For A Long Time I Believed I Was Unlovable, And I Was…

When you’ve been in the game too long, you can start to lose your self-esteem. Instead of accepting that you just haven’t met the right person or even that most guys are just jerks, you begin to think there’s something wrong with you instead. For me, there actually was. I was the reason I couldn’t find love, and it was all because I didn’t love myself.

  1. I didn’t see how great I was, so no guy could either. I’ve been hanging out with me my whole life. I didn’t like that girl; I merely tolerated her. When you can barely stand to be around yourself, how can you expect anyone else to stand for it? If I’m blind to my greatness then everyone else will be blind too. No one is a catch until they believe it themselves first, and it took me a while to get there.
  2. I questioned anyone who had feelings for me. Since I didn’t love myself, I couldn’t understand why anyone would ever love me. I just kept thinking they were wrong or that their feelings were just a trick. I thought eventually they’d see the real me and get sick of the girl I was so sick of already. Is it any wonder I had so many terrible experiences?
  3. If I didn’t believe I was worthy of love so I never found it. I didn’t think that I deserved love. I didn’t like who I was, so why would I ever presume that another man should love me? I wanted love, but since I didn’t think I was worthy of it, I never found the real deal, only poor facsimiles.
  4. Dating is all about confidence and I had none. I was the epitome of low self-esteem. I wasn’t confident enough to put myself out there. I didn’t believe men would be attracted to me. I couldn’t fathom a guy loving me for me. The dating game is all about confidence, so how could I win when I didn’t have any?
  5. My unhappiness was my job to fix. I wanted a man to sweep me off my feet and finally make me feel good about myself. I was so unhappily single. I was lonely and afraid of being on my own. I thought a man could fix that, but I was so incredibly wrong. Every man that walked into my life didn’t make me happy because I wasn’t happy on my own first. My depression and my self-loathing were my problem and my mission alone to fix.
  6. I allowed others to define me. The more others rejected me, the more I rejected myself. If a guy wasn’t interested, I didn’t just shrug it off — I took it personally. I took everything personally. Not only did I allow myself to be hurt by others’ words, I actually believed them. I didn’t like myself, so it only made sense that they wouldn’t like me either.
  7. I pushed people away. Any time a man got close to me, I found a way to push him away from me. Why? Because I couldn’t accept his love. Instead, I rejected it because I couldn’t understand it. I wanted to know why a man loved me because I needed a reason to love myself. I never found one and the more someone tried to give me the reason, the more I ran from a love I didn’t understand.
  8. I became needy. I pushed others away, but I also needed them desperately. When someone did say they loved or even liked me I became the definition of clingy. It was an unfamiliar feeling, but a feeling I was desperate for. I didn’t know how to be loved, but I wanted to be. I needed to be loved and I couldn’t help but cling to that desperate feeling.
  9. I looked for love in all the wrong places. I should have been looking for it in myself. Instead, I was looking for love and acceptance from everyone else, hoping that would allow me to love myself. I didn’t understand that I needed me first and them second. I kept looking for love but I didn’t find it until it was in me.
  10. You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself. When you don’t have self-love, you don’t know how to love someone else the way they deserve. You don’t know how to take care of yourself, so how are you supposed to take care of them? My love was obsessive. I let men fill my whole heart because I never reserved any space for me. Thankfully, I’ve since learned better.
Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and been writing professionally since graduating in 2013. In addition to writing about love and relationships for Bolde and lifestyle topics for Love to Know, she also writes about payment security and small business solutions for PaymentCloud.

Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. Kelsey enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

You can find more about Kelsey on her LinkedIn profile or on Twitter @dykstrakelsey.