are womens' standards too high?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
are womens' standards too high?
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Tue, 08-26-2003 - 7:06pm
no need to go all defensive on me. i'm just posing a question for discussion. yeah, i know i could have asked "are mens' standards too high?", but ask around and you'll notice that women do most of the rejection...


ask any guy what he's looking for in a long term partner, and he'll probably respond with "someone who's attractive and with whom i share a strong connection with". its not often you'll hear a guy reply that she ought to be as intelligent, educated or ambitious as he is. yeah, he'll probably want minimal emotional baggage, but he'll probably understand that he's shooting for the stars on that request.


am i wrong? are men more picky? respond if you have somethin' to¬

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 7:14pm
I believe it's not a gender issue...the more self-aware, self-responsible, and self-accepting you are - the higher your standards are, the more you expect and demand of yourself (thus others), the more you require in a partner in terms of diversity and individual (because of that self-requirement that you've fulfilled).

Lots of people who just want a "level 2" relationship - someone to come home to, hang around with, have the "sit com" marriage with - where there's lots of people, interaction, situations, and crises around to deal with and thus a partner is a necessity - but their individuality isn't the issue.....those people are quite happy to settle for quasi-eye candy without lots of debt or over-many kids to deal with.

People who want more than that.....they're living lives themselves on their own terms and by their own efforts that run much deeper than that in terms of self-investment and awareness - and they want a partner that appreciates that effort, expends it on themselves, and can invest it in the entity of the relationship.

Erin

quickblade14@hotmail.com

Avatar for northwestwanderer
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 7:36pm
I don't think that one gender is necessarily more picky than the other, but I think that, as a general rule, more women have *thought about* and are able to articulate what qualities they want in a man, whereas guys tend to be more like, "I'll know it when I see it".

As for not saying they want women who are as educated, ambitious, intelligent etc as they are, I wonder if that's because they are sexist, or because they are insecure? Why *wouldn't* a guy want to be with a woman who was his equal in those respects? I don't get smart guys, for instance, who are with not smart women. Don't they get bored??? Or maybe they just feel they have to be superior to their mates. I don't want someone who's inferior or superior, I want someone who's roughly equal. I realize that this paragraph sounds a little adversarial and that's not my intent...I just really wonder *why* a thoughtful guy wouldn't want his mate to have these qualities, assuming they are things he values for himself.

With respect to your emotional baggage comment, I'm sure it's not surprising to hear me argue the other side, being female ;-), but at my age, at least, as a group, the single women I know have MUCH less emotional baggage than the single men I know, mostly as a result of recognizing that we had it and choosing to DO something about it (i.e., seek counseling). It seems that men tend NOT to deal with their baggage, maybe because they perceive seeking counseling as weak or whatever (who knows what the reasons are!).

Sheri




Edited 8/26/2003 7:42:21 PM ET by northwestwanderer

Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 10:17pm
Women's standards are higher than men's in some areas, I think. However, I don't think they are too high. For example, a woman is more likely to date a guy with a little weight around the middle, but a men tend to be pickier about looks. Women tend to have higher standards when it comes to provider qualities: job, stability, and money.

I think that women are pickier now than they used to be, but we also know that we have more to offer now, and we want more in return.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 11:37pm
hiya! just thought i'd send another dagger at ya...


its different when a person says that they want someone who's attractive 'cause beauty is subjective... in a sense, there's somebody for everybody. looking for someone who's compatible is even more subjective...

whereas when you start sayin' that income, education and intelligence are important, you're making an objective decision.

this has huge implications! guys who are poorer, less educated and less intelligent are in deep doo doo. guys who are rich, educated and smart can basically pick and choose...


now, if you said that you're interested in someone who's of roughly similar levels (ie. one or two levels down is okay), then it's not so bad... but the whole "same level or better" leaves me thinking that its no wonder some singles are having a hard time finding someone...

Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 9:45am
So what you're saying, Thim, is that there are no dumb women in the world?

I didn't think so, but I thought I'd throw that at ya. Those "dumb" men do have mates- they are the dumb women, and trust me, there are plenty of both.

I would be bored with a guy who wasn't very intelligent. That doesn't necessarily mean educated. Joe didn't finish college for financial reasons, but boy, he keeps me on my toes when we're having a discussion about something.

You're right about beauty being subjective, however, my point was that men are less willing to overlook what society calls flaws in women's looks. Not all men, but in general, I think that's true. Maybe it is attraction, but I also think that status has something to do with it. Men tend to be more concerned about having something pretty on their arm.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that men tend to be more shallow!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 10:12am
I don't think it's so much that men are more picky--I've seen some guys of real substance, professional and personal, who married just anybody--but it's that women are so plentiful that they can AFFORD to pick and choose. Also, I think men have become so spoiled by women that they behave virtually any way they please.

That's why I think it's so important that women maintain their own standards by making the most of themselves. By doing so, as DBlade said, we are fulfilled unto ourselves, and so a partner becomes "icing on the cake" and not the whole dessert.

One of the most telling moments of my former marriage was when XH--a HS teacher and minister of his own church--was pressuring me to allow son's GF to stay overnite w/him in our house. He asked me, "can't you lower your standards?" I asked him why he couldn't elevate his own. (GF never did stay over...)

Never forget that by lowering your standards, you throw them out the window. That's why I've said on this board that all women should raise their own "benchmarks" of quality-- they must insist, demand, unequivocally, that NO, they will NOT be abused in any fashion; they will NOT tolerate infidelity; they will NOT stand by and allow any form of illegal activity; they will NOT date married men; they will NOT "surrender their souls" by sacrificing their own wants and needs for his, etc.

The day that ALL women have enough spine to stand up collectively to all men, say NO to whatever is requested or demanded that we feel is beneath us, and stand by that "no" and thus maintain their dignity and integrity--THAT will be the day that things will change for all of us. And that will be the day that men will be forced to meet the challenge that we give them if they want a woman by their sides--IOW, that's the day we ALL grow up.

True, there'll always be those "scabs," the broads who'll do anything (and I mean ANYthing) to get or hold this or that guy. But in retrospect, if she has to lower herself to his level--what has she really got, except a man who's not worth having?

As I've said before, by and large, men do treat women like s***--but only b/c women let them get away w/it.

Ash

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 12:36pm
oh, one more point...

the world's changin'...

see, in the past, it was naturally expected that women seek men who were more successful than themselves 'cause, obviously, back then women didn't have the same opportunities...

but now that things are starting to level out, don't you think it's time to throw those old requirements out the window? from a socio-economic standpoint, people marrying who are in the same income bracket only widens the gap between rich and poor even more.

what's worse, it seems like the more money a woman makes, the less likely she's able to find a suitable mate... eg. if you're making over six figures, and you're only looking for men who are making six figures, you're looking at a small pool of men, while these men are certainly not restricting themselves to women who make a similar salary. oddly, women who are attractive and poor and men who are rich have the greatest pool to choose from... its kind of an inverse class gender genocide thing...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 1:13pm
Basically, this is what I see every day, all around me.

Hotties in their 20's - can have anybody they want for just "being a hottie". And if htey are choosing upward mobility via relationship - they'll get it. They'll wind up with houses, cars, furs, and 401k's - they couldn't acquire on their own in that span of time, if at all.

Those 20's hotties....become 30 something with more possessions than they considered possible (and often can't afford to maintain on their own), but quite likely without a mate. Unfortunately, because they didn't pursue being anything but a hottie, and thought a relationship was an avenue to success, security and happiness - they're a little "adrift" as to who they are, what they want in life - other than "a relationship".

If they make it to their 40's, they realize that a relationship isn't a given, and depending on their location might not be even a good possibility.....and they've developed great lives of their own, albeit they're a little behind the group that never thought of a relationship as anything but an enhance to an already great life that they personally were responsible for defining, achieving and maintaining. These women would like a relationship - but it's not required, and they're not going to sacrifice everyting they've put together just to have someone. Alot of them did get the educations and were always in the professional realm....throughout their late 20's and 30's...and now are quite successful. These women have the "luxury" that men have had for years that are in their 40's...they literally can attract almost anybody in every age group and category because of the "possibilities" a relationship with them would provide. In short, they're the holding the position of the "men they married...when they were a 20 year old hottie".

Men, on the other hand...have the opposite order in play.

In their 20's...they're struggling financially to get the education, and make their way up the ladder, while finding themselves and figuring out what they want to be and do and what they like and don't like. If they're well-heeled, educated, and with options - they MIGHT attract a 20 something hottie.......they just as easily might find all the hotties in their area are with 30 and 40 something men.

Depending on the values raised with - some of them value an equality based relationship, find a wife at an early age, allow themselves to grow and mature, to develop interests and goals WITH her...those relationships generally last.

But, if he isn't so inclined, he continues with the professional advancement, hanging with his friends, dating when he wishes...and he finds himself a 30 something year old guy with a standard set of "possessions" (decent living quarters, nice car, good job, professional advancement on the horizons, good table manners, and not bad looking) and unattached. He's likely not interested in women his age - that aren't where he is in life in general. He's now able to attract the "hotties"...and quite often settles for that.

At 40 something - men have it EASY if they're willing to be "kept". At 40, if they're educated, professionally secure, financially stable, quasi-decent looking and in good health - they generally can have any woman their own age, somewhat younger or very young - depending on what appeals to them based on their values.

And if they're lacking in education, professional security, financial stability but are fun, charming, decent, and self-aware - there are plenty of 40 something year old women out there to provide for waht they lack...in exchange for "a relationship" - becuase that is all the 40-something year old woman is missing in her life.

Erin

quickblade14@hotmail.com



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 1:51pm
Well, not the men I know - like me they insist on at least a college education, prefer a professional - someone who is financially independent and certainly does not live at home, someone who is athletic, who scubas, white water rafts, etc - and is slim even if they are not.

My basics, which I have repeated here several times - at least a college degree, Jewish, wants marriage and a family soon, non-smoker or drug taker. My standard - there must be chemistry and from now on, it must be there early on. Nothing to do with standards. My most recent ex (we broke up about ten days ago, right before my birthday) was quite overweight, balding and (for now, and by choice) unemployed - the chemistry was incredible. I had never dated an overweight guy before, by preference but it didn't matter. Standards . . .. .

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 1:53pm
"Don't you think it's time to throw those old requirements out the window? from a socio-economic standpoint, people marrying who are in the same income bracket only widens the gap between rich and poor even more."

Call me chinchy, but if I read that correctly, it seems that I should disregard the fact that any man I may be interested in need not be at my socio-economic-professional-educational level, and that I should search through all those levels to find a mate.

Well, that might work in theory, BUT that's presuming that your pool of mates does NOT include golddiggers. That's what XH was, and thanx, but I don't think I'll ever be so lonely as to have to PAY for my companionship. That's why I'd try to stay w/in my own level when looking for a mate, and if it's not there, it's not there.

To me, there's no worse knowledge that the man you love is simply using you to put himself on the next rung up the ladder...

Ash

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