Guys Loved Me When I Had No Self-Esteem—Now That I’m Confident? Not So Much

I thought that I would have an easier time dating after I learned to love myself but that hasn’t been the case at all. If anything, I’ve found it’s the opposite. Here’s why my newly found self-esteem has actually hurt my romantic life:

  1. I know what I want. This means that I have a narrow field when it comes to choosing guys because I know right away when a dude just isn’t it. It’s good that I’m not wasting time on the wrong people but it’s also tough to find the men who might actually be compatible with me.
  2. I spot red flags quickly. I used to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but now I trust my gut. I’ve made too many mistakes because I was ignoring signs of issues to come. Now I’m realistic and honest with myself. I know pretty early on if things aren’t going to go well with a guy.
  3. I’m looking for something very specific. I know that the guy I want is a unicorn and that he won’t be easy to find. I also know I won’t be satisfied with anything less, so why bother? I’m perfectly fine staying single until I meet the man who gives me what I want, need, and deserve. I hope it actually happens someday.
  4. I’m very honest with guys. I’m upfront about who I am, what I’m looking for, and what I don’t want for my life. This has proven difficult for most men to deal with. While that does frustrate me, it also shows me that they’re clearly not the men I want for myself. I need a guy who embraces me for exactly who I am.
  5. I call men out on their BS. I don’t put up with games, lies, or other ridiculousness. I’m too old for all that. I want someone who wants to be with me and who is committed to his own growth and the growth of our relationship. Anything less than that is a waste of my time—and I hate having my time wasted.
  6. I’m loving and kind, but I’m not a doormat. I am many things, but one thing I am not is a passive woman who just submits to the demands of a man. I never have been and never will be. I have a wealth of affection to give the right guy, but only one who would never abuse it or take advantage of me. Many dudes can’t handle my strength.
  7. I expect a lot from a guy. I’m not materialistic, but I do expect commitment and hard work when it comes to relationships. I put in a lot of effort and I want the same from my partner. A great many men simply aren’t emotionally mature enough—or willing—to live up to my standards.
  8. I want romance. I’m not settling for this “Netflix and chill” crapola. I don’t care if that’s what 99 percent of people do now. I’m not 99 percent of people. I am me and I demand more and I won’t put up with less than what I know I’m worth. If that means I get passed over by a bunch of men who just want to get laid, good.
  9. I need someone who is mature and self-aware. It’s tough to find a man who cares enough about himself and his own growth to change and develop continually. It’s actually tough to find any people who do this. I do it, and I want to be with someone who’s emotionally and mentally mature and capable. That seems to be nearly impossible.
  10. I hardly ever even get asked out on a date. It’s difficult to date if no one’s asking. I’ve tried taking the lead and asking guys out, but it never goes well for me. I don’t know what the deal is. Maybe they assume I’m not interested. Maybe, as many guys tell me, they’re intimidated. Honestly, if a guy’s intimidated by me, why would I want to date him anyway?
  11. I can write off most guys pretty quickly. I can tell when someone isn’t genuine and I can tell when he’s trying to present himself a certain way that isn’t actually true. I know this comes from insecurity and pride, but I have no time for a man who isn’t honest about who he is. Otherwise, he’s only wasting his time and mine.
  12. I apparently scare most men. I hate to say it, but a lot of guys are afraid of a strong, independent woman. We don’t need them and they hate that. I don’t see why—the best relationships are built because two people choose to be together, not because they need each other. If one more guy tells me I’m intimidating I’m going to lose it.
  13. I know who I am and apparently that’s a problem. I have a very strong sense of self and I guess this ties into the intimidation factor of who I am as a whole. Men who aren’t as sure of themselves don’t know what to do with me. Frankly, it seems like most guys simply cannot handle the idea of a woman being stronger than they are.
  14. I refuse to change myself to cater to some insecure man’s expectations. I’m not going to tone it down or be quiet or be less of who I am. I’ve worked too hard to get to a place where I like myself. I’ll never let a guy take that away from me. If he tries, he’s definitely the wrong match.
  15. I know life is too short to settle. I value every second of my time here on this earth because I know it’s not a given. Anything could happen at any time. Why would I waste one minute on the wrong person? There’s simply no time or space for that. Because I know that, I don’t date much. It seems frivolous.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at amyhorton.net.
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