We’re led to believe we’re high-maintenance for expecting more than just the bare minimum, but is that the truth?
In 2021, life is pretty cushy and comfy. The rise of technology, even that of the past 10 years, has simplified much of our daily life. Out of groceries? A few taps on our phone will get us two weeks’ worth of food delivered to our door. Looking for a new job? Send a resume out to a potential employer from the comfort of the couch. Want to do something fun over the weekend? Simple — swipe through a well of singles on a dating app, and secure a date within a few days.
Truly, with mini computers in our back pockets at all times, life has become far more leisurely. But with the benefits of constant accessibility to technology, we’ve gotten pretty darn used to most of what we want or need being handed over with minimal effort on our part, especially when it comes to romance.
Dating Used To Take More Effort
Before there was social media to send flirty DMs or dating apps to sift through oodles of potential matches, dating used to take time. The process of wooing was drawn out and relied on actual, in-person contact. Connections made and relationships forged weren’t seen as so easily expendable because they took more investment.
Relationships weren’t seen as so easily expendable because they took more investment.
Today, the same can’t be said. There’s seemingly never a shortage of singles to court, always someone new we could be spending our evening with. The abundance of new people to know coupled with the resistance to commit we see in younger generations translates to far less effort being put into dating these days.
It’s incredibly commonplace for relationships to be lazily executed, the least amount of thought or effort invested, to the point where we won’t even label them. The singles who long for more are often left feeling as though they can’t find meaningful connections, no matter how wide a net they cast.
Expecting More Is Often Shamed
A guy friend of mine once recounted an experience he had on a first date — one that let him know the girl sitting across the table from him expected way too much. After picking a swanky restaurant and ordering multiple craft cocktails in addition to her entree, she oohed and aahed over the type of credit card he had, making it clear she placed a higher value on material possessions than he was comfortable with. He called her high-maintenance.
Most women’s eyes grow wide with fear at the thought of ever being seen as “high-maintenance.” We all desire to be the down-to-earth girl, the “chill” girl, so to speak. But in our desire to be easygoing, we’ve muddied the waters of what it actually means to be high-maintenance.
Women who want promises to be kept are seen as too demanding.
Far too often, women who expect to be taken out for a proper date rather than being invited over for Netflix and chill are depicted as prissy. Women who want to be wooed and pursued are regarded as old-fashioned. Women who seek out commitment and want promises to be kept are seen as too demanding. Women who desire to wait for intimacy until marriage are called prudish and uptight. Simply expecting more than the bare minimum today is frequently shamed.
Lowering Our Standards Sets Us Up for Failure
The answer we might come to, after failing to find a man who matches or exceeds our expectations, is that we have to manage our expectations. With voices all around encouraging us to see dating as a game, or to adjust our standards to match what’s being offered, it’s legitimate to wonder if lowering our standards is our only option.
Here’s the thing: There’s a shred of truth to the idea that we should manage our expectations — no man will ever live up to a fantasy we’ve built up in our mind. We can’t expect one person to fulfill every desire or need. With dating maturely comes an understanding that our significant other is human and will eventually let us down.
The right guy, while imperfect, won’t compel us to compromise our values, ideals, or needs.
But completely altering our deepest desires in order to snag a guy? Now that’s a recipe for disaster. The right guy, while imperfect, won’t compel us to compromise our values, ideals, or needs. Lowering our standards beyond recognition will leave us bitter, resentful, and wondering what life would've been like if we’d just found the right guy.
We absolutely, without a doubt, deserve more than the bare minimum, if we, too, are putting in more than the bare minimum. If unfaltering commitment, meaningful romance, and sweet gestures are what we’re willing to give, we deserve someone who’s willing to do the same.
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