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I stand in front of the mirror, look into my eyes and repeat my new personal mantra, “I’m a prize. I’m a prize. I’m a prize,” hoping the words will saturate into my being so I can live them, feel them and breathe them into my experiences dating men.
I could catch a guy for a certain amount of time, but he would lose interest long term because he only wanted me for sex. I was clueless as to what I was doing wrong or what was causing this perpetual pattern.
In my personal quest to break out of it, I discovered a few behaviors I was subconsciously doing that caused him to lose respect for me.
When yet another man dumped me after I had waited three months to have sex with him, I called my friend in tears to vent to her about his rejection.
I had taken it so personally and I cried out, “Why do men keep doing this to me?”
“Why are you so upset?” she asked.
“Because another guy rejected me. I am tired of this pattern,” I said.
“Why are getting your worth from whether the guy likes you or not?” she asked.
In my moment of desperation, that one question caused a light bulb to come on. I sat on the other end of the phone silent as this powerful revelation hit me.
“You have to find worth within yourself first,” she said.
“Oh my gosh, you’re right. Why am I getting my worth from him?” I asked.
The unhealthy pattern and my behaviors that pushed him and all the other guys away stemmed from one huge truth: I was subconsciously looking for self-worth in a man.
When we seek our personal value from other people, we bend over backward to please and sacrifice our own values and needs in the process.
Here are three things I was doing that diminished the typical man’s respect:
Men and women tend to value people who aren’t easily accessible. Why? It can be exciting to have that challenge of pursuit, and it’s simple evolutionary biology to want what’s in high demand.
A man will value the woman who stands up for herself and who makes him work for her commitment.
When we cancel plans with our friends or we’re always available to answer his calls or texts, we’re making ourselves too convenient to get access to.
When a woman is too available, it sends a message that her worth is dependent on him and nothing else.
“You have to rediscover everything
positive about the individual you are.”
When a woman will do anything to please a man, always going where he goes or doing whatever he wants to do, it shows he has 100 percent hold on her.
In our society, we’re taught to obsess over someone else’s approval by beckoning to his or her every call, but a man will see that behavior as you not valuing yourself.
Women often aren’t themselves and withhold their true feelings, but if you act like a lap dog, he’ll pick up on your overeagerness right away.
A good partner will respect someone who is confident and an independent thinker. When you respect yourself and your own wants and needs, you will earn his respect.
It’s easy to take something for granted when there’s no work involved to get it.
Remember your first car as a teenager? If the keys were handed to you by your parents, chances are you didn’t take care of it very well. But if you have to work and save up for a car yourself, it becomes your baby. The effort it took to earn it adds value.
It’s not that different in relationships. A man values what he has to earn, and if you’re looking to him for self-worth, bending over backward to please or being extra accommodating, the energy you’re putting in often backfires.
If you play harder to get, you become a prize. But if you don’t act like you have value, he’s not going to treat you like you do.
Doormat syndrome affects many men and women who subconsciously do things that lose other people’s respect.
If you’re getting your self-worth from who you are dating, recognize that the only person who can fill that emptiness is you.
According to “The Presence Process” by Michael Brown, if you want unconditional love, you have to carry it with you like you would bring a precious tank of oxygen into the depths of the ocean to help you stay strong and survive.
Instead of trying to convince yourself you’re a prize, you have to look deep inside and rediscover your strengths and everything positive about the individual you are.
Begin realizing what you love about you and build that relationship with yourself. Then you’ll have the confidence to see the man in your life as a bonus and not a necessity.
Photo source: oprah.com.