The Pattern: You want the guy you date to think you’re a great writer or singer or super-smart and savvy businesswoman. You need him to believe in you and your work. Love my writing, love ME! you think, as you send him links to every clip you’ve ever published after he expressed interest in your writing on your first date. Or email him YouTube videos of your latest gig. Or take him through your recent PowerPoint presentation. He believes in you and this feels wonderful, but you come to depend on his approval. Without it, you feel shaky and insecure.
How To Break It: As far as validation goes, the best place to get the approval you desire is from within yourself. However, to be able to do this all the time is an advanced practice for enlightened masters. Try to approve of yourself as much as you can, and in the meantime, don’t solely rely on your guy for validation. Because it’s a bit much to send someone you’re dating daily updates about your accomplishments in the hopes of receiving a gold star. And also, if the relationship ends and that guy was in charge of all your approval, it’s going to hurt like hell when he leaves and takes it with him. Whether you are in or out of a relationship, cultivate a network of supporters made up of friends, family members, teachers, and mentors, and share your accomplishments with them. Then give yourself your own gold star.