[[quoteright:300:[[Literature/InsecureInLove http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/51sv86_sl6l_aa300.jpg]] ]]

A form of HeroicSelfDeprecation where a character thinks they're not good enough for their LoveInterest. They may think this while they're actually in a relationship with said person (in which case they may break it off "for the other person's good"), or they may avoid pursuing them in the first place.

Done well, it can provide conflict, as well as maybe CharacterDevelopment. Done badly, it can come across as {{Wangst}}, especially if the character [[InformedFlaw has no reason to feel like this]], or worse, is seen as disingenuously fishing for compliments.

Related to IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy. Also compare ICantBelieveAGuyLikeYouWouldNoticeMe. If this causes a breakup, they may say ItsNotYouItsMe (and really mean it).



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'':
** Belldandy is this way towards Keiichi Morisato. Numerous times things happen that make it seem as if he's losing interest in, or cheating on her, and she more or less ends up asking if she's good enough. And every single time, he promises her that she is, considering the wish he made to her in the first episode/chapter ("for a girl like her to stay with him forever" after being rejected by another woman), he doesn't intend to betray her trust.
** Keiichi himself is probably an even better example of this, particularly in the anime. He's quite aware that he is -- especially in the beginning -- an unattractive loser, and that by staying with him, Bell is taking a ''big'' step down. He often feels guilty for tethering her to him when he knows she could find someone better. The fact that ''both'' sides in this relationship are like this is one of the major contributors to the series' infamous CannotSpitItOut dynamic.
** Belldandy also believes that she doesn't deserve Keiichi [[spoiler:because she has been aware from day one of their relationship that Heaven messed with Keiichi's mind to keep him from consummating their relationship.]]
* In ''LightNovel/BakaAndTestSummonTheBeasts'' despite how much he may [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend deny feelings for]] and [[RunningGag run away from]] [[{{Yandere}} Shouko]] and her [[ShipTease advances]] on a frequent basis, when Yuuji actually talks about his relationship with her, he makes it out like [[ItsNotYouItsMe it's all his fault that she's fallen in love with a worthless guy like him]].
-->'''Yuuji:''' ''I want to set her free.''
** Which hilariously backfires and only causes her to fall in love with him even more anytime he tries to convince her that she deserves a better guy than him.
* Annie Brighton from ''Manga/CandyCandy'' is this to [[spoiler: Archie Cornwall]], which isn't helped by his crush on the titular Candy [[spoiler: and how Annie, despite her and Candy's RomanticTwoGirlFriendship, is also jealous of her]]. [[spoiler: However, Archie soon realises that [[SecondLove Annie is the one he actually loves]], and they stay together.]]
* In ''Manga/DetectiveConan'':
** [[GenkiGirl Yumi]]'s ex-boyfriend Haneda is still in love with her, but believes that he is unworthy of Yumi until he can win all seven professional shogi title tournaments.
** [[spoiler: Takagi]] sometimes shows shades of this trope towards his girlfriend [[spoiler: Sato]]. At some point he's seen in tears due to this, thinking of how he believes himself to not have what it takes to make her happy. [[spoiler: And then he's kidnapped and put in a DeathTrap. And one of the persons who saves him is Sato herself.]]
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'' [[spoiler:Jellal, after his HeelFaceTurn,]] firmly believes that he has no right to be with [[spoiler:Erza]] after what he's done, and even goes out of his way to [[spoiler:lie about having a fiance to get around the fact that she's in love with him]]. All this in spite of the fact that he was BrainwashedAndCrazy at [[spoiler: ''the age of eleven.'']]
** Juvia becomes this after she [[spoiler:takes down the {{Necromancer}} Keyes, by extension killing Gray's father.]] Instead of getting angry, [[spoiler:Gray holds her and tearfully thanks her for freeing his father.]]
* ''Manga/KimagureOrangeRoad'': Main character Kyosuke is in love with Madoka, but he thinks he isn't and will never be good enough for her. He thinks that she's beautiful, intelligent, mature... and compared to her, he looks like a kid.
* ''LightNovel/HighSchoolDXD'' [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructs this trope]] with the relationship between [[LovableSexManiac Issei]] and Rias. Despite their love being blatantly reciprocated, Issei was - for quite some time - resigned to the mindset that she, a bonafide MsFanservice and a NiceGirl with a noble heritage, deserves better than a perverted guy like him. This, however, causes Rias to remain heartbroken when Issei answered her question on what she really is to him: he said she's nothing more than the president of the Occult Research Club and his master. It took the support of the other girls to let Issei battle with his inferiority complex - caused by the trauma involving being killed on his first date by his ex-GF for being boring - and successfully hook up with Rias.
* Setsuna from ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' spends a considerable amount of time angsting over how she feels unworthy of her {{Ojou}}-sama Konoka.
* Snow gives hints of this in ''Manga/{{MAR}}''. Aside from the occasional jealousy, it doesn't go anywhere. [[spoiler: It's heavily implied she hooks up with Ginta at the end anyway.]]
* In ''LightNovel/MayoChiki'', due to the nature of her situation, Subaru, who is a [[SweetPollyOliver girl disguised as a boy]], is constantly worried that she either isn't good enough for Jiro, or that he's either dating, or likes someone else. Despite that, Jiro always tries to reassure her.
* Both halves of ''Manga/MyLoveStory's'' main couple experience this. Takeo primarily before their RelationshipUpgrade, Yamato after:
** Pre-upgrade, Takeo has spent his entire life up to that point seeing the girls he likes prefer his {{Bishonen}} best friend, Suna. So, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, it never occurs to him Yamato might reciprocate his growing feelings and he instead tries to play TheMatchmaker with her and Suna. This persists until Suna engineers a confession out of Yamato with Takeo in earshot. He's much better afterward, but self-aware enough of his faults that he's hesitant to make any big moves without first consulting Suna.
** Post-Upgrade, Yamato worries about being good enough for Takeo. Takeo's more old-fashioned values and putting Yamato on a pedestal cause her to worry that he will reject her because she desires to move their relationship forward; even with something as simple as holding hands. She also experiences some low key possessiveness because she can not comprehend that the {{Gonk}}y Takeo isn't typically popular with girls and frets about having to fight for him. Fortunately, once he's aware of these issues himself, Takeo assures her he'll be glad to move faster if that's what Yamato wants and that he loves her and only her.
* ''Manga/MyMonsterSecret'': Initially, Youko is merely [[ObliviousToLove oblivious]] to the fact that Asahi has any deeper feelings for her than friendship. When the idea finally crosses her mind, she instantly shoots it down, convincing herself that Asahi is [[NiceGuy that nice]] to all his friends, and that he's far to polite to say that being her SecretKeeper is a pain in the ass. While Youko and Asahi do end up getting together, it takes another 40 chapters to happen, and not before they both go through some pretty painful emotional torment.
** The trope gets [[DiscussedTrope discussed]] after the RelationshipUpgrade, when TricksterMentor Akane calls Youko out on her uneasiness, saying "You're not thinking something stupid like 'I'm not good enough for him', are you? What's done is done, just go with it and be happy."
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** Naruto seems to display this trope to an extent. While not in a romantic relationship with [[{{Tsundere}} Sakura]], he states to Sai that he could not tell her how he feels because he couldn't keep his promise to her in bringing back Sasuke, implying that he feels unworthy of her. Though he's also a IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy character.
** Hinata is a more straight example. She has been in love with Naruto since they were kids, but her crippling shyness and perceived weakness prevented her from ever pursuing him.
** Naruto is also this for Hinata. Kiba implies that this is the reason he tries to act so cool around her. [[spoiler:This was eventually confirmed in ''Film/TheLastNarutoTheMovie''. Part of why Naruto never noticed her affections for him is because he never believed [[ICantBelieveAGuyLikeYouWouldNoticeMe he was ever worthy of such affection, let alone from someone as beautiful and as kind as Hinata]]]].
* PlayedForLaughs in one chapter of ''Manga/{{Ojojojo}}'' when Tsurezure tries MeditatingUnderAWaterfall because he doesn't feel that he's handsome enough to be Haru's boyfriend.
* Kenshin Himura from ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' ofter wonders if he's good enough for his girlfriend Kaoru. It's rather justified in his case due to his DarkAndTroubledPast.
* This trope almost defines Kisa Shouta's angst and feelings toward Yukina Kou in ''Manga/SekaiichiHatsukoi''.
* In ''Manga/{{Sekirei}}'', Minato is plagued by the feeling that he isn't good enough for his BalancedHarem. He calls himself "unreliable", and worries that he's a worthless guy because of his failure to get into university twice, as well as being an ExtremeDoormat. Rather than allow this to consume him or damage their relationships, he resolves to become someone worthy of their love and trust, someone that will believe in himself enough to fully return their feelings. He declares this to them, and asks them to wait for him until then.
* Jin from ''LightNovel/ThePetGirlOfSakurasou'' feels he's not worthy enough to be with his beloved childhood friend Misaki, due to her talents, such as in animation, and feels he would just [[TheLoad weigh her down]] if he tried to have a serious relationship with her. This despite the obvious signs that Misaki really wants to be with him.
* Sayaka Miki from ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''. She has a crush on Kyousuke Kamijou but CanNotSpitItOut, ''especially'' once it is revealed that [[spoiler:becoming a MagicalGirl means effectively [[OurLichesAreDifferent becoming a sparkly lich]]. Sayaka feels she can't ask for Kyousuke's love because she now considers herself a zombie, and the realization that she made her supposedly selfless wish for selfish reasons along with her good friend Hitomi [[UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom pushing the issue by giving her a one day headstart on confessing]] (which she balks at)]]...it doesn't end well.
* Both protagonist of ''Anime/TokyoMarbleChocolate'' feel like this about each other: Yuudai thinks he's a [[LovableCoward coward]] and lazy guy that doesn't deserve Chizuru, while Chiruzu becomes [[CuteClumsyGirl really clumsy]] when she starts to fall in love and she fears that this will scare Yuudai away. Compound this with their previous bad experiences with romance.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Barbara Gordon alias Comicbook/{{Batgirl}}/Oracle [[DependingOnTheWriter sometimes]] felt as though [[ComicBook/{{Nightwing}} Dick]] was only in love [[LovingAShadow with the memory of the girl she had once been]], rather than the [[HandicappedBadass woman she had become]].
* Tommy Monoghan of the ''{{Comicbook/Hitman}}'' comic book ends his relationship with Tiegel once and for all by pretty much telling her outright that he's a scumbag, and if they stay together he'd just keep letting her down and screwing up. He's saying it because it's true, but he's ALSO saying it because he's about to take on a pretty good sized chunk of the CIA and doesn't want her around for it. Whether or not a reader thinks he would have said/done it if not for the whole CIA thing varies.
* Frank Einstein Jr. is this to Henrietta in ''ComicBook/MiniMonsters'', specifically in the second album. He falls for her at first sight, but his feelings of being rejected and his own inferiority complex towards his physical appearance made him create an invention that makes people physically perfect. But that became dangerous because of Henrietta's [[spoiler:extreme bipolar disorder]]. After that, he's still very much in love with her, and Henrietta starts feeling the same for him, although they can't tell their own feelings for each other.
* Franchise/SpiderMan and Mary Jane Watson are this to each other. For Spider-Man, MJ is an incredibly beautiful, charismatic and talented young woman who is incredibly out of his league and would be far better off if she wasn't with him. For Mary Jane, Spider-Man is a selfless and brave superhero with amazing abilities. They each believe they aren't good enough for the other, and that they are dragging the other person down.
* Dale in ''ComicBook/TheWalkingDead'' is always insecure about his relationship with Andrea, due to the fact that he is [[MayDecemberRomance twice as old as her]]. Andrea shows a few small shades of this, mostly whenever Dale mentions his late wife. [[spoiler: It ultimately works out until Dale's death, and Andrea is able to move on and be with Rick.]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Played straight and inverted by Erin in ''Fanfic/AndTheStoryContinues'', regarding her blossoming romance with Stephen. While [[ICantBelieveAGuyLikeYouWouldNoticeMe she does feel under his league]] and has been fighting self-confidence issues since the beginning of the series, she seems to be more concerned about getting hurt ''by him''. His [[TheCharmer ladies' man tendencies]] worry her a bit and she still has baggage from [[TheFirstCutIsTheDeepest what happened between]] [[LoveHurts her and L]] in [[Fanfic/StoryOfTheCentury the first story.]]
** Speaking of, L is implied to be this in the prequel, especially in the companion 'shots. While it's suggested that he develops feelings for Erin he [[CannotSpitItOut never says a word about them]] and does not try to pursue a more intimate relationship with her. This may have been due to [[UnscrupulousHero how he is in general]] and [[AMatchMadeInStockholm the nature of what relationship they did have...]]
* In ''[[Fanfic/AllThingsProbableSeries "A Friend In Darkness"]]'', [[WesternAnimation/KimPossible Kim's]] VisionQuest to rescue Ron from the SpiritWorld [[FightingDownMemoryLane dredges up uncomfortable memories]] of times she'd been thoughtless and condescending toward him. She decides that he deserves better and breaks up with him [[spoiler:until the end of the story]].
* Extremely common in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' fanfics that have a romance between Shinji and Asuka, as it would be perfectly in-character for Shinji to feel this way if he ever did get into a relationship, and Asuka has zero self-esteem:
** ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'': Shinji thought he wasn't good enough for Asuka before and after hooking up with her. However Asuka disagrees and she always replies he's the only man good enough for her.
** In ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'', Shinji didn't think that Asuka liked him because he was only a wimpy kid and she was beautiful and smart.
** ''Fanfic/GhostsOfEvangelion'': Asuka can't understand why Shinji loves someone like her. She never figured it out, even though they were together during six decades. In a deleted chapter, Asuka tells Kaworu that Shinji is an idiot for loving her.
** In ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'', Shinji is shy, insecure, and he thinks that Asuka hates him, she'll never like him back, and heís damaged their relationship beyond repair.
** Deconstructed in ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling''. Shinji thinks he isnít good enough for Asuka after he missed all of her hints, never helped her and let her die. However, Kaji warned him that attitude would hurt Asuka rather than helping her.
** ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'': Touji was frightened of asking Hikari out, even after Shinji showed him that Hikari liked him back.
* Lampshaded in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10745563/6/OTP-Addiction OTP Addiction]]'', when [[WebAnimation/{{RWBY}} Pyrrha]] refuses to leave Jaune to his death.
-->''Mercury sighed and shook his head. "Trust me, there'll be other guys out there, ones actually worth your time."\\
Pyrrha smiled at Jaune. "I...I never met anyone...worth more to me than you."''
* Jessie and James shift this role back and forth for the first half of Cori Falls's series of ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' fanfics. Either Jessie thinks she's too mean, bitchy, and coldhearted for someone as sweet as James, or James thinks he's too weak, stupid, and clumsy for someone as strong as Jessie. [[YoYoPlotPoint It gets pretty repetitive after the first five or so times.]]
* In an untitled [[http://theskyexists.tumblr.com/post/82412357567/unbreakable-red-ribbons-wrap-her-waist-her fic]] set after ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'', Homura becomes this trope. [[note]]To paraphrase [[ComicBook/XMen Emma Frost]],[[/note]] She's spent so long hating herself that she can't imagine anyone ''not'' hating her.
-->'''Madoka:''' I will say it again and again for all eternity if I have to, Homura-chan, until you get it. You are you and I will always save you.
* The Blog/ReadingRainbowverse has Lyra breaking up with Bonbon because she's unsure if she feels the same way about their relationship as Bonbon does and doesn't want to lead her on. This is almost universally regarded as a poor decision.
* ''Fanfic/WeissReacts'': Jaune is sure that he isn't worth Pyrrha's attention because he himself isn't a BadAss. Yang, his dad and ''Pyrrha herself'' point out that this is absurd and there are other reasons apart from being a BadAss that she might like him.
* [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Derpy]] in ''FanFic/WereGonnaGetThereSoon''. Her [[CuteClumsyGirl klutziness]], eye condition, and her [[WellDoneSonGuy poor relationship with her parents]] result in a mare who is very surprised when [[NiceGuy Thunderlane]] is interested in pursuing a relationship with her.
* [[Anime/YuGiOh Ryou Bakura]] feels this way about Tea Gardner in ''Fanfic/DesertedDistractions''. Not only is he so [[TheWoobie used to being ignored and abandoned]] that he has a hard time [[ICantBelieveAGuyLikeYouWouldNoticeMe believing he has the chance with beautiful, popular Tea]] who has several other romantic interests, but the perpetual taint of the [[SuperPoweredEvilSide Spirit of the Ring]] causes him to feel weak and unworthy of her love when she offers it to him. The Spirit's [[VillainousCrush feelings]] for Tea also mean that being with Ryou puts her in constant danger.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The titular character in ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}''. He doesn't believe Jasmine could ever love the real him and disguises himself as a Prince to become worthy of her.
* {{Implied}} with Xibalba in ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife''. At the end, when he [[spoiler:apologizes to La Muerte for all the trouble he caused, he adds in "you [La Muerte] deserve better than me"]]. [[WordOfGod Gutierrez]] stated that the reason Xibalba wanted to make it ''look'' like he was cheating on her was out of insecurity.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AnExtremelyGoofyMovie'', PJ is in this role. Bobby is willing to flirt with Beret Girl, PJ is not. He says a grand total of zero words to her, being visibly stunned speechless each time, until she decides to take the initiative and start flirting with him. At this point, PJ responds by reciting a poem about how nobody notices fat people no matter how they act. Beret Girl is both impressed and sympathetic, asks, "How could ''anyone'' overlook this bundle of yes-ness?" and asks him to dance. This is the catalyst for PJ's CharacterDevelopment: he immediately becomes a lot happier, less insecure, and more confident.
* In ''Film/{{Mermaidia}}'', Nori feels that Nalu will never love her because of class differences. She vents these feelings by [[GreenEyedMonster bitching at]] Elina, who [[spoiler:she thinks]] is dating him. (Unusually for the trope, Nori resolves these feelings ''before'' starting a relationship with Nalu.)
* In ''WesternAnimation/StrangeMagic'', when his use of a [[LovePotion love potion]] goes badly, the Bog King becomes convinced that he so hideous that even a magic can't make him lovable. [[spoiler: It turns out that the the object of his affections was already in love - the one thing that makes someone immune to its power]]. Bog is still fairly insecure though when it comes to his fairy beauty [[SecondLove second love]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* [[Literature/BridgetJones Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason]] does this with the protagonist playing this role.
--> '''Bridget''': I read that you should never go out with someone if you can think of three reasons why you shouldn't.\\
'''Mark''': And can you think of three?\\
'''Bridget''': Yes.\\
'''Mark''': Which are?\\
'''Bridget''': First off, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking I embarrass you. I can't ski, I can't ride, I can't speak Latin , my legs only come up to here]] and yes I will always be just a [[HollywoodPudgy little bit fat]].
* ''Film/TheHungerGames'': Katniss Everdeen believes that she doesn't deserve the love of someone like Peeta. Haymitch agrees with her.
* This is why Audrey doesn't consider leaving the abusive "semi-sadist" Orin for her {{Adorkable}} NiceGuy coworker Seymour in ''Film/LittleShopOfHorrors''; she likes Seymour, but she considers herself too dirty and worthless to be with him.
* In ''Film/MarriageBlue'', Vika is young and spectacularly sexy. Gun-ho is somewhat doughy and 18 years older than she is. This causes him anxiety and insecurity, which undermines their relationship.
* ''Film/ShesOutOfMyLeague'' is from the perspective of one of these; it's about a man who has found a very attractive girlfriend who really likes him, but he considers her way out of his league, leading him to sabotage things. It doesn't help that almost everyone around him appears to be an incredibly petty and spiteful person who either encourage him or actively attempt to sabotage things out of jealousy.
* At the end of ''Film/SomeLikeItHot'', Sugar decides to run away with Joe. He tells her that she deserves better than TheCasanova who put on a façade to win her heart, but [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys she stays with him anyway]].

* Both Jerin and Cira/[[spoiler: Princess Halley]] in ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', though for different reasons.
* This is par for the course in Creator/CatherineAnderson's novels, but Molly Sterling, Laura Townsend, Natalie Patterson and Bethany Coulter are the biggest examples.
* Razz in ''Literature/DontCallMeIshmael''. While he is usually self-confident, he is this to [[AcademicAthlete Sally]], believing that she is 'too ''everything''' for him.
* This is a constant problem for Georgina in the ''Literature/GeorginaKincaid'' series. She thinks she's not good enough for Seth and is going to end up hurting him, because she's hurt people in the past. That and she's a succubus, whereas he's a reserved and virtuous man.
* In the last two ''HarryPotter'' books, [[spoiler:[[CoolTeacher Lupin]]]] has this problem with [[spoiler:[[ActionGirl Tonks]]]]--he turns her down because a.) he's [[MayDecemberRomance quite a bit (12 years) older than her]], b.) he has no steady means of support, and c.) [[spoiler:[[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent he's a werewolf]]]], with all the danger and FantasticRacism that includes. They wind up eloping sometime between the last two books, but he's so sure that this was a mistake that he tries to leave her (and their [[WhatIfTheBabyIsLikeMe unborn child]]) until Harry gives him a WhatTheHellHero speech.
** In the last book, this turns out to be a big part of [[ClassicalAntiHero Ron]]'s problem: with his low self-esteem he's convinced ([[WhyAreYouNotMySon among other things]]) that [[TheSmartGuy Hermione]] would never pick him [[ImaginaryLoveTriangle over Harry]]. Carrying around an ArtifactOfDoom that could give him a constant mental TheReasonYouSuckSpeech just brought all those issues to a head.
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'': Katniss Everdeen feels that she doesn't deserve the unconditional love of a NiceGuy like Peeta. Haymitch agrees with her.
--> '''Haymitch:''' You could live a hundred lifetimes and not deserve him, you know.
%% * Will Herondale from ''Literature/TheInfernalDevices''.
* ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'': Vin and Elend provide a double example, Vin thinks she's too BookDumb and violent for Elend, Elend feels he's too much of a passive screwup for Vin.
* Lauchlan Huxley, the main character of ''Literature/MixBeerWithLiquorAndYouWillGetSicker'' has some self-esteem issues. And self confidence issues. And self image issues. He just has a lot of issues period, and is a NervousWreck as a result. When the confronted with the possibility of a real, meaningful relationship, he's terrified, and honestly doesn't believe that he deserves to be in a relationship at all.
* Both Michael and Mia in ''Literature/ThePrincessDiaries'', Michael because of feeling the constant need to prove himself "worthy" of dating a princess, Mia due to her low self esteem for dating an attractive genius who is her best friend's brother.
* ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'' Watson to Mary Morstan in Creator/ArthurConanDoyle's ''The Sign of Four''. As a wounded retiree from the Afghan army with little income, he feels that he has no right to even ''think'' about her, and things get worse when it turns out that she [[NotWithThemForTheMoney stands to gain a large sum of money]].
* Michael of ''Literature/TheTraitorGame'' is a platonic ([[ShipTease or not]]) version of this trope for Francis, constantly feeling insecure about their friendship. This is because Michael has trust issues after being bullied at his previous school, and [[ICantBelieveAGuyLikeYouWouldNoticeMe finds it difficult to accept that Francis - who is "cool", "posh" and "handsome" - would genuinely want to be friends with him]]. This leads to disastrous consequences.
* In ''New Moon'' of the ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' series, Edward leaves Bella because of this, resulting in much {{Wangst}} from both of them.
** Although in this case it's less "I'm not good enough for you" and more "I'm finding it very difficult not to [[WarmBloodBagsAreEverywhere eat you]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Lennier never admits he loves Delenn until the fifth season of ''Series/BabylonFive''.
* In Season 3 of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', this is Angel's reasoning for ending his relationship with Buffy before [[Series/{{Angel}} he moves to LA]]. He wants her to have a relatively normal life and he feels that her being with him would make that more difficult.
** Spike in the comics. He doesn't think Buffy will love him after everything that's happened between them. [[spoiler: She proves him wrong and they get back together...only for Spike to pull this again when they have to call on Angel to help with a Big Bad.]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': Occurred particularly between some of the companions.
** Rory thinks he's not good enough for Amy. So much so that he was too certain of rejection to ask her out, and is constantly surprised whenever she demonstrates her affection for him. This gets a lot better though, and by the end of the series, he's thrown it off.
** This also happens to Amy herself. In series 7 Amy almost gets a divorce because [[spoiler: she's infertile and she knows Rory's always wanted children. Since Amy's bad at dealing with feelings, she never told him ''why'' she wanted a divorce. Of course, it turns out Rory doesn't care and in an unshot scene we find out that they adopted a child.]]
** Clara and Danny grow fond of each other very quickly, but their own personal insecurities (often caused by trauma from the past) tend to hold them back or have them fall into awkward conversations and situations. This is not helped by Clara trying hard to keep her adventures with the Doctor and her ordinary life as a schoolteacher and Danny's girlfriend separate, only for the effort to get out of hand. Later on, it does look like she and Danny will be able to resolve their grievances, and even the grumpy Twelfth Doctor grows to respect their relationship. [[spoiler:This is cut short when Danny dies in an accident, and though he and Clara make peace before his, Clara's clearly heartbroken she lost him just as they were beginning to really understand each other and what pained them both.]]
** The Doctor himself feels this way about most of his major love interests, given that he leads a dangerous life, is a centuries old space alien and (particularly after the Time War) generally hates himself. As a general tendency, he's very quick to [[IWantMyBelovedTobeHappy leave them to find the happiness he can't give them elsewhere]].
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'': [[{{StepfordSnarker}} Chandler]] is genuinely smart, funny, good-looking, has a very successful career and a very kind personality. However, he's had a traumatic childhood, bad luck with women, commitment phobia, and the gang constantly jokes that Monica 'can do better'. He also feels intimidated by the memory of Richard, whom the gang had idolised and whom Monica had truly loved. An alternate universe episode reveals that even when Monica is a fat, 30-year old virgin with an extremely boring boyfriend, Chandler still thinks he's not good enough for her. Fortunately, he and Monica are OppositesAttract; he stabilises her neuroses while she builds his confidence.
* ''Series/GossipGirl'' Chuck Bass runs on this trope regarding Blair for most of the show's duration. It doesn't help that Blair goes back and forth between reinforcing this belief and telling him he's the best man she's ever known and all that she's ever wanted.
* In ''Series/NewGirl'''s season 1 finale, Schmidt ends things with Cece because he's convinced she's too out of his league for him to ever make her happy.
* ''Series/NipTuck'' has Christian break up with Natasha because he thinks she deserves better than TheCasanova like him.
* Rachel of ''Series/{{Suits}}'' displays signs of this when Mike breaks it off. Despite all her explanations of how important she is to the firm, she still believes he looks down on her for never passing the [=LSATs=] and remaining a paralegal.

* The song ''Amanda'' has the line "Fate should have made you a gentleman's wife".
* Inverted in "Frozen" by {{Music/Delain}}, in which the protagonist's love interest clearly has issues preventing him from being with her.
* The James Ingram song "I Don't Have The Heart" shows a man who clearly cares about his woman but feels that he is not good enough for her.
* Seems to be the main theme of "She's Like the Wind" by Patrick Swayze.
-->I feel her breath in my face\\
Her body close to me\\
Can't look in her eyes\\
She's out of my league.
* Basically the premise to the Tal Bachman song "She's so High."
-->What could a guy like me ever really offer?\\
She's perfect as she can be, why should I even bother?
* Found in the Anna Nalick song "Sort of Delilah."
-->Once you were a tower, and given the power, how did I become the wrecking ball?\\
Didn't wanna hurt you, didn't deserve you, I'm usually the victim after all.
* The narrator of Flyleaf's ''There For You'' is a self-described "selfish fake" who has requited feelings for a friend.
-->You speak the unspeakable thought-\\
I love you too...
* "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)" is basically a song about a man telling a woman that he's a no-good cheating rake and she's better off without him. Played with depending on the version: Marvin Gaye's is a quite up-tempo, as if the man is more matter-of-fact about it, whereas Paul Young's version is slower and melancholy, as if the man's genuinely in love with the woman but [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy believes he can't make her happy]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Almost every love interest in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''. Most of them have self-esteem issues to begin with, but romancing them tends to bring it to the forefront.
** Anders is a mage living outside the Circle who has to look over his shoulder for Templars. He's also possessed by a very angry Spirit of Justice that may or may not have become a full-on demon, and [[spoiler: by the end of the game, he's plotting to blow up the Chantry.]] He's the most vocal about not having anything to offer, especially once supporting apostates is declared a hanging offense.
** Between being an [[FantasticRacism elf]], a [[BloodMagic blood mage]] and a FishOutOfWater, Merrill refuses to believe Hawke feels romantic affection towards her until Hawke specifically tells her s/he does. Even after they've just had sex.
** Fenris is an amnesiac fugitive ex-slave whose former master is heavily implied to have sexually abused him. [[spoiler: After his first time with Hawke, he has a rush of memories from his old life and panics, feeling like a fool for thinking he could be with someone.]]
** By the time Hawke's named Champion of the city, PirateGirl Isabela is convinced the two of them no longer have anything in common. The codex notes that after telling Hawke that they were the only reason she came back, she runs away for two years.
** [=DLC=] character Sebastian is the least self-flagellating, possibly because he [[UptownGirl outranks Hawke socially]] rather than vice versa.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' follows suit:
** Dorian, who constantly reminds the Inquisitor that their relationship will not be seen well, as Dorian is a mage from [[TheEmpire the Tevinter Imperium]], and it could cost the Inquistor goodwill. He's especially unhappy when the Inquisitor uses his influence to help Dorian get an amulet back, as he's afraid people will assume Dorian's merely cozied up to him to use his power for himself.
** Warden Blackwall doesn't believe he's worthy of the Inquisitor, and is also worried about their respective obligations and the fact that he's ultimately another soldier in her army. [[spoiler: The biggest reason turns out to be that he's a former war criminal trying to atone.]]
** Cullen also shows signs of this; he has trouble believing that the Inquisitor would be serious about pursuing a relationship, especially if she's seen him in withdrawal.
* Ninian in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword]]'' loves Eliwood, but feels she isn't worthy of him due to her secret heritage [[spoiler: as a half-Dragon]] and her guilt over having been an unwilling catalyst in [[spoiler: his father's death]]. Eliwood uses their A support to reassure her that he loves her no matter what.
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', BadassBookworm Laurent becomes this if he falls in love with [[spoiler: Lucina]]. [[AnguishedDeclarationOfLove In his own words during their S support]]:
-->'''Laurent''': "I was not worried about whether I was fit to support the army... I was worried I was unfit to support you. Thoughts of how I might better aid you and you alone consumed me! That was my true distraction from watching over the others (...) You're [[spoiler: Chrom]]'s daughter, and [[spoiler: in your veins runs the blood of exalts and heroes.]] ... [[UptownGirl So how could a common man such as I ever be worthy of you?"]]
** Sumia can be this for a male Avatar until their S support, where she decides to stop hiding behind her books and [[BeYourself learn to love herself as she is.]] She actually shows traces of this towards all of her possible boyfriends; one of her event tiles with a lover has her openly ask him how come he hasn't found a prettier girl than her.
** Brady is implied to be this for a female Avatar, as in his LoveConfession he tells her "I'll become a guy worthy of your love!"
** The male Avatar can become this for [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Tiki.]] [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that Tiki is the daughter of an actual goddess and the only other man she has ever shown anything resembling interest in was the Hero-King Marth, a legendary KingArthur like figure [[Really700YearsOld by the time of the events in Awakening.]]
* Anju from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', [[ApologisesALot who seems plenty insecure to begin with.]] Her fiance, Kafei, has been missing for quite a while, and she's beginning to think that he ran off because he didn't really love her after all. This is not helped by her mother, who seems convinced that Kafei hooked up with Anju's best friend instead. As part of the game's most elaborate sidequest, Link must give her proof of Kafei's love for her, otherwise the poor girl will give up on him completely.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** NiceGuy Jacob feels this way towards both Miranda and female Shepard (if you romance him).
** [[WrenchWench Tali'Zorah]] feels this way if male Shepard pursues a relationship with her. See the entry on IJustWantMyBelovedToBeHappy. When you meet up with her again in the third game she's much more confident and this trope becomes averted.
** Garrus counts for slightly different reasons. He gets that you like him, but isn't quite sure how to go about a relationship with a human. He's also tired of losing people.
* Raven from ''VideoGame/RuneFactory3''. If you marry her, much of your dialog with her consists of her being reassured that you love her and wanted to marry her.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'', Nagisa initially acts like this when she and Tomoya start dating. Tomoya gets fed up with it pretty quickly and tells her to have more confidence in herself. He doesn't like anyone insulting his girlfriend, including herself.
* In ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'', Jessica Ushiromiya is in love with Kanon, one of the Ushiromiya family servants. Kanon does love her back, but he believes he isn't worthy of her love due to his insistence that he's "furniture". [[spoiler:As the story continues, it becomes clear that this isn't just {{Wangst}} and the real reason he's so insecure is quite complicated and tragic.]]
* Seizh of ''VisualNovel/UnderTheMoon'' is very hesitant in his pure love paths, and requires a lot of convincing on the point that, yes, the heroine really is in love with him. Justifiably so, [[spoiler:since he knows she was head over heels for his brother until she was [[LaserGuidedAmnesia wind-wiped]].]]
* In VisualNovel/AsagaoAcademyNormalBootsClub, Hana often feels this way towards [[spoiler:Jirard during his route]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Dora of ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'' may well be the TropeCodifier for webcomics. She's a ball of neuroses who is constantly worried that Marten, the first decent ''[[BiTheWay male]]'' she's ever dated - is going to leave her because of her hangups. And also because she's convinced he's still pining for Faye, despite both of them saying that's never going to happen. It does eventually split them up.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Parodied with the psychotic ''WebVideo/AskThatGuyWithTheGlasses''. Even though the Love Martyr narrator tells him how amazing he is constantly, he'd rather be abused and told he's worthless.
* Molly from ''WebOriginal/TheWarComms'' was this for Ralph at the beginning of their relationship. She's mostly overcome it now thanks to CharacterDevelopment.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' -- Robbie Valentino must have been pretty insecure if he was worried about that a twelve-year-old boy would actually steal his then-girlfriend, Wendy Corduroy.
* Wirt from ''WesternAnimation/OverTheGardenWall'' believes that he can't compete for the affections of his LoveInterest Sara with rival Jason Funderberker, who he says is "the total package" and "has his act together." [[spoiler: This is revealed to be ''entirely'' in his head when the audience actually meets Jason, who is only marginally more confident than pre-CharacterDevelopment Wirt and massively socially awkward. Sara is friendly toward him in a pitying sort of way, but communicates that she's much more interested in Wirt clearly enough that only Wirt himself could miss the signals.]]
* Connie Maheswaran, the the ImpliedLoveInterest of the titular ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', who doesn't understand how Steven, a boy with magic powers and a epic destiny awaiting him would be interested in a completely normal and mundane girl like her.
* In ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'', a large part of the reason why CJ and Mordecai have relationship troubles is that despite Mordecai constantly trying to prove his dedication to her, she is afraid that he still has feelings for his ex-girlfriend Margaret and when seeing the two together she tends to jump to conclusions. Which isn't helped by the fact that they regularly find themselves in NotWhatItLooksLike scenarios when they hang out and Margaret '''does''' still have feelings for Mordecai.