It’s often said that you can tell a lot about someone by the company they keep. While often true, it can also be misleading. We look at someone and when they say they’ve had girlfriends/a wife, go to church, are a cop, or appear to have friends and can be the life and soul at a party, we assume it means that they’re a great catch. It’s like, Well, if they have people around them that like them or they have exes, it makes them desirable. This is the dating equivalent of ‘social proof’. It also tells us a lot about our biases and who we believe is safe, desirable, and high status.

Have you ever wondered why so many women become involved with attached men?

These women take the fact that the man is attached as literal, social proof, of his capability and capacity for a relationship and commitment. Obviously, they forget that the act of cheating itself indicates a lack of commitment and incompatible relationship values.

When we’re with someone who’s ‘good on paper, not so great in the flesh’, we wonder where we’ve gone wrong. We wonder why we see such a different side [to them]. How they can be nice to others but not nice to us, or why they have loved others, but not us? We wonder why they haven’t left yet. Or why they’ve left but are no more committed to us than they’ve been with others.

This confusion about why someone doesn’t want/love us, ties in with the mistake of having conflicting ideas about value.

‘I’m a person of value. I deserve to be treated well. Why isn’t he treating me in this way?

He-llo! Why her and not me? What does he see in her when I’m the right person for him? Why can’t he see it?’

‘I’m a good woman. Why doesn’t he value me? Why is he throwing away my love?

You see the thing about value, is that it’s very much driven by you. As such, you can tell a lot about how much you value yourself by the company they keep (or chase).

If you claim to be someone of “great value” and then you hang with someone who treats you like low-value goods and stick around to try to get them to see and treat you like higher value goods (i.e. teach them to learn to value you), it’s you who is changing your value, not them.

Your value is as good as how you treat yourself, the company you keep, the beliefs you hold, and the life you lead.

If you don’t treat and regard yourself with love, care, trust, and respect, you hang out with people who, in turn, also don’t treat you this way. By also continuing to hold negative beliefs about yourself, love, and relationships, you will not only conduct your life accordingly and slot into the merry-go-round of the self-fulfilling prophecy, you will also diminish your own value. You need to get rid of the proverbial piece of paper and opt for substance in the flesh.

Hard as it may be to hear, part of the reason we get involved with people who offer the least likely possibility of giving the very things that we profess to want and who require radical change is that, aside from having commitment issues, poor love habits, and dealing with an element of inadvertent sabotage, we’re inflating our own value .

  • Have low self esteem. —>
  • Attach yourself to someone who will need to make you the exception to their track record of not being a good relationship partner. —>
  • Invest yourself in this limited relationship and attempt to get a return on investment. —>
  • Hope that if you eventually get this person to change and see how you want to be seen and valued that this will give you an enormous boost and make you a valuable, validated person = value inflated.

It’s also:

  • Have low self-esteem. —>
  • Choose dodgy partner. —>
  • You initially feel better about yourself as you’re distracted by their problems and apparent lack of greatness = false value.

Love is not about having the power to get someone to change into the person you want them to be just because you have ‘bestowed’ your ‘love’ upon them.

Love, also, is not about choosing reluctant, unsuitable, incompatible partners and then hoping, willing, waiting, and demanding that they make you the exception to their rule of behaviour.

This doesn’t mean you are not a person of value. What it does mean is that by valuing the wrong things and having the wrong perception about your own value, you undermine yourself and your efforts. You also value yourself based on your involvement with others. This causes you to veer between undervaluing and overvaluing yourself, but never actually truly valuing you.

People who don’t deserve our time and energy and don’t act with love, care, trust, and respect distract us from our issues. They seemingly making what we feel we have far more valuable.

It’s important to realise that the way of actually being more valuable is to opt out of the madness and treat yourself as someone of value.

Imagine yourself as an expensive property. Now, imagine that you let someone move in that treats the place like a beat-up caravan. Eventually, no matter how valuable the property is, it starts lacking an appearance in line with its value. It begins showing significant signs of wear and tear. People who pass by think ‘Man, I thought this place was worth a lot more than that. I guess I was wrong if they would just let it go to rack and ruin like that’.

The property owner started out assuming that surely someone would treat the property with the love and care it needs. Now, they’ve switched to believing that, in time, this person will stop abusing the property. They mistakenly believe that the tenant will invest themselves in it and treat the property accordingly. Eventually, the owner has to kick them out. And while the property needs a little work to clean and fix the mess and damage, pretty much as soon as the tenant leaves, the value starts to rise again.

Likewise, if you don’t choose carefully and live a life that is in line with the values and value you claim to have, it’s the equivalent of getting any old Tom, Dick, or Harry off the street and saying ‘How much do you think this is worth?’ and them throwing out some random, low price. And then you trying to explain that it’s worth much more and them looking at you blankly.

‘Value’ is very much a perception thing. It’s a natural by-product of being and conducting your life in a way that is congruent with the ‘values’ you profess to have.

Your core [personal] values are at your core. They’re fundamental to fostering healthy, happy, successful relationships and having a life with good self-esteem, filled with healthy boundaries.

Put in reverse: If you have no boundaries, you will have poor self-esteem and foster unhealthy, unhappy, unsuccessful relationships because you don’t have values at your core.

This is why I emphasise the importance of having an honest conversation with yourself and being authentic instead of having little or no boundaries, morphing and adapting to other people’s values that you don’t hold, or trying to get them to take on your values that they don’t respect or see. All of the latter essentially amounts to losing yourself in every relationship you’re in because you’re so desperate to be loved and validated, you have no sense of self, and have got lost along the way being whatever you think people want you to be.

You may also find that you are inadvertently disrespectful to others as you impose your vision of things on them. You might tell them the changes that you expect or try to force your love on them.

If you value yourself and have boundaries and values, nobody can come along and have you doing and being things that distance you from who you are. You sure as hell won’t normalise bad behaviour in your relationships.

By the same token, if you truly value yourself, and have boundaries and values, you’ll value and accept others who reflect your beliefs. You won’t cross their boundaries or disrespect their values.

If you’re involved with Mr/Miss Unavailables and assclowns, you need to acknowledge something critical:

While no doubt it is apparent that they have poor values, you need to recognise and accept that they value different things instead of making your worthiness into the issue. Don’t think, I can see it’s screwed up that they value this, so I must get them to change it. Surely someone who values these things must realise it’s wrong and just needs the love of a Good Woman/Man/Person? Um, no.

If you really are looking to be happy and meet someone you’re genuinely compatible with, it’s not about having dubious relationship habits. It’s not about finding your ‘type’, and then trying to make them have your values (or abandoning yours) by hammering the square peg into a round hole so that you can get your ‘happy ending’.

Ask yourself: What are my values? Then look at your relationships and see if they match up. If they don’t, ask yourself why. Be self-compassionate. From there, you start gaining insight into why your relationships are not working.

Part two and part three are now available

Your thoughts?

Step into a new chapter of love and self-awareness with the ‘Break The Cycle’ ecourse.

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