Someone who doesn't love themselves isn't fully capable of loving you in the way you deserve.
Ah, the sweetness of two people madly in love. The skies are bluer, the flowers are more fragrant, and seemingly nothing matters. We've all been there.
But not all love is equal. People bring a whole lot of baggage when it comes to relationships. And instead of checking it, they bring it on board, unloading it on you. Someone who doesn't love themselves isn't fully capable of loving you in the way you deserve.
The problem is if you're feeling insecure yourself, you're likely to see these behaviors as flattering — after all, they're paying attention to you — rather than unhealthy and abusive. Here are 10 ways the WRONG person will love you.
1. They'll break you down only to build you back up.
An easy way to make someone dependent on your approval is to make them feel like crap, and then turnaround and compliment them. Do you feel like you're suddenly in a bad 90s reality show? That's because douchebags like Mystery and Neil Strauss were advocating this exact idea when they came up with negging. This psychological game turns the tables so now you're trying to prove them wrong seeking their approval.
2. Any gift they give you or thing they do for you will be more about them than you.
Flowers? Jewelry? An impromptu trip to Paris? All of those things are amaze balls. Unless the giver of said gifts is posting it all over Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Or if you only receive gifts and surprises in front of others.
I had a friend who only received flowers when she was at work or at her parents' house. At first she loved it. That is until she realized that at home he cared as much about surprising her as he did about cleaning the toilet.
3. They will create drama to get your attention.
When all else fails, create drama! It's in every insecure person's handbook. Case in point: once while I was strolling around town with an ex, he was abnormally quiet, blaming it on not sleeping enough the night before. When I finally pressed him about what was really going on (I thought he wanted to breakup), he spurted out, "I love you and I just feel like you don't even like me!"
It was the first time he used the "L" word, and it was exactly the most romantic way to do so. He literally used the drama he created to tell me he loved me.
4. They give you passive-aggressive compliments.
"You look hot in that picture, but your expression is always the same." Um, OK. These backwards compliments are usually said with a smile so you end up confused about their intentions. Did they really mean to sound like an ass? Yes, they did and they did it on purpose. It's a way to keep you in place should you get too big for your britches.
5. They try to control you.
Dictating how you dress or who you hang out with is never OK. But if you're deep in codependency it can be easy to miss these signs. It may seem flattering at first that a significant other is jealous of someone else or doesn't like the attention you receive when you dress sexy. But it's not about you — it's about them and their low self-esteem.
6. They will smother you.
In a world where people are ghosting each other left and right or pretending they are busier than they are, it can be nice to have a special someone make it clear they want to hear from you. Except when they call, then text, then call again within the space of an hour. Unless someone just died or was injured, that's just plain psycho.
7. They will make you the source of all their happiness.
It's impossible to be one person's everything. When someone tries to make it seem as though you are the one and only reason for their existence, it may seem attentive at first. Especially if you have co-dependent tendencies. But if you've got a life of your own, it can be smothering. Do one thing they don't like and next thing you know they're depressed or angry because you're not meeting their needs.
8. They test you.
They'll text you, and when you don't text back fast enough they'll use it to prove you don't care. Instead of getting to know you, they'll see if they can fit you into the slots they need to fill. You'll say you don't like the outdoors, but they'll insist on going hiking to see if you can handle it.
9. They'll be there in the downtimes but not the good.
Being there for someone when they're feeling lower than a pile of doodoo is easy, because hello, schadenfreude. However, when someone is feeling good and at the top of their game, jealousy can creep in, preventing them from sharing in your joy.
10. They make you jump through hoops to earn their love.
They are constantly looking for signs that you don't love them. In order to prove that you do, you'll have to meet all their imaginary requirements. If you don't, they can't trust you. I once had a boyfriend get really upset because I didn't ask to listen to the CD of his old band from high school. Had I asked, I would have earned points, but since I didn't he convinced himself I didn't care.