Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Standard

In relationships, we must all find a way to get what we want but continue to be accommodating enough to be able to compromise with our partner. We must decide what is most important to us, what cannot be changed, and in which areas we are willing to meet half-way. For instance, although I am a social person and feel more comfortable around others than alone, if my partner prefers to fly solo to social events in his circle, or needs to be apart most nights of the week, I am happy to accommodate. However, if his need to be alone turns into a suspicious guessing game of his whereabouts, I’m out. Donezos. I don’t tolerate lying (and yes, to all you infidels, omitting the truth is a form of lying), but I am happy to adjust my social rhythms in order to ease the comfort of my significant other.

Over the years, through various failed relationships, or what I like to call learning experiences, I have discovered a number of things about myself, including what my needs are. I have learned what I absolutely can’t live without (or with). And, most importantly, I have learned which of my own habits and expectations are absurd and would drive anyone up a wall or just simply away. Learning experiences are important. They allow us not to make the same mistake twice and when we see an all too familiar situation coming our way we can dodge it like WeHo boys dodge balls (in the WeHo dodgeball league, that is ). It is from our learning experiences that we are able to set our standards.

I’ve heard tell that once a single lady hits her 30s and starts to hear her biological clock ticking (if that is a clock she cares about) her standards may start to relax as she realizes she has built her “Mr. Right” into a Mr. Doesn’t-Exist-Anywhere-But-In-Her-Head-And-In-The-Movies. However, I’m NOT 30. I’m not even half a decade away from 30. And yet, I have begun to wonder, are my standards too high? This question used to pertain solely to romantic relationships, but more often these days I am caused to wonder if my standards for all people are too high? Am I expecting something no one is able to give? Am I actually treating people the same way they treat me and just not realizing it? Why has it become the norm to blow people off?

Just a couple weeks ago, my fellow Bell shared with you the evening she was forced to replace her booty call with a bottle of wine. As we sat together yesterday contemplating our past and current endeavors in love and friendship, we nearly simultaneously realized that very currently, we were being blown off. No call, no show. In the professional world, a “no call/no show” equals no job. So giving my personal life as much weight as a minimum wage job (which I think is more than fair) a no call/no show should equal a “no time for you” dismissal. But were I to stick to that rule consistently throughout my life, I’m afraid I wouldn’t have any friends left. Or maybe I’d have five. Not enough to count on two hands, that’s for sure.

I once thought that perhaps I needed to tare my personal scale of acceptance and expectation in order for my love life to be more successful. I have recently realized, however, that my love life is not the only thing out of whack. My entire social life is a series of let-downs and frustrations and because I am not pushing 30, I refuse to believe it is a sign that I need to lower my standards.

For now, I maintain that my desire for communication and mutual respect is not asking too much, so I will leave this one open for discussion. When my boss has gone through 27 employees in 3 months, my roommate has been used and abused by consecutive love interests and I can’t even get an hour long time commitment from a dear old friend, I have to wonder: is it just me, or are social behavioral standards lowering at an exponential rate?


  1. After twice as many years, I have only met a handful of people who wouldn't set me up and just as easily knock me down. Truth is, there are very few people who say what they wish they could say...words like no, not now, I can't, I have other priorities. It's hard to know where you stand until someone wants something from you. It makes us all a little cynical and teaches those of us who care who shares our values.

  2. Nearing two years in LA, lemme tell YOU - keeping your standards high pays off. It's not elitism, it's knowing the respect you're worth. Hold out, Bells. Hold out and you WILL be rewarded.