If you’re a woman with dating standards, then you probably don’t need to be told what it’s like for others to make you feel bad about them. Maybe it’s a relative who warns that you’ll wind up alone if you don’t stop being so picky. Or perhaps it’s a friend who doesn’t support you the way she should.

Whoever your naysayer happens to be, the message is always the same – that there’s something wrong with refusing to settle. However, you know it’s not about being picky or thinking you’re better than anyone else. It’s about knowing what you want and having the courage to be honest about it. Here’s a closer look at why that’s far from a bad thing.

High dating standards lead to high-quality relationships.

Most people have a friend or relative who wanted to be in a relationship so badly that they settled for much less than they knew would make them happy. Such people often wind up bitter and resentful, even blaming their partners for how things turned out. It’s only then that they wish they’d held out for what they really wanted.

Ultimately, choosing a life partner is too important not to take it seriously, and having high standards is part of that. After all, you work hard to be the very best you can be in life. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a partner who’s on the same mission. High standards keep you from selling yourself short, and they encourage both you and any partner you ever choose to make the most of life.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting more.

Generally speaking, people are encouraged to reach for the stars regarding their career ambitions. You’re praised for wanting to make something of yourself enough to pursue higher education. And when it’s time to climb the ladder out there in the working world, you’re congratulated for being ambitious, following your passion, going after promotions, and all the rest of it.

In other words, valuing yourself enough to go after the education or career you really want is an accepted part of building a wonderful, full life for yourself. Why shouldn’t holding out for an equally fantastic partner be any different? There’s nothing wrong with loving yourself enough to admit that you’re not willing to be with just anyone. It’s OK to want more, ask for more, and expect to get it.

There’s no point in pretending money doesn’t matter.

Money may not be everything in life, but pretending it doesn’t matter at all won’t make it matter any less. The fact is that life’s challenging, not to mention expensive. Choosing a partner who’s perpetually broke, unemployed, or otherwise down on their luck only makes things harder, as you’ll likely wind up carrying the load for both of you.

Choosing a mature man who’s got his life together instead isn’t just a better choice for you financially, either. Immature, directionless men who have yet to figure themselves have trouble with more than money. Most also have zero idea how to treat a woman and will use her up emotionally and financially before cheating on her, abusing her, or otherwise showing her he’s just not worth it. So you’re right to want someone who’s fully capable of taking care of you as you deserve – emotionally, mentally, and financially. Don’t let anyone convince you to settle for less.

It feels incredible to be treated well.

If you’ve ever had someone in your life who treated you like gold – whether it was a parent, a romantic partner, or someone else entirely – then you know what a powerful experience it is. Being treated well is transformative in that it shows you what’s possible when someone genuinely values you the way they should. And once you’ve had that, it becomes nearly impossible ever to settle for anything else again.

So while there’s nothing wrong with being independent and liking to do things for yourself, there’s no shame in liking to be spoiled as well. Having a generous partner in your life who loves making you smile and delights in making sure you don’t want for anything is unlike anything else, so it’s OK to want that. After all, life’s way too short to waste it feeling overlooked, unappreciated, and taken for granted.

It’s OK not to want to struggle anymore.

And conversely, if you’ve ever been through the experience of struggling with a partner who’s broke or unambitious, you’re probably unwilling to repeat it. In some ways, struggling together can bring a couple closer and make their relationship stronger, but only if both people are equally dedicated to eventually getting somewhere.

But if you’ve been there and done that with someone else when it comes to “the struggle,” it’s understandable that you might not be keen to repeat the experience. So hold out for what you want and know you need in a relationship, and don’t let anyone else convince you to do otherwise. In the end, you know your needs better than anyone else ever could.