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In most dating situations, we are blinded by a person’s pros and don’t pay attention to their cons. When you allow your partner to act negatively toward you in the beginning, nine times out of 10, your partner will not change.

You begin to lower your standards for your partner without realizing until it’s too late. Women often lower their standards because they may feel that no man could ever meet every rule in their book. We search endlessly for the pros to erase the many cons.

Disregarding the cons of a man who continues to disrespect you allows him to believe that you are okay with it. This false belief results in him never changing and possibly becoming worse.

You have to start showing your man or partner how lucky they are to be with you. We fail to realize our worth until we have to face the harsh reality. A man treats you how you allow them to. Set your standards high when you first meet a person, so you can clearly see the things they do and don’t have to offer.

Nobody is perfect, but you should know what you should accept and what you won’t. Some may think that lowering your standards is a good thing. If you lower your standards, it may seem easier to find Mr. or Mrs. Right.

How is that the right person for you if you aren’t truly happy and satisfied? There is a difference between being realistic and living in a fairy-tale. Not everyone is going to meet every mark on your list. It just isn’t possible. You have your standards, then you have your expectations.

“Your standards are core personal beliefs such as how you want your significant other to treat you and your family," life coach Tess Brigham said. “These are the things that you should keep high. If you lower your standards, you start to settle for less than you deserve. Expectations, however, are the more superficial things, such as height, weight, job and family size.”

You have to be yourself and allow your partner to do the same. It is better if you and your partner have some of the same standards, that way you can save your relationship from a lot of problems.

“It is said that the single most important component that allows a relationship to last is similar philosophy,” counselor Diana Lang said. “Everything else can be different between a couple — where we come from, how much money we have, the color of our skin, our ages, our interests, but if our standards are in conflict, then there will eventually be philosophical differences that can become an immense obstacle to sustaining the relationship.”       

Before you even decide to be in a relationship with the person, you must make sure that you know yourself and your partner. There are some things you may not learn until you actually get into the relationship, but it helps to know their foundation.

You have to not only set “rules” for your partner, but also for yourself. If you set rules for yourself on what you will accept in the relationship, and stick to them, you won’t find yourself being disrespected.

In this day and age, we don’t jump into relationships or we act like we’re in a relationship but without the title. Often when our partner does something that hurts us, like talking to someone else or finding a way to disrespect you, we make excuses for them.

It is very common to make excuses for those we care about and that also hurt us. A common excuse is that we aren’t together, so you can’t get mad if he or she is acting single. That excuse is a slap in the face to you. Don’t make excuses for anyone that hurts you.

I believe in giving two chances. The first time your partner steps out and decides to do wrong by you, give them a warning. They’ll more than likely apologize or say that you two aren’t together so they don’t understand why you’re mad.

If they wrong you a second time, leave them alone if you two are not in a relationship. The adage, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” rings true. There is no room for a third time.

If you wouldn’t treat your partner like they are treating you, why should you continue to reward them with your presence? They are taking you for granted because you have told them that you will stay with them no matter how many times they disrespect you.

There are plenty of fish in the sea, including fish that are more respectful and could be better partners. You must stay true to you and not let yourself get lost behind your partner.

You matter and so does your happiness. No one is worth more than that.

Having standards is knowing what you want and what you deserve. It doesn’t make you cold or unapproachable. Don’t regret the way that you are and how you think. If they want you, they need to learn how to get you.

Te’Kayla Pittman is a 19-year-old mass communication freshman from Atlanta, Georgia.

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