How to Set Standards in Dating and Build Self-Confidence


Sandra has a great career and wonderful friends, but she feels discouraged with her dating life. When she finally meets a man she really likes, he starts to take her for granted and the relationship fizzles out. This pattern is starting to eat away at her confidence. Other women don’t seem to have the same problems with men. Sandra doesn’t understand why this keeps happening to her.

Do you know what Sandra’s problem with dating is? She lets men take her for granted.

It may not be easy to find Mr. Right, but you don’t have to let men take you for granted. When you’re familiar with healthy dating boundaries and you know about setting dating standards, you know you don’t have to let any man take you for granted. If done well, this also keeps the sizzle in a good relationship with the right man.

How do you feel when you aren’t treated well by a man?

To have some confidence in yourself and have a happy dating life, it doesn’t matter if you are successful in your career or other areas of your life. When you spend time with men who don’t treat you well, odds are you will not feel very empowered or successful. These negative feelings can bring you down. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

You can change your perspective on your dating life so that you don’t accept suboptimal treatment from men or let it affect your self-confidence. How can you approach dating from a new direction to start getting the sort of super treatment from men that you deserve? You can discover how to empower yourself in a relationship.

Two Women with Two Very Different Dating Strategies

If a man you’re dating doesn’t show you the sort of respect or effort you expect, that’s his problem not yours. But, if you put up with behavior you don’t like, then you have a problem.   You have the choice of staying with that man and allowing him to hurt your self-confidence or cutting your ties.

You can empower yourself to make decisions about your love life and men based on how well they treat you, without worrying about losing them or being alone. The following stories are about two women who were faced with the same situation with men whose behavior they didn’t like. One woman didn’t know how to set standards in dating but the other one did. Each chose different ways of dealing with the problem and faced different consequences as a result.

Jeannette met Alex at a party and was immediately attracted to his lively conversation and good looks. When he asked her out, she was very excited. After they went out on a few wonderful dates, she was disappointed that he no longer asked her out in advance. He would text her to see if she was busy on the same night. She liked him so much that she always accepted his invitations, but she resented not having advance notice. She was reluctant to make plans with her friends until she heard from him because she didn’t want to have to turn him down. She told herself he was probably busy with his kids or work, but deep down she felt taken for granted. She wondered what was wrong with her that other women didn’t seem to have these problems with men. She was afraid to say “no” to his offers no matter how much she resented them.

Dana met Tim using an online dating app. He sent her some very nice messages and they chatted enough for her to feel like he would be an interesting man to meet. When they met in person, she felt sparks and it seemed he did too.  After a few weeks of dating, he started texting her for last minute dates. Dana knew that she needed more notice to make plans because of her busy schedule. She turned Tim down when he asked her out for anything at the last minute. She figured that the relationship wasn’t going anywhere if he wasn’t willing to ask her out in advance. She made plans for her week without considering whether Tim would call. If he wanted to see her, it would have to fit into her schedule.  

Jeannette was willing to put up with not being treated the way she wanted by Alex to continue having a relationship with him, even when it started to affect her self-confidence. Dana wasn’t interested in going on dates with a man who wasn’t willing to work around her busy schedule. Maybe Dana is having fewer dates than Jeannette, but she feels more comfortable setting dating standards with the men she meets. She feels confident in the dating decisions that she makes, like how she handled the situation with Tim. She knows that a man can easily work around her schedule and if he isn’t willing to do that, they just aren’t a match. In contrast, Jeannette is doubting herself and feeling resentful about her ongoing relationship with Alex.

Bottom line

When you seek lasting love, clarity about setting dating standards becomes your guiding light.  By having clear boundaries, you can begin to navigate the dating landscape with confidence. When you celebrate your standards and communicate effectively, these skills pave the way for lasting and fulfilling relationships.

Be patient with yourself. Discovering your standards and confidence in dating is an evolving process and can take time.

Dating, like life, is inherently unpredictable. Confidence comes from embracing the uncertainty, recognizing that every twist and turn contributes to your overall dating wisdom.

Try to embrace and enjoy the journey, learning from each step. Each relationship, whether short or long-term, contributes to your personal growth and can bring you closer to the relationship of your dreams.

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