Tiny Furniture, Tiny Self-Esteem in Dating

Posted by in communication skills in dating, self-esteem in dating | 2 comments

Tiny FurnitureI coerced my 21-year-old son to watch Tiny Furniture, Lena Dunham’s first feature film, on Netflix last week. Dunham’s ideal audience is not my son. He watched it out of the kindess of his heart, which was totally cool (and led to a great post-movie discussion)! Lena brilliantly portrays the main character, Aura, a 22-year-old recent college grad with a useless degree, who has moved home to her photographer mom’s TriBeCa apartment. ‘Tiny Furniture’ alludes to her mom’s penchant for photographing miniature furniture. For me, this movie was less about tiny furniture, and more about tiny self-esteem

It was painful to watch Aura careen out of control and lose bits of herself in her search for her identity. In her boring, dead-end job as a hostess, Aura falls for the sous chef (who lives with his girlfriend), and ends up having humiliatingly degrading sex in a pipe on the street.

She falls for a smarmy wannabe YouTube star that she met at a party. On their first ‘date’, he reveals that he’s broke (in a snarky, clever way), and she invites him to crash at her mom’s apartment while her mom and sister are away. He drinks her mom’s wine, eats bucket loads of her food, and is a total narcissistic scumbag.

Tiny Self-Esteem in Dating

The guy treats her like sh#@*t, and she keeps on giving up bits of herself in order to please him. The more she gives, the less he appreciates her. Have you ever dated a guy like that?

I may not have ever been as self-loathing or as lost as Aura, but I certainly remember the days back in my late teens and early twenties when I didn’t have clear standards. I remember when men treated me poorly, and I had no clear idea why.

As a dating coach and a woman dating post-divorce, I have learned a thing or two about the importance of self-esteem in dating.

My dating advice for Aura:

1. Love yourself first. You need to fall madly in love with yourself before choosing a mate. If you don’t love YOU, how will anyone else? Do the work and challenge those limiting beliefs about yourself. Because you rock, baby.

2. Know your standards. Define your bottom line. Know how you want to be treated by men. Actually, define how you want to be treated by everyone; women, your parents, your friends, and your boss. When you have a clear idea about what you stand for, you can take a stand for that. People will respect you more, because you respect yourself and it shows.

3. Get some communication skills. Learn how to effectively speak your needs. This has been a lifetime practice for me. And I’m finally comfortable communicating my needs and feelings with greater ease. I can’t stress how important this is in all areas of life, especially in dating.

Increase your self-esteem and you will increase your success at dating (and all areas of life).

And remember, if you want to immediately turn around your online dating success, sign up here for my FREE report.






  1. love this post Sandy. Such good advice and especially crucial for younger women in their teens and 20’s to get under control, as our feelings of self worth are still very much in the formative stages in these vulnerable ages. It may take a lot of work but is crucial work. It’s our lives!

  2. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Suzen. I so agree with you. I can’t say it enough – your self-esteem chooses your mate, your job, and how all people treat you. Do the work to improve your self worth. The benefits far outweigh the pain of self-growth.

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