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how to improve self esteem in relationships

Guest Post Written By Lana Otoya

Lana is a professional dating coach for successful women at Millennialships.com. She helps successful and confident women meet successful and confident men.

When you are dating, things can get tough. You go on date after date, only to discover that the men you like the most are never interested in you.

Even the most confident person in the whole world might start to question their attractiveness if this keeps happening. 

The key here is not to get discouraged. When you give up on dating, you lose your chance to find a loving and supporting relationship. 

Here are seven ways for how to improve your self-esteem when dating.

#7 – Know Where Confidence Comes From

Confidence is a key aspect of dating because it helps you attract men, and also feel better about the whole process.

The interesting thing about confidence is that you can get it from multiple sources. Most people get self-confidence from “track record” or “history”. This is when you look to your past experiences to help you determine if you are good or bad at something.

For example, if you always get A’s on all your math tests, you are going to be pretty confident that you are a skilled mathematician.

If you’ve had bad relationships in the past or never seem to get into a long-term relationship, your track record is not providing you with the confidence you need to attract a man. So how can you be confident if your track record is tainted?

The good news is that you can tap into your self-esteem. Self-esteem, although similar, is not the same as self-confidence. Self-confidence is often felt as a result of external validation, much like the math example. Where self-esteem is something that comes from within you. It’s something that you feel rather than something you see.

 Self Confidence vs. Self Esteem:

Here is a nice explanation of self-esteem from Psychology Today:

“Self-esteem is our cognitive and, above all, emotional appraisal of our own worth. More than that, it is the matrix through which we think, feel, and act, and reflects and determines our relation to ourselves, to others, and to the world.

People with healthy self-esteem do not need to prop themselves up with externals such as income, status, or notoriety…On the contrary, they treat themselves with respect and look after their health, community, and environment.”

As you can see, healthy self-esteem comes from believing you are worthy, and respecting yourself despite any negative situations that life may present to you.

When dating, just remember that rejection and struggle happens to many people while they are looking for their long-term partner. You only need that one person to make everything worth it, so don’t tell yourself you don’t deserve love when you know it’s not true.

#6 – Have Realistic Expectations

Another way that you can help yourself feel confident during dating is to have realistic expectations. The online dating process is slow. You will message a lot of men who don’t message you back. You will go on dates with men who are losers. You will start to see a guy who seems really nice, only to have him ghost you after a few dates. I know this is a harsh reality but going in with these expectations helps you realize that it’s not you. This happens to everyone.

Even the most attractive, model-like women have trouble dating and finding a partner. This is because finding a partner only has so much to do with appearance and attraction, and much more to do with meshing two personalities together.

Sometimes it can take a while to find two personalities to really fit, but you only need to find one person and when you do, it’s really an amazing feeling!

#5 – How to Improve Self Esteem in Relationships: Move Slowly

When you are in a new relationship with someone who is really fun and awesome, you can be tempted to move things too quickly.

As a dating coach, I’ve seen many women get so excited about a new man who she tells her friends all about him, deletes all her dating apps and stops communicating with all men. Then, she realizes a few weeks later that he’s not interested in a long-term relationship.

There’s nothing wrong with getting excited and enjoying the honeymoon phase, but cutting off all other ties and letting all your friends know that you found “the one” can make the feeling of rejection much worse than it needs to be.

Always keep your options open until the two of you are on the same page.

#4 – Don’t Take Things Personally

Even if someone rejects you, it’s not really “you” that he is rejecting. It could be many different things.

There are seven billion people on this earth, and no two people have the exact same personality.

When dealing with so much variety in preferences, hobbies, values, etc., there are going to be people who clash. If you feel like things are going well with a man and then suddenly, he changes his mind, it could be any one of these little things that are not matching up. Maybe you live a little too far away from his house or maybe he’s not ready for a relationship.

Regardless of the reason, just know that if a man is not a good fit, you’re much better off without him.

#3 – Rejection and Shame Happen to Everyone

Researcher Brene Brown determined the feeling of rejection you experience when others do not accept you is a global feeling. This means that it happens to every human unless they have a serious mental disability. We are tribal animals whose evolution has made us want to fit in with the crowd. It is vital to our survival.

When you get rejected by someone, you have an intense feeling of shame. You purposefully analyze and critique yourself to see what might have gone wrong. This is a survival instinct because your brain is trying to help you fit in better next time.

The truth is though, you don’t need to fit in with everybody anymore. You do not rely on a certain caveman tribe in order to get your food and shelter. If someone rejects you, you can still live a perfectly happy life and not have to worry that you didn’t get along with just one person.

#2 – Focus on Self-Care

Dating can be a roller coaster of emotions. When you’re dating, you should be sure to have a structured and regular self-care routine. This allows you to remind yourself that you are the source of your own happiness, not anyone else.

#1 – How to Improve Self Esteem in Relationships: Have Fun

The pressures of finding a partner and all the swiping and texting rules can really be a downer. It’s best to pull back and remind yourself that dating should be fun. Instead of thinking, “I hate being single”, “This date is going nowhere” or that you  would rather be in your pajamas, remember – it’s just drinks.

You’re not being forced to speak in front of one thousand people or run a marathon. You’re just sipping on some cocktails with a new person. Even the most horrifying dates can still be fun. They can be a learning experience or simply an excellent story to tell your friends!

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