Bob asks: I have this pattern where people I hold as important to me do not find me all that important. The best man at my wedding would never have dreamed of me as worthy of being more than a guest at his wedding. My friends who I would have liked to have asked to house a visiting woman from a long-distance relationship, would barely ask me to do anything.
I don’t know how this plays into the dating-after-being-widowed that I am doing, but it can’t be helping, right? That’s mostly an exercise to see if the Venn diagrams of ‘women I like’ and ‘women who like me’ will ever overlap.
You have an underlying belief that you are not important, not ‘good enough’, and this leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your interpersonal relationships are feeding this narrative because one of two things is happening:
You are subconsciously elevating people that you on some level recognise are not holding you in similar regard. Aligning yourself with people who you believe don’t value you, is a protective mechanism to defend against intimacy. This is similar to when someone’s romantic interest heightens when they know that their affections aren’t or won’t be reciprocated. They get to be ‘right’ and to avoid putting themselves out there, reinforcing their perception that they are indeed not worthy and lovable. You’re essentially setting you up to fail.
Or, your friends do consider you to be important but you are projecting your feelings about you on to them. Again, this also protects you from intimacy within these relationships. What does believing that your friends don’t consider you to be important allow you to do or not do? What do you get to keep telling yourself?
Really it’s a toss-up between having not-so-good friends, or genuine friends who maybe you don’t value quite as much as you think.