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When I look back at my bad old days, there’re a number of things that stand out as emblematic of who I was – the fear of letting go of a bad relationship because I didn’t think I could do any better, being unable to relax and enjoy my time with one woman because I couldn’t stop looking for the shoe to drop… But there is one very specific night that, to my mind, was one of the most representative of how bad things were.

After all, if you were better, cooler, or more desirable, you’d be able to stand up for yourself.

When you don’t feel as though you have anything to offer and you’re desperate for someone to complete you, you will tend to shift your boundaries and sacrifice your values for someone else in the hopes that this will prompt them to like you. They rely on obligation and allow themselves to be used – as well as live in fear of conflict or disagreement – because they don’t feel that they can rely on their own value.

These situations are often a sign of having poor boundaries – the result of a mix of low self esteem and an unwillingness to take a stand for yourself.

Many people will cheerfully take advantage of those with weak boundaries; they look for people who are willing to put the well-being of others above and beyond their own in an effort to please others and make them like them.

It’s important to note: this isn’t exclusively a male or female problem.

Both men and women are equally capable of having weak boundaries and low self-esteem…This can be intimidating, especially when you’re not the most secure person to begin with.A major reason why I put up with being treated so badly in my relationships was because I was conflict averse; I didn’t have a strong foundation to work from and dreaded any fight for fear of causing more drama which would inevitably be my fault and lead to further fights down the line.No further.” The lack of belief in yourself feeds into an insidious self-perpetuating cycle.It’s hard to stand up for yourself when you believe that you have very little of value to offer in the first place – something that is reinforced by the way that people walk over you and take advantage of you.and both are capable of reaping the rewards that come with rebuilding both.