What Relationships Are Like For Women Who Aren’t Sure They Deserve Love

I’ve been there, so I know it’s really hard to be in a relationship if you always feel like you’re not worthy of real, exciting, amazing, and lasting love. If that sounds like you, you’re probably no stranger to these occurrences in a relationship.

  1. You feel like you fall short. You compare yourself to your partner, who’s brilliant, smart, attractive, and funny, and you always feel like you’re not as good as them. You have them on a pedestal. It’s totally BS, of course, but not loving yourself means you’re not seeing what makes you an amazing person to be with.
  2. You worry they’re under a spell. And you know what happens to spells—eventually, they break. You feel like sooner or later, the other shoe will drop and your partner will reveal that they don’t love you and never really did. It makes it hard to be happy and enjoy a relationship when this fear is always floating at the back of your mind.
  3. You don’t think the real thing will happen for you. You might think that you’ll never get the person who checks all your boxes and you’ll never be in a completely satisfying relationship, and this thinking can cause you problems for sure.
  4. You end up settling. One of the biggest and most dangerous problems that can be caused by negative thoughts about your self-worth is that you’ll end up putting up with someone instead of really loving them. That’s no way to live. As the popular saying goes, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” It’s all about what you’re feeling about yourself that makes you choose to settle or not. You’ll only find genuine love when you change that thinking.
  5. You turn a blind eye. Another thing that can happen in your relationships is that you ignore your partner’s flaws because you figure you can’t do any better than them. So, you might say, “Well, they’re OK” or “At least he’s not abusive/an addict/cheat” because you feel like someone who’s the full package is out of your league.
  6. You feel down during happy milestones. If you don’t value what you bring to the relationship, it can make you miss out on the happiness in your relationship, like the milestones you and your partner reach. When they ask you to move in with them or to marry them, you might feel down because you just don’t feel like you should be allowed to have something valuable in your life.
  7. You sabotage yourself. If this negative way of thinking gets out of hand, it can result in you sabotaging your relationships. For example, you might end things with your partner before they have a chance to leave you as a way to protect yourself. But you’re not protecting yourself at all by pushing good people away—you’re only hurting yourself.
  8. Your relationships are always toxic. When you lack self-worth and settle for less than you deserve, you end up in relationships with people who hurt you. Like attracts like and they’re running low on self-worth too. You might even battle to get out of the toxic situations because you think you don’t deserve love from a good person who adds value to your life. In fact, that might feel like a foreign concept, a fairytale that only happens to other people.
  9. You dream about the perfect relationship. You might find yourself daydreaming about a happy, satisfying relationship. Maybe this happens when you watch rom-coms or see happy couples out in public. The sad thing is that you don’t think you can actually have a wonderful relationship in reality. You don’t think that it can happen for you, so you don’t even try to find it. In this way, you’re missing out on opportunities.
  10. You fake it. You’ve met someone and you really like them, but you’re afraid they won’t like the real you, so you decide to be something you’re not to keep them interested. While this can be a way to get someone’s approval, it can also be a sign that you’re trying to protect your real self from the rejection that you fear. The problem is that this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: you end up rejected anyway.
  11. You try to do it solo. It’s great to be an independent person and maintain this independence when you enter a relationship, but that doesn’t mean you should still be flying solo. For example, when you need help, do you reach out to the person you’re dating? If you feel you don’t deserve love, you might feel guilty when someone offers their help. But you should remember that you don’t need to be alone.
  12. You freak out when you fail. The thing about having low self-worth is that you’re your own worst critic. When you upset your partner without realizing it, you beat yourself up as though you’re the worst person in the world. Obviously that’s not going to do you any favors. It also makes you battle to back yourself.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.