How to date with great self-worth

When my single friends or coaching clients ask me for feedback on their dating profiles, I often point out that they are selling themselves short. I know these people, either personally or through my work. I know that they are vibrant and colourful, or intuitive and intelligent, or funny and friendly, or supportive and kind, or generous and open-hearted, or, in many cases, all of the above. Yet this doesn’t come across in their profiles…

They haven’t done the best job of singing their own praises or blowing their own trumpet. They haven’t put their best foot forwards. They haven’t learned to date with great self-worth. I get it. Many of us struggle to write a glowing profile about ourselves. We don’t feel good enough, or tall enough, or slim enough, or attractive enough, or successful enough, or sorted enough. We feel a bit old or a bit unfit or a bit bruised and broken. But if we go into dating with our heads hung low and with a negative opinion of ourselves, lacking in self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence and self-belief, we are likely to make unhealthy choices and sabotage our chances of finding a loving relationship.

We may scroll through other people’s profiles, seeing someone we like. We may be tempted to reach out to them. Our finger may hover over the ‘like’ or ‘message’ button, but then we lose faith. We tell ourselves that they wouldn’t be interested in someone like us. And we scroll on by, until we find someone whose profile is more in line with our downgraded view of ourselves, or until we decide to give up on the process entirely, because “nobody out there would be interested”.

We may approach face-to-face dating in a similar way, struggling with self-doubt and low confidence. This leads us into dangerous territory. We may date people who don’t treat us with the care and respect we deserve. Or we may sabotage potential relationships with people who are right for us, because we don’t feel worthy, because we’re afraid that once they get to know us, they’ll reject and abandon us. In some cases, the opposite may be true. We may go into dating with an unrealistic view of the person we want or think we deserve to meet and this can hamper our chances of meeting our match too. Perhaps we are holding out for someone perfect – someone who doesn’t exist – an approach that will guarantee our singleness.