Dating For Low Self-Esteem Women: Consequences & Fixes

Your self-esteem and how you perceive yourself has a huge impact on your relationships.

I highly recommend this post if you:

  1. Have difficulties in keeping a loving relationship
  2. Have a pattern of ending up with jerks

If you’re only looking for solutions you can skip the theory and jump straight to the second part.

The Theory of Self-Esteem

We like people who build us up and make us feel good.
In psychology, this is sometimes referred to as self-enhancement.

Women with low self-esteem abide by the self-enhancement theory only at the beginning of dating.
This might be because women during dating are still in “assessment mode” and less focused on themselves.

But during long-term relationships, a switch happens.
Women with low self-esteem switch from self-enhancement (ie.: make me feel good”) to self-verification (ie.: treat me like I deserve).
Self-verification means that people don’t want to be treated well, but they want to be treated the same way they think they deserve to be treated.

Can you see the possible issue there?
If a woman thinks she is not worthy of a good man, she will find it difficult to deal with a man who treats her well.
The man who treats her well feels like

Nobody can exactly say when that shift happens.
But when it does happen, women with low self-esteem grow apart from men who love them and treat them well.

Because they revert back to their low self-appraisal and their mind goes:

Why does he love me if I’m such a mess?

Why does he think I’m great If I’m terrible?

When that happens cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957) takes over. Cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort in the presence of two opposing views.

Cognitive dissonance is uncomfortable, and the relationship can enter a rocky stage.

Women with low self-esteem and loving partners feel like their loving partners don’t really get them. So they lose emotional connection with their spouses and distrust can also set in.

Low Self Esteem Inhibits Loving Relationships

Low self-esteem women seek consistency through their men’s actions.

Any man who treats them well is not consistent with their own self-beliefs. They cannot trust loving men and cannot feel a connection with loving men.
How could they?
Loving men see them as lovable, but they see themselves as unworthy!

The result?
Low self-esteem women sadly cannot hold a happy relationship with loving men over the long haul.

Low Self Esteem Serves You Jerks

A jerk, or any abusive kind of man, behaves in a way that is consistent with a woman’s negative self-image.
This is what she tells herself after the abuse:

He’s right… I am terrible. I deserve it

Yes, being in a relationship with an abusive man does hurt her, but it’s consistent with her own self-image.

Are those guys treating her well?
They’re fake and never really understood her.

Unluckily, some controlling men prey on women with low self-esteem. They get the power of having and controlling her, and she cannot easily escape.

How to Fix Low Self Esteem

The solution to an internal problem starts, of course, with an internal solution (deep change always starts from within, say Covey).

How do you do that?

Here are a few helpful steps:

1. Accept positive feedback

Chronic low self-esteem women reject positive feedback.

You will do the opposite and willingly allow it to sink in. As a matter of fact: SEEK positive feedback.

Do something you’re good at.
Or even better, start improving at something. Join a Toastmasters club and overcome the fear of public speaking, pick up a hobby… Start showing yourself how you can improve at whatever you choose.

2. Make yourself useful

We base much of our self-esteem on how useful (and needed) we are to others.

Here’s a win-win then: join an organization, engage in service, focus on helping people. Being useful to the world will lift your spirit like few other things will.

3. Build antifragile ego

It’s easy to break our spirit when our ego is built around “being good” or “making my (abusive) man happy”.

Self-esteem built around being good is easy to destroy: just make a mistake and you’re not good anymore.
Making a jerk happy is not gonna happen because he’s a weak d*ck who needs to control you.
He wants you to feel terrible, so that’s not going to work, either.

Build your self-esteem around concepts that are not assailable instead.
Something like:

  1. The only way for me to be bad is when I willingly hurt others
  2. I’m a learner: mistakes don’t define me, but help me move forward

Also, read “the antifragile ego“.

4. Change your beliefs

The shallower the beliefs that lead to your self-esteem, the easier it easy to change them.

But no matter how deeply rooted they are, with enough work you can make it.

Tony Robbins is a good resource on that.

5. Be authentic during courtship

The “faker” you are during courtship, the bigger the marriage shift will be when you revert to being yourself.

Here it is then another great reason for ditching dating games and being genuine.

6. Get good… At something

You probably repeat to yourself a pattern of failures.

You need to feed your brain something that you can use to tell yourself “see? I’m not that bad, I learned and improved on this one thing”.

Then get good at something.

It can be something elaborate like joining a Toastmasters and getting good at public speaking. Or something simpler, like cooking an awesome dish.

Pick one thing and show yourself that you can learn to be good.

Besides Low Self Esteem

We touched on abusive relationships here. As a last note, I wanted to add that abusive relationships are complex and this post only covers the self-esteem part.
Some other aspects keeping women in abusive relationships:

  • Sunk costs

I already spent 1 year with him.. 

  • Fear of the unknown

What will be of me if i leave him?

It’s surprising how many people suffer under the devil they know because they’re scared of the unknown.

  • Masochistic Streaks

Just today I was reading some bio excerpts of the wonderful Claudia Cardinale, who willfully kept seeing her rapist as she plunged deeper and deeper into the abyss of pity and self-disgust.
Unluckily she’s not alone.

  • Up and downs are addictive

The power of giving lots of pain and then suddenly giving a shimmer of pleasure can be more addictive than only giving pleasure. As we’ve also seen in how to drive him crazy.

However, even considering all other factors, don’t discount self-esteem. As a matter of fact, self-esteem DOES have a major impact.
Very low self-esteem DOES prevent you from having a happy relationship with a loving and great man.
And it also DOES contribute to women ending up and sticking with abusive men.


It’s not true that jerks attract women.

Jerks attract a certain type of woman, and very rarely it’s the highest quality type of woman.
It might sound judgmental, and I say it on purpose to spur you. You’re better than that and you have it in you.

This post explained how low self-esteem:

  1. Inhibits great relationships
  2. Attracts jerks and keeps women in abusive relationships

Finally, we talked about:

  • How you can increase your self-esteem

Use the information here to make positive changes in your life.
You’re not alone, I for one, I am cheering for you!

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