In a good relationship, you'll feel like you are filled with love, trust, openness, and acceptance for your partner, and you will feel like your partner showers those same things on you. In a bad one, though, you'll find yourself uncertain, questioning everything, and wondering how you got there. Unfortunately, these may be signs you don't know your worth in a relationship and that you need to figure out how to change things.
You may be wondering how it's even possible to end up in a relationship that damages your self-worth. The truth is, it doesn't happen quickly, but rather slowly and over time. You may one day realize you don't like certain things about your partner and overlook them, but then, later on in the relationship, you realize you've overlooked so much that you don't feel like yourself anymore.
Losing your self-worth in a relationship obviously isn't ideal, but it is fixable. Often, it means getting out of that relationship and starting to find yourself again. When you do that, you'll give yourself space and air to remember who you are. First, though, you need to be able to recognize the signs you don't know your worth, especially in the context of a romantic relationship.
Here are five big ones to look out for:
1. You Haven't Kept Up With Hobbies That Make You Happy
When you have a moment to look up from your intense relationship and suddenly realize that you no longer have any hobbies that you do on a regular basis that fill your soul, that's a problem.
In the best relationships, people make time for their partner but also for themselves. You should have a healthy balance of things you like to do with your significant other, but also things that make you happy, like writing, running, or going to yoga.
In a relationship with someone who is wreaking havoc on your self-worth, you'll realize that you've let many of the things you love go for the sake of the relationship. Maybe it was that there never seemed to be enough time or maybe it was that your partner didn't want you to do certain things, but either way, you've lost your favorite hobbies.
It's best to start slow to get them back. Start doing one or two things you once loved again, and you'll slowly but surely find yourself, along with the strength to leave you relationship.
2. You've Let Friendships Go
Another sure sign that you've forgotten your self-worth in relationships is if you find yourself without the friends you once had. Friends are generally our way of grounding ourselves and remembering to have fun. They also help keep us honest and will often tell us things about our partners we don't really want to know (like that they hate them).
If you've been losing your self-worth in your relationship, it's likely that your friendships are suffering as well. Your partner may not like your friends or vice versa (or both), or you just may not have prioritized them. Now is the time to do so. By reconnecting with your friends, you'll better be able to reconnect with yourself.
3. You Rationalize Your Partner's Poor Behavior
Is your partner mean, controlling, or even abusive? Do you find yourself rationalizing this behavior by saying they were just tired or stressed or busy? If so, this is a clear indication you are losing your self-worth.
We all get a little b*tchy and cranky toward our partners from time to time, but a significant other who is consistently bordering on abusive behavior is someone you shouldn't be with. It can hard to get out of a situation like this, but the first step is to try to reclaim your identity by reminding yourself you don't deserve that behavior. Also, make sure to connect with friends and family for help and communication.
4. You've Given Up On Goals
Did you once have big dreams and goals that seem to have fallen completely by the wayside in your relationship? If you're with someone who is negatively affecting your self-worth, you are probably lacking in self-confidence as well. As a result of this, you may find that you don't have the drive, motivation, or energy to continue pursuing the goals you once did.
Or you could just be with someone awful who outright tells you your goals and dreams are stupid. And if you believe them, it's because your self-worth has taken a serious hit. Take some time alone to remember what your goals and dreams were and why they were important to you. It'll also help make you realize you need to get out of the relationship.
5. You Need Your Partner's Approval On Everything
This is one of the worst things that happen when people lose their self-worth in relationships: They become almost totally unable to make decisions for themselves.
If your partner has been denting your self-worth, you may find yourself constantly running to them to seek their approval. It could be because you don't feel confident in your decision-making abilities anymore, or it could be because they've purposely made you feel like you need to run everything you do or wear or eat past them. Both are terrible places to be.
In a healthy, happy, trusting relationship, you will understand each other's opinions, of course, but you won't feel the need to absolutely have your partner's approval for everything. You'll both feel like individuals on your own, and realize that while you are a team, you need to make decisions for yourselves.
If you find yourself constantly looking for your partner's approval, it's because your self-worth has taken a hit. Don't let yourself stay in the relationship for too much longer, or it could turn really toxic.
Unfortunately, not all relationships are good for us and our self-esteem. Some partners are so horrible, they purposely make us feel bad about ourselves. Others are just a bad fit. And sometimes, we lose self-worth because we're just not mature enough to be in a relationship without losing ourselves.
If you find yourself identifying with any of these signs, you may need to resasses your relationship and consider ending it for good.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!