Am I Still Single Because My Standards Are Too High?

“Gusto mo magkajowa pero di mo naman ginugusto yung mga nagkakagusto sayo.” 

That’s a tweet I read recently, and it struck me. Is it my fault? Am I still single all this time because my standards are too high?

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“Mahal mo or mahal ka?”

That’s the ever-present question in the lovelorn struggle. Do you choose the one you love or the one who loves you? 

I’ve had my fair share of almost-relationships, but as the wise woman Ariana Grande once said, “Almost is never enough.” I’ve always thought that the reason these relationships didn’t push through was because of the other party. Maybe they just found someone better. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time. Maybe they gave up. 

But I never really considered that it could be my fault. For people with high standards like me, here’s a few questions we can ask ourselves to determine if our being single is actually our fault: 

  1. Are my expectations unrealistic? 

Let’s face it. Media portrayals of relationships can eventually affect our perception of what a relationship is supposed to be. We either long for that nice boy-next-door type who’ll make us giggle or that hot bad guy you want to fix. Sadly, the reality is a far cry from movies and series. 

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I have to admit that I watch too many K-dramas for the oppas to get to me as well. It would be nice to date someone who would hug you from the back and greet you with a cute eye-smile. But then I’d have to check, is it right to expect the men around me to have clear skin, six-pack abs, and a smile to die for? 

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Personally, I think it’s okay to have a mental image of the type of guy you like. It’s normal. We’re humans. We are attracted to beautiful things. It’s okay to have visual standards but maybe we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Visuals can narrow down who we’re attracted to but it shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor of whether we’d go on a date with them or not. 

  1. Am I picky for the wrong reasons? 

This leads us to this question. What are our standards for? What are we so picky about? 

If we’re so picky with finding a partner for the sake of good arm candy, then I think our standards are off. Beauty is fleeting, especially if all that comes out of his pretty mouth is toxic masculinity. If we do have standards, let’s make sure they’re founded on the right reasons. 

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In my case, I have high standards to protect myself. I am a typical marupok. I can be swayed by your honeyed words and that glance I know for sure you threw at me. I have fallen many times and have broken my heart just as much. I think I’ve learned my lesson by now. So, my non-negotiables act as the first line of defense to sift what’s good for me and what’s not. 

We can be picky about things that will affect the relationship in the long run. Is your line of work compatible? Are you okay with long-distance? Do you agree with the person’s political stance? These are just some of the things I think need to be considered if we want to be in a healthy relationship. 

  1. Am I too demanding? 

There’s a thin line between having high standards and pushing people away. Our cancel culture can easily lead us to the latter. So he had a few drinks when he hit on you at the bar? So he forgot to open the door for you on the first date? So he wore the wrong perfume? So what? 

We have to stop treating relationships like a test you have to pass. Dates are not licensure exams. I have to admit that I’m guilty of this. 

“Oh, he goes to the gym! Check!” 

“Ew, he’s too clingy. Eks!” 


Just because he gave the wrong first impression, I cut him off and move on to the next one. Now I realize that I may have to lay off on the judgment. Relationships take time to develop. They may not be who we expect at first but we may actually come to like them. It’s okay to have high standards as long as we also have leeway for a little benefit of the doubt.

  1. How do I know what my type really is I’ve never gone on a real date? 

The thing about standards is that while it can be a protective barrier, it can also be a prison. We have to check if our standards are preventing us from getting ourselves out there and meeting new people. 

As much as I hate to admit this, I do use my standards as an excuse to stop meeting people. It’s so nice and safe in my own little bubble. Why would I risk going out of my comfort zone for someone I don’t like? 

I am learning now that standards are okay, but they’re not meant to box us in. Standards should actually push us to go out of our comfort zones and meet more people so that we can confirm if our standards hold up to the real world. Standards aren’t cages but doors towards greater things. 


  1. Should I just settle? 

“Gusto mo magkajowa pero di mo naman ginugusto yung mga nagkakagusto sayo.” 

So what now? Do I just settle? Do I choose the one who loves me instead of the one I love? 

I am learning now that it’s okay to give people a chance as long as you do it with careful consideration. I can go on a date with the person who likes me. I can give it time. I can get to know the person. But after I’ve given it an even shot and that person’s still not up to par, I don’t think it’s fair to force myself to like someone I really don’t

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For my fellow high-standard citizens, we can always put our standards to the test by meeting new people. Who knows? Our standards can change depending on who we meet, but standards are still in place all the same. 


Single by choice 

Yes, my standards do prevent me from getting into a relationship right away. No, my standards will not make me single forever. 

I don’t think being single is a fault. I like to think being single is a choice. Other than having high standards for my significant other, I also have high standards for myself. I don’t want to fall in love with someone else yet when I’m still trying so hard to love myself. 


I don’t want to get into a relationship, bring my baggage, and wait for my significant other to complete me. My standards are in place not just to protect me but to protect my future partner as well. Standards are boundaries. It’s okay to have boundaries because they most likely fall in pleasant places. I still have hope that someone, somewhere will fall into my place at the right time. 

So what if it takes longer? 

I’d rather stay single than stay with the wrong person; I’d rather stay single than force the wrong person to stay with me.