The Ego Boost – A Necessary Evil or A Recipe for Disaster?


Success in the dating arena has a lot to do with confidence. Sure, looks are important but at the end of the day a pretty face will only get a person so far. Once you make it to the first date it’s your personality and the ability to have a good conversation that will win you the second, third and tenth date. But self-confidence and a shining personality isn’t something we are all just blessed with, it’s a work in progress. Add to this the rejection everyone has to face at some point in their dating lives and you’ll find that there are probably more wounded egos out there than you ever expected.

There are many ways in which to fix our dented ego. Sometimes there are little things that can make you fell a million dollars – a new dress or a snazzy hairdo. In other instances our ego requires human interaction for that additional boost. Receiving compliments and attention certainly plays a significant role in raising a person’s self-confidence. However, if you ask me, this human desire for social validation requires playing a dangerous game where hearts can potentially be shattered.

From my experience, things generally start off fairly innocently. You meet a guy, he is nothing super special but maybe the banter is OK, so you allow him to remain in the picture but as nothing more than a flirt buddy. Basically, someone whose sole purpose is to tell you you’re pretty, make you feel desirable and boost your ego so that when a more suitable guy comes a long you’ve built up enough confidence and don’t shy away or turn into a bumbling buffoon.

I wish things were that straightforward but sadly they never are. Sure, you think you are both on the same page. But don’t forget that jealousy always has a way of rearing its ugly head. For example, how about when your flirt buddy finds out there is competition and suddenly feels the need to mark his territory. Perhaps he was holding out for more? In the best case scenarios you guys come to an understanding and your flirt buddy will know his place (i.e. to give you the required attention to make you feel good) but these things to have a habit of unravelling and eventually one party is going to want more.

And how about when things go on beyond the flirt buddy level? Say for instance, you’ve been suffering from a sex drought. We all have needs that have to be met. While for some the Rampant Rabbit might do the trick, others might require some non-battery operated loving to stop them feeling like a born-again virgin.  Maybe it’ll be a simple one night thing or maybe it’ll escalate into a FWB arrangement, either way you wake up feeling like quite the young stud! But again, it’s rarely that simple. Chances are someone ends up feeling a disposable sex object, maybe not from the get go but certainly at some point along the track.

So to sum up, it’s not criminal to want to engage in human interaction in order to boost one’s ego without necessarily wanting anything long term. However, I think if we do choose to get involved in using another person to make ourselves feel good we need to be fully aware of the potential consequences. We may kid ourselves into thinking harmless flirting and casual sexcapades are just a little bit of innocent fun, but we should be willing to admit that they rarely are. Even if you think you have the upper hand in such an arrangement understand that at any moment the tables may turn and you might find yourself developing feelings for this person who was only meant to serve as a temporary ego booster. If you must engage in these ego boosting arrangements (let’s not pretend any of us is above it) then my best advice is to keep it short and sweet because the longer these things drag on, the higher the risk of someone getting burnt.

It’s over to you Rinsers. Have you ever had a ‘relationship’ that has simply served to inflate your ego and help mend some of the confidence that was lost as a result of past rejections? Do you think people can ever really be on the same page when it comes to such ‘mutually beneficial’ arrangements or are these ego boosting activities destined to end in disaster?



  1. At first my answer was no to the question you asked at the end. But then I remember I had a brief relationship with a woman before meeting my wife and one thing she said was that I had potential and that what was missing was swagger…I needed Denzel Washington type swagger she said. I never thought of it before but it made me think …

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  2. Generally agree…I think it also helps to be totally up front about expectations. Don’t send someone mixed signals about wanting something more serious than you do. Be honest about the lack of interest in anything serious. But, of course, if feelings change, also be honest about that.

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    • Easier said than done. Especially when you are still picking up the pieces of one of those meaningful relationships. It’s natural to accept some ego boosting…although you have no intention of following through. I think being on the receiving end as well, people need to learn to read the signs quickly and learn to tell whether the other party is just enjoying the flirt or actually wants something real,

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  3. Jeez Rosie. …my reaction to this is don’t do it, is it really ego boosting to have somebody towed along on a piece of string to say the words you want to hear? If somebody is there complimenting you, boosting your ego then they mean it , which means they are attracted to you and probably want a relationship and if you just want to feel good…what are you doing to their ego? If they don’t mean it but say it to keep you happy then it’s valueless.
    Everybody doing this needs to find a better way of defining their value and self worth.
    You are right it’s not criminal to engage in human interaction bur IMHO it’s criminal to use somebody to boost ego.
    This I think goes back to learning to truly love the self so that one is totally at home with oneself and finding other outlets for self fullfillment.
    To answer your last question I think it will always end in disaster.
    See quick response…interesting concept to debate…..but find it such a bad idea….! S

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