In Relationships, You Get What You Think You Deserve—So Aim High

You know those voices in your head that aren’t in your control and say mean things to you? Well, those voices of mine used to be really loud and quite mean. As a result, they got in the way of my dating life. It’s been a long road of being jerked around by my mind, but I’ve finally found some peace and success in my love life.

I thought I was broken. 

My mind told me that there was something inherently wrong with me. It told me that anything I did in my life should be driven by this “fact” because I’m a piece of crap who doesn’t deserve anything. It was incredibly harsh.

I thought I was undeserving of love. 

These tapes were playing in my head, one of them continuing to tell me that I was unworthy of love from anyone. Even though logically I knew this wasn’t true, I couldn’t help but think that it was.

I thought I didn’t deserve a nice partner. 

Further than the blanket belief that I didn’t deserve any love at all, my brain would tell me that if I wanted to date, I only deserved a dirtbag. It told me that I didn’t deserve anyone nice. Again, even if I could fight off the thoughts logically, they still found their way in.

As a result, I acted like I believed these things. 

Because of all these voices in my head, I acted like I was broken, undeserving of love, and that I didn’t deserve a nice partner. I found myself with people who didn’t treat me right or I continued to find myself alone. My thoughts drove my behavior, leading me to be completely unhappy.

It was a self-perpetuating cycle.

Believing these toxic thoughts meant that I was acting on them too, which in turn only made the belief on those thoughtsstronger. They would tell me “I told ya so,” then the cycle would continue. 

I wouldn’t even keep talking to someone who was nice. 

Nice people freaked me out. If I talked to someone who was kind, I’d get weirded out and I’d bounce. Consciously, I thought there was something wrong with them, but now I know in my subconscious mind that those thoughts of not deserving anyone nice were driving my behavior.

I’d cancel dates instead of giving them a chance. 

Even if I was able to talk myself into going on a date with someone who was nice, I’d end up canceling it. The thought process that went through my mind was that the person wasn’t right for me when really it was that my negative thoughts of myself were poisoning things.

I’d freak out at the idea that someone liked me. 

Once in a while, I’d get to a point where someone actually had feelings for me. At this point, I’d freak out and not know how to handle it. Again, at the time my logical thoughts told me something like “he isn’t the one,” whereas the truth of the matter was that I was scared AF.

I kept wondering why I was single.

I’d be devastated at the fact that I was single. I’d be self-pitying and couldn’t figure out why it just kept not working out for me. It’s (almost) humorous to think in hindsight how obvious it was, but I just couldn’t see reality. The truth of the matter was that I was single because I was letting those thoughts dictate how my life was run.

I was comparing myself to other people. 

My self-pity worsened when I looked at my lack of relationships then looked at other people’s seemingly budding love lives. I compared my insides to their outsides, wondering what the heck was going on. Obviously, comparisons weren’t helpful in any way, but it didn’t stop me from doing it.

My self-esteem was low and I didn’t even know. 

Self-esteem is an inside job. It requires challenging those thoughts and being able to do things in spite of whatever garbage my mind spews at me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do that. My self-esteem was impacted this whole time by me doubting and believing lies my mind told me. As a result of all the rhetoric, I didn’t believe in myself.

Now, things are better. 

I may not have a perfect mind or life but at least I’m now not acting on the voices that come up in my mind. I’m actually able to challenge them when they come up. I use skills that tell me to challenge these negative thoughts and create new ones. My new thoughts are a lot nicer and they allow me to put myself out there, resulting in a better dating life.

The voices aren’t gone but they’re a lot quieter. 

Just because things are better doesn’t mean that the voices have magically disappeared. Rather, the voices are there, they’re just a bit quieter. Instead of screaming at me, they mostly whisper. They’re still annoying as all hell but I don’t allow them to take the wheel and drive. Rather I insist to them that I’m a whole person, worthy of love, who also deserves a nice partner. This is the truth.

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