In a relationship, setting your expectations, hopes, and goals for the future can be healthy. However, setting realistic expectations and ensuring everyone involved in the relationship feels seen, heard, and respected can also be healthy.
If you feel like your best efforts in your relationship aren’t enough for your partner, checking in with yourself and your relationship may be beneficial. Several strategies exist to cope with these feelings, compromise and communicate with your partner, and work through your relationship challenges.
Why Do I Feel I’m Not Enough For Her?
If you feel like your efforts aren’t enough to meet the expectations or needs of your partner, there are several reasons these feelings may be coming up, including but not limited to the following.
Your self-esteem is comprised of your unique qualities and characteristics. People with higher self-esteem may have a more positive view of themselves, while those with low self-esteem may have less faith in their capabilities and perceived success.
If you enter a relationship with low self-esteem, building a healthy connection on an unsteady foundation can be difficult. Without realizing it, you may surround yourself with mental “walls” and boundaries, making it difficult for others to express their appreciation, respect, and love for you.
When executed thoughtfully, expectations set the “ground rules” and ensure that everyone’s needs are met in a relationship. However, expectations can also be taken to extremes and strain your connection.
High expectations can take many forms but could include:
- Expecting to spend all extra time with your partner
- Comparing your relationship to examples from fiction or celebrity culture
- Expecting constant gifts and praise
- Feeling frustrated when your friend or partner can’t “read your mind”
Healthy relationships are often based on expectations everyone can agree on, making each person feel like their best efforts are more than enough.
Fear Of Loss Or Rejection
If you’ve experienced rejection, infidelity, or loss in a past relationship, it can be difficult to feel assured in your current relationships and friendships. The fear of rejection can be rooted in low self-esteem, but it may also stem from past connections with romantic partners and experiences in early childhood.
Some individuals spend many years processing events from childhood, early adulthood, and other formative periods of life.
While some degree of criticism and accountability can be constructive, repeated exposure to harsh criticism as a child can negatively affect your self-esteem and confidence as an adult. As you pursue relationships in adulthood, you may continue to wrestle with memories of harsh criticism from your parents and other adult figures.
How To Cope With Feelings Of Inadequacy
Start With You
If you’re feeling like your best effort isn’t enough for your girlfriend or partner, take a moment to focus on yourself. Consider your needs, your relationship history, and your goals. Blaming a particular scenario or your partner for your emotions may feel tempting. However, take responsibility for your feelings.
Instead of finding a way to assign blame for these emotions, try to explore their root causes. Do your feelings of inadequacy stem from a past relationship or a perceived mistake? Do they feel more intense after an overwhelming day at work or a fight with your partner?
Journaling and discussing these emotions with a therapist can help you identify common trends in your thought patterns and communicate your emotions more openly with your partner, friends, and other people in your life.
Reevaluate The Expectations In Your Relationship
Feelings of inadequacy may also develop in response to unrealistic expectations and ideals. A partner or friend might expect you to show up whenever they need help or to shower them with gifts, praise, and other forms of affirmation.
In a healthy relationship, helping behaviors extend both ways, and the occasional gift or word of praise can be deeply meaningful. However, when someone constantly expects these gestures, it can leave the other person feeling emotionally depleted.
If you’re feeling the weight of another person’s expectations, it may benefit you to reevaluate these standards and share honestly about how they make you feel.
In addition to your partner’s standards, you may have high expectations of yourself. Do you feel healthily challenged and motivated by your expectations, or could they damage your self-esteem? High expectations can take you to new heights – but pushed to the extreme, they can make you feel unworthy unless you achieve everything you expect of yourself, which can cause stress.
Focus On Communication
Many experts agree that communication is one of the core areas of a healthy relationship, with some studies showing that communication can be more important than commitment. For many, healthy communication is characterized by honesty, clarity, and openness.
By maintaining an open line of communication with your partner, friends, and other loved ones, it may be easier to “open up” about daily matters, as well. In an open, communicative relationship, you may feel you can honestly share your emotions, hopes, and doubts about the future.
Although relationships can face challenges, like high expectations or self-doubt, commitment to communicate with clarity and sincerity may help partners work through these barriers and feel more in tune with each other.
Take Your Time
As you work through feelings of inadequacy, you may find these emotions are more deeply rooted than you initially realized. The doubts and insecurities in relationships may be traceable to childhood or other major life events, and it can take time to process these feelings, challenge them, and overcome them.
Allow yourself time and space to process these feelings. Schedule self-care activities into your calendar, communicate your needs to loved ones, and consider contacting a mental health professional for further support.
Strengthening Your Relationships With Therapy
Although your relationships are uniquely yours, a licensed therapist can offer tools and insight to help you feel more connected to the people in your life.
Feelings of inadequacy can be intense, but there are ways to address them. A therapist can help you understand the roots of these emotions and how they impact your relationships. While some clients prefer in-person therapy, more are using online therapy to support their mental health while balancing work, family, and other obligations. Using a platform like BetterHelp for individuals or Regain for couples, you can complete a brief questionnaire and match with an online therapist meeting your preferences.
A growing body of research suggests that online therapy can be as effective as traditional, face-to-face therapy and often more convenient. One 2020 study by the American Psychological Association studied the value of an online therapy program for 742 low-income couples and found that online therapy can play a central role in delivering effective, affordable therapy to couples and others with limited finances.
By signing up for online therapy, you can choose between phone, video, or chat sessions with your therapist and take advantage of messaging capabilities with your provider throughout the week.
How do you know if a girl hates you?
If a girl hates you, she might just tell you she doesn’t like you or ask you to leave her alone. However, there are many other things that may indicate when someone hates you, including:
- Using closed off body language cues, such as crossing their arms while talking to you, pursing their lips, or avoiding eye contact
- Keeping conversations superficial
- Glaring at you
- Blocking you on social media
- Not texting you back or sending terse replies
- Keeping physically or emotionally distant
- Uncomfortable conversations that seem forced or tense
- Giving you the silent treatment
- Leaving the room when you enter
- Smiling at you, but it seems strained or fake
- Declining your invitations to spend more time together
- Acting passive aggressive
- Excluding you from events or conversations
- Not initiating conversations with you
- Making intentionally condescending or hurtful comments
- Talking about you behind your back
- Disrespecting your boundaries repeatedly
Though these things may indicate that someone hates you, they don’t always. It can be easy to misinterpret the body language, behaviors, and words of others. If you believe someone you’re in a relationship hates you, it may be a good idea to bring it up to them and/or discuss your feelings together with the help of a licensed couple’s therapist.
What to do if a girl hates me?
If you believe someone hates you, you may want to try:
- Checking your assumptions: Things can get lost in translation. When someone expresses something that can be misinterpreted, it can be helpful to ask clarifying questions or summarize their statement. For example, you could say, “What I'm hearing you say is [XYZ]. Is that right?” If you’re communicating over text or email, it may be a good idea to have an in-person conversation about your concerns.
- Backing off: If someone gives you clear signs that they don’t like you, that’s a good sign to give them space and minimize your interactions with them.
- Apologizing (when appropriate): If you’ve clearly done something wrong that has hurt your girlfriend's feelings, it would be a good idea to offer a sincere apology for your actions. Offering an apology may not fix things between the two of you, but accepting responsibility for actions that harmed another person can be beneficial for both parties, whether they accept your apology or not.
- Considering your mental health: Many people experience cognitive distortions and low self-esteem, which can make it seem like everyone hates you. Low self-esteem can also drive approval-seeking behaviors and unhealthy relationship dynamics. If you don’t love yourself, it can be challenging to build healthy relationships.
- Building self-awareness: You may be doing things that others interpret as rude, hurtful, or bothersome. Working with a therapist can help you build stronger communication skills and self-awareness.
It feels bad when someone hates you, but it’s not necessarily a reflection of you. They may be going through a difficult experience or have insecurities that they’ve projected onto you. Not everyone will like you, and it’s a good idea to seek out people who uplift rather than deflate you.
What does it mean when she hates you?
It is fairly normal for your partner to be acting differently from time-to-time. If your girlfriend’s behavior has changed, it may seem like she doesn’t have as much interest in physical intimacy as she used to, or like she doesn’t want to spend time with you. However, it’s important to remember that these changes may develop for a myriad of reasons. For example, she may have a cold, be busy with work, or have personal matters that are distracting. It may be worth mentioning how you feel and asking her if she's willing to have an honest conversation about your relationship if you’re concerned your girlfriend hates you.
When a girl says she hates you or acts like she does, she could be trying to say that you’ve hurt her feelings, that she’s mad at you, or that she needs some space. The only way to know how someone truly feels is to ask them.
When a girl ignores you does it mean she hates you?
If your girlfriend ignores you, you may have found yourself wondering “Does my girlfriend hate me?” However, there are many explanations for why a girl may have seemingly ignored you:
- It’s a miscommunication: She may not realize that you feel ignored. If you communicate how you’re feeling, you may be surprised to learn that she had no idea how her actions were affecting you.
- She’s busy: She could be preoccupied with school, work, or other obligations.
- Her feelings are hurt: If she’s mad at you or wants some space after you’ve hurt her feelings, she may decide to ignore you temporarily. If this is the case, it may be a good idea to offer a genuine apology and then give her space.
- She forgot to respond: If you texted a girl and never received a reply, she could have forgotten to respond to the message, her phone may have died, or she might just not like texting. If you’re worried that she hates you, it may be a good idea to bring up your concerns in person.
- She has different text etiquette than you: Leaving a message on “read” or ending a message with a period may not mean anything to her.
- She’s not interested: She may be ignoring you because she doesn’t think you’re a great match. It does not necessarily mean she hates you, but she may not find you relatable or think you have enough in common.
- You’ve come on too strong: If someone thinks you’re being clingy, it could drive them to disengage.
- There’s a pursuer-distancer dynamic: Many relationships fall into a pursue-withdraw pattern, where one partner is critical or seeking intense connection, causing the other partner to withdraw in self-protection. If this dynamic is present in your relationship, you may want to seek out a couples counselor.
- She’s stonewalling or gaslighting you: If she’s giving you the silent treatment to intentionally cause you distress, gain power, or exert control over you, she may be exhibiting a type of gaslighting. Gaslighting is a type of emotional abuse that can severely harm the emotional wellbeing of the person on the receiving end of this treatment.
There are many possible reasons why a girl is ignoring you. However, it is possible that she’s ignoring you because she truly doesn’t want you in her life. If you notice other signs, such as closed off body language, uncomfortable conversations, declining or ignoring invitations to hang out, physically distancing herself from you, or speaking poorly about you behind your back, it may be an indicator that she genuinely does not like you.
How can I test if a girl likes me?
Aside from asking a girl whether she likes you, there are many signs that can indicate romantic interest, including:
- Dilated pupils
- Prolonged eye contact
- Glancing at you repeatedly
- Open body language cues, such as angling their body towards you
- Gravitating towards you in social settings
- Seeming shy or laughing nervously (in a good way) when they’re around you
- Texting back and forth all the time
- Wanting to learn more about you
- Inviting you to hang out
- Going out of their way to do nice things for you, like offering to do you a favor or surprising you with your favorite treat on your birthday
- Playfully touching your arm or shoulder, or frequently hugging you
- Sticking up for you
- Wanting to impress you
- Opening up to you about their life
- Seeming relaxed around you
When a girl likes you, she might exhibit some of these signs. You may also just “get the feeling” if there’s an intense passion between the two of you, you’re clearly enjoying each other’s company, or if conversations flow easily between you. You may find that you both have trouble holding back from smiling in each other’s presence, or like she lights up the room when she’s around. However, if you’re unsure whether someone likes you or it’s only you liking them, you might want to consider asking them how they feel or sharing your feelings for them.
How do you know if she is pretending to love you?
If your partner is pretending to love you or has fallen out of love, you may pick up on some subtle or overt signs. For example:
- She feels emotionally or physically distant
- She’s hypercritical of you
- You argue all the time
- She seems happier when she’s spending time with other people
- She doesn’t care when she hurts your feelings
- She disregards your boundaries
- She doesn’t want to talk about your future together
- It seems like you’re only together because you feel as though you need each other
- You’re not a priority
- She doesn’t include you in major life decisions
- She doesn’t speak any love language to you (words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, receiving gifts)
Though these signs may indicate that she’s no longer in love with you, they could be indicative that there are other relationship issues that need addressing. It’s a good idea to bring up how you’re feeling instead of making assumptions.
How do you know if someone doesn't like you?
There are often clear signs when someone doesn’t like you. For example, they may purse their lips, glare, roll their eyes, avoid eye contact, distance themselves from you, or force a tense smile when they’re talking to you.
However, it's common for people to interpret neutral social interactions negatively. If you experience all-on-nothing cognitive distortions like, “everyone hates me,” “I’m bad at everything,” or “I’m always going to be alone,” consider working with a therapist to reframe distorted thoughts and work on boosting your self-esteem.
What to do if your crush hates you?
It can hurt when you feel hated by your crush. However, remember that they might not actually hate you. For example, you could be misinterpreting their behaviors as hatred or there could be something else going on in their lives.
If your crush does hate you, it’s not a reflection of your worth, and it can be a good sign that your energy and attention would be better spent on people who appreciate you instead.
How to attract a girl who doesn’t like you?
Unrequited love can be painful, but if someone doesn’t like you, you should give them space and respect their choices. It’s typically not a good idea to continue pursuing someone who’s not interested in you.
How to make a girl love you?
You cannot force someone to love you. However, by being a kind, trustworthy, vulnerable, considerate, communicative, and supportive partner, you can build a relationship where your partner feels valued and uplifted. To be the best partner you can be, consider doing the following:
- Learn to speak her love language
- Validate her feelings
- Really listen when she’s speaking (for example, don’t interrupt her or scroll on social media while she’s talking to you)
- Use small gestures to show that you value her
- Invite her into your life
- Respect her boundaries
- Be honest and use “I language” to share how you feel
- Prioritize the relationship
- Support her ambitions
- Take care of yourself
- Love yourself
- Accept her for who she is, flaws and all
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