Dating with low self esteem
Have you ever felt like you might have some self esteem issues? If so, you may be wondering, “Can you still date with low self esteem?”
In short, the answer is YES! You can absolutely date with low self esteem. However, people with low self esteem can face some obstacles to dating and possibly encounter hurdles once they’re in a relationship.
Whether low self esteem stems from a desire for approval and validation, a fear that you won’t find a healthy relationship, or simply a sense that you don’t feel good spending time alone… there are several self esteem indicators that can impact your dating life.
Happily, you can overcome all of these challenges with some helpful strategies and action steps.
Today, we’re going to cover…
- How your self esteem impacts you while you’re single vs. when you’re dating,
- Specific tips to help you date well with low self esteem, and
- Tangible steps you can take to increase your self esteem in any season of life.
By the end of this post, you will have a more informed perspective surrounding low self esteem and dating.
Why does self esteem matter in the first place?
Even though your level of self esteem doesn’t necessarily change your ability to date, being at your best will greatly impact the way you feel when you’re single or in a relationship.
Now, let’s dive in!
How your self esteem impacts you while you’re single vs. when you’re dating
This article explores the intricate relationship between dating and self esteem. Ultimately, each one affects the other.
The same can be said for singleness and self esteem.
When you’re single, your low self esteem may have you thinking…
- “I’ll never find a good person who will love me,”
- “I’m not worthy of a loving relationship,” or
- “Why doesn’t anyone want to be with me?”
On the other hand, someone with high self esteem approaches a season of singleness with curiosity, openness, and… dare we say… joy!
In a relationship, low self esteem may look like…
- Poor communication, or
- Few or unclear personal boundaries.
As you can see, your level of self esteem isn’t necessarily related to being single or being in a relationship… Instead, consider that the level of self esteem you carry with you exists no matter what your relationship status is.
Specific tips to help you date well with low self esteem
Tip #1: Be honest about where you are in your life.
The purpose of dating is to grow by putting yourself out there by connecting with a new person.
Showing who you are to someone else takes courage and confidence. Naturally, some parts of you are easier to share than others. While everyone has doubts and fears, keep in mind that people also can have a tendency to question themselves from time to time! This self-questioning is natural.
While you don’t need to anticipate sharing about all your problems on a date, you also don’t need to feel like you have to hide them away either.
Part of building intimacy involves sharing the less-than-perfect sides of yourself. Chances are the person you’re with has their own doubts and fears. Perhaps they can give you insight from their own experiences to help you out!
Tip #2: Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Treating others the way you’d like to be treated is the Golden Rule for a reason!
You could be in the middle of dating someone when your confidence drops and you want to withdraw. While taking the time to work on yourself, try not to leave people hanging.
No matter how you’re feeling about yourself, the person you are dating will appreciate knowing what is going on, even if you send a simple text that says you’re not in the right place to respond in more depth yet.
Tip #3: Choose some go-to date ideas and rituals.
When you start dating, there are a lot of aspects to think about, like where to go, what to say, and what to wear.
To ease the expectations and tensions, stick with your go-to spots, outfits, and rituals. Meeting at a bar or coffee shop is a low-key alternative to a date that feels like a big production in a place you’re not comfortable with.
On the same token, choose a date outfit that you feel good and confident in. If you have something picked out beforehand (and approved by a trusted friend), prepping for a date is that much more peaceful.
Tip #4: Lean on your friends for support.
Friends were made for times when your low self esteem strikes right before you walk out the door, or you have a great date that goes almost too well and you want to throw in the towel because you don’t believe you deserve happiness.
Sure, your friends can help you through the little aspects like your attire, although their purpose in your life could be so much more than that if you let them.
Have a friend or two you can call when you start to doubt yourself. Be honest with them about your self esteem struggles, and let them encourage you when you’re feeling stuck in your head.
Tip #5: Don’t use people to make yourself feel better.
Some parts about dating are truly wonderful, such as feeling cared for, desired, and liked (maybe even loved).
That kind of romantic attention from someone can make you feel better about yourself in the short run. However, when you know your self esteem isn’t top notch, be careful that you aren’t counting on those feelings from someone else to make you feel good.
Although the person you’re with can absolutely contribute to your happiness, they shouldn’t be responsible for 100% of your emotional wellbeing.
Remember: None of us are perfect, and you don’t have to be perfect in order to meet someone and establish a healthy relationship. You’re a work in progress, and that’s a wonderful place to be!
Tangible steps to increase your self esteem regardless of your relationship status
Do you feel frustrated with how your ups and downs impact your love life?
If so, know that you are not alone and we’re here to help. In fact, Introverted Alpha was founded for men exactly like you. Keep reading!
Here’s what you need to do
So that you can make sure your confidence increases for good, follow these easy steps…
- For more advice about confidence and dating leadership, check out this excellent collection of articles.
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- For more personalized support, consider our Magnetic Confidence program.
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