How to Improve Self-Esteem in Dating: Keys for a Flourishing Date Life

Girl with high self-esteem in dating

Have you recently met someone you want to ask out on a date but find yourself tongue-tied every time they’re in front of you? Or are you perhaps struggling to sum up enough courage to say a simple hello?

It’s likely that you’re having a hard time approaching the person because you have low self-esteem, which would make you think poorly of yourself. This kind of perception affects the quality of your interactions and relationships with others.

You might also be scared of being humiliated and turned down by the person you’re interested in. This is normal and understandable. No one likes rejection, especially if it comes from a love interest.

So how should you handle this situation? If you’re looking for tips on how to build enough self-esteem to ask someone out, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out what you can do to raise your self-confidence, improve your dating life, and establish a healthy relationship.

What Is Self-Esteem?

The values of self-esteem, self-worth, and self-love stem from early childhood. When children are loved and securely attached to their caregivers, they become more confident. Conversely, if you grew up in a household where your parents didn’t give importance to self-worth and self-esteem, you might not have as much confidence as you should.

Having self-esteem is a socially acquired skill. It’s not something a person is born with. This means that anyone can improve their self-esteem and even become a master of it.

If it’s challenging for you to ask someone out, you may have had past experiences that caused you to gradually lose your self-esteem. Having confidence in yourself is essential in making any relationship work, most especially a romantic one. If you and your partner trust yourselves and each other, it’ll be easier for the two of you to build and maintain a harmonious connection.

What Causes Low Self-Esteem?

Negative Thinking

When you constantly berate and criticize yourself, you’ll have a hard time seeing your actual worth as a person. You might also lose the ability to appreciate every aspect of who you are, including your strengths and weaknesses.

Body Image Issues

Problems with self-image and absurd body standards for men and women are causing so many people to be highly conscious about their physical appearance. The pressure to be perfect that’s imposed on numerous individuals could make them lose their confidence in the long run.

Lack of Experience

You may think that you don’t have enough experience asking someone out. You might also assume that you won’t be able to keep a steady relationship.

This mindset affects not only those who’ve never had a romantic partner but also those who’ve just ended unhealthy relationships and are struggling to return to the dating scene. Your tendency to overthink your capability to ask someone out will only make you feel worse. It’ll discourage you from pursuing anyone as well.

Past Romantic Relationships and Breakups

Those who end up happy with their first partners are lucky enough not to experience heartaches like most people. This is because failed relationships are extremely common.

What’s worse is that some of them ended due to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. There are also individuals who tend to jump from one short-term relationship to another. Whatever your experiences may be, such situations can affect how you perceive yourself and interact with others. 

It’s rare that exes are on good terms after their breakup, which often leaves both individuals hurt. Though a peaceful separation is possible, it’s highly unlikely to happen. Arguments and fights happen before most breakups. Hurtful words may be spoken, and they could damage your self-esteem. You might become insecure, wondering if your next relationship will have the same fate.

Effects of Online Dating on Self-Esteem

Numerous adults now use dating apps to find the love of their life. While the idea sounds convenient, there are downsides to it, too.

In scrolling through profiles of different people, you get a glimpse of what they might be like but not exactly who they are. What’s more, people are easily discarded based on looks in dating apps. When you can’t find a date online because of how you look, this may lead to self-esteem issues. A dating coach reminds individuals to be mindful of their feelings when using dating apps.

Dating apps can make you question whether you’re good-looking enough or sexy enough to catch someone’s eye. You might begin to alter your look out of desperation to get a date. You have to watch out for this significant self-esteem red flag as it won’t do you any good.

What Happens if You Lack Self-Confidence?

You Struggle to Communicate

If you aren’t confident in yourself, it could be difficult for you to approach anyone. Striking a simple conversation might not be a walk in the park for you. You may be scared of being judged or criticized for your opinions or views, which further hinders you from expressing yourself well.

You Could Be Toxic and Selfish

Before entering into a relationship with another person, it’d help to deal with your insecurities first. Everyone is insecure about some aspects of themselves. Others can easily manage them, while some might not.

If you’re struggling to confront your insecurities, you could be stressed out in a relationship. You might find yourself facing them regularly and lashing out at your partner in frustration or anger. In the end, you’ll bring negativity into the relationship and make it toxic.

An insecure person may turn out to be selfish or possessive. They could tightly hold on to their partners, even up to the point that their partner feels imprisoned. They might think they’re not worthy of someone else’s love and fear that they’ll end up alone.

You Might Become Overly Sensitive

Without self-confidence, you’re more prone to being easily offended by jokes or comments about you. This is especially true if your partner likes to kid around or dish out pranks.

If you’re sensitive about such small matters, you may eventually have an unhealthy relationship in your hands. You and your partner could end up constantly fighting and hurting each other.

Confident Person vs. Person With Low Self-Esteem

Confident people are at an advantage. They present themselves properly to others. They build fruitful relationships and can easily socialize.

Dating someone confident will also bring you confidence. You’ll feel validated, accepted, and wanted by your partner.

However, if you’re dating someone with low self-esteem, your self-esteem might be affected, too. A person lacking confidence can influence you to think negatively about yourself. They might never compliment you, often criticize you, make fun of you, or insult or disrespect you.

Tips on How You Can Be a Confident Person

Here are some practical ways you can boost your self-esteem and, consequently, improve your romantic relationship:

Prioritize Self-Care

You have to love yourself before you can do the same to another person. How? Give yourself enough time and attention. You have to engage in healthy and meaningful activities that’ll enrich you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Meditate and exercise regularly, get enough rest, and find a hobby you can enjoy. Discover what makes you truly happy. If you’re happy and content, you can handle yourself better in a relationship.

Believe That You Are Enough

When the right person comes into your life, you no longer need to pretend to be somebody else. The right person will see you for who you truly are and love your strengths and weaknesses without judgment.

If you find this kind of love, you’ll realize that you’ve always been enough. You’ll see how wonderful you are despite your imperfections, so don’t try to change what doesn’t need to change.

Don’t let anyone dictate who and what you should be, either. Just search for your happiness and share this positive vibe with others.

Stop Comparing

When you compare yourself with others, chances are, you’ll feel bad about your life. Your insecurity may then cause your self-confidence to go down. The effect would be the same if you compare your relationship with that of other couples.

You might see other couples going on adventurous dates outdoors and envy them even though you and your partner are homebodies. If you force your partner to go on that kind of trip, you may just fight and blame each other if the whole thing doesn’t go well.

Comparing will only make you question and doubt your partner and your bond. Don’t focus on other couples; instead, figure out what makes your relationship unique and celebrate that every day.

Accepting Compliments

When you receive a compliment, welcome it. It doesn’t hurt to feel flattered and appreciated once in a while. Getting a compliment is a great confidence booster that’ll remind you how special and important you are.

Compliments can be a constant reminder that you’re a good person deserving of love. However, make sure that you use them to become a better person. Don’t wallow in them too much as you could turn out conceited.

Improve Your Mindset

How you perceive yourself ultimately impacts your confidence level. Instead of having a negative mindset, work on having a winning attitude. Find the motivation to continue even if life gets tough and rough.

A person with a positive mindset finds solutions to problems, allowing them to move through life with minimal effort. They also don’t back out or give up easily.

Celebrate Your Achievements

This is for achievements big or small. Being able to celebrate your wins will remind you that you’re capable of absolutely anything. Don’t waste your energy dwelling on past mistakes or your flaws. Instead, think about how much you’ve changed for the better and how far you’ve come.

If there are certain people you consider blessings in your life, don’t forget that there are also people who draw inspiration from you. Use this as your driving force to keep going and improving every single day.

Keep Smiling

People who wear a smile as often as possible have the tendency to be in good spirits. Many of them are not only happy but also confident. The best and easiest thing you can do for yourself every time you wake up is to put a smile on your face. This’ll help you face the day head-on.

Maintain Good Posture

All you need to do is maintain good posture for an instant confidence boost. Avoid slouching because this could signal to others that you’re uninterested or unsure of yourself.

Observe Proper Hygiene

Nothing says confidence like a clean and hygienic appearance. Make sure to shower regularly and wear a fresh set of clothes on the daily. Also, visit your dentist regularly to keep your oral health in check. When you look and feel good, you attract more people to yourself.

How to Improve Your Low Self-Esteem While Dating

At this point, you already have an idea of how you can improve your self-confidence. Now, it’s time to work on your self-esteem while dating.

When you know your value as a person, you don’t need someone else’s approval. It’s true that being aware of your worth won’t shield you from heartbreaks or rejections, but it could help you recover from the pain more quickly.

Setting boundaries for yourself and having standards when it comes to people you’ll date doesn’t make you a snob. It simply means that you’re certain of what you want in a relationship. You’re also not just fishing around but aiming for a long-term relationship.

Going out for the first time with the person you like may cause butterflies to flutter in your stomach. If you feel awkward or nervous, try to convey this to your date with a bit of humor. Surely your date is in the same state. Dishing out tasteful jokes is an effective icebreaker.

Also, it’d be good for you to avoid worrying about whether your date likes you or not. This’ll only shake your self-esteem. It might also distract you during the date, which is something you don’t want to happen.

Remember: you have a choice if you want to pursue the relationship or put a stop to it. Once you’ve set your standards, abide by them so you won’t regret your decision or suffer being with the wrong person.

Will Seeing a Therapist Help?

Having poor self-esteem may not only be about the causes listed above. You could also unknowingly have other problems that contribute to the issue. Your lack of confidence might be stemming from childhood complications or traumatic experiences.

The success of a relationship can be linked to self-esteem. You might not be able to have a meaningful dating experience if you constantly second-guess yourself.

You have to get to the root cause of the problem before it affects your relationships. For that purpose, undergoing therapy with a professional counselor would prove beneficial.

Love Yourself and Be Loved

Countless poems and stories have been written about how wonderful it is to love and be loved, and it’s because nothing could be truer than that. With that said, you wouldn’t want to lose the love of your life just because you don’t believe in yourself. If someone can love and accept you, there’s no reason not to follow suit.

Though it might be hard to believe it at times, the right person for you is out there. They’ll value you for who you are, the good and the bad. This person will easily see your worth even if you don’t try so hard to please them.

At Counseling Now, we believe in love and its power and role in society. We’re here to be the hand you can hold on to whenever you’re losing direction or starting to doubt yourself. With our help, you can regain your confidence and get to go on a date with your dream partner.

The journey in improving your self-esteem won’t happen overnight. It’ll take time and a lot of resilience. But don’t worry because we’ll be with you every step of the way. Reach out to Counseling Now today to get started.

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