Does it feel like your partner is doing you a favor by being with you? Do you have trouble expressing your opinions or asserting your needs because you don’t feel good enough for your boyfriend or husband?
Research shows that this thinking pattern can take a toll on your self-worth and well-being, so you must find ways to overcome these inhibitions. But before attempting to break free from the cycle of feeling not good enough for him, you must figure out why you feel this way.
To help you with that, I’ll briefly explore the possible reasons for thinking your partner is way out of your league and then share some important steps for overcoming the problem.
Possible Reasons You’re Feeling Not Good Enough for Him
There are tons of experiences that could make you feel insecure in your relationship. However, feeling insecure or inadequate in a relationship comes down to two things:
Firstly, you may have (unknowingly) placed your partner on a pedestal ― he can do no wrong because your mental lens minimizes his flaws and magnifies his positives.
Secondly, you struggle with an inferiority complex, making you spotlight your weakness and inadequacy while thinking nothing of your strengths.
These factors can strain your romantic relationship unnecessarily, as you may become jealous, possessive, need constant reassurance, or show other signs of relationship insecurity.
But what exactly is responsible for making you feel this way and these negative thoughts? Here are some possible factors.
A Difficult Childhood
What was your experience growing up? Did you experience frequent name-calling, bullying, or abuse during your childhood? Did you grow up in a toxic environment? Maybe you have self esteem issues?
A 2022 study reveals that negative childhood experiences can influence your present relationship as an adult. For example, if someone, perhaps an authority figure, convinced you that you weren’t good enough, this belief may show up when you get into a romantic relationship.
Fear of Rejection
If you’ve been through a toxic relationship or had a bad breakup, you must have experienced intense emotional pain first-hand. But the effect of a past ugly relationship doesn’t end there; it can make you uncertain about future relationships, leading to a fear of rejection.
Why is that?
The negative experience from a failed relationship in the past might leave you feeling unworthy of love. This type of thinking and these thought patterns can keep you from being yourself in your current relationship because you fear your partner will walk away if given the chance.
In other words, you may struggle with a fear of rejection if you always try to do everything right or walk on eggshells around your husband or boyfriend.
A Manipulative Partner
Another possible reason for feeling like your man is doing you a favor by dating you is that you’re in a relationship with a manipulative partner.
It is common for some men to try to be in charge by establishing dominance, especially those with poor self-esteem. And in doing so, they may manipulate their unsuspecting partners using negative behaviors, such as:
- Body shaming
- Harsh criticism
- Constantly comparing their partners with others
- Constantly monitoring their partners’ activities
These manipulative tactics will eventually get to you and take a toll on your self-esteem and self-worth if you don’t notice and address them on time. Before long, you’ll start feeling not good enough for him.
Low Self-Esteem Issues
Lastly, low self-esteem can affect many areas of your life, including your relationship.
Not feeling good enough might have nothing to do with your partner or their behavior if you struggle with low self-esteem. An aspect of your life may turn out somewhat below your expectations, making you project a feeling of inferiority or inadequacy onto your relationship.
For example, your less-than-stellar performance at work might affect how you feel about yourself. If you don’t do anything to address this thinking pattern, it might affect the way you see your husband or boyfriend and lead you into feeling not good enough for him.
Think you have low self-esteem? Check out my article on how to help a woman with low self-esteem.
How to Break Free From the Cycle of Feeling Not Good Enough for Him
A problem, they say, is half solved when identified or well-defined. Hopefully, you’ve identified why you feel your partner is obliging you by being with you.
Now, let’s explore strategies for freeing yourself from the cycle of not feeling good enough for your partner.
Challenge Negative Self-Talk
It’s normal to feel a bit insecure or less confident every once in a while. But that’s no excuse for entertaining negative self-talk or engaging in constant self-criticism.
In most cases, when you’re feeling not good enough for him, the thoughts running through your mind are something along the lines of:
- “I’m not pretty enough for him.”
- “He’s so successful, and I’m just average.”
- “I’m a liability to him and have nothing to offer.”
Regardless of how true these statements may sound, you can reframe them. However, don’t challenge your negative self-talk with bogus or unrealistic statements.
Instead, dig deep to investigate the evidence and reframe the thought as an unfounded assumption, not a fact.
Using the above statements, here are examples of factual counterstatements you could use:
- “I am unique and beautiful in my own way.”
- “I am great at some things. I only need to open my eyes to see them.”
- “I have lots of potential, and I’m valuable.”
Stop Seeking Validation From Your Partner
Reassurance from a loving partner can help you feel more confident, especially when you need a shoulder to lean on.
But while open communication is essential in relationships, never rely on your partner to make you feel good about yourself. Of course, he can be supportive, but it is not his job to fix your insecurities.
Seeking validation from your partner can take several forms, including:
- Constantly seeking compliments or approval.
- Second-guessing your opinions or decisions because your partner hasn’t made an input.
- Changing your appearance or behavior to gain your partner’s approval or please him.
- Feeling upset or anxious if your partner responds negatively to something you’ve done or said.
Regardless of how it manifests, an excessive desire to seek validation from external sources usually indicates low self-esteem.
One way to overcome this is to communicate more openly and honestly with your partner. Another way is what I’ll discuss next.
Instead of seeking validation from your partner, give it to yourself by practicing self-love. You are probably neglecting yourself if you’re worried about measuring up to your man’s standards. That’s because your focus is on pleasing him rather than taking care of your physical and mental health.
Start focusing on yourself and doing the things that make you feel good about yourself and who you are becoming. Here are a few self-love ideas you might want to consider:
- Make it a part of your routine to go for a walk in nature or set aside time to be alone.
- Do the things you truly enjoy ― the things that make you come alive.
- Take time to appreciate the good things in your life (including your accomplishments, loving partner, and relationship).
By the way, I invite you to take this self-care quiz to discover areas in your life that may need more tender loving care.
Identify Your Achievements and Figure Out the Source of Doubt
Achievements aren’t necessarily trophies, awards, or something big. Think of your achievements as something you are good at ― your strong suit.
Are you great at cooking, writing, painting, or playing a musical instrument? Are you naturally great at teaching, being empathetic, or organizing things?
Identifying your strengths is a great start; the next step is figuring out why you doubt yourself, considering your positives.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Why do I feel like my partner is way out of my league, despite all my good qualities?
- What experiences becloud my values?
- Has anyone (including my partner) said or done anything to create doubts about my strengths?
By examining yourself this way, you will gain insight into what’s making you feel undervalued in your relationship, regardless of all your achievements.
Walk Away From a Manipulative Partner
It is okay to break things off if you discover that you’re in a relationship with a manipulative partner.
Although many women tend to remain in abusive relationships, you shouldn’t sacrifice your well-being on the altar of love. Walk away from the relationship if you’ve tried to resolve things, but your partner isn’t unwilling to change.
Desiring a long-lasting relationship with the man of your dreams is not the same as worrying about losing him or feeling not good enough for him.
You may have success with any one or a combination of the above strategies. In any case, getting over your insecurities won’t happen overnight.
That means you must be consistent when creating positive changes in your thinking pattern and how you view yourself in your relationship.
Lastly, be patient with yourself, even when you make mistakes. You will regain your confidence eventually if you are patient.