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“I have nothing to offer in a relationship.” — Why you’re 100% wrong

Are you tired of feeling like you don’t bring much to the table in your relationships? 

If your self-esteem is at an all-time low, we’ve got some great tips on how to rebuild it and create fulfilling relationships. But first, let’s check out some of the reasons why you feel this way: 

1) You’ve been rejected too many times

When you’ve been hurt far too many times to count, it’s not difficult to think that the reason for all your failed relationships is because there’s something wrong with you.

It’s easy to think that you’re not good enough.

So every time there’s a chance at a romantic relationship, your guard goes up. You’ve developed this belief system in your head that you will never fulfill any man and they’ll eventually leave you.

Well, I can say, for sure, that’s total BS.

Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter if your relationship ended in a month or in a year. The point is that there were men who found you interesting and pursued you.

Maybe the relationships had run their natural course. Yes, it could be you, but it could also be about him, too.

There are men out there who are interested.  You just have to figure out who’s worth pursuing.

Here’s a piece of advice:

Instead of telling yourself, “There’s something wrong with me” tell yourself, “I haven’t found the perfect person for me that makes me happy.”

You may be frustrated to keep dating, but you can change your perspective on it.

Instead of looking for Mr. Right, explore the possibility of Mr. Right Now.

If your mind is set on something long-term right away during the initial stages of dating, you might end up having more losses than wins. Remember, everyone has their own pace.

Who knows? That “now” part might slowly fade away.

In the meantime, make a list of what you’re looking for in a man. When you know, find out where they hang out.

Not everyone will be at single bars.  They could be at the gym, dog park, or even museums. They could also be online — on social media and dating sites like Tinder.

Dating should be fun. There’s no rush to get serious right away.

2) You seek validation from other people

Opinions matter. They do.  But if you allow someone else to validate you for almost everything you say or do, you give them the power to control you.

So, for example, you’re dating someone who starts out to be very accepting and understanding of you (or so it seems), then suddenly doesn’t give you the validation you need. What happens next?

You become lost and insecure and unsure of yourself. All of a sudden, you feel rejected.

You’ve placed so much of yourself in someone else’s hands that, when you don’t get what you need, you become emotionally beaten down.

It becomes a vicious cycle of validation and insecurity, and it will come to the point where you’ve already lost your sense of self.

Here’s a piece of advice:

If you don’t believe your feelings are real and valid, nothing others say will really make a difference. You lose your own voice when you hinge on someone else’s validation. And when they don’t understand you, there will be this void in your life that’s left unfilled.

You don’t need anyone to tell you that you are special. Stop caring what other people think.

When you start to love and respect yourself, validation from other people won’t matter anymore.

It may take some time, but you can start with affirmation exercises such as positive self-talk.

Begin with conditioning your mind that there is no shame in what you think and how you feel, good or bad. Everyone is entitled to them.

3) You had a traumatic experience

Traumatic experiences such as physical or emotional abuse affect people more than we will ever know. These aren’t limited to physical or emotional abuse. Trauma can be in the form of being with someone who cheated on your or being in a controlling relationship.

Some people can’t help but think that these events happened because it’s their fault.

When that happens, they build this self-image that they’re not worth loving at all.

What’s tricky here is that they can carry this on for the rest of their lives.

Here’s a piece of advice:

If trauma is the only thing that’s holding you back from great romantic relationships, you need to dissolve it.

Seek professional help, or talk to a trusted friend or family member. There is no shame in talking about it if it will get you on the right track.

You don’t need to reframe things to be more positive. Allow someone to empathize in your current state. Allow your vulnerable self to heal and feel safe again.

There are so many people who end up depressed and suicidal because they didn’t get to properly process these experiences.

You need to channel this through professional experts who deal with this kind of trauma every day. They can help you to stop playing the victim in your narrative.

While you need to forgive others, you also need to forgive yourself.

It may take time to process this, but when you have started the healing process, you’re on the road to getting better. Know that you are resilient and you can get past this.

You just have to want it first.

4) You have attachment issues

Attachment issues are defense mechanisms usually established from childhood, which carry over to your adulthood. One particular style is what psychologists call avoidant attachment.

People who have an avoidant attachment style were known to have unfulfilled needs when they were young. They grow up to be independent and controlling, thinking that they can only rely on themselves.

According to a study, highly avoidant people aren’t always inhibited and unaccommodating in their romantic relationships. This behavior is triggered when they feel the pressure to become emotionally involved and intimate.

Here’s a piece of advice:

No matter what you think, every human being needs connection.

Don’t allow your childhood issues to affect your future. You may have hang-ups and baggage you lug around from your past, but don’t let that stop you from actively pursuing someone romantically.

It’s not going to be easy, but it’s a process you need to undergo.

Remember, you can have a great relationship with yourself while you’re with someone else. Being interdependent doesn’t devalue your independence. You can be with someone without losing your identity.

It’s like getting the best of both worlds.

5) You think differently

Can you imagine a world where everyone thought about and agreed on the same things?

Life would be so boring.

Sure, you’re not on the same wavelength as most people. Sometimes you feel mentally challenged because you don’t seem to pick up stuff that other people normally do. I get it.

You have a different perspective on things, and when other people don’t subscribe to your opinions, you feel that everyone will think the same.

In effect, you’ll end up questioning the value you bring to relationships.

But isn’t that the beauty of your mind?

You see things differently, and that in itself is what makes you beautiful. It’s what sets you apart from the rest of the pack.

Here’s a piece of advice:

Try to recall those awkward moments when you felt people didn’t understand you. Then think how you could’ve taken the conversation in another direction.

Having a different perspective on things isn’t bad.  In fact, a lot of men find that mentally stimulating.  It’s a matter of how you navigate through the conversation to make sure all sides are heard, and you’re not imposing your opinion on anyone.

However, the moment men disrespect you and shut you down, drop them and look elsewhere. That shouldn’t be even about you — that’s all on them.

What can you offer?

We’re all hard-wired to long for human touch and meaningful relationships.

Yes, romantic relationships have sex and love attached to them. But before going into any of that, why not focus on getting to know each other and build that friendship?

It’s a solid foundation of any romantic relationship.

What do you look for in a friend? At what point do you consider someone a friend? How do you know if your friendship is real?

I don’t mean to say that you place a man in the friendship zone. You have to be clear of your intentions to take it slow and to get to know each other first.

Time always reveals a person’s character. And when you start with a good foundation in mind, there is no pressure from both ends.

You protect yourself from being hurt and prepare yourself for the next chapter of the relationship.

Before you invest, investigate.

If in case that doesn’t work out, you’ll know that it was more of a personality mismatch than anything else. It won’t feel too much of a loss to you.

Be a friend. You can start with bringing these to the table:

How to bring more to the table in your relationships

6) Be a good listener

Men want to feel they are appreciated. And when you’re all ears, you make them feel they can be heard and understood.

Let him open up and speak his mind. Tune in and try to understand what he’s saying. You may not always agree with his ideas and opinions, but you get much more from listening than being a big talker.

You learn patience and perspective. You also discover what makes him tick.

By actively listening, you get to listen more to yourself, too. It’s a path to self-discovery of what will work for you in relationships and what won’t.

7) Give him the brutal truth.

Nowadays, you wouldn’t believe how many “yes” people are around you, agreeing to everything you say.

When a man shares his ambitions and dreams, the last thing he needs is someone who agrees with him all the time. He needs someone real.

Someone who can tell the truth to his face and at the same time have his back when other people try to bring him down.

When a man feels he can count on you to cheer him on and at the same time keep his feet on the ground, it builds trust in your relationship.

Remember to be tactful while laying down the ugly truth. Also, don’t forget to be encouraging.

Telling the truth should never be about putting the other person down. Truth should be uplifting and should make things better.

8) Show him respect

Respect is essential to any relationship. To gain it, you must give it.

When you show a man you respect him, you create this positive environment where you can nourish the relationship.

He will feel comfortable being around you.

In reality, you may not be in agreement with his way of doing things, but with respect, you show regard for his abilities and qualities.

You acknowledge his boundaries, consider his feelings and opinions, and listen to what he has to say.

9) Make great conversations

There are so many things to talk about with a man you just started seeing. While you can discuss a wide array of topics such as current events, entertainment, and politics, the more important conversations are those that will gain new insight about each other.

Be curious, ask questions, and show genuine interest.

It’s a great approach to build that connection, even if you already know what he’s talking about.

That’s the beauty of conversations. You build on subjects, share your own stories, digress, then go back.

By picking each others’ brains, you slowly open up, lower your guard, and eventually build that trust between each other.

10) You show up

Establishing a connection is easier than building a friendship with a man. Creating memories together takes time.

It’s not enough to exchange text messages on mobile and comments on social media.

When you’re invited for coffee, lunch, or dinner, if you’re available, go for it!

Life can get very busy and the schedule you see on your calendar can be overwhelming. But, hey, he’s making time for you.

You may not realize it, but agreeing to meet up isn’t just about the actual time you spend together, but the commitment that you’ll show up.

When you make space for him in your life, you make a man feel respected and important. And showing up when you said you will mean you value his time as much as you do yours.

You are worth it

Some very hard questions for you to answer:

Do you love yourself? Are you happy with who you are right now? When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see?

If you struggle to find the answers to these questions, that’s your very first task.

It’s normal for you to go through self-doubt. But you can’t just fake it until you make it. That’s exhausting. It will eat you up inside until you’ll implode.

Focus on what you can control — you.

Don’t stick to the negative of your narrative. Nothing is perfect. If you can change your perception and pay more attention to the good, that’s one more step towards being happy with yourself.

You will eventually exude this positive energy about yourself. And people will start to see it.

People will start to see you.

Believe in yourself. Because if you don’t, no one will.

It’s true that not all men are not going to want what you have to offer, but if you come from place of positivity and offer it with confidence, then you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

You may be rejected time and again and you may have self-doubts creeping in.

Remind yourself of your worth and you’ll end up embracing rejection than fearing it.

Don’t rush. A lot of people take their time when they start new relationships, so there’s no hurry for you to get into one.

Men may be wired differently, but they ultimately want the same things you want — to be with someone who loves them and who can take care of them.

There will be men who may not originally be what you would’ve imagined for yourself, but may turn out to be exactly what you need at that point in your life.

Build and nourish the friendship before anything else. Keep things light and positive. Spend time to get to know each other and enjoy the company.

Who knows what the future will hold?

If you keep things within the friend zone, that’s amazing! Nowadays, true friends are few and far in between.

If you end up taking your relationship to the next level, that’ll be more than what you bargained for.

It’s a win-win every time.

 

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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