I mentioned earlier this week how I'm learning that, in a solid, healthy relationship, outside friendships (even with the opposite sex) are okay.
A couple of commenters thought this made sense; others disagreed, and stuck to the adage that men and women "cannot be friends; the sex gets in the way."
One commenter admitted that one of her close friends is a guy who she "hooked up with a long time ago" and her boyfriend is okay with that. But, she says she would not be okay with him hanging out with a woman, especially one with whom he'd had a relationship.
It takes a lot of guts to admit something like that; it's probably true for a lot more people than are willing to admit it. It's also very insightful; the commenter knows she can trust her boyfriend, and unlike so many others, she's not blaming him for her own self-esteem issues.That alone takes a lot more confidence than she may realize.
I think any time that your partner, especially if you've been together a while, has something (hobby, relationship, success) outside the "unit" - it's scary. When you allow yourself to count on someone being around, anything that gives them a little independence from the relationship can make you wonder.
It's even worse if you're insecure. "Oh, I'm very confident," some people respond. Fine - confidence is an attitude; it's how you present yourself to others. It's very possible to be confident on the outside, and still a little unsure of yourself on the inside.
More than that, it's also possible to be confident in every part of your life, but maybe a little insecure over one small detail.
I was once that woman who had no confidence in my relationship; at the end of the day, it truly was my own insecurities and self-doubt that caused me to feel that way. It wasn't about whether I could trust X - I just didn't trust myself.
I didn't trust that I was good enough.
It had nothing to do with him, or how he treated me, or how I thought he felt about me. It had everything to do with how much I didn't think I could do, and how threatened I was that X might "find out" what I couldn't do well.
Thing is - eventually, we all have to come to terms with our weaknesses, and either accept them or overcome them. Once we do that, it won't matter who we meet, or what the circumstances. Once we trust ourselves - trusting them, and the situation, is that much easier.
There's no definite answer for how to find self-esteem. Hell, even the most confident people struggle with it on a regular basis. Once you accept that it will be a life-long journey with its ups and downs, the closer you'll be.