Do you worry when your partner leaves your sight? Insecurity in a relationship can cause many issues, so you need to know what causes it and how to recognize & deal with it.
An insecure partner can grate on you. But how would you know if you have insecurities? And how can you manage them? Here’s a guide to understanding insecurities in relationships, their causes and signs, and most importantly, ways to overcome them.
What Is Insecurity?
Simply explained, emotional insecurity refers to the instability of a person’s emotional state. Possible triggers of these perceived threats or vulnerability. Traumatic events or perceived inferiority in a relationship may prompt it. In short, insecurity sets in when something threatens a person’s ego or well-being.
How emotionally insecure someone is, depends on his or her capacity for resilience. Also, how relationship setbacks affect a person may determine how anxious he or she is.
Feeling insecure is natural on some occasions, but it’s important to know when it’s too much and how to stop. A little insecurity is normal, and everyone feels it some time, but having issues with insecurity in a relationship is a little different. It can cause unnecessary problems and make it seem like problems are much worse than they are. In the same way, it can exacerbate problems that may already exist in a relationship as the cause of the insecurity originally. This can lead to a vicious cycle.
Before you can know how to stop feeling insecure, you must understand why you feel insecure. There are a number of causes of insecurity in a relationship. It’s not always because you feel your partner is doing something wrong.
What Causes Insecurity in a Relationship?
The root cause of any insecurity is fear. In this case, it’s worry about jeopardizing or compromising the status of a relationship. The anxiety is a result of a person’s environment and the people with whom he or she interacts.
Some people can shrug off negative experiences and stay grounded because they have well-developed self-awareness and self-belief. Others, however, are tremendously affected by negative experiences. You’ll want some more insight into the causes of insecurity in relationships if you belong to the latter category.
If you are an insecure person, you need to understand what causes these problems to make them stop having negative effects on your relationship. There are a few things that make you doubt yourself and your partner, and some of these might surprise you.
First of all, you may have experienced failed romantic relationships, some of which may have been abusive. Consequently, you may expect all your relationships to turn out this way. It is a task to overcome such limiting perceptions.
Oftentimes, our recent setbacks will damage our self-esteem. For instance, if we lose a job, we will also start thinking about times when we felt rejection and these feelings will double. A recent rejection actually triggers past negative feelings in this way more often than not. So, in order to understand insecurities, we must understand how to break this pattern and grow stronger. Recognizing this cause of insecurity in a relationship helps us recognize the falsities and helps us choose a different path of reaction to a bad situation.
Okay, I have this one and I hate it. It’s a full-time job just keeping my insecurities in check, but I have to. I find myself rating people that I meet on the risk they pose to my well-being or mental health. At the same time, I worry that they are secretly judging me.
If you want to stop your insecurity from ruining your relationship, you have to face the truth of social anxiety. I know that all of my anxieties came from bullying and ostracizing in middle and high school. I even remember horrific experiences as far back as early grade school. Now, whenever going to any social function, I cringe. I tell myself and others that I am not insecure, but really, I guess I am. Social anxiety can make it excruciatingly hard to overcome insecurities, but with time, even this can be conquered.
Sometimes, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause of insecurity in a relationship. However, some things like fear of intimacy or lack of performance can cause you to become afraid of your abilities as a partner in a relationship. This fear can grow so strong that you will become insecure.
Ingrained beliefs like these cause a person to see their relationships as unnecessarily negative. For instance, a girl may assume that her boyfriend is angry just because he’s quiet. In reality, his mind may be on a problem he’s facing at work. Behaviors like this are a result of past disappointments.
This insecurity, in turn, can cause you to be jealous, angry, or bitter when things don’t go as perfectly as you think they should. There are all sorts of basic fears and they primarily work in the same way. When left unchecked, they can end a relationship fast.
Yes, being a good person with good morals and standards is a good thing. On the other hand, being too repressed can be negative as well. When you try to repress the undesirable traits of yourself or another, you can cause insecurities to spring up. The better thing to do is pick and choose behaviors to moderate, letting some things slide in favor of attaining a bit of who you really are.
Repression is like a tightly closed container filled to the brim with water. It’s tight, closed off, and in danger of eruption. This is also true with repression. Too much can cause someone to mentally break. In the meantime, it just causes a huge amount of insecurity in your relationship and beyond it.
Insecurities also come from past traumas and hurt. If something terrible happened to you as a child, the feelings, which come from the aftermath, sometimes linger throughout your life. As an adult, everything you do will be dependent on how you were raised, whether you were abused or if you were rejected by those who were supposed to love and care for you. You can imagine how negative circumstances like this would frame your life.
Unaddressed Relationship Issues
Also, there are times when there is a reason for the insecurity in a relationship. Something could be wrong if your partner doesn’t return your Whatsapp messages. It could be that your relationship has taken a wrong turn. If this is the case, it’s probably time to sort matters out with your partner.
Although we don’t like admitting it, sometimes feeling insecure in a relationship comes from an intuition that something just isn’t right. Your gut may be warning you that there is a problem in your relationship and it might not actually just be insecurity.
Here are a few examples of relationship issues and behaviors that could leave you feeling insecure:
You feel unequal to your partner
Inequality in a relationship is the biggest attributing factor to insecurity because we feel we don’t fit. Whether it be that one partner earns more than the other, a significant age difference, or simply because one feels less intelligent, inequality consequently leaves us feeling we don’t suit our partners. This is purely a self-esteem issue. This can lead us to believe our partners may look for something similar to the quality we believe they have more of as a result.
You compare your relationship to others
We are all guilty of comparing our relationship to others, but it’s a classic cause of feeling insecure in a relationship. We see other couples and imagine them to be happier, more adventurous, or more in love. Sometimes, we end up wishing that our relationships had the same qualities or worrying we’re not as happy as others.
You’re not spending enough time together
Insecurity in a relationship comes quickly when you don’t spend enough time together because missing your partner can quickly lead to wondering what they’re up to, especially if it’s difficult to stay in contact. If you live in a different city or country to your partner, this can leave you feeling insecure quite quickly and this can be difficult to combat.
You’re spending too much time together
Sometimes, spending too much time together can be just as detrimental to a relationship as not spending enough time together. You can get on each other’s nerves, or lose your individuality by spending too much time in the relationship. This can make you feel insecure in yourself by forgetting the things which are special to you and negatively affect the relationship.
7 Signs of Insecurities: Do You Have Them?
You may suspect that there’s trouble in relationship paradise, but you’re not sure if your suspicion stems from insecurity. Here are a few signs that you have some excess anxiety to manage.
You always check your partner’s phone
First of all, you may find yourself getting up in the middle of the night to check your significant other’s phone. If you are used to performing random, unexpected checks on your partner, you know that you’re insecure.
You must do everything with your partner
Also, you may feel anxious about your partner having drinks with colleagues. Remember that a top sign of insecurity is a lack of trust in a relationship. If you can’t trust your partner to use his or her discretion and maintain platonic relationships with the opposite sex, you may have insecurities to manage. Furthermore, you’d have sacrificed many aspects of your life – friends, family, and even career – to do everything with your partner. Such abandonment is a red flag.
You avoid any possibility of an argument
While you shouldn’t always be confronting your partner, you shouldn’t be afraid to share your feelings with him or her either. Avoidance of confrontation is another sign of insecurity. Differences in views are necessary for an intimate relationship to succeed.
You ask about previous relationships all the time
Another sign that you may be feeling insecure about your relationship is if you keep asking about ex-partners. We all want assurance that we are worthy of our significant others, so we ask questions like “Is he/she prettier/more handsome than I am?” While this isn’t unusual, problems may arise if they become excessive.
You demand reassurance
Furthermore, you’ll demand reassurance that your relationship is going well. Insecure partners always seek approval.
You weigh your partner down
You want the best for your partner, like everyone else. However, things may not go as planned. Insecure people often rely on their partners to succeed. Their mistaken belief is that they achieve if their partners do. However, their pressure may result in the opposite effect – their partners may find themselves failing.
You always accuse your partner of cheating
Finally, if you’re obsessed with your partner cheating on you when he or she hasn’t, you know that you’re insecure. You feel as though you’re not good enough for your partner and are scared that he or she will look for greener pastures.
How insecurity destroys your relationship
Insecurities are self-defense mechanisms. People resort to them because of previous bad experiences or for other reasons we talked about above. Though uneasy feelings are understandable, they may ruin relationships.
An overly-possessive nature may cause your partner to feel frustrated. It’s not fair for him or her to stop communicating with other members of the opposite sex. Of course, this strains your relationship. Also, constant accusations of cheating when it has never happened can hurt your partner. It probably pains him or her to stay in a relationship with you when there’s no trust.
Believe it or not, insecurities are a big reason why relationships fail. You may not think you are being insecure, but signs above prove different. If you find yourself stressed about whether your mate will leave you or if they are betraying you when you’re not around, then yes, you are insecure about where you stand in the relationship.
Tennessee psychologists Jerika Norona and Deborah Welsh have proven that emotional insecurity can produce unwanted relationship outcomes. They sampled 217 undergraduates who embarked on relationships for about three weeks. They found that the undergraduates who had poor perceptions of themselves couldn’t strike a proper balance when depending on their partners. Furthermore, they were hypersensitive to rejection.
How to deal with relationship insecurity?
Low self-esteem can destroy the bond you have with another. The good news is, you can learn how to deal with insecurity in a relationship, and you have to look within. To understand which of the causes described above leaves you feeling insecure in your relationship and how to overcome it, you will need to do some introspection.
If you feel overwhelmed by the worry that your relationship is about to break down, you’ll have to manage your fear. Here’s how you can stop feeling insecure about your significant other:
Preserve your independence
In order to overcome insecurity, you must remember to have a life outside the relationship. Now, I don’t mean living a life that disrespects your partner, rather, having outside hobbies or keeping in touch with your own friends. One intelligent thing to do is to keep your independence within the relationship. Your relationship should have boundaries.
If you spend too much time together, it might be wise to take some time for yourself away from your partner and remember the things you enjoy doing by yourself. Remind yourself of the things that make you special. You may find that having a little space and some added self-confidence can make all the difference when you’re feeling insecure in your relationship.
Your partner should have the freedom to take care of his or her well-being, and so should you. It will progress if both of you feel fulfilled. Make time for your friends and family, and allow your partner to do the same.
Being financially independent is also important, as you will always have a way to take care of yourself if you need to. You should never lose yourself in a relationship no matter how dreamy the partner may be.
Learn to trust yourself
When you want to feel more secure, you must learn to trust yourself in the relationship. What this means is that you need to trust your feelings if the relationship seems to be at its end. Trust that you can make the right decisions in other aspects of the union as well.
Being secure in yourself helps you have a clear mind so that you can judge rightly when it’s time to make these decisions. You must never base an important situation on any insecurity you may have about yourself. Learn to trust every logical thought you have and learn to follow through with that as well. Remember that you can take care of yourself no matter how your partner lives his or her life. Be confident that you will not lose your sense of self.
Work on your self-esteem
Studies prove that people with relationship insecurities have low self-confidence. It can put a burden on your partner and push him or her away. Always strive to improve the way you see yourself because self-esteem is the backbone of attaining your dreams and goals. Insecurities will run away when strong self-esteem is present, and getting rid of them can save a relationship that may be suffering.
It might take a while to build your self-esteem depending on who or what damaged it in the first place, but over time, it can be done. Just pace yourself, carve out some alone time, and get to know who you are. You will find that you are a pretty good person after all. Work on feeling good about yourself. If you like yourself, the chances are that your partner will love you. Be aware of feeling unworthy of your significant other and resist the temptation to criticize yourself.
Learn your value
Insecurity in a relationship due to perceived inequality is one of the easiest problems to solve. You need to talk it out with your partner. Tell them why you feel unequal and address ways of fixing it because chances are, your partner hasn’t noticed it. Where possible, try to minimize the inequalities by spending more time doing the things that make you unique and building your self-esteem. Don’t be afraid to seek some reassurance from your partner that they love you exactly how you are.
It’s so easy to see value in others, especially physical attributes. But never forget all the talents and gifts that you bring to the table. Where you might fall short of having nice soft manageable hair, you could have amazing culinary skills or artistic abilities.
Maybe you hate being short when other people are tall, but think about your beautiful eye color. Do you see what I mean? Every one of us has good qualities, and this is what we should be showcasing instead of stressing over things we cannot change. Learn all your good qualities and let them help you strengthen your value.
Remind yourself that you complement your partner
Remember that you complete him or her. Both of you will complement each other if you are in a well-matched relationship. Think about how you better your partner’s life, and how he or she does the same for you. When you think about what you have to offer instead of what you feel you can’t, you’ll appreciate yourself. More importantly, your partner will value you.
Stop comparing your relationship to others
What is dangerous about such comparisons is that you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. The couples who seem so happy and in love in the company of others may have real issues going on at home. If you know your relationship is solid and there is nothing to argue or worry about, you don’t need to compare yourselves to the couple who seems to have a perfect life. It may be a false picture.
Still, comparing your relationship with others can sometimes be helpful. If you are jealous of how adventurous another couple is, you may be craving the same adventure. Talk to your partner about ideas as to how you can bring adventure into your own relationship with trips and experiences. If you want a little more attention in public, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Work out problems in your relationship
There can be many causes of insecurity both in and out of a relationship that affect the relationship itself. Work out your relationship problems with your partner. For example, if you spend too little time together, talk to your partner about it. Work out the ways you can spend more time together or how you can stay in more contact. The more contact you have with your partner, the better the set you are to stop feeling insecure. Where it’s difficult to spend a lot of time together, try to make the most of the time you do get together by making it special with dates and experiences.
It’s important to trust your partner. Try to figure out whether something you have noticed from your partner makes you feel insecure. If there is, talk to your partner and confront the behaviors which are making you feel this way. If your concerns aren’t properly addressed, you may need to think about the kind of relationship you really want.
Try to assess the situation properly and address the problem at hand. Your partner will appreciate that you are making an effort to work on the relationship because it will make both of you feel safe, secure, and happy.
Overcoming your insecurity could be the answer to genuine relationship happiness and true freedom
In all, you will communicate better with your partner if you know what causes insecurity in a relationship and how to manage these triggers. If your low self-esteem is ruining your relationship, it is no easy task to stop behaving this way, especially if your insecurities have come from a number of sources. Regardless, if we want to have a fulfilled life full of promise and love, we must find a way to put these insecurities to rest.
If you’re struggling in your present relationship, I urge you to learn to let go. Sometimes just letting go of things you cannot change will start the process. I am right here with you, learning and healing at the same time.
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