When Low Self-Esteem Hurts Your Love Life

When Low Self-Esteem Hurts Your Love Life

Everyone feels insecure at certain moments in their life, especially their love life. Whether it be an awkward crush like many of us go through in middle school, your first kiss, first real love, or a spouse who did everything right and swept you off of your feet. The feelings that surround these moments can feel so overwhelming, that we feel small by comparison. But for some, self-esteem is a sustained, ongoing, even lifelong struggle. A relationship is best when it is engaged in by two equal partners. If one person is constantly struggling with self-esteem issues, though it may feel like a personal problem, it is affecting your relationship in a myriad of ways. When you have low self-esteem you have a hard time believing your partner when they pay you a compliment. This lack of appreciation can hurt them, putting space between the two of you. Those with low self-esteem have trouble setting boundaries. Everyone crosses a line once in a while. But without the ability to say something, your partner can walk all over you, and all you can do is wear a shirt that says, “Welcome.” Those with self-esteem issues do not know how to ask for what they want in a relationship. They fear their desires will be met with disapproval. So they never get what they want, leading to a secret little pit of hell, an inner cubby hole of frustration as one can never feel comfortable expressing themselves truly to the person they love most.

Do you hold back from engaging in open and honest dialogue with your partner? According to a study out of the University of Waterloo in Canada, this can be viewed as aloofness on the part of your beloved. It makes them think you do not care. But what is actually going on, you hold back because you are afraid of becoming vulnerable, of driving the person away, or of getting hurt. The author of this study Megan McCarthy, said that the partner with low self-esteem is resistant to address problems in the relationship. But in doing so, things cannot develop or progress. The relationship becomes stagnant until it no longer ceases to be. Those with low self-esteem believe that if they do speak up about problems, they will be rejected by their partner. But this causes them dissatisfaction. What researchers suggest is interpersonal communication. Work on telling your partner little problems or small wishes and wants that you have. When they fulfill them, be happy and reflect on it. Then work toward bigger problems or desires. On another front, work on yourself. Improving your self-esteem can only help to improve your relationship. You are indeed half of it. So what can you do to build up your self-esteem?

Look back your accomplishments. Celebrate them. What have you done, and what positive personality traits do you embody that these accomplishments signify? What skills did you have to use to get there? Set slightly higher goals for yourself and work toward reaching them. Celebrate after each one. Smile more. Just the act of smiling can make you feel brighter. And people respond to you when you are smiling. It makes you seem more attractive and more confident. Positive interactions with people will help further your self-esteem journey. Talk to trusted friends and confidants, and let them know about your struggles. Ask their unadulterated opinion of you and any advice they may have. Usually, those close to us will say nice things and make us feel good. But they can also offer some fresh perspective which you may be in need of. Surround yourself with those who support and uplift you. If you have people in your life who are pessimistic, always critical, who disrespect you or tear you down, get rid of them, or if you have to see them, severely limit the time you spend with them. They can only hamper your efforts. Be positive and find things to be positive about. People love enthusiasm. If you can dig deep and find it, you can attract more people to you. Their desire to be around you will help you to feel confident. Lastly, try and get some exercise. The feel good, natural chemicals it releases will give you a boost that others and even your baby will notice and it will make them feel good, basking in the energy you radiate.

For more pick up a copy of, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff.

Are your Friends getting between you and your Relationship?


Are your Friends getting between you and your Relationship?

Have you been through a series of broken relationships lately? Have you searched through your selection process, your personality, your emotional baggage and all other aspects of you, only to come up empty? If it isn’t you it could be your friends. Sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes more subtle. But your friends are a reflection of you. They can also get in the way of lasting love, if you let them. Are your friends getting between you and your relationship? Take a look at these indicators and see if you are the victim of love sabotage by your pals.

Do your friends ever tell you that your date isn’t good enough for you? If they call your date unattractive, stupid or dull right in front of you, you have a right to be upset. That’s really rude behavior. Still, take a look at the qualities of your date. If they cut the mustard, something might be wrong with your friends. If you are trying to chill with your new main squeeze and your friends are constantly turning up the volume, or the drama to get your attention, take note. They will drive a wedge between you and your partner. That’s not good. Realize that if they are your real friends, they’ll ask about your preferences. But if all they care about is their own entertainment, they won’t even think of asking what you think.

One of the most insensitive things your friends can do is bring up past relationships to your date before you are ready to expose them to these stories, and your role in them. Particularly if you’ve had a foible that’s run through many lovers, or a faux pas you want to put behind you, the fact that your friends, your own friends are bringing it up is enough to make you want to take them all out, ninja style. Currently, with pesky anti-ninja laws in place, they’ll have to live. But if they take part in this kind of behavior, don’t hang out with them anymore. At the very least, don’t bring any dates around them. Have you ever had a friend who wants you to cheat? Or a friend who thinks you’re perfect for their cousin or sibling and will sabotage other relationships so that you end up with a certain person? Yeah, lose that friend. They only have their own interests at heart, though they’ll swear they have your best interests in mind up and down. Their actions speak volumes, their words a pile of drivel.

The worst is a friend who puts you in the worst position. Like a friend who flirts with your date. Nothing is worse than a friend who overtly or covertly tries to steal your lover. Cut that Judas off immediately and remove their name from the record. A friend of the opposite sex flirting with you or making their feelings known is another potentially horrifying scenario. Let them down gingerly. For more advice read, Toxic Friends: A Practical Guide to Recognizing and Dealing with an Unhealthy Friendship by Loraine Smith-Hines.

Is Negativity Ruining your Love Life?


Is Negativity Ruining your Love Life?

Some of us see the glass as half empty, others as half full. Many of us ask, am I thirsty? Sure, overall philosophical outlook is one thing we tie our egos to. But there is something known as taking it too far. Misery may love company but company doesn’t love it back. Company excuses itself and hightails it outta there. The truth is being way too pessimistic repulses anyone except for the loathsome few who feel the same way you do. And who wants to date someone like that? Is negativity ruining your love life? Take a look and see if you’ve taken it too far and are driving potential suitors away with an overindulgence in pessimism.

Whenever you hear that something is up, do you always assume that the worst is true? Do you feel snubbed by a friend you waved to only to find out they didn’t see you? Perhaps you still don’t believe them. Always assuming the worst is a sign you are being too negative. When considering something that’s happening, do you look at it from the other person’s point of view, or do you agonize over your own point of view and what an inconvenience, a terrible decision or a slap in the face it is? Always consider the other person’s point of view. Otherwise you are way too wrapped up in yourself.

Are you always the victim? Do you meet every new catastrophe with, “That’s my luck”? Do you feel that no matter how hard you climb there’s always someone or something that knocks you off the ladder to success? Of course it’s okay to be upset, annoyed, even lick your wounds when life doesn’t go your way. But if you wallow in self-pity no one is going to think you are fun or interesting anymore. People back away from misery like backing away from a plague victim. Sure they seem nice and understanding but the whole time they are making their way to the door. Do you have high expectations of everyone, yet they often let you down? What is encapsulated in that particular philosophy is egocentrism. If all you can reflect on is how others have disappointed you, you are inadvertently putting yourself in the center of the universe.

No romantic partner wants to endlessly keep trying to fulfil your expectations. Sooner or later they’ll get frustrated and mosey on. If you can’t accept defeat then you are not focusing on one of the essential parts of being human. We all make mistakes. We all get kicked down the rungs on the ladder of life. We all feel this way sometimes. But it’s when you feel grouchy, irritable, negative and hopeless all the time that it’s a problem. If you feel like this, come to terms with it, understand it and begin to reverse it. Your love life and your life in general will improve considerably. For more advice read the New York Times bestseller, Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life by Judith Orloff, M.D.

Attractions of Inspiration


Attractions of Inspiration

You cannot control who you are sexually attracted to. And you can’t force it. But you can educate your libido. If all you end up with is a broken heart, can’t stop running after bad girls or bad boys, or always pick someone who’s emotionally unavailable, you can change the course of your love life. You aren’t doomed to failure. What you need to do is to develop attraction to people who are well-adjusted, kind, considerate and supportive, among other qualities. You can develop the skills necessary to have solid, healthy relationships. And these are the same skills you’ll use to keep those relationships fresh and alive.

When we look for a potential mate, we have natural evaluation systems we aren’t even aware of analyzing data and sending us emotions in tune with that data. There are really two systems going on at once. The conscious mind is attracted to the positive things that contribute to a successful, happy relationship. But the subconscious is drawn toward the issues we most suffered from at the hands of our caregivers as children such as neglect, abuse, manipulation, betrayal and anger. To work through these issues we seek a partner who embodies the same such problem we are struggling with in order to have a second chance at moving past the problem and healing psychologically.

This explains why we feel knocked off kilter when we meet someone that we’re really into. It also shows why love affairs can be so exhilarating and so agonizing when they end. Some people solve the problem by dating people that are safe but they have no attraction to. This usually leads to boredom and feeling unfulfilled. Others date those they find highly attractive, and go on constant roller coaster rides of the heart, with thrills and spills which leave you heady or down in the dumps from one week to the next. The trick is to date someone with a midrange level of attraction, but who also has qualities that are good for long term potential such as a good sense of humor, dependability, honesty, hard-working, considerate, kind and all of that good stuff.

Cultivate an attraction of inspiration and not only will you be in the right place romantically, your lover will be one of a high quality, where you can also enjoy a long term, healthy and committed relationship. How do you do that? The trick is to build intimacy. You need to get the heart and the head going in the right direction. Don’t focus on the person’s imperfections; instead focus on their good qualities. Spend lots of time together and talk about everything. Get close and build closeness. Don’t get nervous or take off if it doesn’t get off the launch pad right away. Stick in there with someone you like on an intellectual level and build your attraction to them. If you have an ember of attraction, with a little patience and some deep reflection, you can stoke your own ember into an inferno of passion. For more advice read, How to Get a Date Worth Keeping by Henry Cloud.

Myths that Keep Us from Love


Myths that Keep Us from Love

There’s lots of dating advice out there that while the speaker’s intent is sincere, the message is actually an obstacle rather than a way forward. There are myths that keep us from love rather than helping us find it. The first myth is playing it cool. Conventional wisdom goes that you shouldn’t let on how interested you are in a person, or else they may find you desperate or needy. This isn’t true at all.

Our belief in playing hard to get shouldn’t be absolute. You can use it if the person you are after is emotionally unavailable. Otherwise, be nice and open. Who doesn’t want those qualities in a relationship? If they reciprocate then this might be the person you are looking for. But they should at least respect these qualities. If playing it cool works for you that’s great. But if you aren’t really that type, or haven’t tried it, you’ll flub it. So be yourself. Feel it out and act accordingly. Make sure you draw boundaries. Don’t get taken advantage of. But if someone is frightened off by openness than they weren’t ready for a relationship to begin with. And if that’s what you’re looking for, thank your lucky stars and move on.

We are often told that all we need is a little self-confidence. Confidence is great if mixed with some modesty. But projecting cool and confident can make you look like a superficial snob, or an egotistical jerk. Its better if you let your date know about your shyness, anxiety, or other issues. You don’t have to lay them all out before them. But just be who you are. Own yourself, including your faults. If you have come to terms with your shortcomings, why not show your date this? Anyone who is worthwhile will recognize it and see it as a great asset. If you’re nervous on a date just be honest and say that you’re nervous. You’re date will probably think it’s cute. If they’re worth your time they’ll try to get you to relax. Even admitting it will help you to relax. And then if they’re helping you, all of a sudden you two are jiving, and isn’t that what a date’s all about? Be as cool, witty and charming as you normally are. You can amp it up a little bit. But don’t portray a false confidence. It almost always falls flat.

Lastly, the numbers game is a myth that should be debunked. Many people believe that with the power of the internet, they can go on a ton of dates and will, out of the mass of people they’ve encountered, unearth the one they’ve been looking for. The exact opposite is true. You will feel a kind of dating fatigue after so many dates. People will start to look the same. You will feel numb, give your date less of a chance and be less willing to connect. It will actually get in the way. Strive for quality over quantity. Only respond or date people you have things in common with. The more in common the better the date. With these myths debunked, consider your love life simplified. For more dating advice read, Is This The One?-Insightful Dates for Finding the Love of Your Life by Stephen Arterburn.