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How Choosing Standards Over Preferences Altered The Way I Viewed Dating

You have probably heard this saying, "the closer you get to God, the more your taste with men will change" and I am confirming that to be the upmost truth and I am going to explain how and why.

There was a time in my 20s and early 30s that I struggled with being open minded when it came to certain men that I would give a chance to.

I would typically gravitate towards a particular type of man and when it came to the, "getting to know stage", my core standards were no where to be found.

That way of dating produced no healthy outcome and every interaction I had with my type led to the same results; a dead end. It was not until I took the time to pause, reflect, and process my horrible dating choices that I realized that my problem was not that I had a type but the true problem was that my dating choices was deeply anchored in preferences rather than standards.

By standards I am not talking about someone being kind or funny. I am referring to standards being based on your core values or what I would like to say, non-negotiables.

  • That means that there are specific things that you will not accept no matter how fine or tall a man is.

During my reflection era, I did a lot of unpacking in therapy and realized that my dating patterns led me in never ending circles and I also realized that I would never date a majority of the guys I use to "talk to" in the past now because they only meet my preferences and not my standards.

That kind of revelation pushed me in the pool of women whom I once side-eyed in the past.

These were the women (really my mom and aunties) who frequently lectured me to think mainly about the character and heart of a man because attraction was not necessarily as important as my generation made it seem.

Now before you bite my head off, I am not saying that attraction does not matter because it does. However, once looks is categorized as a preference instead of a standard, you begin to better assess a person. That is what happened to me.

It was not until I gave God my heart and the PERMISSION to do whatever He needed to do for His will to be done, in the area of dating, was when my taste in men changed.

God's will trumps our standards and preferences in every area of our life. This pill is hard to swallow for many because we naturally like and want what we want. Unfortunately but fortunately, what we want is not always what we need. So when we ask God for His will to be done in the area of dating, He will not change the pool of men out there before changing us first and our desires.

Please note that God is a GOOD Father and like any parent; they always want what is best for their child.

  • In my surrendering of my heart to God with the agreement that He can change my heart, I had to rest in the fact that whomever I would date would not feel like a "Beauty and the Beast" movie. I refuse to believe that God would want any woman to suffer that way. I do not believe that dating outside of your type means that the person will be unattractive. To be honest, I believe that those who jump to that conclusion are coming from a place of fear and a lack of trust in God.

Over the past year and a half, giving God the permission to mold, purge, and reshape my heart redefined what I needed to bring me full satisfaction and peace. I noticed that that the things I thought I wanted, no longer were the driving force in my decision making process when it came to my interaction with men.

I was less impressed with how an outfit looked or how "articulated" a man sounded and I was more concerned about his purpose, vision, and more.

Getting to that place required me to listen more and gaze less. Being fine was just a preference but the internal things, mindset, core values; all were standards that I began to gravitate towards.

That mindset shift pushed me to hold ALL men to the same expectations. The extra fine man no longer received a pass for his inconsistencies for the sake of having a nice smile. Seeing a man that looked good at an event made me want to listen more on what he was and not saying because I was once at a place in my life where I did not pay attention to words or unanswered questions.

My new found openness to dating outside of my type was simply me being open to God's will over my life regarding dating from a sober place. That sobriety came from an uncomfortable stretch as it related to my dating habits.

Stretching our physical bodies essentially decreases our risk of injuries. So could it be that this stretching that God was doing in the area of men for me, meant to protect me from some things? Absolutely. This taste change has allowed me to guard my heart in such a way that I no longer become overly excited or easily impressed for things that are not rooted in my standards.


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