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Is it impossible to find real love when you have low self esteem?

(18 Posts)
Patheticfallacy Sat 23-Jul-16 11:22:12

Just pondering. I'm 36 and have had an unhappy marriage, two short relationships where I was dumped and a relationship now which is going wrong and I don't know if we will survive. I suffer from anxiety, depression and low self esteem. I think deep down I don't think I deserve love and my life so far seems to prove that to me. People always say that you have to be happy alone before you have a happy relationship. So if you never achieve that, does it mean you can never have a relationship?
I'm on ads. I have had cbt. I have had counselling. I've tried, I've really tried. But I'm not sure I'll ever really get there.

harderandharder2breathe Sat 23-Jul-16 12:00:29

No it's not

I had reconciled myself to never falling in love or having sex again or anything

Then I met the most amazing person and it's less than a year but I'm so happy and in love... Don't know if it'll last forever but if you told me a year ago I'd be in this relationship I would not have believed it

Patheticfallacy Sat 23-Jul-16 12:04:28

Thank you for your story. I hate it when people say 'you must be happy in yourself to find love' because when you have chronic depression and anxiety it basically means you will never have love.

SandyY2K Sat 23-Jul-16 12:22:51

I think it's difficult to find love if you have low self esteem, especially if it comes across that way. Some people are good at hiding it, but if your outward persona is low self esteem, sadness and thinking you don't deserve a good relationship, then you won't get one.

Now I don't see that entirely the same as 'being happy in yourself'. I've never ever been 100% happy in myself, mainly due to needing/wanting to loose weight here and there, but I wouldn't ever describe myself as low self esteem or depressive.

Not everyone is beaming and full of confidence, but you should have some aspects of yourself or your life that you are happy about, otherwise it's all doom and gloom which isn't an attractive quality in a partner.

One of my brothers GFs had low self esteem. She would say she's so lucky to have him and he was her prince. Her low self esteem was so evident, that another girl who fancied my brother had the guts to try and muscle in right under her nose, because her lack of confidence almost made her invisible.

When a man catches on to ones low self esteem, he can easily capitalise and take advantage of it. You may be lucky, but generally if you don't like much about yourself and are unhappy with yourself, why would you expect anyone else to think different?

Patheticfallacy Sat 23-Jul-16 12:38:00

I don't think I'd describe myself as depressive. I have depression. I don't think I come across as miserable most of the time, though today is different as I'm struggling with relationship problems and wondering why I always end up in this position.

RedMapleLeaf Sat 23-Jul-16 12:49:58

I think deep down I don't think I deserve love and my life so far seems to prove that to me.

This is the problem I think.

Patheticfallacy Sat 23-Jul-16 13:05:38

I don't know how to get past it. I am in a relationship at the moment but he's in a terrible state with his own issues.

HumpMeBogart Sat 23-Jul-16 15:28:45

I'm sorry I don't have much constructive to say, except that I wanted to let you know you're not alone. I feel like this too - also have anxiety, depression and low self-esteem and my relationship history is unhealthy and unhappy.

I'm interested to see what others have to say!

thestamp Sat 23-Jul-16 15:34:20

I'm sorry your feeling sad op. I will say that you might need to refrain your thinking a bit.... relationships are, generally, temporary in nature. When they end, it's not a failure, it's usually a case of "this isn't making me happy anymore" or "we are after different things". It's not a reflection on the partners who have split.

It's possible to have depression and also have fulfilling relationships. But it's important to decouple the idea that a relationship should last forever with the idea of being fulfilled...

thestamp Sat 23-Jul-16 15:38:18

"Real love" can be found by most people. But love that lasts to the end of one's life is relatively rare. Relationships change and usually end at some stage. Human nature really.

Personally I would be bored out of my mind if I had to spend 50 years with one person anyway... but for many women, we've been told our whole lIves that if a man doesn't love us for life, we are worthless... when you have depression I think you've got to work even harder to challenge all that type of thinking. That's the hard part. Not the finding love part, ime.

Sn0tnose Sat 23-Jul-16 16:36:41

It's definitely not impossible to find it, but unless you sort yourself out first, it's bloody hard work trying to work out whether it is true love, or whether it's actually a pretty shit relationship and you just don't realise it because you think certain types of behaviour are normal or because you think you're lucky to have someone who doesn't hit you, even though he's a liar/cheat/drunk/gambling addict etc.

eyebrowsonfleek Sat 23-Jul-16 16:42:42

I'm in a similar position so I worry about attracting a wrong 'un who can spot that I'm vulnerable and therefore avoid romantic relationships.
I don't think it's impossible to find love but it's hard to find one where you don't end up having to be dependent on the other person.

fallingsnow Sat 23-Jul-16 16:43:34

interesting way of looking at things the stamp

Saltfish Sat 23-Jul-16 17:31:13

I'd be very concerned if your happiness only came from someone else. Putting someone on a pedestal isn't healthy at all.

LesisMiserable Mon 25-Jul-16 18:34:08

If you have depression yourself you surely understand how your DP feels? (referring to your other thread here)

Patheticfallacy Mon 25-Jul-16 19:10:10

I do, but the problem is that we deal with depression in totally opposite ways. I want people around me and to talk and he wants to withdraw. I'm respecting that at the moment. Last saw him before he went to work on Friday morning and I'm letting him contact me next.

daisychain01 Wed 27-Jul-16 04:51:39

It is possible to find love when you have low self esteem, but personally I believe most people aren't 100% self confident 100% of the time. I've wavered from strong self confidence through complete lack of it, throughout my life and I don't see myself as uncommon in that. But adding depression and anxiety into the equation does test even the strongest relationship.

Although it may feel frustrating to hear the adage "being happy yourself before being happy with others" perhaps it's more accurate to say it helps at least to start liking yourself, because self respect can engender respect in others.

All this is said in general terms, each person is different and I haven't lived in your shoes, fallacy. Sorry you are having a tough time of it. Sometimes living through adversity together can make the relationship stronger, esp if you come out the other side and get through those experiences together.

maggiethemagpie Thu 28-Jul-16 21:20:55

When I had low self esteem I couldn't find love. It was only after working on myself that I did find love. Just my experience, but I would tend to agree with the statement in the title.

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