We look to others to feel okay about ourselves.
A lot of this happens unconsciously — without thought, without intent — and is driven by attraction.
The internal reasoning goes, "I am not okay but if I can find somebody willing to partner with or like me, then I can feel okay because, if somebody is willing to partner with or like me, then I must not be as bad as I think I am."
Such reasoning is found at the foundation of many, many relationships, which turns them into more of a quid pro quo arrangement than anything else. You make me feel okay, I'll make you feel okay.
As understandable as this arrangement is, it is inherently unstable and unsustainable. Nobody can ever deliver in this way for you, even with the noblest intent and most sincere effort. People are fickle and don't stick around forever. At best, they will temporarily scratch our itch.
The setup is an excellent recipe for drama, demands, and co-dependency, which you might be surprised to read, is not necessarily a "bad" thing. If you want drama, demands, and co-dependency, by all means, you will receive it, which would be a "good" thing.
While seeking a sense of basic okayness through others is not a bad thing, it is a powerfully inefficient route that does not ultimately get you where you really want to go. Taking it a few times and suffering the inevitable bruises and heartache, causes you to wonder, "Is there another way?"
Is there another way to feel okay without needing somebody else to make it so? It is a question worth spending an extended amount of time considering, as the answer is key to your personal evolution and freedom from struggle.
Can I be okay as I am? Faults included. Poor self-esteem included. Mistakes included. Guilt included. Transgressions included.
That is the challenge. To include all our parts we wrap a layer of shame around and so remove the shame. By no means is this easy work. It takes a great deal of practice. And it takes an understanding, seasoned by experience, that knows through and through, "I am worthy."
Once we are convinced of our worth simply for being our multi-faceted selves, we are well on our way to healing a deep wound found in the heart of humanity that causes all types of external seeking and not finding.
Convinced our worth, we no longer need others to convince us. We know.