Wait, I’ve Suddenly Developed Standards In Men

Thanks to every Thought Catalog post ever, we all know that being in your twenties comes with it’s own set of predictable rules and realizations. Like, ok we get it thanks to the disgusting amount of listicles floating around the internet. The realization that hangovers are officially a thing. The realization of the hellish combination of acne AND wrinkles. And also for a lot of us, the realization that we may now have standards with who we date. I’m not going to bore you all and say that it’s because we’re “getting old” because shut up none of us are old. It’s just something that seems to happen after years of dating around. I don’t even know when it happened for me. Probably some time between the almost underage French guy and the hot barista I slipped my number to. But it happened. And I am now in hell, because I’ve become imprisoned by my own standards. Time to grab an orange jumpsuit real quick because I’m in standard purgatory.

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If you’re in your mid-twenties or older, just take a moment to think about yourself five years ago. Maybe you spent a lot of that time blacked out so really think hard and try to remember. I can guarantee that for most of you, standards were not really a thing back then. The guy who drops acid every weekend and doesn’t understand the concept of deodorant? Into it. His roommate? Hell yeah. The bro-y surfer who would rather date a tidal wave than you? Sure, he’s cute why not. See where I’m going with this? All you need when you’re young and wild and free is a nice dude with a good face. Literally the ONLY two qualifications. It’s not the same anymore. At least when it comes to forming a real relationship. Flings are still whatever. That’s what flings are for. But somewhere along the way, I realized that the guy who spends his life stoned on the couch shoving Cheetos down his throat or the dude whose main aspiration is to bag the hell out of people’s groceries is no longer boyfriend material for me. Help.

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It’s not even like I want to feel this way. Trust me, I’m pissed off that I now expect more of people. Why can’t I waste a little more time with the hot 20 year old basketball player or the bartender who speaks fluent Drake? It kind of sucks knowing what you want because once you know, you really can’t go back. Hello? Why am I expecting anything of anyone? Who am I?

It might be kind of messed up but it’s true. If Jay and Queen Bey ever broke up—GOD FORBID—there is no way in hell she’s gonna go for the local open mic night champion. That woman’s bar is literally set in the heavens, there is no way she’s going back down. I guess it’s both a blessing and a curse to know what you want and set that bar accordingly. You can’t have things any other way and if someone isn’t down to meet you there, they’re out.

And honestly, my standards will never be the same as yours. People want different things from each other. What I mean is that you just wake up one day and realize that instead of wanting to be the flower, you want to be the bee. YOU want to choose too. You’re no longer sitting and looking at the picture, you want to help paint it. Having standards is simply a reflection of what you want for yourself. If you’re out there trying to make the world your bitch, you would want your partner to be doing the same. Call it being less carefree, call it growing up or getting old; either way it’s not a feeling you can shake. I can never go back to that whatever guy, even if I wanted to. And since I’m a prisoner to my own standards I guess it’s time to quit complaining and start rocking the shit out of that orange jumpsuit.

Rula Al-Nasrawi is a Columbia Graduate whose writing has appeared in ViceThe Atlantic, and other online publications. Her first language is valley girl. Californian bred, NYC residing. @RulaOfTheWorld

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