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Why Men Need Dating Standards Too

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I was recently giving thought to past failures and things that go on in dating when I observed that a lot of men are put in positions where they’re constantly dealing with responding or reacting to a woman’s needs. I don’t think I ever looked at it this way until recently. Most men’s standards usually revolve around aesthetics and at a high level some behavioral traits like “isn’t too combative” or “doesn’t act crazy.” When it comes to dealbreakers that’s typically something that you’ll hear from a woman. A man may say that he doesn’t like girls with short hair, but trust me when I tell you this, at a few points in his life he’ll be walking in with a girl with short hair. Just about every one of those aesthetic dealbreakers that a man claims to have with be broken at one point in his life.

Women have standards and needs and they tend to bring those into the relationship. They also have baggage and flaws and they look for situations that will accept, coddle or work though those problems. For example, I’ve noticed that a woman who has extreme trust issues will bring that into a relationship and raise her own flag. She’ll tell her man, “I have trust issues, it’s something I’m working on. Just know, that’s the reason why I don’t like when you text me late at night, it makes me think you’re out doing something.” You see, that’s how it happens. Women also have standards about the men they’re dating as it comes to other things like appearance, communication, and conflict resolution. If you don’t meet these standards there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to seriously pursue that woman.

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As I said recently I had given some thought to the need for men to have standards. For those standards to be met or for an ultimatum to be placed on the table. It should have came to me a while back, a few months ago, I was dating a woman and I realized I was chasing this girl all around at a certain point I had to stop myself. I felt like, “Why am I chasing this girl? I deserve better than that.” Then came the hard part – it’s really easy for a woman to have a Streissand moment and tell a guy what she deserves and that she’s better than what he’s giving her. For men, it’s damn hard to do that without coming across as an asshole. It came out like this, “I’m really sorry but I think we have to stop talking. I’m not trying to be condescending or cocky in any way but I was raised with self-respect and an appreciation for knowing my worth. I’m not ashamed to say this but I’m a good dude and good dudes shouldn’t have to try this hard. Either you’re not that interested or you’re waiting for me to go so far above and beyond it’s absurd.  In my eyes, I strive to be the type of guy that a woman would find herself involved with and immediately begin to think, “I really want to make this work.”

I left it at that, but months later I found myself coming up with a list of standards that I think men should have with women and as controversial as some of them are, men are entitled to them. I’m a firm believer that every man has the right to choose not to date or not to continue dating someone if they please. I mean, don’t women have this right – don’t’ they exercise it all the time. Fair exchange is no robbery.

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I decided that this would be my list of dating/relationship standards men should have:

  1. Men should be able to decide not to date women who have trust issues.

  2. Similar, but a different beast. Men should be able to decide not to date women who have jealousy issues.

  3. Men should be able to decide that they don’t see the situation headed towards a relationship and be able to walk away.

  4. Men should be able to have their own opinion on what they find attractive rather than it being dictated to them by the woman he’s dating.

  5. Men should be able to be satisfied sexually rather than being reactive to what a woman is willing or not willing to do.

I finished my list and looked at it for a minute and I cringed. I thought to myself, “Really Jay? You sure that’s okay to call a standard in a relationship?” I mulled it over a bit and concluded that it was. I realized that if I turned the tables around and made each one of these specific for women, it would be perfect fine. Have I ever heard of a woman breaking up with a guy because he wouldn’t trust her? Yep. Have I ever heard of a woman breaking up with a guy because he was too jealous? Hell yep. Have I heard of a woman who just stopped returning calls and texts because she fell out of “like” with him? Mhm. How many times have I heard, “he’s a nice guy, but I’m not attracted to him”? TONS. And last but not least, have I ever heard of a woman breaking up with a guy because the sex was bad? Good God yes!

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I guess it’s not so much about the list but it was about the realization that I think that men should be able to take an active role in the selection process of their mate. I find that sometimes when a guy doesn’t want to deal with a trait or a flaw that a woman brings into the relationship, he’s frowned upon or he’s being a jerk. However, I would argue that relationships are hard work and you should WANT to be in the relationship. You shouldn’t be forced to be in a relationship because skipping out on a unwanted relationship makes you a bad man. To me, it all goes back to self-respect. It’s not you saying you’re better than someone, it’s you saying that you’re worth more than what you’re currently being offered.

– Dr. J

What about you folks, do you think it’s okay for a man to have standards or dealbreakers? Moreover, do you think it’s okay for a man to determine that he’s just not up for the challenge of dealing with someone’s flaws? Last, do you think sometimes there’s pressure on men to stick with situation they may not enjoy?

Comment(40)

  1. I wouldn't ask somebody's opinion on this one. lol The truth is we do have standards, but they vary based on what we want at the time. Those of us who just want to sleep around have a standard, and it's usually very low/superficial. After all, it's just smashing. I personally don't roll around with the smashing random chicks, but I know how the game goes. When we want a real relationship/marriage, there's a standard that's substantially higher. This is why men who want to get married don't try and select a wife/potential wife from the scores of women they just fooled around with. I'm not here to debate whether it's right/wrong for them to do that; I'm just saying that's what they do. The merits of its fairness is subjective anyway.

    The only ones complaining about the standards that men have anyway will usually be the ones who get left out because of them, to be honest.

    1. Agreed, women stay trying to guilt men into wanting what’s convenient for them (remember the whole war on lightskinned chicks and the brothas that love them on this very blog)

  2. Let say I'm looking for a girlfriend. Because, you know, a brother got needs.

    I'm going to date as many girls as possible until one or a few of them help my needs. It takes a lot of work doing the chase and everything, so I'll settle(like most men do) for the easiest and path to satisfy my needs. Lets be honest here, this might be with one or many ladies. I only needs the most basic standard here, like really basic.

    Let say, 6 to 12 months later i'm with this on because she's the hottest. When she starts asking to meet my family and everything or when she wants to get really serious. That is when I'm going to look for reason why we should be more serious. And that's pretty much where my standards will be needed at first.

    I say all this to tell you that men do have standards. My standards are the toughest one out there. Unlike women, I basically use just one to get in a relationship. A woman's look. But if or when I have to give a lifetime commitment to a woman, that's where I'll go hard with my unbelievable list of requirements.

    1. Just want to make sure I have this straight…

      You'll date a woman…based on looks alone…until she determines she wants to be serious with you. THEN, you will interview/vet her to determine if she qualifies???? o_O

      Why not interview/vet her WHILE you are dating her????

  3. I’ll have to agree with Paul up top. Men have standards they just vary from situation to situation. For instances if he’s just ” hooking up” with a woman, his standards aren’t going to be very detailed for her other than ” be sexy and be clean”.

    I think all people go through a few experiences that help them reevaluate their standards especially when it comes to relationships . It seems like deep down inside you know men have standards , you just want women to respect those standards without trying to guilt trip men for keeping /adhering to them( basically woman should understand that both ppl come into situations with standards, both ppl have the right to place a person were they see fit in their lives based on those standards). I think both sexes catch some heat for their standards especially when a group of ppl from the opposite ( or same) sex doesn’t fit those standards. For women it could be the physical standard for men it could be the physical , financial, or personality trait ( ie: the so called nice guy complaining ).

    I believe that for the most part men hold on tighter to their standards than women do. I mean once a woman gets to a certain point she understand how important it is for a man to meet certain standards if she’s going to be in a healthy relationship. But before that point how many times do you hear or even get letters on here from women who have drop some of their really important standards for the sake of dealing with a man who they should have kicked to the curve .

    1. I agree that both women and men have standards, and if they don't they should. True, you can't bring everyone home to meet your family. That's a very important stepping stone in a relationship. I just want to understand that we are talking about men and women walking the same path, not those still playing games and the other seriously looking because that doesn't work. Bottom line – if ONE doesn't have standards they should. Steer clear of those who don't.

  4. I remember a while back I tweeted, some women aren’t the great catch they make themselves out to be, for every dude that’s taking a good girl for granted there’s just as many who knows what stands before them isn’t #her. However most women aren’t too fond of being mutumboed so they instead label us shallow, immature and such. Damned if you do, damned if you dont basicially. To counter we soft curve the women we don’t want to date or keep them in the AAA and never call them up to the big show.

    .

    1. Yes and no. I think some women get caught in a lot of the “how to be wifey” “how to be a good catch” very generic advice that when they follow all those steps and don’t get the man they were plotting on they fall back on the above. Plus it doesn’t help when men keep these not so great catches in their net for a too long.

      I think most people have the potential to be great catches if they work on themselves; they just have to understand everyone won’t see you in that light. Just like applying for job you can be a great candidate be just not quite the right fit for the company.

  5. RIGHT ON! I am so happy you wrote this. If more black men had standards, our entire relationship paradigm would change. "Being selective is the path to productivity" – Tim Ferris.

    Black men who filter through the bullshit to find a woman that really meets their wants & needs is a black man who can't be stopped. Other men who fool around with a lot of distractions, rubbish or simply playthings, waste a lot of time in life and usually are broke, boring and underachievers.

    As a woman, I would MUCH rather a man be straight up about whether or not our relationship has a future based on his standards. Yes it may hurt my ego or self esteem but it also saves us MONTHS or even years of bullshit and fake interactions.

    MEN HOLD YOUR LIST UP HIGH. You deserve the best.

    1. Def agree … It saves time. But the thing is most men that are really ready for a serious / committed relationship and not just falling into them (due to circumstances or convenience) is in that category of “having standards” you describe above. It’s the guys that are bs or still in that doing me stage, were the standards chart become real basic ( f me , feed me, ) basically I’ll take whatever makes me feel good until I find something else. This is where women get the short end of the stick. Plus even some of the good guys with high standards for a partner and seeking a relationship, might be checking out applicants but instead of completely dropping the ones that don’t meet those standards, he throws them into a new pile for a different position where the standards aren’t as high, unfortunately she isn’t made aware of this up front.

  6. "Why Men Need Dating Standards Too" …I thought we did? Its a lot of ho.. "cough .. cough" ..I mean trifling women out here.. so we need to a bit more cognizant & far more selective when it comes to lady(ies) we decide to invest our time & money into. I've turned down (and will continue to do so) numerous women who have not met my standards. I agree with Dr. J; I mean at what point will we stop and ask ourselves "why am I chasing this girl? why am 'gassing' her up like this?"

  7. I think men have always had standards and have adhered to those standards pretty strongly and I agree with Paul B. that those standards may change throughout the life of a man depending on the type of connection he desires with a woman.

    Sure it happens with men but it's usually woman very often who may SEEM like they have strict standards but end up softening those standards to avoid singleness (as it's usually looked at by society as a disease for women of a certain age). Having high standards can sometimes be a lonely journey — in theory, the less standards you have the larger your dating pool.

    The real elephant in the room is that some people avoid being honest with themselves and the people they're dating because they don't want to hurt feelings or they have a convenient situation that works for the time being until they find something better which generally leads to cheating. I also think men and women go wrong when they have unbelievable standards that NO person fits into.

  8. Everyone needs standards. I mean if I choose you b/c you were the cream of the crop I don't want to know I just happened to meet you at the right moment. I want to know I was selected as carefully as I selected you. I think the only reason men may lose sight of their standards is b/c sadly there are too many easy women in this world. Too many women don't make you choose them and you forget how the selection process is even supposed to go. In all fairness I think it happens to women too. We go through our "young and carefree" years thinking I am not looking for anything serious – it is what it is. Only to realize when we are ready to find the one that choosing the one ain't easy. SO I say – do you w/ your standards! Hope it pans out well 🙂

  9. I'd argue that most men do have standards, they just evolve over time as they discover what is truly important to them. I'd also argue that it is more common for a man to NOT be looked down upon for having those standards. I have yet to hear a man get yelled at that he'll be #ForeverAlone because he had a hard line for women with all their teeth. Now I have politely turned down homeless men with sh*t in their pants and have been chastised for having unrealistic standards. But another story for another Friday, lol.

      1. I definitely told a friend the other day to go buy cats.

        me: Well, why are you lonely?
        her: There's nobody in Atlanta to date.
        me: bullshit.
        her: Maybe there is, but i'd rather just take a nap.
        me: Buy cats.

        1. OMG i left Atlanta b/c there were no eligible men. Been in NYC less than a year and happily boo'd up! SOOOOO tell your friend to relocate 🙂

    1. I think that men have standards but most of them are silly. It's funny though like 4-5 years ago there was this girl some friends tried to hook me up with. After the first date, I came back and was like, "She' s really pretty but she's like 28 and has braces, I don't get it." My female friends wanted to start the Passion. They told me i'd be single as long as I kept chasing perfection.

      Follow up to that story, I ended up actually trying to date that girl before she got with her ex. I figured that those braces would come off sooner or later.

  10. I will also add that men should not be ashamed from using women for s*x.

    All is fair in love & war, and once you take your lumps, relax, take your lessons, and dish out some lumps of your own.

    Everybody wins.

    Excellent post, Dr. J.

    It is about time you gave us black men that work!

  11. Based on #1, 2 and 5, you are still the same SELFISH dick in 2013 as you were in 2012.
    It seems as though you would do better dating a blow up doll rather then a real live woman! Notice how sexual satisfaction without a RING, COMMITMENT OR MONOGAMY is a standard! And ZERO emotions allowed either!
    Like I always tell you, for the love of God, STAY SINGLE!!!!!

    1. Not sure if I am stepping into something "personal" here…but really Ms. Diva??? The man should stay single b/c he doesn't want to deal w/ jealousy, trust issues & bad relations?! If that's the case guess I need a blow up doll and some cats. B/c I sure as hell don't want to deal w/ #1,2, & 5…or 3 & 4 for that matter LMAO.

      1. …just seems like a throwaway is stepping out of line to me, LOL.

        Dr. J, whatchu do da dat gurl?!?!

        Sorry…couldn't resist, LMBO!

  12. Based on #1, 2 and 5, you are still the same SELFISH dick in 2013 as you were in 2012.
    It seems as though you would do better dating a blow up doll rather then a real live woman! Notice how sexual satisfaction without a RING, COMMITMENT OR MONOGAMY is a standard! And ZERO emotions allowed either!
    Like I always tell you, for the love of God, STAY SINGLE!!!!!

  13. From my perspective men have standards and issues they bring to the relationship as well, they just don't go through the negotiating or expression of them like women do. They don't tell the woman their issues or ask her to change. They'll observe whether the woman they're dating meet their needs or not. If she doesn't, he may play around with her for a little while til he finds something better or he'll just bail. You know, that whole friends w/ benefits thing yall are so fond of. If she does meet his needs/wants he'll try to move forward with the relationship.

  14. you think —-> good dudes shouldn’t have to try this hard?

    I just think this is a silly thing to say. Relationships, even the best ones, are hard because people come to them flawed. Of course you'll have to try very very hard – no matter how 'good' you think you are.

    Also, IMO you should check your standards about trust & jealousy. From what I see in your posts drj, you seem to think a really secure woman would be OK with a lot of things that I don't think any self respecting woman would be OK with. I've thought for a long time that you should reassess what you think a good woman is going to be willing to put up with from you.

    Also, maybe I'm missing something – but haven't men who are looking for a real relationship always had character standards? I think so. On the other hand, I think men who are just looking for sex, don't have character standards for obvious reasons. So which group were you talking to?
    My recent post Are You OK With Your BF Frequenting Strip Clubs?

  15. I'm shocked that this is a new realization. As a woman, I'd want a man to have standards that I'm being held to. He needs to know if I fit into his criteria. Why is this something new?

  16. i believe men do have standards, but a lot of them are just out to get the pu$$y. Whereas women for the most part control it so they can pick and choose when and who they want. I'm not saying they don't get burned but most men can't and won't say no to a female if they see the kitty is on the horizon, which is why some drop their standards and go for whoever. At the same token if men did have standards they'd be better off in the long run, and we'd probably have less "baby daddy's"
    My recent post 10 Things Every Mother Should Teach Their Daughters

  17. I don't mind a list, Everyone need a standard of happiness, all I say is give it to me before Im knee deep in pet names and day dreams. After all we are both grown…right?

  18. Standards are a must these days. When you have standards, it helps a brother weed out the weak females and filter those who are ready to take the last name. Also, when you have alot to lose, you gotta have standards. Don't want to get caught with a chick you were just smashing to later find out you have to deal with her for the rest of your life…Not even worth it….

  19. EVERYONE has standards, although we may not agree on OTHERS' standards [which should be irrelevant to us anyway], some extreme, some not so extreme and for some, damn near non-existent, but we all have them nevertheless.__What I'm not about to do is let somebody else dictate to me what I should or shouldn't be doing. Life is short, live yours – fuck what ya heard. lol.

  20. I've always said that women don't have a monopoly over the concept of standards. Even though a lot of them sure do act like it.

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