A few months ago I broke up with my alcoholic (now) ex-boyfriend. One of the really challenging things about loving an alcoholic is feeling like you can stop them from drinking. It feels like they have a choice: you or alcohol. To me, the breakup was my ex picking alcohol over me. If only I had been better somehow, maybe he would have picked me instead.
I’ve taken a break from dating for awhile and have been feeling a bit lonely recently. I was analyzing some data for work and had this thought that there must be something wrong with me for being single. If I was really that great, someone would have figured it out and asked me out by now. I’ve been working on recognizing these negative patterns of self-talk. So this time, instead of feeling bad, I took a critical look at it.
As much as these thoughts about alcoholism and being single seem logical, they’re not. Both of them are based on this assumption that your only worth as a person is based on what others think of you. Which is completely, and utterly false.
Sometimes, it feels like it. Especially if you really want a romantic partner (or more friends). It feels like there is something wrong with you, and that’s ridiculous.
You are more than what others think of you.
It can be really hard to remember that sometimes. But that’s why I chose to take a break from dating. Because as much as I want a significant other and eventually a spouse, I want to have a loving, healthy relationship. And in order to do that, I need to value myself. I need to be okay with being myself and to remember that it doesn’t matter what other people think of the things I like to do or the people I want to associate with. At the end of the day, if you are unhappy with yourself, no amount of love from others is going to make you happy. Even worse, a lack of self-love can often lead you to unhealthy relationships and make you feel even worse about yourself.
So what can you do about it? Appreciate yourself. Take time for yourself. If you are in a relationship, make sure that you are giving yourself some alone time and standing up for yourself. It’s good to have friends and romantic partners, but you are more than that. You are more than what others think of you.