Why Is It So Hard to Love People Who Don't Love Themselves?

The problem with people who don't love themselves is that they don't feel worthy of other people's affection. Their fear of abandonment actually makes them more prone to it.
Why Is It So Hard to Love People Who Don't Love Themselves?

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Falling in love with people who don’t love themselves can be really hard to do.

The main reason is that when you love someone, you constantly want to remind them how amazing they are. For someone who doesn’t love themselves, it’s hard to accept these kinds of compliments.

People who don’t love themselves often reject compliments without realizing how painful that can be to others. That’s why we’re all looking for a partner who values themselves.

However, this isn’t the only reason it’s hard to love someone who doesn’t love themselves. Here are some other reasons:

Communication is difficult

Communication can turn into a chore if you’re in a relationship with someone who doesn’t know how to love themselves.

These people tend to misinterpret things and always assume the worst.

Situations like this are very frustrating for many people. Most of the time, those who don’t love themselves project their own issues onto their partner.

For example, say you finish your partners’ sentence. Sure, it happens all the time, but they may take it like you’re being condescending or lying.

It’s hard to care for someone who doesn’t take care of themselves

Couple breaking up because it's hard to love people who don't love themselves

It can be frustrating to love someone who doesn’t love or even take care of themselves. It makes spontaneous comments like a “you look nice today” turn into an argument due to their low self-esteem.

It’s common for them to start criticizing you for anything little thing you try to tell them because of their insecurities.

As you can imagine, it’s tiring spending your time and energy trying to make your loved one smile and never succeeding.

After all, no matter how hard you try, it’s unlikely that they’ll trust you or take your words at face value.

People who don’t love themselves often become too dependent

It’s normal for your partner to count on you to encourage them and make them feel better when they’re feeling sad or negative. That’s probably what you would expect from them as well.

It stops being healthy when they depend on you to make them happy. Extreme dependency can turn into suffocation.

They will probably start to believe that you’ll leave them. Over time, you’ll start to think that it’s not such a bad idea and they’ll be left without their only source of happiness.

Someone who doesn’t love themselves tends to reject help

When you love someone, you want to help them be well. However, you have to remember that they have been rejecting themselves since before you met them, making them unwilling to accept help from anyone.

This complicates things, since even if you hold out hope that some day they’ll accept your help, the truth is that this will probably never happen.

Try to remember that you can’t change people. You aren’t able to change the essence of a person to make them into who you want them to be.

Trust between you ends up destroyed

Couple hugging

When a person doesn’t love themselves for who they are, they can’t understand why others would love them. Usually, they’re constantly worried their partner will “realize” who they really are and end the relationship.

Things like this make it very difficult to build a bond of trust with their partner.

This is because a person who is permanently anxious or worried that you’ll leave often acts negatively. The irony is that this fear actually ends up pushing you away.

Things you should know if you love someone who doesn’t love themselves

If you’re able to be with someone who doesn’t love themselves, it means you are a caring, protective person.

But believing that a conversation will be enough to fix everything will just leave you disappointed.

If you’re actually willing to help your partner stop rejecting you, you should remember that, first of all, they have to be the one who really wants to change and accept the help you’re offering.

You should pay attention to how you feel, because if you’re physically or emotionally exhausted because of the relationship, it’s probably one that you should get out of.

In that case, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I really think my partner can change?
  • Are they aware that I’m not happy?
  • Are they actually interested in changing?

Once you have your answers, you’ll be able to see if it’s worth continuing or not.

After all, you shouldn’t sacrifice your own happiness for someone who doesn’t want to stop being unhappy.

Remember that the only one responsible for your happiness is you, just like your partner is responsible for their own happiness, as well.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Bigi, M. (2015). El modelo de los cinco factores de la persona y la teoría triangular del amor. Revista Investigación En Psicología Social.
  • Aiquipa Tello, J. J. (2015). Dependencia emocional. Revista de Psicología.
  • Rodríguez, I. (2013). LA DEPENDENCIA EMOCIONAL EN LAS RELACIONES INTERPERSONALES. ReiDoCrea. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2015.06.053

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.