Is It Good Enough For You?

I have always admired those people who walk around with an extreme amount of confidence, even if it is a false bravado. Having that swagger is something that I would love to possess. The feeling that no matter the situation, I got it covered.

It is not like that for me though, and I suspect that it is not like that for most of you. I have my own insecurities and self-doubts. Relationships seem to magnify those issues, especially if you have had a past filled with infidelity, or if a parent was not around. At a certain level, that type of insecurity or feeling of inadequacy never really goes away.

I once dated a woman that grew up being shuffled between parents. That made it very difficult for her to feel comfortable in our
relationship. No matter what I did, she was constantly looking for things to go wrong. Questioning if I thought she was sexy enough, pretty enough, giving enough attention, and satisfying enough in bed.

Her insecurities eventually manifested themselves into accusations about my female friends and my time away from her. All the while, I was being true and faithful to her and our relationship. This conflict of feelings led to the end of the relationship and a huge scene at a popular Atlanta restaurant on a busy Friday night. The end of that relationship and my marriage before that left me feeling insecure about my ability to make a woman happy.

There is no guideline for dealing with someone who just cannot get comfortable in a relationship because of things that have happened in their past. There is no way that you can make them feel at ease, feel that trust, feel that security that we all search for in a loving situation.

How do you overcome those feelings so that you can have a healthy relationship? The first thing you need to do is stop making sweeping assumptions that everybody you’re going to date is going to treat you just as bad as the last one did. That is a sure way to miss out on a good thing.

Secondly, stop obsessing over it. Let it go! If you are constantly thinking about your painful past, you can’t be focusing on building a healthy relationship. Speaking of healthy, please don’t join the bitter club. Nobody wants to be around someone who is always talking negatively. That’s why the relationship didn’t work, not because he was a dog.

The next thing is something that I think many of us fall prey to: self-sabotage. For some reason, we let our insecurities ruin potential relationships. Stop doing those things that you know will drive someone away, just so you can confirm that you were right about them all along. Remember that you control your own destiny. If you decide to do the things to make a relationship work, it has a much better chance of succeeding.

Finally, you’ve got to step out on faith. I know this one first hand. It can be difficult to open up and make yourself vulnerable to someone new, but if you don’t take that leap of faith, you are guaranteeing loneliness for your future.

I have been honest with myself and accepted my responsibility for what went wrong. I cannot carry around shame or guilt for things that I did not have any control over. Without that serious self-examination, I would be condemning myself to disappoint the good women who come into my life. The baggage that we acquire from previous relationships can be heavy and difficult to get rid of for most of us. Men who cannot recognize their control issues and self-centered ways will never experience a truly warm and loving relationship.

Women who cannot get past their mistrust and tendency to build a list of perceived offenses will never know the joy of being loved and cherished by a good man. However, it is possible to better yourself by getting rid of some of that baggage.

So, I ask you, dear readers:

What baggage is keeping you from having the type of relationship that you desire?

How do you plan on letting that baggage go?

How do you deal with a mate who is feeling insecure?

Let’s discuss!

Vincent Slaughter is a writer and graduate of Morehouse College. Single and living in Atlanta, Georgia, his thoughts on love and relationships are also featured on

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