Your first date. Your first kiss. Your first true love. It’s rainbows and unicorns and long walks on the beach. It’s so romantic!
But what happens when the sparkles fade and reality hits? What happens when you realize your relationship isn’t making you feel so great about yourself?
Don’t worry! You’re not alone. I work with so many girls who find themselves in relationships that aren’t quite working anymore, and are actually making them feel worse rather than better!
Here are 4 ways your relationship (and you) may be squashing your self-esteem:
1. You take what you can get. We all want to be loved, it’s part of being human. But there comes a point when you’re not feeling loved enough and you begin accepting any form of love you can get. This might mean an abusive relationship, disrespect, cheating, lying, violating your boundaries, or any number of behaviors. When we allow ourselves to be in this type of relationship, our self-esteem has no room to grow.
2. You’re addicted to love. Love addicts are people who love the idea or the feeling of love. You can also be addicted to the person you are in love with. In any case, an addictive relationship is not healthy and only minimizes our self-esteem. Think about it: if you’re addicted to loving someone else, your purpose becomes making that person happy. You are not able to focus on anything else and you are definitely not focusing on your own thoughts and feelings.
3. You think they “complete” you. Okay, wait a second. Do you really think this is a good idea? Getting into a relationship if you’re not complete, will only lead to trouble, drama, and a broken heart, I promise. Expecting someone else to complete you, doesn’t allow you to become the amazing person you’re supposed to be. Healthy relationships require autonomy, and it’s your job to bring your own happiness to the table.
4. You live for drama. There’s nothing wrong with a little drama now and then, but if your life and your relationship is constantly full of chaos, you may be a drama addict. It’s important to learn to communicate without slamming doors, hanging up on each other, and yelling. Healthy communication will boost your self-esteem and self-confidence because you will be able to express yourself without hurting yourself or someone else. And that’s awesome.
Do you notice a trend here? It’s all about you, babe. You’re the one in charge.
I work with so many girls who aren’t happy with themselves and run into a relationship thinking it will be the answer to all of their questions. They think this new relationship will boost their self-esteem and they won’t have any more problems! But that’s never the case.
If you’re searching for love and happiness in a relationship, without doing to work and loving yourself first, you’ll end up running in circles. It’s impossible for someone (or something) to fix you. Only you can do that.
Ashley Wilhite is the founder and force behind YourSuperAwesomeLife, a site for teen girls who want to live a life they love. With a master’s degree in Psychological Counseling and 1500+ hours with teenage clients, Ashley can help you answer that tough “Who am I?” question, and inspire you to begin living in a way that reflects your deepest, truest, super awesome hopes and dreams. When she’s not writing, coaching, and dreaming up new ideas, Ashley loves training for half-marathons, drinking iced coffee, and having dance parties in her living room. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter!