Are Your Dating Expectations Too High?


How do you know if your dating expectations are too high?  You can start by understanding what your criteria currently is.

In my early 20s my dating criteria looked like this:

  • Physical attractiveness
  • Personality compatibility
  • Common interest
  • Intelligence

As you get older you might find that you value different things more or less and your dating criteria adapts.  In my late 20s my criteria had evolved to include:

  • Financial Stability
  • Religious compatibility
  • Cultural compatibility
  • Attentive & affectionate
  • Tactful & Kind
  • Humble
  • Marriage oriented

Having criteria is great. It ensures you aren’t dating arbitrarily or purposelessly and it helps to make sure you aren’t setting the bar too low.  But how do you know your expectations aren’t too high?  The Taboo Question: Is Purposeful Dating Still Okay?

Here are 4 ways you can evaluate your expectations to consider if they are too high:

#1 Ask what you bring to the table

If you are only physically attracted to the “Crossfit” type but you never work out yourself…   dating expectations personal fitness

If you require higher levels of education but you haven’t completed any yourself…

If you want a partner who makes six figures but you aren’t financially stable…

dating expectations financesIf any of those examples or something like it describes you then your expectations may be too high.  It’s okay to want what you want but it’s difficult to require of someone else what you haven’t done for yourself.  Furthermore if you require a fit partner, going to the gym to work on yourself could simultaneously be a great way to meet people who fit your criteria. The same goes for higher education.

#2 Consider if your dating pool is too limited

If you are a minority living in Iowa (the 4th whitest state) and you aren’t open to interracial dating….

If the combination of your criteria is narrowing:

  • a minority religion i.e. Islam (As of 2010 only 1% of the U.S. population is Muslim)
  • a high education level (32% of Americans have a Bachelors degree, 9% have a Masters degree, 3% have a PHD)
  • salary requirement of 100k+ (only 7% of Americans)
  • Never married (40% of marriages involve remarriage for at least one of the partners) 5 Facts on Love & Marriage in America

If your criteria involves more than one of the above or something similarly limiting then your dating expectations may be too high. This is not to say you need to change key criteria that matters to you. It’s absolutely okay to want to date/marry someone with the same religion, cultural values, education level, etc.  However, if you know that your criteria is so specific that finding a mate is like finding a needle in a haystack then you may need to do more.

First consider if you can bend your criteria. Of your criteria what’s an absolute must have? Is there anything that’s superficial that you are willing to bend on?

Next consider how you might increase the odds of meeting someone who fits your super specific criteria. Do you need to move to a city where the demographics of what your looking for are greater? Would online dating on a niche site be an option?    Also don’t  overlook having friends and family search for you.  Online Dating According to Freakonomics

#3 Consider your timeline

Are you expecting commitments within realistic time frames? Three months into dating my husband I was upset that he wasn’t ready to commit to an exclusive relationship.  He said he really liked me but didn’t like to rush into relationships without being sure.  He wanted to keep dating but take more time before committing.  At first I was pissed because I wanted what I wanted. I had to take a step back and realize his timeline wasn’t unrealistic.  Communicate what you want/need and be prepared to really listen to what the other person wants and needs.  Then be reasonable about time frames.  Patiently Waiting to Get Engaged

#4 Take note of the love languages

According to Gary Chapman’s famous book, The Five Love Languages, people express their love in different ways: gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch.  Do you know your own love language?  Do you know the love language of the person you are dating?  Without knowing both love languages it could be easy to misinterpret or overlook expressions of love resulting in disappointment.  For example, a friend stated she really wanted the man she was dating to shower her with small gifts, but she was disappointed he never did.  Her dating expectations weren’t being met.  The challenge is, early in dating both people haven’t had a chance to learn each others love languages.  With time my friends expectations could have been met, but were perhaps too high for the beginning stages of dating. Love Language Quiz


Not having your expectations repeatedly met in dating can be so frustrating that it tempts you to settle.  3 Godly Reasons You’re Settling in Love    But evaluating your expectations is not the same as settling.  Evaluating your expectations should help you find some clarity in what you are looking for and how to find it.  It should also help you in exercising dating patience in order to determine if your expectations could potentially be met with a person in  the near future.

What are your thoughts on having high dating expectations?  If you would like to ask me a specific question please do so in the comments below or send me a private message through the contacts page.


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