Ways Low Self-Esteem Can Affect Dating Relationships

Low self-esteem can affect dating relationships, here's why.

Image credit: Pixabay

A person’s level of self-worth often can have a direct effect on dating relationships. This is due to the positive or negative aura which is connected to self-esteem. Positive projections tend to enhance a relationship, but negative behavior can commonly have the opposite effect.

Self-esteem is the opinion a person has of him or herself in terms of worth and respect. With high self-esteem, a person values him or herself as an individual. But someone with low self-esteem, who doesn’t think too highly of who he or she is, perceives a faulty self-image. In many cases, these feelings of low self-esteem can affect dating relationships. 

The ways low self-esteem impacts a relationship can be serious and, in some cases, may have long-lasting repercussions because these issues of self-respect are projected visibly to partners. Reasons rooted in self-worth issues are typically the source which feeds the problems caused by low self-esteem in relationships.

Here are some of the many ways low self-esteem can affect dating relationships:


People with poor self-esteem likely may find themselves having a hard time with communication. Being communication is one of the foundational elements needed for a healthy relationship, if this is lacking, and communication is not flowing two-way, problems in the partnership are ultimately going to emerge.

Those with self-esteem issues may act irrationally, aggressive, or argumentative and hurt communication through these combative tendencies. On the other end of the spectrum, a person dealing with low self-esteem can become withdrawn and isolated from the important people in his or her life. Either direction leads to eventual communication problems.

Part of how to deal with losing the right one is probably to have a good cry.

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Sometimes people with self-worth issues tend to have problems trusting others and this is the other foundational element needed for a strong relationship. Without trust and solid communication, a relationship is likely going to turn sour at some point because the grounding elements that solidify a partnership are lacking.

It is not uncommon for someone feeling low self-worth to experience worries and concerns about a partner. All of these rudiments also frequently lead to intimacy problems, which can create additional problems in a relationship.

Negative Attitude

Negativity is another of the most common results of low self-esteem. A person who sees little worth in his or herself is likely to begin to put other aspects of life in a pessimistic or depressing light. How does this affect a dating relationship? In many instances, it may be tiring to the person listening to constant self put-downs.

People who exhibit low self-esteem tend to continuously act in a negative fashion towards themselves and, over a period of time, this too can wear down the other partner. This exhaustion from negativity can lead to problems in the relationship or, in some cases, eventually lead to end the partnership.

A partner who is continuously subjected to dismal outlooks is going to begin to feel down and look unenthusiastically on the relationship. A loved one doesn’t want to continuously hear questions such as “Do I look good?” only to be met with a disagreement if the question is answered positively by the other mate.

If these kinds of scenarios are a frequent repeat performance, after a while this routine is wearisome and the partner often feels his or her opinion is not being considered since it is always met with combative answers such as “No, I don’t look nice” or “I look terrible”. As a result the mate may begin to feel his or her opinion is worthless because it’s never accepted at face value.

Negativity doesn’t only have to be focused on self-deprecation, it can emerge in the perception towards others (those with esteem issues sometimes tend to put others down in the pursuit of boosting their own appearance), or just a general dismal outlook on life. These kinds of patterns can trickle into other aspects of the relationship.

Destructive Behavior

People with low opinions of themselves tend to feel they don’t deserve happiness and often subconsciously (or perhaps in some cases consciously) seek out destructive relationships. Poor judgment is often exercised in choosing a mate and these kinds of relationships can be disastrous.

Someone with self-worth issues frequently create a pattern of quick fixes in order to feel good. These could be a string of one-night stands which use sex as a way to make someone “like” them, but usually ends up having the opposite effect due to low self-projection.

Another way self-esteem contributes to dating is a cycle of bad relationships emerges, or unfortunately, abuse. For instance, person who projects low self-worth can often kick the door wide open to be taken advantage of by an abusive person because of his or her inability to believe he or she deserves to be treated well and, as a result, willingly accept abuse, neglect and mistreatment from a partner.

Difficulty Functioning in Relationships

Those afflicted by low self-esteem also have a tendency to avoid good relationships because they can’t function in a healthy relationship. People who lack confidence and that sense of self-worth often have difficulty functioning in a wholesome relationship because they don’t feel they deserve, or are worthy, to receive compliments, good treatment or respect.

Even if a person doesn’t outwardly display their poor opinion of themselves, it can manifest in other ways which impact dating relationships. In essence, a person’s view impacts his or her ability to love, accept and have faith in who he or she is.  When a perspective of oneself comes with a low opinion, this assessment tends to trickle into relationships with others.

In order for a relationship to be good a person has to like his or herself. If he or she isn’t good to his or herself, he or she can’t be good with someone else because it takes two fulfilled people for a relationship to succeed. Research does suggest relationships can be very effected the low self-esteem a person may carry.

Getting over low self-esteem takes a lot of hard work because many of the issues relating to low opinions of oneself are often deep-rooted in nature. However with tenacity, resilience and patience, a relationship can work through these issues. A positive attitude and overcoming hurdles of fear or rejection makes a huge difference.

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