Dating & Unrealistic Expectations-Are You Blocking Your Blessings?

By Ilex Bien-Aime

Everyone has preferences when it comes to dating. Though men may be considered the more visual of the sexes, we all want to be with people we deem to be attractive. There’s nothing wrong with having your likes and wants – we deal with them every day. What I like, you may not like. What I think is beautiful you may think is nothing special.

I believe that it is perfectly okay to actually know what you want and seek it. The problem usually occurs when you close off great opportunities based on foolish criteria. Most people want physically attractive mates. Flat abs are sexy, nice lips are sexy, beautiful legs, and nice hips are sexy. If possible we would always have our ideal looking mate but we should not rule out people because they do not fully meet this imaginary standard that we have.

Beyond just looks, we have this ridged set of standards and before we give people a chance, we are quickly shutting them out. Sure, no one wants to date someone with bad credit – but maybe the person has a plan to fix that or is already in the process of fixing it. Maybe the person does not have a salary or career that you think is acceptable, but with help and encouragement will have the ability to take things to the next level. Sure, in a perfect world we would meet someone to fulfill our every desire – but this world ain’t it.

I have female friends who refuse to date men who are shorter than six feet tall. There is nothing wrong with wanting a taller man but when you purposely shut out men under a certain height, you lessen the chances of finding the right man for you. Seriously I have heard of women not talking to men because they had on a pair of shoes that they didn’t like or an article of clothing that they didn’t like. I have male friends who refuse to date dark skinned women and some of them refuse to date black women in general (and they are black themselves). With this stupidity going on, millions of beautiful women and men are cast to the side for a foolish preference that in the end means nothing.

No one person is perfect and no one person will fulfill all of your needs. Not being open to the possibilities will (and has already) stunted most of our progress. Imagine how we feel when someone refuses to give us a chance based on the fact that we didn’t meet a certain list of categories. Think about it – no matter how gorgeous or handsome you think you are, someone out there does not find you attractive or at least not attractive enough to date. In the grand scheme of things, we put too much stock in things that really aren’t as important as we think they are.

Beauty is nice but it is also fleeting. People go off to war and get their faces blown off. Nice legs are wonderful but people get in accidents daily and lose limbs. People with A-1 credit scores often make bad investments and lose their jobs. I am not saying that we shouldn’t seek the best for ourselves but what I am saying is that life is not perfect and neither are you. I am not saying lower your standards or disregard them but just know that things are not always as they seem. Sometimes we emphasize the wrong things and end up with the wrong people because of our own foolish selection guides.

BLAM Fam: What do you think? Do people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to choosing someone to date?

Ilex Bien-Aime lives in Washington, DC with his lovely wife. He writes as a man who has seen women mistreat themselves and who have allowed themselves to be mistreated. He writes as a man who wants to give his future daughters a guideline on how to deal with men. Lastly he writes what he write because his female friends are always asking his opinion about these situations. Connect with Ilex at or via email at

9 replies
  1. Deatha
    Deatha says:

    Its funny cause women and men with this long list seem to always forget that THEY ARE NOT PERFECT. No one is. You dress nice and can cook, but your a bitch. You brag about your skillz ( whatever that is) but you are unapproachable. You have a great job, but youre more interesting in how you look than how you live. AND how is it possible that you are a 5 and you want a 10? PPl kill me with this type of thinking as if THEY can do no wrong. ITs childish and unrealistic. ANd a shallow person is the worst person to be in a relationship in because their longevity is based on superficial things.

  2. Jamila
    Jamila says:

    I had to make sure I wasn't asking for too much!!! Thanks for the article!

  3. Nicole Brown
    Nicole Brown says:

    you know I have standards and i have move to Ga and lowered my standards and it has gotten me nothing but trash uuughhh so what am I suppossed to settle because no man can do what he supossed to? I mean i find that men want a momma and im not the one and then you have men who dont want a big woman and im not even that big but the mear fact that im over 5'4 and cant wear a size 0 is a problem for men and men in ATL will let you know that they dont want no 5'11 woman who is pluse size so if men arnt willing to lower their standards for women I guess we all just out of luck cause I dont want no jail bird sorry

    • Jamila
      Jamila says:

      Its not about lowering your standards, its about trying to find and strike your balance. Keep looking for that man now… he will come. Just don't look the other way if he might be missing one or two qualites that you need.

    • Deatha
      Deatha says:

      Miss Nicole. DOnt lower your standards, just revamp them. AS for ATL men, or men generally speaking, I know that men can be shallow by saying they want a women who is this and that and base their desire on critea that is soley superficial. Work on being a healthy you. Mens taste change with the wind. Men equally should not lower their standards but their idea of what the ideal woman is. I think the point of the article is that if you find a guy and he hits 8 outta 10, he might be a keeper. If hes a 3 outta 10, through him back. DOnt look for a man either. Live your life and he'll be looking for you.

  4. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    i'm going to send this article to my bestfriend. I tell her all the time that her standards are RIDICULOUS!

  5. Briana @ 20&Engaged
    Briana @ 20&Engaged says:

    This was made so clear with the show What Chili Wants. So many people, men and women alike, have this unrealistic, long list of qualifications to be in a relationship and they miss out on some great people. You're seriously going to avoid a relationship because someone didn't fit all of your criteria? It's ridiculous. Maybe have a few things you won't compromise on (and have a damn good reason for it too) and those can be your standards. You can't be shallow and expect a deep relationship. It's not going to happen.
    My recent post Finance Friday: Is Moving a Good Idea?

    • Eddie
      Eddie says:

      I like that line, "you can't be shallow and have a deep relationship". So true.

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