Recognizing Your Worth and Raising Your Standards: “I’m Not Bitter, I’m Better.”
By Jazmine Denise
“Your standards are ridiculous. The man that you’re holding out for doesn’t exist. You are going to die old, lonely, and bitter!”
This is what my ex from over three years ago said spitefully through the phone. “Okay. Thanks for the dating advice!” I calmly replied before ending the worst phone call ever. “Old and bitter. Oooh scary,” I thought to myself sarcastically. Old, lonely, and bitter is a kryptonite that looms in the back of just about every woman’s mind, because when we think of our futures, we like to envision love and happiness. As a result of this fear, many women are willing to offer up their time, energy, money, body, and God knows what else to men who aren’t actually worth their time. These relationships usually end in turmoil (and possibly with children in the picture) and the woman is left to pick up the pieces wondering where she went wrong. Albert Einstein once defined insanity as, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It is my personal philosophy that this theory should be considered in all aspects of life, including dating and relationships.
Women are often accused of consistently assuming the role of the victim when it comes to relationships because we constantly put ourselves in the same types of situations with the same types of men, which ultimately deems us the same results. However, when a woman has an “AHA” moment, recognizes her worth, and sets standards for herself and the men she dates, she is accused of being bitter and too picky. Although these “AHA” moments often come after she’s broken free from a negative relationship, I in no way feel that this has anything to do with bitterness. Bitter could be used for the woman who sits around saying (and saying on social media platforms made to be soap boxes) that all men are dogs, but when a woman tries to raise her standards to increase her happiness, why is she bitter? It is my opinion that “bitter” is a derogatory term that is often used improperly and hurled at women to wound their self-esteem and make them doubt themselves and what they thought they wanted in a relationship.
While I am not encouraging anyone to go out and develop a ridiculous or unhealthy set of qualifications for the men that they date, it is my belief that standards are crucial. Standards are what set the foundation for any dating relationship. They set the ground rules for what you will and won’t accept. They help you to get what you actually desire instead of settling for whatever he wants and any old Johnny that comes along looking to waste your time. To take it a step further, it is my belief that it is not standards that make women bitter, but lack thereof. Can you imagine getting to the end of your life and realizing that you’ve never had success in the love department because you’ve been dealing with the wrong men all of your life since you never set any standards? You let them treat you any kind of way, do anything they pleased and talk to you every kind of way because you didn’t want them to leave. I could see it now. Someone’s old aunt sitting around on her front stoop drinking a Coke and smoking a cigarette talking about, “Child, none of these men ain’t no good!” Depressing, I know. But, honestly, are all men no good or did that person possibly make poor dating choices? So the next time someone accuses you of being bitter because you have standards, proudly reply, “I’m not bitter, I’m better, and I’m not looking back.”
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