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On Conquering Those Pesky Dating Insecurities [Dear DBN]

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Ever heard the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”?  Double negatives aside, the idea behind it stands true.  In any relationship, you are Mama, and if you are unhappy, you are unable of making other people happy.  This week, we forget about our partners and suitors to focus our attention on the foundations of every relationship: ourselves.

I realized recently that I feel unworthy of the kind of man and relationship I want. Looking at it written out I KNOW it’s ridiculous. Everyone is worthy of the love they want. I firmly believe that if you are patient, stay open and don’t settle, the right kind of love will find you. I know I’m a great friend. I know I send a lot of positivity into the world. I know I’m talented. I am worthwhile. So what’s the deal? Is this a common thing? Any advice on how to fix this broken thought pattern?

You’re already way ahead of the game recognizing this issue.  Many people never reach this stage of acknowledgment. What’s making you feel unworthy is the fact that you keep believing and believing, but you have yet to see any returns.  It’s like starting a new business – you believe in your idea, you know it will change the world, so why aren’t people buying it?  What’s the deal, Universe?

Feeling unworthy is a subconscious back-up plan.  If you convince yourself you’re not worthy of it, then it makes more sense that you don’t have it.  When you see your ideal man, and you feel unworthy, just remember he’s got feelings of inadequacy, too.  Those feelings can protect us and they can also be a huge detriment.  Your brain is just doing it’s best to buffer your heart from possible sadness.  Very normal, very common.  All you need to do is keep preaching your mantra to yourself.  “I am open, I am patient, and the right love will find me because I am worthy.”  That which you believe becomes your reality and your only enemy is self-doubt.  Fight it like a sickness with vitamins of esteem and workouts of gratitude.  

How does one deal with those bouts of relationship insecurity? Sometimes I feel like I’m not pretty/smart/interesting enough for my boyfriend and that he would feel more stimulated or happy with someone else. How do you fight down these self-inflicted anxieties? Do you ever even have them (or am I just strange)?

Girl, everyone has them.  Even my friends in very stable and happy relationships occasionally call up and say, “I’m just being crazy, right?”  You are putting all your trust in someone in a relationship – if you never had a moment of doubt, you’d be one foolhardy son-of-a-gun.  But insecurities in a relationship usually stem from insecurities of yourself.  If you weren’t pretty/smart/interesting enough, he wouldn’t be dating you.  Haven’t you read how many questions there are about guys who want something casual?  Guys who avoid labels?  Guys who back-burner people?  Girl, he’s your boyfriend.

What you need to do is forget about your relationship blues for a second and figure out how to stop yourself from feeling so inadequate.  Take a class.  Train for a half-marathon.  Teach yourself Photoshop and start designing posters for friends.  Anything!  The more you focus on your relationship anxieties and not living up to your man, the more it’s going to reflect on the relationship itself.  You need to do something that boosts your self-esteem and confidence.  What you’re feeling is totally normal, but that’s no reason not to tackle it head on.  Look, he’s already your boyfriend.  Stop worrying about what he might think and start paying attention to what you think.  Make yourself into the interesting person you want to be.

CollegeCandy is excited to announce that we’ve partnered up with one of our favorite Tumblrs, DateByNumbers, to bring you some of her very best advice. Each week she’ll tackle your questions. Life, love, sex, the real world…nothing will be off limits. To submit a question of your own, visit her “Ask” page and keep an eye on CollegeCandy every Thursday afternoon!

COLLEGECANDY Writer
I've written for Teen Vogue, Thought Catalog, Leveled Magazine, College Candy, How About We, and have been featured on several HuffPost Live segments. Creator and leader of Bold Moves October featured on xoJane and Neil Gaiman's blog. Both Neil and Jane appreciate boldness. I specialize in pep talks, very long bike rides, and matching my lipstick to my heels.