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Are You Setting the Bar for Yourself?

Updated on April 5, 2017
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My passion is writing about love, sex, dating, and relationships. I write based on my own personal experiences and those that I relate to.

"I like being alone. I have control over my own shit. Therefore, in order to win me over, your presence has to feel better than my solitude. You're not competing with another person, you are competing with my comfort zones." Horacio Jones

Women will frequently rely solely on a guy to set the bar for how they should be treated; completely disregarding the way they felt before a man came into their life.

Ladies, feeling less "lonely" by having the companionship of a man is not setting the bar for yourself. Setting your own bar—aka standards—is tuning in to how you genuinely feel—mind, body and spirit—pre-relationship. Alas, because we fall for the notion that finding "perfect" love will complete us—and that our happiness can only be provided by a man—we conveniently forget how happy we actually were when we were single.

  • Mind—you are at ease because someone is no longer hurting your heart and disappointing you. You can center more on yourself and your needs and less on someone else.
  • Body—you are more relaxed because you're not carrying the stress-weight of another person. You are eating better, working out, and you feel lighter.
  • Spirit—your happiness no longer relies on another person. You have more energy and feel freer. You can hang out with friends and family without feeling the obligation "to check-in." You have less uninterrupted "me" time.

Finding self-happiness and love is your bar—are your relationships measuring up to this or falling short?

When you date, are you adequately measuring if the relationship you are in is meeting your level of happiness and the love that you have for yourself? Or, is your relationship depleting you? Are you having to reset your bar every time a relationship does not work or are you merely needing to tweak it? Is a guy exceeding the bar you have set (yay!) or is he measuring below par (ugh!)? Are you settling? More importantly, does his happiness precede yours or is it equally balanced?

Don't get me wrong, having a guy (or several) who sets the bar for how you should be treated is significant. However, we tend to forget the bar a man sets for us is not the only one—nor is it the most important one—that needs to exist.

It's easy to forget about our personal bar, particularly after a bad break-up...

Break-ups can leave us completely devastated—crushing our hope of ever finding lasting love. When this happens, we will want to jump into another relationship quickly to numb the pain. Don't. Until you can reset or tweak your bar after a relationship has ended, how will you fully recognize when your bar isn't being met? Depending on how devastating the break-up was, your bar could be severely damaged. A damaged bar—reset by low self-esteem and dismay—has a bigger chance of being exceedingly lowered. Basically, you're leaving yourself open to date "every Tom, Dick and Harry" who will look your way. Yikes!

It's natural to forget how hard we worked to feel strong, resilient and confident, (like we could conquer the world)—before we got into a relationship. This tends to happen because we easily get swept up in the newness of a relationship and will hand a man the key to our happiness (and heart) without taking the time to get to know him. Then, we will disregard when our happiness scale is plummeting just so that we can proclaim we have a man. Really?!

Is love so blinding that we forget how great we felt when we didn't have the drama, the worry, the disappointment, the stress, the self-doubt, and anguish—that occurred from being with the wrong guy? Do we not remember how great we felt after we finally pulled ourselves out of a bad relationship, picked ourselves back up and dusted his negativity off of us—that we could actually feel a sense of happiness, freedom, and inner strength again?

Here's the thing, if you have a ton of baggage that you are bringing into a relationship—hoping that you will either be "saved" or that all your problems will magically disappear if you find the right guy—that alone will keep your bar low. Working on yourself, healing your heart first before attempting to be in another relationship is important for a reason. Embrace being single so that you can reset your bar and be a smarter and wiser dater.

In order to recognize how great you can and deserve to feel, you must first embrace—with love—how it feels to be single.

Being single does not mean that you won't feel alone now and then. It also doesn't mean that doubts won't creep in—making you wonder if you will ever find "the one." This also doesn't mean that you have to ban yourself from dating for months or years. What being single does mean is this: you get to remember how great you can make yourself feel—emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Why would you settle for any guy who makes you feel less than that? Unfortunately, we do.

We will proclaim we do not need a man, but then when we find one, we convince ourselves we actually do need him. By putting so much weight on needing a man as opposed to wanting him in our lives, we give him the key to our happiness. Seriously?! If a man has the key to your happiness how then do you determine when you are truly happy or not? You can't.

The only accurate measurement of your happiness is you. Do you remember what that feels like?

How do you feel after you have fully healed and moved on from a break-up? Do you feel emotionally strong and secure with yourself? Do you feel less stressed? Do you feel like you can fully breath again with ease? Do you feel less worried? Do you feel more attractive? Is there more brightness in your eyes? A skip in your step? Or perhaps a huge sense of relief?

To answer yes to all those questions, you needed to have taken the proper time to emotionally mend your broken heart and forgive yourself and the person you were in a relationship with. Be patient, this could take weeks, months or years. Once you have healed, then you can truly recognize how great you feel in your own body, mind and soul. And when you do finally remember, take note of how you feel. Write down how great you feel so that you won't easily forget. Post how you feel on mirrors and walls. Share how you feel with your friends and family so that they can hold you accountable.

One of the things that I truly believe is that you should take the time to love yourself, honor yourself and understand what you honestly want in a lifetime partner—before desperately searching for a replacement man. Again, why would you want to be with someone who makes you feel less happy than how you felt when you were single?

Let's keep it real, this does not mean that you are expected to wait around for some perfect fictitious man to arrive. This also does not mean that relationships will never have bumps along the way, and if they do, you should bail. What this does mean is that the right guy will work on keeping you and the relationship at either the same great vibration that you were feeling before you met him, or he will hopefully surpass that vibration. If he doesn't, why keep him in your life? Why disregard the bar you have set for yourself?

Ladies, don't let the fear of being alone make you forget how truly special, important, and valuable you are. When you can set your own bar for how a man should treat you, you will not settle for mediocrity. Raise your bar to soar in love, not settle for something lower.

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