Until recently, one of my top priorities was to have a girlfriend. It was what I valued most. As a result, I was willing to sacrifice all other things to get and keep a girl. So when I met a girl who gave me her number, I got a boost in self-worth. When she texted me, my self-worth was boosted up one point.
Getting texted by this girl fit in my goal of getting and keeping a girlfriend. So when I get a text, my meter goes up. As you can tell, it’s not red. That’s because my intrinsic self-worth has not changed. Rather, I’ve leached off this girl and used her value to make myself feel better. I stole my perceived worth of her to make my self-worth higher. The problem is, when it goes away, I’m back down to one.
Same thing with dates, kisses, sex, and so on. The closer I get to my goal, the better I feel about myself. This how my relationship with my ex was before I got sick. When she texted me, I felt good.
When she was too busy to respond, I felt insecure. When she let me come over and see her, I felt on top of the world. If she told me she wanted to have a night to herself, I felt like I was doing something wrong.
Since my self-worth was contingent on my intimate relationships, I was highly motivated to pursue short and long-term goals that enhanced or promoted that aspect of my life. In fact, people like me who use their relationship as a validation of their self-worth want to prove to themselves that their relationship is a success. They need that success because it validates their sense of self.
All I was doing in these relationships was taking the woman’s value to fill up the empty holes in my heart, because I believed that I was unworthy as a human being.
Some guys try to use other things like drugs, cars, money, sex, and alcohol to fill up their meter, but it doesn’t last. In fact, it never lasts, because you can never feel good about yourself if you believe at your core that you are a piece of shit.
For me, any Relationship Self-Worth Boost I got made me feel good. It was like taking a hit of heroin, but those good feelings about myself went away the moment she did. It left me itching, running and chasing my next hit. The higher I got, the worse I felt when I lost it. Dropping from a 10 to a 1 has a far worse relapse than dropping from a 2 to a 1. For me, it was absolutely devastating.
The culture we live in places the idea of self-reliance and meritocracy in our heads, and may lead us to believe that our self-worth must be earned by performance and attainment. It makes us believe that some people are worthier than others. 3
But I want you to take a moment and look at the world. Isn’t there evidence that getting things doesn’t make you happy? There are studies that show getting more money beyond our basic needs doesn’t make us that much happier. But at the same time, millions of men suffer tremendous anxiety and health issues from working 80 to 100 hours a week to buy things they don’t even use.
How many guys do you know that have the beautiful wife, the successful kids, the big house and loads of money, but are still miserable? They still don’t feel good enough. They still view themselves as a inadequate.
Getting results will never fix intrinsic beliefs you have about being unworthy.