CBT for Low Self-Esteem and Romance
One of the mental health issues I often treat as a CBT Therapist in London is ‘Low Self-Esteem’. When you have a negative picture of yourself it can often lead to a feeling of low self-esteem – you don’t feel that you are good enough. This feeling is more problematic when you are either in a romantic relationship or want one.
CBT and building a romantic relationship.
You can win someone’s affection any time of the year, so don’t worry if you missed the opportunity to get closer to someone. CBT does tell that worries can lead to further mental health problems like depression and anxiety. People often ask the best way to approach someone that they’re attracted to, and there are many ways of doing this even when you suffer from low self-esteem.
You may have a feeling that you will be rejected if you approach someone whether you know them already or they are a stranger. CBT will help you to understand that there can be other reasons why someone don’t want to engage with you. It could be that they are already taken. One good way to get to know someone better is to find out their interests and likes, and that can lead to a conversation about their situations and what they are looking for. It may sound apparent to those of us a bit long in the tooth, but rather than suggesting something that you want to do, find out which films/restaurants/sports/whatever your beloved enjoys. You’re far more likely to get a positive response to an invitation in this way.
Another top tip is to take things slowly which goes well in hand with building up your self-esteem according to CBT as you’ll understand the other person's values and interests. Rather than declaring undying passion on the first date, let the friendship and romance build up gradually. It can be quite scary to hear someone claim to love you when they barely know you. This is a sure sign that it’s not the real person that they love, but an inverted image. Take time to get to know each other properly and then if you still feel love; you’re onto a much better bet and self-esteem according to CBT.
CBT and Keeping romance alive
When we’re in long-term relationships and suffer from low self-esteem, it’s easy to pull back feeling that your partner is superior. While relationships can still function reasonably well in this way, it can lead to a build-up of resentment if one partner feels that they contribute more to the relationship than the other one does.
Although gifts and cards are generally appreciated by both genders in gay and straight relationships, you don’t need to spend money to keep the romance alive in your love.
5 CBT top tips for getting the romance back into your relationship
1. Tell your partner how you feel and use the CBT ‘xyz’ method to let them understand you are troubled by low self-esteem and how they can help.
2. Don’t let rows simmer for days/weeks/months/years. Discuss your differences as calmly as possible and try to find solutions that are acceptable for both of you. If one of you “wins” and the other “loses”, it can be destructive to the relationship. Negotiate solutions together. Use the CBT 'xyz' tool here, as well.
3. Do favours for your partner. If one of you tends to do the laundry/gardening/childcare/banking/whatever all the time, offer to take the load off their hands now and again.
4. Give your partner a treat – make them tea/breakfast in bed, cook a special meal or give them a back or foot massage just because you love them.
5. Plan a romantic/saucy weekend/evening together – bring back the feeling of when the relationship was new. You can always stay at home and not answer the phone or the door! If you’ve got kids, get a friend or relative to babysit or better still take the kids overnight or for a whole weekend. Take the opportunity to recharge your batteries and your romance at the same time. Forget the chores for a while – they’ll still be there when you’re done
If you think you need some help with low self-esteem, then consider contacting a private CBT Therapist.