We are constantly inundated with inspirational pins and crap on Facebook about not measuring our worth by our relationship status and how we have to learn to love ourselves before we can give love away. I get it and I mostly agree with it. But here’s the deal — when you’ve hated yourself for years, sometimes it takes a special someone to help you learn to love yourself. I should know.

The right guy takes you out of your comfort zone. 

Getting out of your comfort zone is how you grow. If you suffer from low self-esteem, letting a guy who’s interested in you into your life can be terrifying. When I first started dating my now fiance, I actively tried to avoid any sign of a serious relationship. I didn’t want to stay overnight after sex. I freaked out when he called me “love.” It was the scariest thing I have ever done… and I’m so glad I did.

The right guy knows you’re beautiful. 

When I met my guy, I hated the way I looked without makeup. I don’t think my guy even noticed the first time I didn’t wear makeup. There was no “you look so beautiful even without makeup.” There was just the same compliments he had been giving me for months.

The right guy loves your body, even when you don’t. 

We’re constantly criticizing our bodies. We’re too fat, too skinny. Our boobs are too small; our arms are too flabby. Guess what? Your guy wouldn’t be sleeping with you if you didn’t love your body. When you’ve been called fat by multiple people in your life and you meet a guy who consistently gets off by your naked body, it’s a huge self-esteem boost.

The right guy sees you how you should see yourself. 

I’ve been beaten down by verbal words my whole life. By the time I met my man, I was pretty sure my mother was the only person who would ever love me. And that’s pretty much a requirement. And somehow or other, this guy fell in love with me. I thought for months it wouldn’t last because I’m crazy and ugly and emotional. And he just kept on loving me. That sort of love rubs off.

The right guy wants you to love yourself. 

There are men out there who want to keep us down. They want us to need their approval. The right guy says you don’t need his approval. He wants you to approve of yourself. He wants you to do the things that matter to you, not to him.

The right guy teaches you to love yourself, even when he’s gone. 

I’m sure as hell not letting go of my guy but I know that if something happened, and we couldn’t be together, I would still love myself. I am confident even when he’s not around me. I love the way I look when I see my reflection. I have changed for the better because of the right guy. I just needed someone to lift me up to get to where I am.

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