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How do I stop needing validation from men now that I am single?

(17 Posts)
angieneri Fri 13-Jan-17 15:26:39

I've been in consecutive LTR since I was 20 (about 8 years), without more than a three month break in between.

My most recent breakup happened 4 months ago. I left because I realized I had fallen out of love. With hindsight, I should have left years ago, as I had not been in love for a long time. I think I was secretely afraid to be on my own.

Now that I am single, I think I am quite good at being indipendent and dealing with daily stuff as a single woman. The biggest trouble I've had so far with the whole thing is feeling the need for male attention. This is a new, embarrassing feeling for me, as I never felt this way before. I absolutely hate it.

The need for approval and "you're pretty!" from men is overwhelming, and I'm so easily crushed when I don't get it. I'm trying not to hate on myself too hard for it, but it really feels pathetic.

How do I not feel like that? How do I stop needing validation from men?

Adora10 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:36:08

Do you like yourself OP?

loulou1626 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:36:47

How about doing little things for yourself that make you feel good, feel pretty? Some new make up, new outfit, maybe a change to your hair or something that would maybe boost your confidence a bit? It's important for you to feel good about yourself before anyone else so I think doing little things got yourself to make you take a look and go 'yeah, i look good!' will do wonders for you. Remember though, you've been with someone for a long time until recently so it's a big change, go easy on yourself flowers

Vagabond Fri 13-Jan-17 15:38:33

You're used to being with men who give you compliments. The absence of which..... leaves a hole.

Crushing stuff. You just need to find your own mojo. Can you help find mine while you're there?

Bluntness100 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:40:20

Sounds like a lack of self esteem to me, you need reassurance that you're attractive to the opposite sex as you're now single.

I'd focus on improving my self esteem issues.

angieneri Fri 13-Jan-17 15:42:27

Adora I think I like myself. I know I am a smart and attractive woman with a lot of qualities.

It is almost like after many years in "quiet and stable" LTRs, now feeling sexually desired has become a drug. It gives me a rush of adrenaline. And when I don't feel desired I get crushed (I know how incredibly pathetic this sounds btw).

InfoFreako Fri 13-Jan-17 15:48:16

Wanting to feeling attractive to the opposite sex is natural but don't let it be the be all and end all. People can smell 'desperation' a mile off.

Have you asked yourself why you need this validation? Try to understand why and address the issue.

Just be yourself!


Adora10 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:50:37

No it doesn't sound pathetic OP, I get it, you are used to having compliments, maybe just give it time as you adjust to being single, if you are happy with yourself then I don't think it's your self esteem, as I said, probably just cos you've always had it.

ocelot7 Fri 13-Jan-17 16:21:36

Do you not get a sense of purpose or achievement from anything else apart from men? eg a job well done, skill gained, volunteering, helping someone. You really need to spend some time on your own to gain a sense of yourself as an independent person.

There is so much more to life! I'm finding this a bit hard to grasp...

NoncommittalToSparkleMotion Fri 13-Jan-17 16:28:08

I totally get it and felt that way before.

I think the best thing that helped me get over it, for me anyway, was remembering that, while it's nice be found attractive, it doesn't actually do anything.

Like "that man thinks I'm pretty...and it pays my bills!" Or "he thinks I'm hot...and it bought me a new car!" Or "men find me attractive... And now I can go anywhere in the world."

It's just a nice bonus. Being happy with your life and yourself has more worth.

Good luck OP.

angieneri Fri 13-Jan-17 16:29:56

Ocelot I get a lot of validation from other things, I have a great job that I am good at, lots of friends, hobbies and so on.

But the kind of rush I get from male attention feels different. Maybe it is just because I haven't had thay type of rush for many years.

Both my LTR were quiet and stable, and the chemistry wasn't the best to be honest. Especially with my last bf things in bed got pretty bad during the last couple of years.

Maybe that plays a role in the way I feel? I have yet to sleep with/ go on dates with anyone since my last breakup if that had any relevance.

LesisMiserable Fri 13-Jan-17 18:20:39

There's literally nothing wrong with enjoying attention and everyone needs to hear compliments. Unless its bothering you,I don't think you need to feel bad.

QuarterMileAtATime Fri 13-Jan-17 18:51:00

I felt like this after my marriage ended last year. I hadn't been single since I was 21 and the freedom to acknowledge male attention and curiosity about whether men found me attractive took up a surprising amount of headspace. Then I went on a few dates, had a six-week fling with a lot of sex (which made me realise I hadn't gone off sex, thank goodness - just sex with my exh), and when that ended I felt different. I'll probably date again later in the year, but I seem to have got it out of my system for now, so I can focus on being happy in all other areas of my life first before romance/relationships.
I think you're right - you're craving the chemistry that was lacking in your relationships. It's a tricky transition - be kind to yourself flowers

angieneri Sat 14-Jan-17 11:02:44

Quarter thank you very much for your kind words. I think you got exactly how I feel. I don't think it is necessarely a matter of self-esteem, it is more like a powerful and (hopefully) temporarely addiction to feeling attractive and desired.

Trills Sat 14-Jan-17 11:43:51

the freedom to acknowledge male attention and curiosity about whether men found me attractive took up a surprising amount of headspace

Another thing that I found took a lot of headspace was assessing every man I encountered and thinking "do I find them attractive?"

It calms down after a bit.

angieneri Sat 14-Jan-17 11:59:59

"Another thing that I found took a lot of headspace was assessing every man I encountered and thinking "do I find them attractive?"

It calms down after a bit."

YES to this Trills. I am so guilty of it. Even just the idea of sleeping with a man who is not my ex-bf fills me with a mix of excitement, fear and trepidation.

Forme2016 Sat 14-Jan-17 12:41:21

Thank you for this thread angie - you've put into words how I have been feeling since my very LTR ended last year.

Quarter you summed it up perfectly. I think I am coming out the other side but have felt and acted exactly as you have described. A tricky transition it is indeed, I will keep reminding myself of that

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