Have you ever needed a confidence boost after a breakup or during a long period of being single? Did you feel like you weren’t worthy of love or maybe like you weren’t good enough for someone to like or date? If you answered yes, you’re completely normal! If no one is vying for your attention, romantically, some negative thoughts may cross your mind about how attractive you are or how great your personality is. Personally, I experienced 23 years of feeling this way on and off because I had been single my entire life. Now I’m 24 and I’ve suddenly found myself in a relationship! WHAT? And guess what? Those feelings of insecurity did not suddenly go away just because I have a significant other. Just because someone is constantly telling me how beautiful I am or how much he loves me and wants to be around me does not mean that I am all of a sudden Ms. Confident. In fact, I’ve had to work harder on my own self-doubts now more than when I was single.
So I’ve been dating this amazing guy for 6 months now, but it hasn’t been easy. We’re learning a lot about each other and I’m learning who I am within a relationship and as a girlfriend: something I’ve never had to do. I’ve never imagined myself as anyone’s romantic partner, so this is a new role I’ve taken on and am trying to adjust to currently. When we first started talking, I didn’t want my soon-to-be boyfriend to think that I was an insecure, desperate-for-love mess so I feigned confidence and he took notice. I remember him saying, “I love how confident you are. All of the other girls I’ve dated were insecure.” It wasn’t long before my true colors started to show and my insecurities slowly began creeping out. Was I pretty enough? Was I smart enough? Was I too smart? Did he like my short hair? Was he okay with me not being “thick”? Was I too loud? Did I talk too much? Not enough? Was I too rude? Too awkward? In the past, men have generally not given me the time of day or if they did, it was short lived. When you're constantly being rejected, a mantra of lies about yourself plays like a broken record throughout your mind. Each interaction with a potential love interest becomes dismal and the prospect of actually finding someone who appreciates your quirks seems slimmer and slimmer. But this time someone claimed to genuinely, wholeheartedly like me!
My boyfriend began noticing that I wasn’t the confident girl I claimed to be and as much as he tried to boost my self-esteem, I was still unsure of his feelings towards me. I kept assuming that he would leave me or realize that I was weird and awkward and move onto someone else. That’s what everyone else did. I assumed he was like everyone else, but he wasn’t and hasn’t been. He understands the origins of my insecurities and works with me to help me love myself in this relationship. He makes an effort to uplift me when I’m having an off day or moment and always reminds me of why he’s with me and wants to make things work between us. Not many people date for the first time in their twenties, and because of that, I thought something must’ve been wrong with me. Of course, I know that there’s nothing wrong with me, but even still, I cannot rely on another person to validate me! I have to remind myself that, although my boyfriend loves me for who I am and thinks I’m great, even if he isn’t around, I still have to love myself and think I’m great. How can I expect someone else to love me if I’m not loving myself?
Ultimately, I do love myself and I have learned that I’m definitely desirable. Perhaps God placed my boyfriend in my life to help me further understand that I am worthy of love and that there are people out there that will love me for ME! If you’re finding yourself experiencing a lack of confidence within a relationship, remember that there is someone who thinks you’re the best thing since sliced bread, but also keep in mind that with or without this person, you are still wonderful and beautiful and great!