Believing in Yourself

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Love yourself first and a guy will love you for that, says Lo Bosworth, author of The Lo-Down.

Maybe the guys you’ve dated have never even been elevated to official boyfriend status. Clearly, something is missing or something always ends up going wrong. You continue to find yourself stumped, wondering why that great connection with a cutie frequently packs up its bags after a few weeks and hits the road. Sayonara, peace, ciao!

It’s a frustrating situation to be in. You get your hopes up, you get comfortable, and then you start to see small cracks in the relationship. At this point, whether you’re the one who breaks it off or if he’s the one who does the dirty work, the result is never fun, and it always leaves both people feeling sort of . . . discouraged.

You wonder, Where did I go wrong? Maybe you didn’t do something to turn him off, but maybe you did. Chances are, if you did, it probably wasn’t coming from a true version of yourself. And that’s where a lot of girls run into issues with relationships.

When you first hit it off with a guy, it’s totally normal to have some jitters. What if my breath smells? Do these shoes match my outfit? Does he think my room is too messy? These kinds of thoughts are normal, funny, whatever. They are common, and these kinds of worries are totally okay.

It’s when girls start to worry about the following kinds of statements that they get themselves into trouble: Am I funny enough? Am I prettier than his last girlfriend? Does he think I’m smart? I hope he doesn’t think I’m a little heavy right now. I hope he thinks I have enough money to date him. I hope he thinks I’m good enough.

Now, think for a second. Be honest with yourself about the things I just wrote. Have you ever thought some of these things about yourself? Most likely, the answer is a definite yes. It’s a vain part of human nature to idealize what you think you are not. But it’s what you aren’t that makes you who you are.

This is the reason I’ve written this book. To help you focus on who you already are and to love and appreciate this person. And to show you that the best guy for you is one who loves your self-confidence, who loves you for you.

Finding a guy who is able to love you for who you already are is very powerful — for both people involved in the relationship. When he respects you, you owe him that respect back. Because he loves the person you are, you won’t ever feel undervalued or feel pressure to conform to some crazy goddess standard. He wants you to believe in yourself, and that kind of support feels good. That kind of support blossoms into love.

In addition, believing in yourself allows you to trust in the relationship lesson I’ve learned from my own experiences with boys, which, as it so happens, is the guiding light of this entire book. In fact, it’s this guide’s Golden Rule.

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule teaches you to understand that if it doesn’t work out with a guy, he is not the right guy for YOU, so ditch the misconception that you must not be right for HIM.

We’re changing the power structure here, lovies, and it’s in your favor. No more of this “he’s just not that into you” nonsense. You’re in charge of you and your relationships, and the perfect guy for you will fit in to your life in a mutually beneficial way. The best part of the Golden Rule is that it is reflective of reality, not some heartbroken girl’s version of what’s right. The G.R. is real and it creates healthy, lasting relationships, as long as you allow yourself to believe in it. And to do that, you must first believe in yourself.

Let’s talk about this idea of believing in yourself and how it applies to romantic relationships. Let’s say you worry that when you meet a guy he’ll think you aren’t funny enough and that maybe you could lose five pounds. It’s these personal, internal worries women feel will make or break a new relationship. They believe that a guy will only like them if they are the ideal woman: smart and sexy. The trouble is, the thought process men and women use to come to what the image of the ideal woman is, is different. Females have an image in their head of who they want to be, and males see you for who you already are.

Consider a woman getting ready to go out on a date with her boyfriend. Her cutie is waiting while she finishes dressing, and when she looks in the mirror she is slightly disappointed. She wanted to be Wonder Woman tonight for her guy, and the sexy red dress and flowing curls didn’t turn out as she hoped. Her guy, however, is struck by his beautiful girlfriend, completely blown away by how special she looks. Understand the disconnect between men and women now? You may stare in the mirror and hope for something different. He sees the real you looking into that reflective piece of glass, and he loves that girl.

So, understand that if they’ve asked you out, it’s because they are already into you. Did you read that correctly? If they’ve asked you out, it’s because they are already into you! It’s as simple as that, and it’s your personal struggles with who you feel you should be that frequently make your exciting new relationship go down the toilet. Why? Because believe it or not, people tend to accidentally highlight the things they don’t like about themselves. You don’t think you’re funny enough for him, so you try extra, super hard to be the coolest girl ever with self-deprecating humor and five too many jokes. You think you could lose a few, and so you only order salads when you’re out with him, and he notices (and thinks you should start feeding yourself real food). The cool, fun, sexy image you’re trying to create is doing the opposite: It’s highlighting your insecurities.

Who wants to date a girl who’s trying to fake it, when the girl he really likes is sitting right in front of him, too afraid to be herself and in reality, get the guy.

What does this all boil down to? It’s about fear of rejection. Being turned down is embarrassing and hurtful, and it only leads you to wonder further about your insecurities, forever blaming them for your relationship mishaps. As it turns out, fear of rejection and personal insecurities go hand in hand, but this is something you can change. You can control your insecurities by understanding them. Once you do that, rejection becomes far less personal and far less hurtful.

So, how do you do that? First, you acknowledge that at the end of the day you cannot really control whether a guy likes you or not. Everyone has a different idea of what’s attractive. But remember the Golden Rule! If it doesn’t work out, he is just not the right guy for YOU. Don’t fool yourself into believing the opposite. And if he’s just not that into you, realize that he really isn’t valuable enough to stress over.

On the upside, if he does like the person you are and in return you appreciate him, then you have found something special! If it turns out that he likes you for who you really aren’t, you’ll run into trouble. You are in control of the person you put out there, and as long as it’s your true self, the chances of having a blissful relationship based in reality rather than dreamland are far, far greater.

Second, in order to control your fear of rejection you must take a look at what you’re insecure about and why. Once you have done that and you understand the place you are coming from, it’s much easier to move into a happier state. When you take a hard look at yourself, it can be extremely helpful to focus on all the things that are unique about you and the things that you really do love about yourself. It sure turns what you feel insecure about into small potatoes when you are able to get a sense of how special you are in reality. Whenever a guy is interested in you, remember that! He sees you as you really are, and if he asks you out, it’s because he appreciates the real you.

If it takes a little time to meet the perfect guy, acknowledge that it isn’t time wasted. It’s time you are investing in yourself. It’s guaranteed that you will be happier alone but as you really are, than with a guy but faking it. The perfect guy will come along, and if you insist on entering into the relationship by presenting your true self to him (aka by following the Golden Rule), you are guaranteed to find love.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren “Lo” Bosworth, author of The Lo-Down (© 2011 by Lauren Bosworth), has starred on the smash MTV reality shows “Laguna Beach” and “The Hills.” A graduate of UCLA, Lo lives in Los Angeles, CA. The Lo-Down is her first book. For more of Lo’s tips and advice, visit thelodown.com!

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