I used to be very insecure with myself. If I could plot when it began, it must have been when I experienced being cheated on in high school. For years I blamed the whole thing on me. How I wasn’t sweet enough, pretty enough, smart enough. I thought that if I were “perfect,” the guy would have been faithful. And then I moved on from him to another guy, my second boyfriend. And while we were together, he would oftentimes see his ex. So I was extremely jealous. It also didn’t help that he was more affectionate with other girls than with me. I looked through their Facebook profiles and blogs, and I cried about how beautiful they were and how pathetic and lacking I thought I was.
I’ve been in a happy relationship since I ended things with my second boyfriend. But it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing with my current partner, especially when I met his friends—a bunch of hot party girls. You see, my insecurity was still unresolved. I spent a lot of time wondering if those girls had a thing with my boyfriend. I was suspicious that he was seeing them on the side, fantasizing over them, or had remaining feelings for them. “They MUST have hooked up before! At least once?”
I devastated myself by looking through all their old pictures together. A part of me wanted to change and be a party girl like them. But I also didn’t want to. I just wanted my boyfriend to love me as I am. And he does. He says he does. But insecurity and self-loathing found their way to mess me up and doubt him. It was up to me then to completely heal myself. It wasn’t easy or quick, but I did it! Here’s how:
1. I had to admit I was insecure. I’m self-aware enough to know I had a really low self-esteem, which led to trust issues in the past. It helped that I have really good friends who were honest with me. Every time I confided in them my worries about my boyfriend, they pointed out my paranoia and said it’s all in my head. It’s a good thing I gush to them a lot about my boyfriend, because they were able to CONCRETELY remind me that he loves me, that he’s a really great guy, and that we’re lucky to be together. (SO true.)
2. I knew what I was insecure about. Not fun enough, not pretty enough, not modelesque AT ALL, not smart enough, that I f*cking SUCK at math (while he and his friends are all good at it—they’re perfect, I swear). For a while, I was even jealous of the dog he cried over, for the selfish reason that I wanted to see him cry over me.
3. I talked it out with my partner. As much as I was hesitant to, I had to let him know a bunch of things about myself. Like having a low self-esteem. That I feel uncomfortable whenever I see Girl X because she gives me a bitch face when we’re alone, but is friendly when other people (like him) are around. That I’m jealous of Girl Y because he liked her Facebook profile picture, but didn’t like mine (which was obviously a lot cooler and artsier).
I had to be open because it was the right thing to do for the guy I want to be with for the long haul. It was better than keeping things to myself and then snapping at him for unrelated things, or worse, taking every chance to make parinig about behaviors I didn’t like (and confusing him in the process). By letting him know more about me and my feelings, he was able to give me the assurance I needed, and some good-hearted teasing I deserved. Not to mention, accept me and my flaws, and know what he’s getting himself into.
4. I stopped stalking. You know the saying "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer?" That became my mantra when I began dating my current boyfriend. Pretty crazy, right? I felt the need to go through the Instagram and Facebook posts of his hot girl friends. I needed to know what made them so desirable so I could be like them. Plus, have their lives that seemed so perfect. But one day it just hit me how unhealthy this all was. I asked myself what I REALLY wanted. And I found it was to be at peace with myself. That meant more to me than satisfying my curiosity and boredom. Sure, I could have been stronger by trying to bear the pain of checking out their filtered photos. But it was wiser to just cut the bad habit. Now, when I see their beach or club photo on my feed, I just shrug. I feel nothing.
5. I laughed about it. It took time to laugh at myself for my insecurity and trust issues, and to see those in other people. This funny post did the trick for me. And by the time I was LOL-ing from how true it was, I knew change was about to happen. Or already happening. (PS. You’ll feel worse and trapped if you get mad at yourself for being insecure. The way out is a lot of nurturing and humor. Trust me on this one.)
6. I dressed for myself. My insecurity rooted from a really poor self-image. Sure, I wore that cute top with a low-cut back and some other stylish clothes (and sexy underwear) when I went on dates. But I was doing it to please my boyfriend. Yeah, it made me happy to see him happy, but I wasn’t exactly dressing up for myself. I wasn’t DIRECTLY making myself feel good or hot. I wasn’t the “end” of some of my choices. I realized I had to be, thanks to a friend, because I’m my own person. I can’t just forget myself. I’m worth the romancing I give my partner, so I’ve been treating and loving myself, too. I've been unbelievably happy since!