As though dating isn’t enough of a jungle, it can become even more complicated by personality traits, disorders, or tendencies. One of which is poor self-image. Having a poor self-image has got its downsides on its own. A negative self-image can hold you back, make you feel inferior, and cause you to view the world through a defensive lens. Wondering how your self-image holds up? Take the quiz.
Now, dating with a poor self-image presents all of these challenges and more. Here’s how it can impact intimate relationships.
It Puts a Strain on Trust
One key reason attempting to date with low self-esteem or poor image is an issue is because it makes mutual trust a challenge. The person struggling with their self-image may project feelings of inferiority and approach all things from a defensive state.
This causes an issue for trust as they often find themselves skeptical of the others’ feelings for them or actions toward them. They may feel unworthy of love and distrusting of it. This may also make the person difficult to trust for their inability to give it freely without suspicion.
Love from Others Can Never Replace Self-Love
Someone who suffers from low self-image may have trouble truly connecting with others. They may find themselves avoidant of sincere, vulnerable emotions. They may also find themselves engaging in relationship dynamics they may not otherwise accept.
It’s common for those with poor self-image to seek validation from others. But the truth is that no love from others can replace the love that is necessary for us to give ourselves.
Signs of Poor Image in a Relationship
A poor image can be a sneaky culprit of turmoil in relationships, often appearing as another issue or being dismissed as something else. While it can affect all people and relationships differently, here are some common signs that poor image is the source of trouble in a relationship:
- One partner does not put forth effort for their own needs
- One partner carries another partner emotionally and is expected to uphold their partner’s self-esteem
- There are uncalled-for jealousy and insecurity
- One or both partners struggle to be themselves
- There is hostility or excessive sensitivity
A relationship where one or more people experience difficulty with their self-esteem can be considered “toxic.” Toxicity within a relationship can be tricky to sort through. Sometimes negative self-image infiltrates the dynamic, and other times it’s fed by the dynamic. Those who struggle with self-image might find themselves prone to abusive relationships that make their esteem suffer more.
Curious about whether or not your relationship could be toxic? Take the quiz.
Ways to Overcome Poor Self-Image
Experiencing poor self-image can happen to anyone, and just because a person experiences it doesn’t mean that they are limited to feeling that way forever. Overcoming self-image issues is not simple, but here are some tactics to help:
- Observe how you respond to surroundings and why
- Become aware of limiting beliefs
- Play up strengths
Self-image is only one facet of who we are, and we have the power to influence how it affects us. It’s all a matter of attention, intention, and intervention.
A Note from GR8NESS
If you feel as though you may be a part of a physically or emotionally abusive relationship, never hesitate to speak to a mental health professional, as well as law-enforcement assistance. You’re never alone.