In today’s video, I’m going to the questions: “What happens if you’re out there in the dating world, and you’ve found out that the world is not living up to your standards?”

“Is it ever a good idea to change or compromise on your standards when you’re in the dating market? Should I lower my dating standards?”

Zachary Stockill: I received a comment recently on a YouTube video from a young man. The gist of the comment was, “I’m out here in the dating market, and I’m dating all these people, and it doesn’t seem like anyone’s really living up to my dating standards. Is it time to lower my standards?

So first off, my job and my motivation is not to impose my personal dating standards on anyone else.

Do I have standards for my dating life? Absolutely. Do I think the world should share my standards? Absolutely not.

Different standards work for different people, you’re going to want different things out of your relationship than me. I’m not trying to impose my views, beliefs, or values on anyone else. My message is simply for people to have values and standards. Give this stuff some thought.

I see a lot of people out there who seem to just fall into relationships, it just kind of “happens” almost accidentally, or they believe that “fate” brought this person into their life. “So I have to stick it out,” and all this stuff. And there’s a certain beauty in some of those ways of thinking about relationships.

However, at the end of the day, my personal philosophy is this is way too important a decision to leave to fate. I think it’s very important to have standards in my dating life, and you should too.

If you are dating in the 21st century, and it seems like no one is living up to your standards, I would pose a few questions to you.

Number one, are you living up to your own standards? I think it’s unrealistic to expect the world to live up to your standards if you yourself are not even living up to your own standards.

My second question would be, why do you find these particular standards important? Why is this stuff important to you? I believe that you should have a factual, logical, rational answer to that question. A comprehensive, thorough answer to the question of why certain values, traits, and characteristics that you’re looking for are important.

I think the answer should be logical and rational, fact-based, because I find that a lot of people have standards but they don’t have a real explanation for them. They don’t have any justification for these standards.

My view is, you’re not going to be able to bring the right people into your life if you don’t have a solid, deep, comprehensive understanding of exactly what you’re looking for and why you’re looking for it.

Why are you looking for certain traits in the person you’re dating? Why are you keeping an eye open for certain characteristics or certain red flags? And why is this stuff important?

The more you understand in detail about what you’re looking for and why it’s important, the more likely it is you’re going to call that person into your life.

Why are your standards important? And are your standards somewhat realistic? Given the realities of the 21st-century sexual marketplace, we live in the era of Tinder and Bumble and all these apps. And I’m not saying it’s good or bad.

So if you’re dating over a long period of time, multiple people and you’re finding that you’re running into the same issue over and over again, I’m not saying you should necessarily compromise your standards, however, it might be time to reevaluate them. Think hard about whether you have any chance of finding what you’re looking for in the 21st century.

Again, I’m not saying it’s good or bad. I’m not necessarily interested in whether the world is getting better or worse. I’m more interested in dealing with the cold, hard reality of the modern world.

The first step towards being able to deal with reality better is acknowledging reality as it is, and not necessarily the way you want it to be.

Another question: are your standards serving you? Are they making you happier? Are they improving your life? Is this stuff working for you?

There’s the old line, “Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be happy?” And when it comes to some of this stuff, some of these standards in your dating life, that question could be applicable, because if you have these ironclad standards, but they’re making you miserable and frustrated again and again, it might be worth asking if you want to keep swimming against this particular current. Do you really want to die on that hill? Is this stuff making your life better?

Having standards in my dating life, keeping my eye open for red flags, has served me very well.

Hopefully, it’ll serve you well, too. My firm belief about all this stuff is you can have just about everything you want. But you probably can’t have everything you want. In other words, you can have like 90, 95% of what you want, but you’re probably not going to have 100% of what you want when it comes to anything in life.

When it comes to a potential partner’s particular physique. When it comes to the friend group that you want to cultivate. And when it comes to your intimate partner–when it comes to your intimate partner’s past, there’s probably always going to be something that you don’t have to love. It’s probably not going to be your favorite thing in the world to think about.

If you go looking for perfection in human beings, in relationships, you’re going to be frustrated every time. As I often say, you’re going to drive yourself and others absolutely crazy because perfection doesn’t exist.

Perfection does not exist in relationships or in human beings. So definitely have standards, but don’t go looking for perfection. It is a recipe for driving yourself insane.

Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.