Healthy Relationship

17 Bare Minimum Relationship Standards You Have To Set


There’s no excuse for low standards in a relationship.

As much as you love another person or are scared of ending up alone, you should never settle for less than you deserve.

Forget about the ones who accuse you of being too picky or asking for too much.

You just have enough self-esteem to know what you want and that is something to be proud of.

However, how can you tell what standards should be your dealbreakers? How can you know what things you should pay special attention to?

If these are the questions running through your head, it is time to look at our relationship standards list, which represents the minimum requirements you should search for in a potential partner.

List Of Relationship Standards

Being attracted to the person

Guy and girl at a business meeting in a cafe

Let’s be real: you can’t expect to enter a new relationship with someone you’re not physically attracted to.

Yes, there are other way more important things to look for while setting relationship standards, but you won’t be able to get yourself to scratch underneath those layers if you don’t first find them attractive.

It doesn’t mean you necessarily have to be turned on by this person the moment you lay eyes on them – you just have to like them enough to be drawn to them.

This person doesn’t have to be beautiful or handsome according to society’s standards – it is enough for them to be appealing to you.

Of course, physical attraction alone can never be the foundation for a healthy relationship.

You can share incredible chemistry with someone, but if the two of you are not compatible, things won’t work out.

As much as you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one type and reject a person just because they, for example, have brown hair and you prefer jet black.

Don’t accuse yourself of being shallow or having overly high standards just because of a certain taste when it comes to the opposite sex.

After all, you’re just a human being who’s in a search for a romantic partner, not a best friend.

Knowing where you stand

smiling couple lying on floor

In the modern dating world, not putting a label on a relationship is nothing extraordinary.

Many men and women spend months or even years dating one person without ever actually calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend.

Don’t get me wrong. If both you and your current partner want to keep things casual, there is nothing remotely wrong with that, and it’s not something you should be judged for.

Nevertheless, wasting your time and waiting until somebody has the decency to make up their mind about you is a big, fat no.

After all, we’re talking about setting RELATIONSHIP standards here, aren’t we? So the bare minimum is to actually call all that’s going on a romantic relationship before building it any further.

You’re not old-fashioned for wanting to know where you stand and not accepting someone who’ll lead you on.

You need a partner who won’t have any doubts when it comes to choosing you. Someone who’ll be proud to hold your hand in public.

Remember: You’re nobody’s puppet and you’re completely right for wanting to make things official.

On the other hand, if the other person makes an issue out of this, it’s clear that they don’t match your standards and you shouldn’t spend another minute next to them.

Not being convenient

Girl walks in the park.

According to relationship experts, another definite dealbreaker is dating someone who thinks of you as convenient and nothing else.

You shouldn’t settle for a partner who’s in your life just because it’s time for a serious relationship or because they can’t seem to find anyone better.

You’re not too picky if you demand someone who won’t treat you like plan B or the person they come to when everyone else turn their backs on them.

Don’t be your significant other’s safety net or last resort, and don’t let them equate your relationship to settling for less.

What you want is a partner who keeps on choosing you every day. Someone who can live without you but doesn’t want to.

Someone who wouldn’t trade you for millions of other people and treats you not just like their first option, but the only option they’re willing to even consider.

Being respected

back view of couple hugging in nature

Despite what you might think, true love can’t exist without mutual respect.

So, this is one of the most important must-haves you should pay attention to before even getting yourself involved in something serious with another person.

Don’t forget that you’re a person and an individual before you’re someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend.

You’ve invested too much in building yourself until now, so it’d be silly to allow someone who’s just walked into your life to treat you like you’re not enough or not to respect you.

It means that your loved one should respect the people around you as well.

They’re not under any obligation to love your best friends and family members, but they certainly must respect the place they have in your life and heart.

Not only that – they also must have enough respect for your time,  career, accomplishments, opinions, attitudes, wishes, and desires, as well as for your personal boundaries and space.

Without respect, everything else is pointless.

After all, you can’t expect to have a healthy relationship with someone who uses every opportunity to put you down, diminish your worth, or insult you in any way (especially in front of others).

These are all huge red flags of disrespect that you should be on the lookout for.

Being appreciated

Beautiful lady leans to man's shoulder while he hugs her

Even though many people confuse the terms respect and appreciation, relationship experts say that that these two concepts are actually quite different, besides having some similarities.

When you’re appreciated, your efforts and hard work are not taken for granted and your current partner is aware that everything you’re doing is for the sake of your relationship.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you ought to expect constant gratitude for acting like every normal person should in a relationship.

Your significant other is not obliged to kiss the ground you walk on for every little thing you do for them.

That said, it’s nice knowing that you’re not doing anything in vain, and that your efforts are seen and acknowledged.

It’s nice knowing that the other person is thankful for the fact that you’re giving your best, and appreciative of all the hard work you’re putting in this relationship.

Not being controlled

three smiling female friends

Sadly, there are a lot of people who have lower standards than they should and think that jealousy equals true love.

Yes, a little bit of jealousy is cute, but when it crosses the line of good taste, it can be potentially dangerous.

Of course, your partner wouldn’t stand still while watching you, for example, kiss another person.

It’s natural for them to be afraid of losing you and therefore have a tiny dose of jealousy in themselves.

However, it’s completely different if your current partner is possessive and controlling, and this is the arrangement you shouldn’t accept under any circumstances whatsoever.

This person needs to be aware that you’ve had friends, family members, hobbies, and a life of your own before they tagged along, and that you won’t throw it all away just because they’ve become a part of it now.

It’s insane to have a partner who forbids you to have friends of the opposite sex or hang out with your family members.

One who is constantly on your back, is suspicious of your every move, constantly accuses you of cheating without any concrete evidence, checks your phone in search for dating apps, stalks you, or limits your freedom in any other way.

This is not love – it’s a form of emotional slavery and something you should never put up with.

Being accepted

back view of lovely young couple hugging in winter

The truth is that in many cases of romantic relationships, people expect to change one another in the future.

You meet another human being that you think would be perfect for you – with slight modifications.

People rarely fall for other people. Instead, they fall for their potential and for who they could become.

Needless to say, when the expected change doesn’t happen, problems arise.

That’s exactly why your process of setting standards has to include finding a person who will accept you for who you really are.

A person who will be completely aware of your flaws without ever trying to erase them.

This is someone who boosts your self-esteem and push you forward to become your best self, without having the need to change you.

The person who inspires you to engage in more self care and self love, so you become better for yourself – not for them.

Yes, a healthy relationship is based on compromise, there’s no doubt about that.

There will be hundreds of situations in which you’ll probably have to meet your partner halfway or do some things you would prefer not doing.

You might make some changes regarding your habits or modify some tiny stuff that bothers them.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should allow them to try and change the essence of your personality and transform you into a completely different person.

If this happens, both of you will end up unsatisfied.

They’ll never be able to truly change you, which will make them unhappy while you’ll be uneasy in the constant struggle between the person you really are and the person you ought to become according to their standards.

Therefore, if you see that your partner can’t seem to accept the true you, walk away in time and save both of you a lot of unnecessary headaches, because they’re definitely not your soulmate.

Not being used for sex

man lying on woman legs

There is nothing wrong with having a no-strings-attached kind of relationship, as long as both of you have decided for things to be that way.

Nevertheless, the last thing anyone should experience is being a booty call for the person they truly love and want something more with.

A mature relationship is much more than sex. It has to be based on other things as well. The same goes with intimacy – it’s not only physical. It’s built on many other levels.

So, no, you don’t have high standards if you’re content with a partner who pretends they like you just to get in your pants.

You should never settle for crumbs of someone’s love and connect it with the attention they give to your body only.

Remember: You’re a whole package and if someone has a problem with that, they don’t deserve getting parts of you either.

If a person wants your body, they have to put an effort in winning over your heart and brain as well.

But having good sex

hot young couple hugging on bed

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that good quality sex is not required for a well functioning love life – it definitely is.

You probably won’t notice its importance while everything is in perfect order, but if it happens that things in the bedroom start going downhill or if you experience lack of sex, you’ll immediately notice that your entire relationship is affected.

Let’s get one thing straight. There’s no such thing as people who are good or bad at sex, only ones who suit you or not. That’s why you always have to have a sexually compatible partner.

Therefore, the same sexual preferences, being into similar things, and having the same desire to try new things out (or not) is one of the must-haves in every relationship.

If that’s not the case, neither of you will be happy under the sheets, which will  sooner or later reflect on other aspects of your relationship.

Also, when you’re setting standards, pay attention to the effort your partner puts in in the bedroom.

You can’t be with someone who looks after their needs only and doesn’t give a damn about your satisfaction.

Not being compared to anyone else

man piggybacking smiling woman

All of us have some emotional baggage and love life experiences that shaped us into becoming who we are today.

When you reach a certain age, it becomes impossible to find a person without any romantic history, and this isn’t something you should factor in when setting relationship standards.

And you shouldn’t try looking for them either, because someone’s past is not necessarily a red flag.

Whatever happened before you and whoever was a part of your partner’s life before you came along doesn’t endanger your place in it and shouldn’t bother you.

That’s why you mustn’t allow your partner to compare you to anyone, especially to their exes.

Let them know that you are a separate individual,  have no intention of copying their past relationships, and are no one’s rebound or replacement.

Besides, wherever you look, you’ll find people who might be more attractive or smarter than you.

This doesn’t mean that your partner should constantly compare you to any of these people or make you feel bad for not being someone else.

Remember: You’re special and unique just the way you are. If someone doesn’t see it – their loss. They don’t deserve a place in your life.


Lovers couple holding hands in a forest. Summer,spring

A significant relationship standard you must set from the get-go is commitment.

You should never settle for a romantic partner who is not fully devoted or dedicated to your relationship, despite the love you might feel for them.

You simply need to know that this person is one hundred percent emotionally and mentally present in your relationship at all times.

You have to be certain that your romance is as important to them as it is to you, and see that they’re ready to put in the same amount of effort you are.

Having a committed partner means having a partner who knows that building a relationship is teamwork and will always put your love on the top of their priority list.

It’s having someone who is ready to fight by your side, won’t back out on you on the first sign of the slightest inconvenience, and will be there for you whenever you need them.


woman's lips on man's forehead

All of us have the right to fall out of love with our significant others and your partner is no exception.

However, if this happens, they have the possibility to walk away with dignity and cheating is never an option.

Remember: When a person loves you, they won’t cheat on you. Everything else is empty excuses and lies.

This is something that shouldn’t be especially noted; it’s something that’s a minimum requirement for every relationship.

However, sadly, many people lately forget the importance of fidelity, so it is clearly necessary to bring it up as a standard you should never even think of forsaking.

What’s also vital to keep in mind is that cheating is much more than sex or some other physical contact.

It includes flirting, using dating apps, and searching for someone new while you’re still taken, as well as having an emotional affair.

These are all the things you shouldn’t put up with.

Because if you tolerate it once, you’re just giving the other person the green light to keep on hurting you, continue sneaking behind your back, and make you a fool once more.

Man and woman walking along tall grass field.

Every successful relationship, and especially a romantic one, is a partnership with its equal members.

Therefore, one of your relationship standards should also be finding a partner who won’t act as if they are above you in any way or expect you to always be the dominant one.

The two of you should make all decisions together and have the capacity to take responsibility for your actions.

One person shouldn’t be in charge and carry all the weight on their back, nor should anyone be treated as inferior.

Don’t look for someone who’ll be intimidated by your success or use every opportunity to put you down and treat you like you’re their servant.

Don’t look for someone who’ll follow you or go ahead of you. Look for a partner who will walk through life next to you, shoulder to shoulder, holding your hand.

Wanting the same things

couple sitting in outdoor cafe and looking at smartphone

Sadly, there are situations where emotions simply aren’t enough, as much as we want them to be.

You can love someone with all of your heart, but if the two of you aren’t compatible, there’s no point in fighting for this relationship.

Smart people search for a partner who has similar worldviews to theirs, whose personality suits their character, with whom they share common future goals, and who wants the same things from life.

Doesn’t sound overly romantic, I know, but it’s reality and the only way a relationship can actually work out.

For example, if your lifelong dream is to become a parent, you can’t expect to be happy with someone who doesn’t plan on having kids.

If you don’t believe in marriage, you can’t plan a future with a person who’d never live with you unwed.

The same goes with your current focus.

If you’re into building a career right now, you can’t get along with a partner who took a year off from work and decided to go and travel the world.

Don’t get me wrong – all of us have our differences. But we’re talking about some crucial disagreements here.

Therefore, I beg you to keep one thing in mind while setting your relationship standards: Opposites might attract, but similarities last.

Good communication

Smiling couple sitting outdoors looking at each other and talking.

Another dealbreaker everyone should take into account before entering a new relationship is communication.

Your romantic partner has to be your best friend too.

The person who gets you, who understands what you want to say before even saying it, and with whom you can communicate on a mature level, no matter the situation.

This doesn’t mean that the two of you will never fight and always blindly agree with each other – that’d be impossible.

However, your arguments should be as productive as possible and should always serve as a new lesson.

Someone who makes you happy

happy couple having picnic

The truth is that you’re responsible for your own happiness. Truth be told, though, your current partner has a lot to do with it.

You see, all relationships have their ups and downs. Even when you find your forever person, there will be times when you won’t feel like the happiest person in the world.

However, your partner should have the ability to make your life better and to, at least, try to make you happy in general.

This should be the person who can put a smile on your face, makes you laugh, has the ability to brighten your day, and wipes away your tears.

You should feel safe around them, knowing that all of your troubles and difficulties will be way easier now that you have them and they’re holding your hand tightly.

Being loved

All of these relationship standards to look for in your potential partner are completely pointless if not for one thing: true love.

Yes, it’s already been stated that love isn’t enough for maintaining a healthy relationship. but if it isn’t present, everything else is useless and in vain.

So, please never settle for someone who doesn’t love you back or gives you their half-ass love.

Never settle for someone who isn’t your soulmate and match made in heaven!


Category: Healthy Relationship

Infinity Kelly

Infinity Kelly(she/her) is a freelance writer and astrologer who covers news, lifestyle, and entertainment topics, including astrology and relationships. She regularly contributes to elitedaily, Wooman’s Day, and YouGov, among other publications. When she’s not working, you can find her running, traveling, or scrolling TikTok. Follow her on Twitter.

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