In this episode of the VulnerABILITY Podcast, host Marisa Donnelly and guest Abe Lopez jump back into the topic of standards in relationships, from Episode three, but get even deeper. They discuss relationship non-negotiables and whether it’s good to have them, or better to take risks in the name of love.

When you start a relationship, many questions come to mind. First, there’s the element of fearlessness. You want to be fearless and step forward without hesitation. But you also want to be smart, too. In this episode, Abe and I contemplate both sides of the spectrum: cautiousness and recklessness. We also question whether there’s a ‘middle ground’ where people can agree on—passion, but not carelessness.

We dive into relationship non-negotiables and standards for dating, and how it’s good to have them, but also where to draw the line, too. With big questions like listening to your heart vs. your head, and whether you should date someone who is similar to you, or different, this episode is 35 minutes of depth.

Highlights From the Episode:

[0:45] “When we hear the word, ‘settling,’ we always think that settling is a bad thing. But are there moments in our dating lives where we should compromise and should settle for a few things?”

[1:30] “What happens when somebody comes along who’s worthy of your time, but they don’t fit these pre-set standards?”

[2:30] “When you think about what a standard is, it’s based solely… on who you are as a person. It’s your personal expectations, your thoughts, your desires for a relationship or a person… So, I think that having a standard for your dating relationships, especially… is important, if not essential. That gives the framework for what you want your relationship to look like.”

[7:15] “We want to have standards and they’re good [to have], but we also need to know that others have standards, too. And sometimes we just don’t have the same ones.”

[14:20] “I think that at the end of the day, your perspective needs to be aligned somehow [with the one you love]… Perspective meaning end goals, or what you care about, or what you think.”

[15:45] “Love is freaking hard, but having love for someone, and them loving you… that love is easy. It’s the relationship part, and the choosing each other, and the fighting to make it work — that’s [what’s] hard.”

[27:35] “In love, sometimes we have to take risks because… there’s a chance that we might not make it to tomorrow. And if we really feel strongly for someone, and it really feels right, [then] even if that person isn’t ten out of ten things on our list, maybe we can try it out. What’s the worst thing that can happen? You get your heart broken? …At least you tried.”

[34:30] “We have to have standards for dating, but we can also understand that people are imperfect. No one is ever going to match the ‘ideal’ because we’re not going to match the ‘ideal,’ and that’s okay… We need to look for people that fit with our standards, but also take risks.”

The Biggest Takeaway:

The final (and perhaps most valuable) takeaway: “Having relationship non-negotiables and standards is not a bad thing. Be willing to compromise, but don’t change yourself.”

For more VulnerABILITY Podcast episodes, click here.