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July 2024

Help: I feel like I need validation from other men

Question

I’m writing to you today because I am in need of some assistance. My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 years. Before I got into a relationship with him, I was very popular and was always approached by guys when I went out with my friends. Guys would also constantly “slide into my DMs”. However, now I feel like I walk around with a taken sign stuck to my forehead. So, when I go out, I always look at guys in the hope that they will talk to me. It’s like I need their validation that I’m pretty or something. But it’s not like my partner doesn’t shower me with love and affection because he does, and I do feel loved by him. Why do I do this? Help! From a confused gal

Answer

Hey there Confused Gal,

It sounds like it’s been quite conflicting for you to navigate these feelings and is taking up quite a bit of brain space to try and work this through.

It’s important to know that to some degree, all humans need a level of validation from others. We like to know we are valued; we are seen to be contributing, and that we belong in the society we live in. This biological drive was really important for us humans not so long ago, because we needed to be in groups or tribes in order to ensure our survival, and while that’s not as true today as it was back then, being part of a society is still really important for us to have our needs met.

In saying all of that, while a certain level of seeking validation is completely normal and healthy, it can sometimes tip over to where it’s no longer functional. Often, when we are in this position, the first place we look for a reason is our intimate relationship. Sometimes it is true that we might seek validation outside of our relationship because our needs aren’t being met within it. However, I know you mentioned that your dynamic with your partner is one of love and affection, so that leads me to think we might need to look elsewhere for the cause of these feelings you are having.

Another contributing factor to our need for validation can also be how we view ourselves and our own self-worth. When we are struggling with our own values and our ability to validate ourselves, it makes sense that we might look for that validation somewhere else and need it a whole lot more. I wonder, dear Confused Gal, what your relationship with yourself is like and if it might be worth spending a little bit of time working on the most important relationship that you have. Maybe spend some time reflecting on how you speak to yourself and putting more energy into extending kindness and compassion to yourself. It is important to remind yourself that you are worthy and valuable just as you are and that you invest in loving and caring for yourself so there’s less need for others to tell you what your value is.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to seek help to explore this and reach out to a professional. Psychologists are there to help you, and that might be just what you need to strengthen the relationship you have with yourself.

The Anxious Psych

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Amber Sargeant

Meet Amber Sargeant, The Modern Muse’s resident psychologist, however, you might know her better as The Anxious Psych on TikTok or from her clinic The Sunshine Club Psychology. With a Masters of Professional Psychology, and a Masters of Psychology Practice (Clinical) under her belt, Amber works with all different kinds of presentations from anxiety and depression to personality disorders, ADHD, and everything in between. Her TikTok forms a community hub for accessible information about mental health and psychology in a way that is more approachable and understandable to the average person.

Amber is also someone who also struggles with Anxiety and aims to highlight that while we each have our own experience with difficult emotions and situations, we can learn to manage effectively and to make sure we are still able to build the life we want. Amber is such a warm and passionate clinician and we are so lucky to have her on our team. We can’t wait for her to help our readers “find their sunshine”.