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  • Learn to put "me" Before "we": Building Self-esteem in Relationships

Learn to put "me" Before "we": Building Self-esteem in Relationships

Sometimes relationships present themselves when we least expect it. It is important that you are ready to commit when you begin a relationship.  This commitment involves loyalty, acceptance, and respect.  Personal self-esteem is a crucial part to maintaining a successful relationship.  Low self-esteem can leave you feeling so badly about yourself that you miss out on the joys that life has to offer. Many young adults who begin relationships with little self-esteem become dependent on the other person for happiness, which can put a lot of strain on a relationship.

Things to Avoid:

  • Placing a burden on the other person to make you feel better about yourself.
  • Shifting power in the relationship so that you do what it takes to please the other person.
  • Losing a sense of your values in a relationship.
  • Accepting poor treatment because you feel you do not deserve better.
  • Becoming upset every time the other person rejects you because your sense of self-worth is tied to how the other person feels about you.


Things to Focus On:

  • Eating right and exercising regularly
  • Spending time doing things that make you happy
  • Rewarding yourself for completing tasks
  • Starting a new hobby that’s just for you


If you feel you may have low self-esteem, the guide below will give you ideas on what you can do to feel better about yourself, starting now. The ideas come from people like you; those working to improve their self-esteem so they can have healthy and positive relationships in their lives.

Adapted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) publication, Building Self-esteem: A Self-Help Guide. Available at


Other resources that can help you navigate this topic:

When is low-self esteem a problem?

What can I do right now to raise my self-esteem?

How can I change negative thoughts I have about myself to positive ones?

What can I do to feel good about myself?


  • Wesley Aug 13th

    Yeah, I agree that it is not a good idea to put all your self worth in another person. I agree that people should not become dependent on another for finding identity and definitely not lowering your standards or values becuase the other person wants you to. As a person with mental illness, I find sometimes that I can be manipulated by people that I think care about me but the problem is that they don't care about me and have their own agenda. This happens to me in friendships and not just relationships. The best advice I can add is that you have to "Let go, and Let God." This means let go of the frustration and pain the person caused you, and let God heal your broken heart.