I totally get this. I was dating someone people hated. Then married someone else that everyone loved, but had some other issues that resulted in our divorce. But NOW I am married to an excellent men, who not only is approved by me, but also by my friends and family. The truth is, as you point out, it’s very, very hard to hear the messages friends and family send. If I could have asked anyone in my life to do something different it would be this: Don’t focus on what makes the partner bad for me, focus on helping me feel great about me.

If I’d felt better about myself — like I DESERVED a great partner — I believe I would have made better choices. Instead, I fell into the trap of both not knowing myself well, nor believing enough in my own worth.

I didn’t know how lost I was until I was ready to be found.

Drawing from life experience and a master’s in organizational leadership, I write about parenting, leading, relationships, and personal growth. Views are my own