Why Standards are Wonderful Things
Standards are wonderful things.
Without them, we just kind of imagine where they are. Then we guess if we are above or below that standard.
If standards aren’t defined and consistent they will by default be variable and fluid.
You will trip over them time and time again.
One day, “a certain standard of cleanliness” for example will be ok, and the next day it wont.
The other funny thing about unknown or mystery standards is that…
“I hold a higher standard for you, but a lower standard for me.”
“But that’s not fair” will be the complaint. And they’ll be right. And there will be a heated discussion about that!
So let’s defined our standards. Let’s avoid complaints and disappointment and set standards across our lives.
Start with Basic Standards
Why not start by clarifying some basic standards. Even if you don’t achieve them all the time, at least your expectation can be set, and rather than blaming each other and becoming frustrated at the inequality, you can both agree
“Ok, it’s time to clean the bathroom” – this is not acceptable.
As you get to know your partner, early on in the relationship, you discover these standards and boundaries fairly quickly. Although they may be a little distorted to begin with.
I’m sure thinking back to when you first met your partner you were going out of your way to impress, by raising your standards to a high level. From having your hair done, building up your muscles, wearing nice makeup, cleaning the car, and ordering nice food. To cleaning the toilet, striking up an interesting conversation, and being interested in what they say…
The point here is, how are you going to keep these things up? And if you can’t how are you going to deal with the disappointment as expectations aren’t met?
Cutting ourselves some grace – due to the honeymoon period. It’s now a good time to start looking at managing expectations by setting standards that are achievable.
While you may not always be able to obtain them, having an ideal expectation and continuing to raise your standards will provide an air of hope, growth, optimism, progress, and achievement; All qualities of a thriving and blossoming relationship.
Connected Couples Conversation Questions
What standards am I personally falling short on, for you?
What standard around the home can we both agree on to lift?
What standard are you embarrassed about?
What one area of your life would you like to be of the utmost quality?
What is one thing you’d love for me to do, over all else?
Are there any standards we are overachieving on?
Who could help us meet our standards?
Is there a smart change we could make to radically improve our standards?
What benefits of ‘defined standards’ are you most looking forward to experiencing?
How will consistently experiencing these benefits make you feel?