One of the things that I realized as I got older was that my standards changed when it came to men. When I was younger I really didn’t know what I wanted. I mainly dated men who were rough necks or blue collared workers. There was nothing wrong with it, it was who I was attracted too. They didn’t have to go to college, they just had to have other attributes that made it worth my time.
If you know what I mean.
However, that wasn’t who I ended up marrying, which is weird. I married my ex who had a graduate degree and who had attended great schools. We just clicked. I had assumed it was what God wanted, but I think it was probably just chemistry. We liked and then loved each other and got married. God fell by the wayside for most of our relationship and marriage.
We weren’t focused on God.
When our marriage ended and I was in my late thirties entering the dating realm it was overwhelming. Things had changed. I had changed. I had a child now. I didn’t have the luxury of just wasting my time on random ones.
I had to decide what I wanted. I knew that I didn’t hate the institution of marriage. I knew that I wanted to get remarried someday (at least 5 years away) but I really wanted to get to know someone. What was I going to do differently? Did their education level matter? Their past?
Yes. I didn’t care if a man was a blue collared worker or an IBM executive as long as he wasn’t broke. You had to afford to date me. I wasn’t supporting a man. Money mattered.
His past mattered. I wanted to know if you’ve ever been unfaithful to a girlfriend or wife. Why did your last relationship end? Are you a serial cheater? Cheated one time? Why did you cheat? What responsibility do you accept in the breaking up of your relationship if any? Were you ever in jail? Why were you in jail. A man’s past mattered.
I actually had men reach out to me who had just got out of jail and wanted to date me. Really? Not that I’m judging you for serving your time (okay maybe a little), but I have a son and that is not the message that I wanted to send my son. Get your life, build your empire and date other women. That doesn’t include me.
My standards changed. I was a mother. I was over 40. I had been married so there was no need to rush down the aisle as someone’s wife. I wasn’t having any more children so there was no biological clock ticking away waiting for me to give birth. Whew! Thank God.
But, in changing my standards I had to realize that I wasn’t the same woman in her early 20’s. I had grown up. My needs were different. My dating profile was different. I had to be okay with that.
And I was.
I was specific when it came to dating. I needed you to have stability and a healthy relationship. I wasn’t dating broke men. I wasn’t dating ex-cons. I wasn’t dating men with baby mama (or ex wife) drama. I wasn’t dating men with insecurity issues.
I made my list and dated accordingly. Looks are not at the top of my list, primarily because I determine who I’m attracted too. If you’re sexy as hell to me, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.
My standards had changed because I had changed. I grew up and realized what I valued was someone that embodied those values. Mr. C may not be like the men of my past, but it doesn’t matter.
Because I’m living the life I want with the man that I love. We have a healthy and respectful relationship that is allowing me to grow in ways that I never could have imagined. In this space we created, my standards allowed me to find someone that makes me feel safe.
Have your standards changed from when you first started dating? Do you have a specific type that you date? What are your dating no-no’s.