Thought Catalog

What ‘High Standard Love’ Should And Shouldn’t Be

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Drew Coffman

I’ve met many people whom I could love but always find myself choosing solitude instead of believing I could jump into something that will potentially be the greatest magic show of my life.  It’s not that I dislike their company or find them unattractive in any way, because in fact I almost always feel drawn to them, but I place an incredibly high standard, not quite on his physique or character, but on the kind of love I’d like to partake in. I think people, when in love, blossom into different creatures and expose parts of themselves that the world has not necessarily seen. Every partnership, every love, differs precisely because the relationship between two individuals blossoms like a unique DNA imprint that is impossible to replicate.

We say we have a certain type we’re looking for in a partner, but find ourselves falling for someone completely outside our set standards, surprising ourselves by how easily we are able to accept this when our feelings have grown for them. On rare lucky times, we are handed the opposite fate and find our perfect-on-paper guy but find we cannot stand him. The thing is, we’re so busy going off on a one-sided goose chase for Mr. This and That, believing that this is the prerequisite for the love we yearn for. But it is a limiting viewpoint because someone’s identity can only spark our curiosity and desire towards them. As many relationship horror stories we’ve read – you could be perfect and be exactly what they are looking for, but still not be their beloved one.

So maybe love is not about the people partaking in it per se, but more about the room they are building between themselves to connect with one another. It’s kind of like a piggy bank, a joint savings account, or a little love child that is supposed to intertwine your identities and encompass your story, your collective experience together.

Then, I think it all boils down to knowing that love is not a feeling, it is a choice. It’s a conscious decision you have to keep choosing everyday, even without the promise of it lasting forever.

There are people you would love so deeply inexplicably and would go the extra mile for because building the “piggy bank” between you two is rewarding, and there would be people you will always be on the fence about in investing in.

Love is not exclusive to the happy times you spend giggling over funny movie one-liners, crazy adventures, indescribable intimacy, or amazement when he seems to pinpoint what nobody  has ever seen in your soul – it also comes with the nightmares of annoying behaviors, midnight breakdowns, and quelling the seeds of doubt that inevitably grows in every relationship. Love is not just accepting the flaws, but creating a safe space where you can both exist without judgment, with nurturing room to grow at your own respective paces.

High standard love is not choosing someone you can show off. That’s somewhere between insecurity and greed. High standard love is not with someone who adores you day and night, without telling you when you’re being an ass. That’s somewhere between being a doormat and dishonest. Hell, high standard love is not even about seeking someone – it’s also about building yourself up to be a vestibule capable of accepting and giving high standard love so another can benefit from it.

At the end of the day, none of us can demand another to change into someone that suits our varying preferences. We meet them as they are, and choose to love them for their entirety, not just the desirable parts of their being.

High standard love is rare then because it’s seeing beyond the reasons and excuses. It’s not you, it’s not him either. It’s the love that both of you need to choose and be capable of building and investing in together. TC mark

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