How to Love a Man That Doesn't Love Himself
A Narrative Research Project Test Subject... Thingy
I honestly don't know how to love a man who doesn't love himself, but the funny thing is we all haven't loved ourselves, one of the "all" people including yours truly, of course. I used to wake up and squeeze my baby fat lump under my belly button that I just can't seem to get rid of, even with years of cheer practice, spouts of healthy eating, and the apparently "almighty" puberty. I used to judge my face for being on my face and make fun of my voice as I spoke to people. Everyone does these things, we see it all day and every day.
"God could my body be anymore awkward in that pic?"
"wow my voice sounds annoying on video"
Since we all have experienced this self hatred, we know what we'd need to feel that self love. Or maybe I do, and that's why I have achieved it, thank god. I love my boyfriend so much but he doesn't love himself. He gives off this cocky and confident vibe like he more than loves himself, which some people don't care for. I don't give a shit, it's not like you have to like him and he's couldn't care less either, but it's important to know where it's stemming from. He's even said he doesn't love me as much as he wants to because of the fact that he doesn't love himself. You can't be selfless without loving yourself and that's a fact. I want him to love himself so he can be happy but also so I can be happy too. I'm already happy because I love myself and I love him. I couldn't love anyone else. I'm happy BECAUSE I love myself enough to love him fully and purely. I want him to do the same for me not just for my happiness, but more for his. He eats at himself every day for it. And I can't force him to love himself because it's a choice, but I want to hold his hand and lead him in the right direction. So here's a list of what could help, maybe I'll write in the future about its influence.
1. Letting him have pure alone time.
He almost never is purely alone. He distracts himself from his thoughts, he eats lunch with friends and family, he plays Zelda straight home from work, he watches basketball while waiting for me to get home. I always have a weekly drive or bath, that's my sanity right there. Right now I'm his sanity, and he needs to be his own.
2. Helping him show himself what a great person he is by presenting opportunities to let his qualities shine.
He's so smart, so letting him teach me something, asking him questions. He's so sweet and thoughtful, so letting him take lead on Valentine's Day and anniversaries, gifts for others, etc. He's good with his hands, so giving him a hands on project around the house. He's funny as hell so being in the mood for him to make me laugh so he knows the conversation can be light. He's fashionable, so asking him if my outfit is cute, going shopping, or even helping him with his so he knows I care about his clothes because he does.
3. Pushing him to be he person he wants to be.
He wants to be educated, so asking him how his financial aid is going and what else needs to be done, showing him how to make his schedule and find classes he's interested in, studying with him, maybe even taking similar classes to go together and help eachother. He wants to feel important and valuable at work, so helping him find a job he can be passionate about and has skills to flourish in. He wants to make a difference in his career, so giving him ideas to make his business better, researching problems in the career field so he can solve them. He wants to help people, so asking if he'd like to volunteer at the homeless shelter, help a friend move. He wants to run more and eat healthy, so running with him and taking him to the greocery store to get the ingredients for a cleanse.
4. Doing things for him that make him feel less of himself when he forgets to do.
He forgets to do things him mom asks a lot, do them. He says he wants to wash the sheets and clean the room, do it. You get the idea. This prevents the self loathing he will feel after forgetting or procrastinating.
5. Making him feel appreciated for things he does for me.
Buying food, folds my clothes, driving me to work, taking pictures when my petty self feels the need to prove to the world that we're dating and happy (lol fucked up society we have). He's amazing. He deserves recognition and appreciation.
6. Talking him UP in public.
My dad once told me about his scarring experience in one of his marriages (not stating which one so no one feels triggered if y'all are reading 😂), and she degraded and embarrassed him in public and to loved ones. He told me if she talked to others as though he was a god and a blessing in her life like he is mine, he believes he'd be a much better man, with higher confidence in self and his ability, and would have achieved more. Behind every strong and powerful man is an even stronger woman than believed in him from day one.
7. Lastly, giving him the opportunity to love me.
He can't read my mind when I'm feeling unloved or need to be snuggled or need a mental pick me up. This has been the hardest part for me because I like to take care of myself and don't like asking for help. I've learned that he likes this. When I'm tired and need a back tickle or water, or when I'm hungry and need food. When I miss my family and want to see them, no matter how many other things he'd rather be doing, it makes him feel like he's making me happy and showing his love by doing the things I ask, and over time he's learned what I need when I need it, or even what I want when I want it and he just does these things. Amazing, like I said.
That's all my little brain can muster up at 2 AM, when I'm thinking of the last time he said he can't love me the way he wants to because he doesn't love himself. That broke my heart more than if he said he didn't love me.