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Low Self Esteem and How It Affects Dating Relationships


Woman looking away, unhappy
Jamie Grill/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Low self-esteem ignores race, sex, age, religion, martial status, height, weight, or any other label and category you could possibly attach yourself to. It is something you can change though- with a bit of hard work and patience. First however, let's discuss how low self-esteem affects dating relationships.

Characteristics of Someone With Low Self Esteem

In general terms, people who suffer from low self-esteem may feel or behave in some of the following ways:

  • Practice a larger-than-normal amount of negative self talk, such as, "Why would anyone ever want to date me?" or, "I don't deserve a loving partner";

  • Act destructively towards oneself and/or others, such as self-sabotaging behaviors or being overly critical;

  • Apologize frequently and/or exhibit self-doubting behaviors;

  • Need constant feedback from outside sources;

  • Unable to receive or accept compliments;

  • Focus on one's perceived flaws; and

  • Become so much of a perfectionist that basic tasks don't get finished for fear of failure.

Did you recognize yourself in any of those points? Its nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, many people suffer from periodic bouts of low self esteem. Recognizing that you may be on a bit of a downswing is ok, because at least you can see there is an issue and work towards doing something about it.

How Low Self Esteem Affects Dating Relationships

In a nutshell, when you think poorly of yourself, it shows. Like a bad stain smack in the middle of a white t-shirt, low self esteem is hard to miss, offputting, and ultimately detrimental to any and all relationships, dating or otherwise. So trying to attract a loving, beneficial partner when suffering from low self esteem is an uphill battle, at best.

As well, a nasty side effect of having low self esteem is the uncanny ability to find love in all the wrong ways and places. Think about it: how many times have you given parts of yourself to another in the hopes that they'd love you in return? Unfortunately, many people with low self esteem admit that they have.

In a way, low self esteem in a dating relationship becomes a sort of a push-pull: the person suffering from low self esteem has convinced themselves that they aren't lovable, yet attempts are made to get the person they are dating to try and prove otherwise. This is a potentially self-defeating, demoralizing and damaging state of affairs, and one that may repeat until the person afflicted chooses to do something about it.

So how do you rebuild your self esteem so as to attract a healthy dating relationship? Take a peek at these resources for help:

  1. About.com
  2. People & Relationships
  3. Dating
  4. Meet People
  5. Before You Meet Someone
  6. Low Self Esteem and How It Affects Dating Relationships

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