Dr. Marie Land | Washington DC Psychologist | Relationship Therapist

With so much emphasis on your wants and needs in a potential (or current) partner it sometimes leaves little room for awareness of what you bring to the table. Having a (hopefully not too rigid and inflexible) list of qualities and standards and non-negotiables in a relationship can leave little room for awareness of what YOU bring to the relationship. With continued attention on how a partner meets or doesn’t meet your needs, the maintenance it takes most people to upkeep their self-esteem can be prioritized like an unwanted stepchild. HE’S KIND, BUT NOT THAT KIND!

Look, people aren’t that generous. Although I’m one to believe that people are innately kind for the most part, true altruism is hard to find. With the exception of a few guilt-maintained relationships, most men (and women) do not stay in relationships with women out of the generousness and kindness of their hearts. There’s something, well, more than one thing that keeps him in the relationship. There are qualities in YOU that are keeping him around (and remember- if he’s inconsistently around then we have bigger things to address here). It’s essential to see your value not only for the strength of a relationship (and continued attraction…confidence is attractive), but to ensure that your personal growth and esteem remain on the path that enhances your well-being, doesn’t diminish it.


Okay, this doesn’t mean that you have to go around advertising that you are funny, intelligent, empathic, or charm and work a happy hour like no other. It does mean that you have to put at least as much thought into how you are growing, improving, and have serious relationship marketability as you are into trying to move the relationship forward. Relationship, AND self. They are two trajectories that continue parallel paths in time and influence one another. Stepping back and acknowledging the good in your daily existence is one of the most overlooked aspects of a healthy relationship.  Sell yourself to your self each day. Why the hell would he be with you? Sure, you can look and see if you can understand what he sees in you for a little material here. But mostly don’t look to him for answers. Remember how as genuine as you tried to be that first date, you really did a little selling of yourself to him? Selling yourself to YOUR self should be at the top of your relationship improvement to-do list.