“I love you.”
“You’re my best friend.”
“You look beautiful.”
“I’m so lucky to have you.”
It doesn’t matter how many compliments my boyfriend gives me, because they never change the way I think about myself.
He can kiss me. He can call me beautiful. He can swear his heart skips a beat every time he gets a glimpse of me. But nothing he says can convince me of my worth.
I have a hard time accepting how anyone could like me. If you ask me, I don’t feel like I am worth the effort.
Even though my boyfriend encourages me to follow my dreams and tells me how talented I am, I have trouble believing his words. No matter what he claims, I still have doubts about my abilities. I still wonder whether I am good enough. I still wonder whether I am ever going to accomplish what I’m setting out to do.
Even though he laughs at all my jokes and smiles when he looks at me and claims he enjoys spending time with me, there is still a part of my that wonders whether he is growing bored of me. Whether I am annoying him. Whether he wants a break from dealing with me. His reassurance will calm my fears, but only for a little while until I need to be reminded again.
Even though he tells me I’m the most beautiful woman he has ever seen in his life and he wouldn’t want to change a thing about me, I still think about plastic surgery and dying my hair and updating my wardrobe on a daily basis. I always try to come up with ways to look different because I don’t see the beauty in myself at all. The only thing I see are flaws.
I used to think a relationship would help me grow more confident in myself. I assumed finding a boyfriend would change everything. But I am still the same insecure girl I was when I was single.
I am slowly learning it is not my boyfriend’s job to convince me I am lovable. Just like no one can force an addict to change unless they want to change, no man can convince me to love myself unless I make the conscious decision to stop being so hard on myself. Stop criticizing every flaw. Stop deleting pictures of myself. Stop comparing myself to every other person I spot.
Unfortunately, a relationship is not the answer to self-love. I will never be able to see myself the way my boyfriend sees me. I can only see through my own vision, which is why I need to readjust it. I need to change my mindset.
The next time my boyfriend compliments me, I have to avoid the urge to shake my head. The next time he calls me pretty, I have to resist the temptation to correct him. I have to accept his love. And then maybe I will be able to accept love from myself someday too.