Don’t let your inner critic sabotage your relationship.
By Charles J. Orlando — Updated on Mar 23, 2023
Photo: LightField Studios / Shutterstock
I’m writing this to women with the utmost respect, but in full disclosure, I’m committed to 100 percent honesty.
Yes, I know most women have a few flaws. You have a stretch mark (or two … or 10) from childbearing or weight loss/gain/loss/gain. Your hair isn’t perfect. Maybe you’ve been hurt before in a past relationship. Whatever it is, with certainty, you’ve declared that men aren’t into you because of … [insert your deepest insecurity here].
Let me address this with a straight-up statement, as promised — stop. Just stop.
Stop projecting your baggage onto your guy. It not only confuses him, but it also drives him crazy and drives you crazy (and not in a good way).
Here are five fears and insecurities that you project onto your man (that turns him off):
1. That you’re ugly and hopelessly flawed
A guy who is truly into you isn’t going to notice or care about the minor weight fluctuation that accompanies a woman’s body chemistry, time of the month, or shift in stress habits that (may or may not) result in a little friendly food indulgence … whatever!
And, when it comes to things like stretch marks, blemishes, and other superficial body imperfections — those are things you notice about yourself. The right guy doesn’t care and will gloss right over them.
A man who loves you is happiest when you’re happy in your own skin. If he’s concentrating on your imperfections, he has his own insecurities to deal with, and he’s pushing his garbage on you. Not only is that out of your control, but it has nothing to do with you.
Otherwise, just because you don’t see perfection when you look in the mirror doesn’t mean your man doesn’t see perfection when he looks at you. So stop telling him how “fat/ugly/awkward/etc.” you are. He didn’t notice until you pointed it out.
2. That you need to argue your point (again and again)
Most of the time once an argument is over, it’s done for him. He’s not thinking about what he could have, would have, or should have said. If you’re pushing an issue and he’s already relented, you’re projecting your own need to “win” or be right.
If you’ve said your peace, let him mull things over for a bit and internalize what you’ve said. Often, in long-term relationships, you have a choice when putting issues to rest: Be right or be happy. Happiness lasts longer.
3. That his compliments aren’t true
When he says that you look beautiful, he means it. He’s telling you because he believes these words. If you pipe in and insult yourself after he just complimented you, it’s like throwing a gift back in his face. You don’t have to agree with him. Just say “thank you.”
4. That he’s still into his ex
Exes are exes for a reason … and unless the relationship has just ended — most men aren’t thinking about their ex. The exception: If he’s not actually finished emotionally with a past relationship, it might plague him. If you are insecure about his ex, talk about it and get some clarity. If he is spending time or focusing on his ex, that’s not about you. Most often, he’s not emotionally finished with that relationship.
The Golden Rule: The only reason an ex keeps calling is if someone is picking up the phone. If you trust him, work through your stuff and let go of your insecurities. If you don’t trust him, that’s either about you (meaning that you have past stuff you still need to solve), or he’s sending up red flags that he is untrustworthy (and what are you doing with him?).
5. That he’s just like your old boyfriend
Your guy now is not your past. If he’s acting like your ex, that has to do with you and your selection process.
But if he’s just being himself and it reminds you of something from your past, why make that his problem? Is he supposed to feign perfection and never fall short or make mistakes along the way? Take the time to reflect on your past — and work through the past hurt/pain that accompanied whatever you’re feeling … without making your man now the villain.
The issues you’re dwelling on in your relationship are your issues … not his.
The guy who’s into you doesn’t see your flaws and doesn’t try to tap into your fears and insecurities. He sees your beauty, intelligence, and unique characteristics. If he does happen to notice your flaws, not only will he not mention them, but he’ll subconsciously chalk them up to what makes you the “you” he likes/loves.
Besides, by focusing so much on your perceived flaws, your opinion of yourself is incorrect, biased, and screwed up. Men see past your imperfections because they aren’t perfect, either. My advice: Stop projecting your own issues on your man, and sabotaging your love life.
The right guy will accept you — imperfections and all. If you’re with a man who leaves you feeling unworthy or inadequate, you’re with the wrong guy — fire him so you can move on to someone who sees how amazing you are. And then, when you find that great guy, relax … let love in. And stop projecting your fears and insecurities all over him.
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Charles J. Orlando is a bestselling author and relationship/interpersonal relations expert who has spent the last 10-plus years connecting with thousands of people.