How important is self esteem in the creation of healthy, loving relationships?
Essential. If your self-esteem is low, then you find yourself to constantly questioning the love somebody has for you, or that they deserve better. That is just as much hurtful to them as it it damaging to you.
How is self esteem furthered where it is insufficient?
Try not to compare yourself to others. Let's face it, there is always someone who is richer, smarter, healthier, more athletic, more handsome, more skillful than you are. That doesn't been those people are better than you. Everybody has qualities that will draw the right sort of people to them. When you start to measure yourself against other people, you lose sight of why people love you.
On a scale of 0 -10, with 0 being the least and 10 being the most of healty self esteem, where is your average placement on the scale over the last year?
9, with the occasional 6. For the most, life has been good. Every so often I slump into a hole, but usually pull myself out after a day or two, and with lots of communication.
Has your placement on that scale changed in recent time?
When I started out in poly almost 3 years ago, I would argue it was pretty low, perhaps a 3. It has gradually increased over time.
If yes, why/how do you think it has changed?
Those first weeks few weeks of poly, my thought process was "who is going to want me? how am I going to find somebody else? the wife has it so easy, suitors will be coming out of the wood work." Yeah, don't tell me I'm not the only guy to have thought that!! It is also an unfair statement. Sure, women may have an easier time finding someone, that is, if all they are after is sex; but if they want an honest relationship, to be treated with respect, to be loved, then they have it no easier.
I started chatting online with other women, and they seem to be interested in me. I was very quiet and shy in person, so communicating via a computer has always been much easier. After a the first few flings, then I had to toss out of the notion that my wife was the only person who could be attracted to me. How often do we have a loved one compliment us, only to think "Well, they would say that!"? As if somehow their biased opinion doesn't really count. Ever wondered why it's biased in the first place?
Out of the relationship with girlfriend, I developed a trend of wearing skirts. Yup, that's right. Skirts. I don't crossdress, meaning, I don't have any desire to look like a woman. I do it because...well, skirts are fun. Colorful. Sometimes they have bright sparkly things. My shyness meant I spent an entire life blending into the background, trying not to be noticed. Wearing a bright flowing skirt in public tends to have the opposite effect....and I love it. I no longer care what other people think. In fact, they are probably more embarrassed than I am. The fact of the matter is, wearing skirts boosted my self-esteem. It gave me confidence to be who I am, and break with conformity.
There was a time, halfway through my relationship with the girlfriend, that she came close to breaking up with me. There were too many stresses in life - work, money, problems with her extended poly family, and she needed a break. Her house mate of ten yeard, who is also poly, told her "but I really like him", and probably advised her against ending things. Having someone who knew my girlfriend better than I did, who had seen her other relationships (and hate many of them), basically tell her not to let this guy go....well, that was another huge boost to my self esteem!
Last edited by nicothoe; 08-04-2011 at 01:22 PM.