dating advice: the “captain america” rule
Context: I grew up in a family of nerds, and superheroes were always a really big part of my childhood. Captain America was a favorite, and he kind of became my family’s standard for good behavior and just generally being a Nice Person. (If one of the kids started a fight they’d get hit with, “What would Captain America think of how you’re acting?”, stuff like that.)
So when I got to high school and started dating, my mom told me something that sounds funny but in retrospect actually turned out to be really good advice:
“Date someone who treats you the way Captain America would. Never settle for less.”
And this has actually helped me so much in my dating life, through high school and into my adult years, because even if it’s a little silly, it’s been really helpful to have that standard in the back of my mind when I’m first going into a relationship.
Would Captain America ignore my calls? Would Captain America forget my birthday? Would Captain America get mad at me for cancelling a date because a family emergency came up? If the answer is no, then I know that the person I’m currently dating does not meet my standards, and that I need to break things off before they get too serious.
And your standard absolutely does not have to be Captain America, specifically. It can be any person, male or female, real or fictional, who is known for being respectful and considerate. It can even be an imaginary “soulmate” that you make up yourself. The point is to have a specific idea of how you expect to be treated by your romantic partners, and to refuse to compromise or settle for less. (Just make sure you’re holding yourself to the same standards – you can’t expect to date superheroes if you’re going to treat your partners the way a supervillain would.) This is a really good way to keep yourself from falling into bad relationships where you aren’t treated with the respect and care you deserve.
TL;DR: You deserve to date people who are respectful and considerate of you. You deserve a Captain America. Don’t settle for less.