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Boyfriend & Self Esteem

I’ve been thinking about my weight issues and I think it has a lot to do with my self esteem. Before I met my BF (1 ½ years ago) I was very confident and felt that I was an attractive person. Lately (past year), I haven’t been feeling that confidence and am wondering if my BF could unknowingly be contributing to my lack of self esteem. Since we’ve been together he’s NEVER told me I was beautiful, pretty, smart, etc. The most he’s said was “you look nice”, if we’re going out. I’m not saying he doest think those things (I actually don’t even know), he’s never been the type of person to say that sort of stuff. I’ve mentioned it on several occasions and he basically says he’s not like that.

He does however buy me gifts, pays for almost everything, and has even given me incentives ($$ gifts) to loose weight. The incentives may sound superficial on his part, but it was more about giving me a challenge that I needed.

I know that we can’t rely on other people to make us feel good, but I would hope my BF thinks I’m sexy, beautiful, smart, etc. and when he doesn’t say those things it makes me feel like I’m not any of those things. There are so many times that I wish he didn’t buy me that gift and instead just pay me a nice complement. Sometimes I think I’d feel better about myself with out him. Thanks for listening.

Tue. Mar 28, 6:26pm

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Hey, your boyfriend sounds like a nice guy to me -- congrats on finding one like that. If he gives you a gift, that is his way of paying you a compliment. Not everyone does it in the same way! And he wouldn't stick with you if he didn't think you had some excellent qualities.

SELF-esteem is just that; no-one else can give it to you. Take control and list those good qualities: pretty, smart, fun, whatever... and I mean LIST them, in EYELINER, on the MIRROR, just above where your face is when you stand there. Then smile. :-)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006, 7:02 PM

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Have you ever told him how you feel? Give him a chance. If you're really happy with him in every way other than how he expresses his support for you, then the issue is definitely yours, like the last poster said. And maybe all you need to do is tell him, "I appreciate the gifts but it would mean more to me if you complimented me instead." If there are other reasons you're unhappy with him, then focus on your relationship as one issue and your weight as a separate issue.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006, 7:08 PM

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Have you read The 5 Love Languages? Seriously, one love language is giving gifts. Others are acts of service, touch/feel and so on. I think the more important thing is how he treats you and if he really loves you.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006, 7:34 PM

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OP here, we definitely have more issues. I asked him if he loves me and he said “I don’t know, I’m not sure I’m capable of loving someone”. He’s an emotionless person.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006, 7:37 PM

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my bf does that too. we broke up over a yr ago after a 1 and 1 month, and ever since we got back together he wont say it, or maybe once in a blue moon, but when i ask he says he doesnt know what love means. it really hurts to tell you the truth. why are we together if you dont love me. it makes me really wonder about the future, if i should break it off because it's not going anywhere? we are both at a pt (almost done with school) that soon with in a few years it's time to settle down, but i have a feeling he might never be ready. its a terriable feeling, i love him, but i need to look out for myself too

Tuesday, March 28, 2006, 8:09 PM

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DON'T SETTLE FOR 2nd BEST!!! You deserve WAY better than that. I waited for the best and I got it!! If you have problems now, what is it going to be like when you are married and have the stress of money, jobs, and the ultimate stressor, KIDS!!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006, 9:53 PM

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Your comment that you think you might feel better about yourself without him is very telling. Listen to that voice. Sure, he is showing affection not just with words. For some men this is tough. You describe him as "an emotionless person" or something like that, and that is very concerning. Our friends and lovers should make us at least feel good about ourselves. But if you feel your emotions are not returned in kind then I think you are better off moving on. You didn't say how long you've been together, but if it'a a long time, he sounds like he is making excuses or truly is emotionless. Remember, you always deserve respect and dignity and someone who makes you feel loved.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 5:55 AM

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I agree about listening to your inner voice as well as his "outer" voice. You deserve somebody who loves you and will say it. He sounds like a decent guy, but sometimes that's not enough. Everyone deserves to be loved the way they want to be loved. It doesn't mean he's a bad guy--he's just not giving you what you need. You are not married to him. You don't have to stay with him.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 8:23 AM

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I once had a boyfriend who pointed out my cellulite, that I was oblivious of! He certainly told me he loved me, but he didn't tell me that I was beautiful or anything. He actually told me that he thought I was attractive, but in a very unusual way - I'm really not sure if that was meant as a compliment or an insult!

My current fiance tells me that I'm beautiful/hot/sexy every single day, many times a day. I'm certainly the same person, it's the guy who's different. Maybe I was attractive to the first guy, but he couldn't express it properly, or maybe I'm just more attractive to the second guy. I have plenty of girlfriends who have different tastes in guys than I do, no big deal. But just because someone else thinks a guy's hot, doesn't mean I do. Or vice versa. There is someone out there who thinks you're gorgeous, and wants to let you know. Maybe he's worth finding!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 10:47 AM

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Ahhh! I feel you OP!

My boyfriend is not like yours in that, he tells me all the time that he is attracted to me and that he loves me as I am. But, I feel/think that he is tolerating how I look since I gained 30lbs in the past 4 years and of course he loves me but I have this underlying guilt about how I have "let myself go". I guess its a combo of comfort, friends who were avid workout buddies moving away, getting a desk job, and less free time. But hello, 30 lbs?

I keep thinking this week, am I settling and allowing myself to get out of control?

The other day while we were in bed, he took my hand away from my hip, he said sweetly, "you don't have to hide it". I was embarassed, like when someone catches you picking your nose or something... I know he loves and he's so tender but at the same time I know he doesn't love how I am, and how I have treated myself in order to get these lingering 30lbs.

I want out of this cycle. I have been on PEER trainer for a while now and although all the support helps, I feel like I need something... I don't know what to get on track again. A psychologist? A Personal Trainer (I tried that and was disappointed)? Nutritionist?

Kicking myself in the pants has not worked, I end up abusing myself with the negative comments, like get up and get out fatty! or, even the positive ones, Come on girl you can do it!

Maybe I will try some meditation tonight. It always worked for job interviews. I told myself "I will say the right things" I will be amazing. I am the best person for this job. Visualizing it and saying it and believing it. It always worked.
WHY can't I do that for my body?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 12:12 PM

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Total agreement

I thought I was reading something I had written myself! The "you look nice" part definitely holds true. But you're right, he loves you and cares about you, and you know that. I've learned with my BF that I'm more of a "talking" person, and he's more of a "doing" person, and this definitely gets annoying and frustrating. Sometimes I feel like people on the street give me better compliments than he does. He is a nice guy, don't get me wrong.

I've found that I've needed to go out and get more friends, and share with them the ups and downs of beauty and weight loss. Not to fill a void he doesn't provide necessarily, but to seek other opinions. One of the best experiences I've had is just e-mailing my friend back and forth about weight loss back and forth.

I guess there is no right answer, but you're not alone.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 12:36 PM

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Funny thing about men....I happen to believe they are deep and wonderful wells of love, affection and intellect. Try this on for size, perhaps ask him what he *thinks* about your relationship together rather than how he feels, then let him talk. Don't rephrase the question, simply let it stand.

I have a great, great male friend. We tell each other "I love you" all the time. Yet, he knows when he's in love with a woman and won't say it unless he is. One time I asked my friend how he *felt* about the woman he was with and he responded to the question vaguely. Some time later I asked him what he *thought* of his relationship with this same woman, and received a thorough and complete picture of his relationship and even how he felt.

I guess the bottom line is that if your man can't provide what you need, given that he knows what you need (i.e. you have told him), then find someone who will. There is someone out there who will be wiling to give you the world and sometimes it's not the person with whom we are in relationship.

The other question is: Are you willing to sacrifice yourself and your needs and self-esteem because you might be afraid to end it and be alone?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 12:58 PM

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