I’ve always thought of myself as a confident, rational woman. Yet, for some reason, I’ve always needed validation from my boyfriend that he still likes me. It’s taking a lot of work, but I’m finally working on my insecurity issues and trying to change. Here’s how I’m doing it:
I’m working on my confidence.
If I don’t feel confident in myself, I’ll keep seeking external validation. I know it’s not my boyfriend’s job to say that I’m great — I have to be sure of it. I’ll never be successful in my career or relationship without confidence. I need to be sure that I’m great just as I am and stop asking. Easier said than done, but I’m determined to get there.
I no longer put him on a pedestal.
Many times I’ve made the mistake of putting holding my boyfriend in extremely high regard. Obviously, I want to love and respect the person I’m dating, but I take it to an extreme. Whoever I date pretty much can do no wrong in my book, which is very dangerous. Elevating someone in my mind and seeking validation from them belittles ME and I’m done falling into that trap. Now, I try to remain mindful that even the guy of my dreams has his own flaws and that I can stop worrying so much about my own.
I make sure my relationship is a two-way street.
In the past, I’ve been guilty of forgetting that every relationship goes two ways — or at least it should. I’m not there to be my boyfriend’s groupie, therapist, or mother. I try to be an excellent girlfriend, but I can’t forget that he has to work for it, too. I need to be sure he likes me for who I am, not for how I try to please him. If it’s the latter, then he’s just using me.
I see us as complete equals.
If I want to have a strong relationship, my boyfriend and I have to be equals. We’re not in the ’50s anymore, so I won’t make myself submissive for him to like me. If he already likes me for who I am, making myself seem insecure or emotionally fragile is just going to push him away. There should be no need for games in a healthy relationship.
I’m learning to love myself first and foremost.
My relationship isn’t going to go anywhere if I don’t already treat myself like I want my partner to treat me. Every time a guy has dropped the L-word to me in the past, I didn’t believe him and it’s often torn my relationships apart. A need for validation stems from the lack of self-love. I need to learn to love myself and my life as it is.
I question my motivations and readiness for being in a relationship.
When I didn’t know myself very well, I ended up seeking constant validation from my boyfriends. I still do it now, but far less frequently since I’ve taken the time to get to know the person I am before I entered another relationship. I’m determined to break the cycle.
I take responsibility for my own anxieties and paranoias.
Instead of constantly asking him whether he likes me, I tell him why I feel the need for validation. Whether it’s because I worry I’m not good enough or that I’m intimidated by his success, I let it out and allow myself to be vulnerable while also taking responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, and actions.
I consciously decide to trust him 100 percent.
When I started reflecting on my behavior, I asked myself some important questions. Did I not believe him when he said I’m the only one in his life or that he loved me completely? Was there a lack of trust in my relationship? Breaking it down made me realize I’d been paranoid about nothing. Now, I trust my boyfriend implicitly and while it hasn’t completely solved my issue, it’s definitely helped.
I’m constantly improving my communication skills.
Some people have a really hard time showing feelings, and my boyfriend is kinda like that (like many guys). In this case, it’s natural that I’m going to ask him from time to time to express his feelings. I mean, if he can’t show or say it, how do I know? I sat him down and spoke openly and honestly about what I need from him and while I worried he might not be receptive, the opposite was true. We talk way more now, and it’s helped a lot.
I rely on my BFFs to calm me down.
Sometimes a situation is best evaluated from the outside. My BFFs have always been amazing about being frank and giving me some hard truths, albeit in the kindest way possible. Getting honest feedback from someone not diretly involved in the situation made me see things more clearly and has really helped me get some perspective.