Something that comes up here with some frequency is a person themselves or a romantic or sexual partner (friends, too) having big problems with insecurity.
In order to have healthy intimate relationships, we or other people don't have to be self-esteem rockstars, but we do have to have some measure of self-worth, self-esteem and self-security. If any or all of those are really low, it's really quite impossible to engage in a healthy relationship.
I'd like to do some talking amongst ourselves here, if you'd like, about how to figure out when we or others are or are not secure enough to be in intimate relationships, what do to when we or they aren't -- or that's radically changed since we first got involved -- and what the sound limits are of what we or someone else can do when insecurity and low self-esteem are in the picture.
Anyone want to get started?
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 67955 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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I struggle with self worth, not so much in other areas of of my life, but in intimate relationships. I was on a first date a few months ago and the person asked me what I was looking for in my next relationship. That made me cry because I wanted to say that the only thing I wanted was someone kind who would give me a chance. It's hard because there's a part of me which hopes I'll automatically feel better about myself as a result of finding a partner. Logically, I know that's unlikely and I'm probably not secure enough to be with someone yet.
-------------------- "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."
the annoying part is when I consider that I'm not ready, then begin to wonder if this just isn't the newest one in a line of alibies for "why I can't have a relationship" (alibies, as in, masks of a fear/interdiction too old and illogical to just state explicitly). But I have taken some steps in the right direction, and my reaction to situations IS changing a lot, yay. I wish there was a poly community in my city, because I'd like to dip my toes into semi-serious relationsips (good friends with small benefits?), and the unwritten rules of dating seem to be against me. But I will make the effort and ask individual people about what they want, because they might be just as far from these unwritten rules as I am, and I can't really trust my gut instinct here (maybe it's just my depression talking, not a well-calibrated intuition).
I hope this is understandable.
As for the dream of relationships fixing people, I have red a lot of blogs and articles, and I have seen enough ways of how having really low self-esteem can sabotage relationships. So I am poorer with an illusion, but it's also a gain, because I don't think that if only I had met the right guy, I could have made a shortcut in my way to rebuild myself.
Posts: 124 | From: hungary | Registered: Mar 2010
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Good relationships have done a lot to improve my self esteem. Partners who compliment me in thoughtful, respectful ways and honestly consider my ideas and opinions have caused me to grow far more secure in my worth - as a sexual partner, a successful student, and a friend.
Low self esteem has also been a factor in some of my relationships ending. My high school boyfriend and I stayed together for longer than we should have, in part because we were just scared of being alone. I had trouble imagining anyone else ever liking me, so I figured it was best to stick around and make things work. I'm also currently in the process of breaking up with a partner, partially because she is a bit like I was in high school - very scared of abandonment, and self-deprecating. She seldom gives me a compliment that doesn't put herself down in some way - "You're so smart, I could never understand philosophy," or "You're so well organized, I haven't gotten anything useful done today." It makes it hard to connect with and support her, because she doesn't seem to value much of anything about herself, and I worry that being with me and our other partner has (at least lately) just led her to feel worse about herself and make unreasonable comparisons between us. We both still like her and breaking up sucks, but at the moment it seems like she's going to have the easiest time getting focused in life and learning to value herself if she's not with us, and we'll be far less stressed and under pressure to offer support beyond our means if we aren't with her.
Posts: 62 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2012
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