I’m too fat to find a man.
I’m not smart enough.
I’m not pretty enough.
I do not come from a good family.
I’m too old.
These are just some of the self-defeating messages that run through our minds when we date. I’ve heard them over and over again from my patients for the last twenty-nine years.
Why is that? It’s because the inherent judgment of dating brings up our insecurities. Don’t beat yourself up about this—it’s normal.
I want to show you another way…a new tape to play in your head that will feel better and get you closer to a healthy relationship.
I am lovable just the way I am.
Those eight words will transform you. Even though we’ve never met, I can tell you that you do deserve to be loved.
Do you have flaws? Sure. We all do. We are working on those. But you are lovable right now. The more you start to believe that, the closer you will get to happiness and finding the man for you.
I bet you are thinking, Dr. Edelman, that’s a lot easier said than done. I know, but it is possible. Below are three steps to feeling lovable. If you internalize them and consciously work on putting them into practice, over time they will change your life.
- Be nicer to yourself. If you don’t love yourself, it can be hard for others to love you. If you tell yourself you’re too fat, stupid, or lazy, you may find yourself with someone who agrees with you and treats you like the person you think you are.
However, if you practice being nice to yourself, it won’t be such a surprise when someone is nice to you. Look for the good in yourself. If you can’t find any, ask your friends for help. Then force yourself to replace the negative thoughts with the positive. This likely won’t be easy and sometimes you will slip up. Expect that and just keep trying. The more negative thoughts you replace with positive, the closer you will be to attracting someone who sees the good in you.
- Be nice to other people. When you’re nice to others, you help them feel better and you also feel better about yourself. We’re not talking about putting others’ needs ahead of your own when it hurts you. We’re simply talking about giving positive feedback, being a good listener and offering support when you can.
Studies show that helping people in these ways has a positive impact on you. It makes you feel good. And the more you feel good about what you are doing to help others, the better you can feel about yourself. That’s attractive.
- Be vulnerable. Join the rest of us in the land of imperfection. Self-disclosure of pain or imperfection can make you more approachable and lovable.
Why is that? It’s because perfection can be intimidating. When men feel intimidated, often their competitive guard goes up. But, if men see you as vulnerable, they are more likely to feel safe to open up and they are also more likely to feel protective and nurturing of you.
Do you want him to take care of your needs or compete with you?
I want to be clear—there is an art to being vulnerable. We’re not talking about letting it all hang out on the first date. If you’re missing your grandmother, mentioning that is being real and vulnerable.
If you go on and on about how hard it’s been for you, how depressed you are and that you have been crying so much that you couldn’t go to work all week, that is more like oversharing—at least early on in a relationship. You don’t want to push him away by overwhelming him with a lot of emotion. Talk to friends or family about your feelings instead.
If it’s hard for you to open up or be imperfect when you are dating, start small. You want to protect yourself from getting hurt, especially if this is new for you. Feeling safe is essential to feeling comfortable so take it slow.
You are lovable just the way you are. Be your own Brand of Sexy and get what you want.