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Dear Michelle Valentine,

I’ve reached the panic stage of being in my late thirties and not married yet. I really do want to find someone and settle into a nice family life, but my friends and family tell me I’m just being too picky.

That may be true, but I don’t want to get stuck with someone for the rest of my life if he isn’t perfect.

I have high standards and don’t feel that I should accept less, but maybe I should just lower my standards and get married soon.


Dear Diane,

There is an assumption that if a single woman lowered her expectation a notch or two, she’d fall in love the very next day!

But… not all your standards can or should be negotiable.

Like my friend Renee, who married a prominent engineer, said: “Well, excuse me but how can my standards be too high? They’re MY standards and they’re what means happiness to me.” She was right.

Of course, some demands – like, that he be handsome, well-sculpted, 6’1”, is a multi-millionaire, and that he has a beach house in Cancun – are unrealistic.

But the values you seek in another human being – that he be humorous, loves children, is very kind – should not ever be considered ridiculous or unrealistic.

ACCEPTING less in a man – say if he is rude, inconsiderate, has no sense of career direction or not employed, or other characteristics that cause you unhappiness – is placing your standards too low.

Dear Readers:

What are your thoughts on lowering standards in dating? Have you lowered your standards and then found love?