long anyway 2) you don’t feel worthy of the non – negotiable standards you set, you talk the talk but are to afraid to back it up.

    To me there is no such thing as dating without a purpose for he most part . What happens is two people meet and sometimes they have two different intentions / purposes in mind. If your dating for a relationship that’s a purpose , dating for company that’s a purpose , dating for sex that’s a purpose. Remember dating really = getting to know someone , nothing more nothing less until you and the person make it more than that.

  • mara

    WIM this is why you're my favorite writer on here :)
    I definitely believe that dating without purpose is a waste of time. But I think some people don't know the value of time and therefore don't mind wasting it. I however am not one of those people.
    As I've matured I've gotten rid of a lot of superficial standards. However I still have high standards which make my dating pool small. I was recently talking with my cousin about my standards and she said as many have said "you're looking for a perfect person". I told her that I wasn't, that I was looking for someone that had a lot of qualities that many guys just don't have.
    But even though they are few, they do exist, and there's hope for me in that.

    Keep writing and sharing!

    • http://www.singleblackmale.org/author/wisdomismisery/ WisdomIsMisery

      Thanks Mara.

      • mara

        you're welcome.

  • http://whatyouallow.com/ Wildflower

    I don't really care for superficial standards whether they are being applied by me or applied towards me. They are just that– superficial. When I was younger, I dated to date and not to marry.

    The older I get I have to date with the mindset of building. So at this point of my life, dating someone that doesn't want what I want is a waste of my time point blank and the period.
    My recent post My Ebook: You Can’t Force Him

    • Adonis

      @WYA

      When I was younger, I dated to date and not to marry.

      Thanks for being honest

      A lot of women really take men & husbands (& Long Term Mates) for granted in America. They think they have their whole lives to get married & every day men are saying “no, thank you”. Let’s see of women can respect the decision the same way men had to respect that women abandoned their gender roles

      This is going to bite women in the azz on the back end. And I am here for it!

      • http://whatyouallow.com/ Wildflower

        I don't think men are saying no to the idea of marriage, a lot of them are not mentally or financially ready for the responsibility. There are a lot of women who are marriage material but that doesn't men that a man is gonna swoop down and put a ring on it just because she is ready.
        My recent post Married to Medicine

        • 12 Point Buck

          I respectfully disagree– I think more and more men in the USA and in some parts of Europe ARE saying no to the idea of marriage.

          Why this is happening is a whole different discussion, but I see the trend quite plainly.

        • http://whatyouallow.com/ Wildflower

          Agree to disagree?
          My recent post Married to Medicine

        • 12 Point Buck

          We can agree to disagree.

          But I did want to point out this government census on marriage in the USA, which shows that the overall marriage rate is on a downward trend.
          http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/marriage_divorce_tab

          Given that men are usually the ones to propose marriage, I feel like this chart is decent evidence that there is a trend for guys choosing to not get married.

        • http://whatyouallow.com/ Wildflower

          I do agree that its on a downward spiral. But there are so many factors that goes into people not getting married.
          My recent post Why Can’t Your Man Watch Porn?

        • http://www.singleblackmale.org/author/wisdomismisery/ WisdomIsMisery

          If I may jump in this thread real quick @WildFlower and @12PointBuck, because you’re both right and this is an area I’ve written on numerous times – my most recent write up being here > http://www.singleblackmale.org/2012/12/12/black-marriage-decline/. Excuse the plug.

          In Europe, people of all races have statistically and historically had lower marriage rates than in the US so that’s not the best apples to apples comparison. That said, even in the US marriage rates are down (as we all probably know). However, down doesn’t equate to obsolete as some “the sky is falling” types in the blogosphere have preached. Going by the stats (and facts, if you bother with those sorts of things), men and consequently women, are marrying later in life but by and large over 90% of people of all races will marry within their lifetime.

          Now Wildflower said an interesting statement, a theme of which I’ve seen on a lot of comment threads on this site and abroad: There are a lot of women who are marriage material but that doesn’t mean that a man is gonna swoop down and put a ring on it just because she is ready.

          While I agree with this statement, as it pertains to men – especially black men – I have seen a theme and/or a belief that men now feel they need more financial and career accomplishments before they can have a wife; whereas rumor has it other races believe a wife is generally a component of, not a mutual exclusive goal of measuring their success.

          So my question is – and I’m sure I’ll eventually write about this – are these men operating wholly independent of reality or do they (black men, etc) think this way because their primary counterpart of the opposite sex have demonstrated that this is of value to them as well? Stated another way, do black men marry later because they believe (rightly or wrongly) they need more financial, material, and career successes in order to get a black wife?

          Just seems strange to me that black men would randomly or arbitrarily place material and financial success over marriage. Anyone is welcome to respond. Ill address in a full write up later.

          - sent from iPhone

        • amaris79

          I am going to have to do some substantial digging to find this study but the general theory is that material STABILITY is emphasized on both ends (in their own special ways) due to the unique volatility of the Black American existence. Namely, there exists an underlying fear that everything could be lost in a single moment, so they compulsively seek whatever they believe to be stability/security to counteract that fear BEFORE placing someone else into their mix. It is different for other races-in America specifically-as there is a belief that either a "fallback" exists (whether through parents, family inheritance, etc) or that since they er..came from no bottom they can thrive under any circumstance without shame.
          Now, I can neither tell or explain how that translated into the bling/no scrubs versions that seem to be so pervasive, but whatevs.

        • 12 Point Buck

          "are these men operating wholly independent of reality or do they (black men, etc) think this way because their primary counterpart of the opposite sex have demonstrated that this is of value to them as well?"

          I think it may be something altogether different, but still marginally related to meeting women's value expectations. To explain, I will need to make a simple, reasonable assumption, so please bear with me:

          I'd reasonably assume that women are attracted to men who have "more" than they do in some very specific areas. Namely; more height, more money, more social status, more professional success, more ambition, more power, etc.

          Now if this assumption is true for a particular woman, then what happens when she excels in life, and acquires a high level of money, social status, professional success, ambition, etc. for herself?

          If the original assumption still stands, then a lot of men will necessarily fall short in comparison to her accomplishments, and consequently will be less attractive in her eyes.

          Therefore, in a lot of ways, it would make sense for men to delay marriage until they get to this "high-value" level. Because by doing so, they maximize the number of women who are attracted to them, giving the best possible conditions for finding an ideal wife.

          tldr; delaying marriage to obtain more life success = more and better options for selecting a wife

        • http://whatyouallow.com/ Wildflower

          WIM, I didn't see your post until after I commented but it's on point.

          I know this may be the worst analogy ever but I'm trying to make a point here. Every time I visit a church, I make it my business to see if the pastor is married or not– and in my 30 years I've only seen one that was single. Why? Because within the church having a wife is smiled upon. If we were raised seeing marriage as a good thing, most black men would settle down (in my opinion). But most of us was raised by single mothers so our view on marriage is a bit distorted. How can we admire something we are not familiar with?

          I remember a white male friend of mine told me that his 33 year old sister was close to depression because she was not married. Now in our community, that is nothing new to us. I was shocked to hear ole girl was 2 seconds away from popping anxiety medicine but we live in two different worlds when it comes to our expectations on marriage.

        • http://twitter.com/mpj2k4 @mpj2k4

          I disagree too. For example I used to work in a call center and there were dozens of pretty women above thirty that was looking to finally settle down and I met some guys in that age group that had their stuff together and they wasn't thinking about marriage. The ratio was too good for the men that they wanted to just have fun. With divorce being high and drama that can bring, added in with the ratio of women looking for good brothas, I don't think men really want to get married.

        • http://whatyouallow.com/ Wildflower

          I hate to pull the race card @mpj2k4 but are you referring to black men or men in general?

          And no disrespect to anyone but I personally think that black men don't value marriage. Having kids, yes but having a wife no. It's rare to see a white man in his 30's single as opposed to black men.

          Also, it's not like black men have a high history of marriage anyway hence all the single parent homes. So this is not a trend that just started today, this has been an ongoing issue.

        • Peter Parker

          I am a brother who values marriage with the upmost. I personally think having kids and a wife who can hold down the fort down is a win-win. The key is finding the right combination of woman who is a good fit for you.

        • MarcJ2k9

          Sounds superfacial to me :-) but I believe the idea of finding a potential mate shouldn't be on what he has going for himself or what he drives but more about his character. Because there is alot of good men in this world who has had hardship through trials and tribulation so it shouldn't be fair to not consider him marriage material because of it. Because I know some of the biggest jerks who has had rich parents who's paid for their schooling, nice car, house, and got them a nice job but they are immature as most 12 year olds yet women gravitate to them because of what they got instead of how they treat them. But Hey! this is today's society for you.

  • Uncle Hugh, BP

    I don't think it is bad to have superficial standards, but you have to be reasonable about them. If you're a social worker making $35K a year and say you must have a man making six figures, that's fine, I'm not saying you can't pull it off, but your standards are out of line with what you bring to the table. If you need a woman that looks like Sanaa Lathan when you look like you've been beat with both ends of the ugly stick, you're being unreasonable.

    Most people don't realize they are cutting down their options with their standards, then say there are no good women/men based on the small percentage of women/men they are willing to give a chance. If you want tall (average male height is 5'-11"), dark (x'ing out light and brown-skin) and handsome (depending on your definition, maybe 1 out of 10-20 guys), you can't say there's no good men when you're only considering 2-3% of the population to work with. And that's before considering other standards, if they are already taken, etc.

    • http://www.singleblackmale.org/author/wisdomismisery/ WisdomIsMisery

      Good point, Hugh. I don’t have a big circle of friends but of the 5 or 6 I have, only two are over 6ft tall and only one makes over $100k (a standard a few women have told me they have). One is married so he’s out the running. None have kids and all but one have a college degree. Anyway, all I’m saying is based on these standards, it sounds like one of my boys might be “marriable” or 20%.

      I started to put a table in this post with standards and the corresponding percentage of men and women that would fall into that group. But the misses advised me that would only get me cursed out. LOL so I stopped short of going that far. Google is free tho. I think it would help some people to take their two 10 wants/needs and Google what percent of men/women fall into that group. I think quite a few people would be unpleasantly surprised. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if most people’s standards left them with only about 5 – 10% of men/women to choose from.

      - sent from iPhone

  • cynicaloptmst81

    WIM is constantly walking down my street! LOL. Hi, my name is CO81…and I am a bit superficial. My bff once told me that I'd break up with a guy if he tied his shoes wrong…especially in public…which is not true, LOL…I don't think, LOL. But, looks and the appearance of things matter to me. Sometimes, I wish they didn't…but they do. *shrugs*

    I love dating guys who look cool…fashion forward, manly, and confident. Unfortunately, looks can be deceiving and I realize I may be passing up guys who ARE cool, manly, and confident…because they don't look or appear to be that way. You can flip a man's closet…probably not his character though, lol. So, I've actually been PRAYING that God make some internal adjustments in me so that I'll be attracted to what I NEED based on what it is and not what it appears to be. #PrayChurch

    • http://www.singleblackmale.org/author/wisdomismisery/ WisdomIsMisery

      I had (and still do, but not as bad) this exact same problem. WIM likes pretty things, pretty women not withstanding. For a long time, people tried and eventually successfully did make me feel guilty for this admittedly superficial preference. So much so that I tried dating women I found less attractive (based on my own standards) to see if I could find “happiness.” Guess what, I did not. But the greater lesson I learned is WHY THE HELL AM I LETTING OTHERS DICTATE MY OWN STANDARDS?! Lol

      I recognize this quality about myself but at the same time, it is a quality I like that makes me happy so it is what it is. I just had to find a balance between the external and the internal. This is what I tell my friends all the time. It doesn’t matter if you have a “superficial” standard if it is a standard that is important to you. I say, go forth and prosper.

      Now, a lot of people will say “looks fade” and this is true. But looks fade if you take care of yourself health wise; they disappear when you don’t. Also, I don’t buy that argument. Clothes fade too so does that mean I should never buy nice clothes because eventually they’ll fade? At the end of the day, our standards are no one else’s but our own and therefore, I believe we should prioritize them as we sit fit. As long as you own your standards and the implications of having them, I’ve learned you don’t need anyone else’s “permission” to develop the standards you deem important in a partner.

      - sent from iPhone

      • cynicaloptmst81

        Oh, I totally agree with this! Totally!

        For me, I need a better balance concerning my affinity for presence…or a look. You can be an otherwise cute guy…but because you look corny (a bit too thin, pleated khaki's…o_O, LOL), I'll pass on you, lol. Get that same man a stylist, some weights, and a cool walk, then I'd be all over him, LMBO…with the quickness! None of which (a stylist, muscles/thickness, a cool walk) really matters in the grand scheme of things. But, regardless of that fact, they matter TO ME!!!! *cries a little on the inside* #PleasePrayChurch

      • Paul B.

        I have no problem with people having their superficial standard. That is their prerogative. The problem is that they’re simply unable to cope with the possibility of losing out because of them. I see so many become sore losers after losing the game they tried to play. Furthermore, those who feel the need to constantly voice their preferences/standard or their “worthiness” to be chosen/married are often anything but.

      • Paul B.

        One more thing: just because somebody meets your requirements and you choose them doesn’t mean: A) They have to choose you. B) You meet THEIR requirements/preferences/standard. Get over yourself; it’s at least 20 more of you in a given area vying for that spot that may be equally l, if not more qualified to be chosen in their eyes, so what makes you think they have to choose you simply because you applied?

    • Smilez_920

      "So, I've actually been PRAYING that God make some internal adjustments in me so that I'll be attracted to what I NEED based on what it is and not what it appears to be. #PrayChurch "

      "Put's Cyn's prayer in my pocket"<— sometimes what you need does'nt come in the package that you expect it too. it's like getting a Gucci Pumps in a DSW box.

      • cynicaloptmst81

        Girl, YES!!!!!!!

        We are >>>HERE<<<!!!!

        I'll pray for you…you pray for me, lol.

    • Bree

      Cyn I've prayed the same thing and thankfully God answers prayers *smile*

      • cynicaloptmst81

        Won't He do it?!

        Oh, yes, He will!!!!!

        LOL

  • amaris79

    "Basically, people think it’s fine to have superficial standards until they run into a person they like whose standards they don’t meet. "

    I. Say. This. All. The. Time!! The worst is when you are faced with a person with these "standards", and they never stop to consider THEY may have to do some work to become someone the type of person they want may be attracted TO. It's actually a huge point of contention on most "matchmaking" shows. The women/men want such and such age, height, looks, pedigree, community standing…and start pulling out Marilyn Monroe quotes when asked why they themselves should be accepted as-is. It is a simple fact that if your standards dictate the person you can only be attracted to is "universally attractive" to a large group of people across the board you have some work to do to stand out, SUPERFICIALLY. It's like the er…street urchins I encounter who tell me I'll be #ForeverAlone because I haven't learned not to "judge a book by its cover". Ummm…YOU approached me BECAUSE of my cover, correct? You ain't see my personality in that sundress!!!

    To your second point, I am kindof on the fence about the "non-strategic dating" thing. Sometimes it is really, really refreshing to have some pressure-free good company. And sometimes, you may need to date someone lacking a few of your "non-negotiables" to discover that some of your hard-line standards aren't as necessary as you think.

    • http://www.lifeisablast.org payne well

      I agree! I have been on dates where I knew it wasnt going anywhere. However, I still went because of a few reason: 1. It's nice to be in the company of the opposite of sex sometimes and you may just want that company for the moment. 2. If he invites you the movies and the other option was to just sit at home and eat that bucket of ice cream i had been eying all week, why not go? I was not going to do anything anyway and needed to get out of the house. However, I do not seriously date someone (i.e being exclusive) unless i can see a future with them.
      My recent post If I can’t have you, I’m gon be single for the rest of my life

    • http://www.lifeisablast.org payne well

      I agree! I have been on dates where I knew it wasnt going anywhere. However, I still went because of a few reason: 1. It's nice to be in the company of the opposite of sex sometimes and you may just want that company for the moment. 2. If he invites you the movies and the other option was to just sit at home and eat that bucket of ice cream i had been eying all week, why not go? I was not going to do anything anyway and needed to get out of the house. However, I do not seriously date someone (i.e being exclusive) unless i can see a future with them.
      My recent post If I can’t have you, I’m gon be single for the rest of my life

  • payne well

    I think we have to sit down and write a list of everything you want in a man/woman, list it all. Then walk away from the list and review it and cut it down to what you truly cannot live without. I have a friend that has 3 kids and is always shooting down guys to date over the most superficial things, i.e he smiles weird, he looks like a killer, he's only 5'9, his head is too big etc. I am not saying that because she has 3 kids she should take what she can get, which is not true at all. However, it would be unfair if a guy saw her kids and was like nope i'm not dating her Granted we are all entitled to what we feel is attractive, but we need to put certain things in perspective when we are looking for a potential mate.
    My recent post If I can’t have you, I’m gon be single for the rest of my life

  • larnelw

    Is it okay to have superficial standards? Yes….absolutely. No one can tell you you are wrong for wanting what you want. But as many said you have to deal with the fact that you are greatly limiting your options. However I want to go further with this. Like I said, have all the superficial standards you want but make sure you meet up to what you are asking for. How does the person you want have to have a dope body but you damn near obese? How do they need to drive a certain quality of car but you can't even pass the written test for your permit? How do they need to make a certain amount of money but you can't even keep your bills paid? Too often I hear people asking for things in a mate that they themselves ARE NOT, HAVE NOT or DO NOT.

    • http://www.singleblackmale.org/author/wisdomismisery/ WisdomIsMisery

      +1

      I do agree, but I also wouldn’t limit someone by saying “you have to date within your league” persay. I see a number of people successfully date “out of their league,” which is of course subjective. To your point, it is def a lot easier to require of others what you represent in yourself.

    • Uncle Hugh, BP

      larnelw: "Too often I hear people asking for things in a mate that they themselves ARE NOT, HAVE NOT or DO NOT."

      What I was trying to say, but much more concise and eloquent. Cosign.

    • Bree

      Another point I want to make is this: Celebrities are perfect examples of the fact that just because 2 very beautiful, smart and successful people get together, that does Not equal a recipe for a long-lasting and successful relationship and/or marriage.
      Sometimes at best they have pretty babies and thats about it. If your seeking a husband or a wife 2 things you should know. Regardless of how great a Dr. or Lawyer or whatever their occupation is, you need to make sure that person is also great at being a husband or wife and a mother or father.
      I've heard many many people say their ex was a great lawyer, business person, highly intelligent etc etc etc, but they were a horrible spouse and/or parent. Those are 2 jobs you need to work on becoming an expert at if you do not want to get fired or layed off.

  • Larry

    Great post, couldn't agree more with the message.

    " If you’ve decided no quality women exist, you are wrong. This isn’t a debate. If the standards you’ve self-imposed on the dating pool has made dating so stringent or “impossible” to find a wife, then I’m 110% more likely to question your standards than I am to question the women available in the population, and I suggest you do the same."

    - I know a couple folks that need to really internalize this line right here, lolol.

  • bellatrice1

    So true. I have come to terms with the superficial qualities I require of my potential mates. I have also decided that some of these standards are significantly and negatively impacting the size of my dating pool. I have realized that my standards have made it so that I only meet a guy I really like once a year. It sucks…thinking about changing things up a bit…lol

    I don't date out of my league, but I do realize that most ppl are vying for the same 20% of men and women, so the competition at that level is steep!
    My recent post Can’t Get Right: Kim Kardashian Maternity Edition

  • Bree

    This is a great post Wis and I agree.
    However I think the root of this problem goes way beyond just standards.
    I don't think it's just that people don't know what they want. Most people know exactly what they want. The problem is they want too damn much. And they want Everything for Nothing.
    Some people want someone to kiss their azz and never question anything they do or say. Some people are spoiled and want someone to spoil them and give them whatever they want whenever they want it.
    Another root of the problem is people having this lofty idea that if they get someone who meets all or most of their superficial requirements that the person will be perfect inside and out without any flaws at all.
    Unfortunately many people forget that just because a person has a degree, makes lots of money, is powerful, has a lot of material things and is attractive that doesn't mean they won't be a selfish azzhole or won't have any mental and emotional issues and have some bs with them.

  • Bree

    I watched a really good movie over the weekend called The Love Section. In it this single guy had pretty high standards and so did his boys. But the woman he ended up falling in love with was almost 10 yrs younger than him, in college and a single mother with a son. At one point spending time with her and sharing her with her son and dealing with the pop up baby daddy got to be too much for him and he fell back. But he knew this girl was a good girl and he loved. Not to mention when he shared his dreams with her of opening up his own real estate company she supported him fully and agreed to cosign on a $5000.00 loan for him. In the end he realized despite some of the extra stress of dealing with this woman with her being a single mom, the popup baby daddy and her being all depressed after her mom died of breast cancer He Loved Her. There was another woman who was closer to his age and had more goin for her but she ended up just being a side chick.

  • Bree

    My point is, folks really need to realize whats really important when u are choosing a Life Partner!
    Physical & Material standards are not thee most important things. They are important yes, but not thee most important thing. You have to ask yourself will the person your with still love you and be down for you if you lost everything you had or if you were seriously and/or permanently injured.
    Also, just because a person "looks good on paper" does not mean that they are a good person, with a good heart who will be able to stand the tests of time with you, and ride this journey called life with you til the wheels fall off.

  • oh ok…

    Everyone has superficial standards…its human, BUT I totally agree w/: "I personally believe it’s fine to be superficial as long as you own your superficial standards." Thats just THE TRUTH.
    I always try to stop myself short in life/love because I'm not perfect (unfortunately!).
    I think it comes w/ age…meh.

  • Peter Parker

    Good post WIM. I definitely needed to read this as I am back in the dating world. I personally don't think having superficial standards are bad at all. Everything you stated was correct. I think Hugh made a good point above. If you bring x, y, and z to the table, what's wrong with wanting someone with similar qualities? Personally I don't think it's nothing wrong with that. Also, people bring up how in other races, women get married earlier and etc. While this may be true, alot of factors need to be considered (religion and location) for example. Here in DC, white boys are not getting married any faster than brothers..Also, women in other races are not having babies out of wedlock as much as my sistas which for some is not an issue, but for others it is. I just say don't ask for what you can not provide or dish out….

  • http://www.greaterunderstanding.net Anthony Brian Logan

    some people have dumb standards that always backfire. its ok to have realistic standards that will actually help you rather than unrealistic standards that do nothing but hurt you.
    My recent post BLACK KIDS – YOU CAN DO IT TOO!