Standards vs. Expectations

After days of scrolling through social media, I HAD to blog about my experience and thoughts on a few posts. They all had a similar tone. If your girl or man don’t (fill in the blank), you can’t marry them. Here’s the most recent post that sent me running to my blog. “If yo mama cooking and she don’t go in there to help you can’t marry her.” Of course there were thousands of responses, but you know I had to go to my husband to see what his thoughts were. His response (not verbatim), “The fact that he associates a woman in the kitchen being wife material is a problem to me.” He totally stans for women and I adore him for it!

As we dove deeper into conversation, I began to think about the difference between having standards versus expectations. We both agreed that there is a difference between the two, and find it to be one of the leading causes to men and women missing out on a good woman or man.

In my opinion, standard is the measure of the quality or value of someone. It’s the determining factor in whether you decide to pursue someone or allow them to pursue you. Expectation is what you believe someone should be or will do. If one does not meet your expectation, you may be disappointed, but not completely turned off.

Here’s a snippet of what my standards looked like:

  1. He can’t smoke cigarettes.
  2. He has to believe in the same God as me.
  3. He has to have good hygiene.
  4. He has to be taller than me.
  5. He has to be able to hold an intelligent conversation.

AND MORE!

Here’s a list of what my expectations looked like:

  1. He must be able to cook like my father.
  2. He must be great with his hands (plumbing, mechanic, building, DIY).
  3. He must have a nice haircut. (Preferably like Morris Chestnut in The Best Man)
  4. He must be a football player.
  5. He has to be bigger than me. (Gotta be ready for this jelly)

AND MORE!

I wouldn’t budge with my standards, but my expectations were things I could soften up on. Maybe he’s not the best cook, but he’s responsible with his money. Okay, so he’s not that great at fixing things around the house, but he’s willing to learn. I love haircuts, but men with curls and locs are just as handsome. He may not be a football player, but he’s healthy and athletic. There’s a rebuttal for them all.

In the post earlier, I immediately thought “what if his girl didn’t know how to cook, but planned on helping her set the table and clean up?” Is she still not capable of being a wife? Maybe she’s not confident in her cooking skills, but is willing to take lessons? What if her mother never allowed her in the kitchen growing up, so she doesn’t even think about helping out in the kitchen? There are so many factors. I believe it is when we set high expectations in individuals that we become severely disappointed. Humans disappoint all the time! We’re not perfect. That’s why we have to simply view our expectations as a hope, but not a determining factor.

For example, a woman who is pregnant is not told that she will have her baby on a specific date. She is given an estimated due date. A date that she can expect to have her child(ren) on, before or after. When a business has a job listing posted, they list skills that are required and skills that are preferred but not required. That means that if one does not possess the preferred skills, the business will not turn them away. They simply hope that the candidate will have them. In my experience, the employer will say something like, “skills are preferred or candidate must be willing to obtain training.” What if we applied that in our relationships? I prefer my girlfriend to be able to cook, but if she’s not able to in the beginning, she must be willing to learn. That is actually a mix of expectation and standard. It allows each individual involved to be honest and determine which direction they will go in.

Now, as usual these are my thoughts and opinions. Some of my standards may sound like expectations to others and vice versa. All in all, I think we as people need to know the difference between standards and expectations, and make sure that we are putting emphasis on the more important one. I believe that expectations can be discussed with one another, while standards cannot. We also tend to set high expectations but take offense when we do not meet another’s expectations. “My man has to make sure that my hair, nails and toenails are always done,” but you can’t even take the car to a drive-thru car wash. Honestly, sometimes our standards are a bit extreme too. “My man has to make more than me, and I make $70,000 per year.” Okay, so this woman marries a man who makes $115,000 per year, but he loses his job because the company goes bankrupt. What next? Do you divorce him?

This post is not to persuade anyone to lower their standards. However, I am definitely one who says, lighten up on your expectations of humans and shift them toward the Lord (or whoever you believe in).

 

 

 

 

Out-of-Pocket Expectations

People who are close to me can attest that I am a very random conversationalist, and I can really go left field with my thoughts. Typically my randomness will then lead to a very enlightening conversation. I prefaced with that because…well… I had a random thought (actually, questions). Why do men have the stupid expectation that women do not pass gas or poop? Why do women play into men’s immaturity in order to come off as perfect? Why are we as people so offended when someone does pass gas around us, or “lights the bathroom up”? These are natural processes that our bodies go through in order to release toxins and waste. My mother still tells me to this day, “you better stop holding that gas in because it’ll feel like you’re having a heart attack when it’s trapped.”

The questions crossed my mind because while I was leaving my mother’s job with Jayla, a woman and I shared a smile and a gentle “hello,” but as she walked by a fart slipped out. Of course I chuckled to myself because I knew she didn’t mean for that to happen. I’m confident she was hoping to be down that hall by herself or to be further away from me when it happened. In that moment, I wasn’t upset or offended. I didn’t expect her to hold her gas in. So you know I had to ask my husband about this. He gave the little boy answer that I expected him to give. “Men expect women to poot and men fart. You guys aren’t supposed to have loud or stinky farts.” My response, “That makes no sense. If we eat the same thing, why should my gas be restrained, but you get to be free?” “If I have to poop and it’s our first date, why should I hold that crap (literally) in and let it prairie dog all the way home? (google that term if you don’t know what it means lol) Why isn’t this normal? If men didn’t expect us to fart out fairy dust and to poop pieces of chocolate chips, life would be much easier.

*Warning* I get very transparent in the following paragraphs. 

I then started to think… well why do women make themselves uncomfortable and change everything about them in order to make a man feel comfortable? Why are we censoring our burps? Why are we holding our stomachs in? Ashamed if our feet may not be the prettiest? Meanwhile, your husband is over there burping like he ate 3 bears, on the toilet for 2 whole hours and feet looking like they were beat up by Mohammed Ali! You hear people say “that’s not lady-like” all the time, but never “that’s not gentleman-like.” Expectations on how a woman should operate are out.of.pocket! Plain and simple.

I’m not out here just standing in grocery lines farting in people’s faces, but I’m also not about to walk down the food aisle in pain because I don’t want anyone to smell me. Listen, I have a whole list of food to get and a teething infant… you might just walk into a gas bubble *Kanye Shrug*.

I remember the first time I passed gas in front of my husband. It was the day after prom, and we were comfortable enough to tell each other we had to pass gas, but I wouldn’t do it in front of him. He held me down on his lap (my fast self smh) and said “If you’re going to be my wife, you can’t be running into another room to fart for the rest of your life!” Just know it was the longest fart of my life. We laugh about it now, but I was SO embarrassed! Your boy ain’t know what he got himself into though LOL. Now he wishes he never said it. I couldn’t imagine running into the bathroom every single time I needed to break gas, or sitting in the passenger seat of the car pouting because my stomach hurts from gas. NOPE!

If you can’t be your true self around anyone else, it should always be ok around your spouse. Now I know we don’t live in a world where gas and poop isn’t unattractive or a turn-off, so I don’t expect people to be on their first date in their freakum dress saying “Excuse me, I passed gas.” However, I do believe that once you have declared that you will be in a relationship with someone, it should operate as a real-ationship. If your man buys you some Chipotle, sis you better not hold that morning-after poop in! You are liable to poop on yourself. I remember fasting for a month with no meats. Once it was over, I indulged in a chicken sandwich during my lunch break. As I was on my way home, I was talking to my husband through the bluetooth in the car. While driving, my stomach started to cause me pain. The pain grew, and then I began to feel nauseous. I told my husband, “Love I don’t feel good.” He grew concerned and stayed on the phone with me because I still had to get our daughter from daycare. Out of nowhere, that pain turned into instant diarrhea! I screamed “Oh my God, AJ I’m gonna doo-doo on myself!” He thought I was joking until he heard me moving into tears. I was driving in DC rush hour almost hanging out of the car trying to hold my cheeks together and to not mess up our car seats. There was nowhere to pull over, so he tried to keep me calm while I prayed. I’m sure I looked like a contortionist while driving that day. I finally made it to a McDonald’s, parked crooked as ever and did a baby deer walk/run to the bathroom. By this time, my body said “Tiana we can’t do this anymore!” It was coming out of me as I made it to the toilet seat. If you’ve ever seen the movie Bridesmaids, it was just like that. I didn’t make a huge mess, so I was able to clean up, throw some clothes away and make my way get our daughter. That man laughed at me SO baddddd!!! I couldn’t laugh at the time because I still felt ill, but I crack up now.

Make sure the person you plan on marrying is someone who can crack jokes but also console you during your most embarrassing moments because they are guaranteed to happen during marriage. If my husband stayed true to those expectations of “women don’t poop or pass gas,” he would have never looked at me the same. Instead we were able to joke about it for a couple of days until the next embarrassing thing happened to one of us. In my opinion, expectations can kill a relationship. You have to be honest and super transparent with one another. It allows you to truly know what you’re getting yourself into and who you’re getting involved with. At the end of the day, everyone is different and have different beliefs when it comes to how one should carry themselves throughout a relationship. Understand this… There is a chance that you may catch a stomach virus and poop on yourself while throwing up. Marriage requires for you to help one another during sickness. There’s also a chance that you may poop while delivering your child (if vaginally). Are you going to tell your spouse to turn his head or walk away? And if you are a man reading this, will you be so disgusted with your lady while she’s doing the unthinkable and walk away?

Transparent. YES. Too much information. YES! Nevertheless, I hope you were able to laugh with me while reading. 🙂