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I have a friend, Lisa, who always ends relationships that should have lasted longer. She constantly feels like her boyfriends are about to dump her, so she dumps them first. Yet, in the relationship, she’s the clingy one, the one who checks on where her significant other is and what they are doing.
Her life is a story of insecurities in a relationship—each and every relationship.
Perhaps you have begun to suspect you are like Lisa and that you are insecure in your relationships, which is why they don’t last. Are you the shaky foundation that causes the house to tumble down and fail?
Our insecurities are the reasons we fail, and they can be our downfall and the end of our relationships. But how do we overcome them?
Do we all end up like Lisa—alone and at war with ourselves? Or, is there hope for a happy ever after for us and for those we have a relationship with? Let’s find out.
Are You Insecure in Your Relationship?
If you secretly believe you aren’t good enough to be in a relationship, your mind will turn against you, and you will push away the ones who care about you since this doesn’t fit with the mental picture you are creating of yourself.
You feel unworthy, so you can’t believe that others will find value and worth in you.
Because you don’t trust yourself, you don’t trust others, and you are constantly looking for signs they are about to fail you, just waiting for a chance to bail.
In a way, you become a self-fulfilling prophecy, letting yourself down and breaking down those around you.
Many people who are insecure may know they harbor deep feelings of inadequacy.
There are signs that show them how they are the root cause of their unsuccessful relationships because they doubt themselves and blame others.
Are your insecurities in a relationship your downfall? Let’s find out if you have the typical signs.
Signs of Insecurity in a Relationship
Insecurity stems from past trauma, pain, and neglect. Maybe your parents didn’t raise you in an affirmative and loving relationship? The result of your own insecurities is that you doubt, hurt, and feel jealous.
Here are a few signs that point toward an insecure relationship.
Afraid of Losing Your Lover
While it’s natural to fear losing someone you love, the insecure partner will fear being alone, being left, and feeling rejected (even though they already reject themselves).
Jealousy Eats You from the Inside out
Are you super jealous of your partner? You don’t want people even looking at them, and you constantly need to feel like they are “worshiping” you to alleviate the jealousy, and this indicates you are insecure.
You Want to Control Your Partner
If you constantly need to know where your partner is and what they are doing, you are controlling them.
Not accepting that your partner is an individual and they have the right to decide for themselves is an indication that you are insecure, which is why you have to feel like you are in charge of the relationship.
Not Respecting Their Privacy
Do you constantly track what your partner is up to, needing to know where they are and who they are with? Perhaps you install a tracker on their phone or you check their messages when they’re not watching.
Essentially, you invade their privacy because you don’t trust yourself, and so you don’t trust them.
Social Media Obsessed
Since you struggle with trust issues, you may troll your partner on social media. Do you check each and every post they share or each picture they post?
You stalk them because you feel you may lose them to the world and you don’t trust them to be faithful to you. (After all, who would want to be faithful to you, right? You can’t even be faithful to yourself.)
Suspicions Become Paranoid Delusions
Your suspicions may become paranoid delusions, and you could engage in mythical thinking, where you imagine your partner is stepping out on you and being unfaithful.
In severe cases, you may even start seeing things that aren’t even there.
Being Left Alone Is Terrifying
You hate being on your own. Whenever your partner is away, you feel utterly deserted, and when they return, you don’t welcome them. Instead, you lash out, making them feel horrible because you feel horrible.
You Never Fight
Ironically, your relationship may be characterized by a lack of fighting. You could choose to keep quiet, instead of fighting, and you’d never talk things through with your partner, since you can’t admit to how you feel or face the demons raging in your mind.
Constantly Wanting Reassurance of Their Love
Your partner may not have words as their love language, and they could find it hard to constantly tell you that they love you, but perhaps they show their love in different ways. However, you can’t see it.
If they don’t tell you every five minutes of each day just how much they adore you and love you, you begin to convince yourself they don’t love you at all.
You Question Loyalty
You don’t trust anyone (least of all yourself), so you don’t see your partner as being loyal. No matter what they do or say, you will always suspect them, believe them to have cheated or that they are secretly planning on leaving you.
Proof of Love Is Tested All the Time
If your partner does nice things for you, it’s hard for you to appreciate their gesture, seeing it as hiding something sinister instead.
Perhaps you think the huge bunch of roses they brought you means they have something to apologize for. You are constantly testing them, looking to catch them out on a lie or a sign they don’t love you.
You Struggle to Commit to Intimacy
Being intimate with your partner is hard when you don’t trust them. Oh, you can probably have sex with them to hush them when they start asking questions, but you don’t really let them see you on the inside or show them your soft side.
Instead, you hide from real intimacy. Ultimately, you don’t feel you are worthy of it.
So how do you overcome these insecurities you’ve spent a lifetime tormenting yourself (and others) with, and how do you begin to trust yourself and your partner so you can commit to a real and lasting relationship?
There are a few steps you can take to overcome insecurities in a relationship.
7 Steps to Overcome Insecurities in a Relationship
The journey of overcoming your insecurities that are threatening your relationship is about finding trust and love for yourself. Only when you trust yourself, forgive yourself, and make peace with yourself can you begin to offer the best of you to the one who loves you best.
This is not going to be an easy road, and it’s definitely not a quick fix. You will have to work at these steps with diligence and authenticity. Ultimately, overcoming your relationship insecurities is about overcoming your self-insecurities.
1. Keep a Journal and Self-Reflect
Authenticity is about facing yourself, warts and all, in the mirror of your mind and really owning up to who you are.
Admit you have insecurity issues and that these are threatening all your relationships (not just your romantic ones). Now use your journal to dive deep and find where these started.
Perhaps your childhood was filled with insecurities and uncertainty? Maybe you never learned to trust or that people can be depended on? Use your journal to uncover where insecurities started for you.
When you have moments of insecurity pop up in your interactions within your relationship, reflect on these in your journal.
Accept that you are the one who has insecurity issues in the relationship. You need to own that you may not always be clear in your thoughts, which can mean you don’t communicate well.
Your partner probably has no clue, and they likely feel like they are walking on eggshells.
If you want to get through this, you need to trust someone. You have to decide whether you and your partner are potentially a good match and if they can support you.
If they have the emotional depth and caring to want to work through this with you, then you have to loop them in and confide in them about what’s going on in your head and life.
Open channels of communication. Work on a safe word that you can use when you are going off the rails and your insecurities are getting the better of you, so they know to be extra caring and supportive on those days.
Likewise, they can use the safe word to let you know that you are behaving in an obsessive way, without saying something that could trigger your insecurities further.
3. Engage in Self-Love
The root cause of your insecurities and why you ruin your relationships is often a lack of self-love. You don’t believe you are worthy, so you convince yourself that others see you as unworthy and will push you aside.
Loving yourself and doing things that help you feel better about yourself will go a long way to restoring your emotional balance. Start with a long and hard look in the mirror.
Are you taking care of yourself? Do you need a haircut or a facial? Perhaps you haven’t eaten as healthily as you should, and you cover shame with a couple of pounds around the waist?
Start doing things that look after yourself. Take up membership in a local yoga studio or go for weekly facials and massages to help release tension and begin to nurture your body.
Your soul will begin to wake up and do the same. So read good books, listen to soothing music, and watch healing movies.
4. Foster Your Strengths
When you have relationship insecurities, you lack belief in your own strengths. You see yourself as dependent on the other person, forgetting that you are the one who should look after your needs.
Make a list of all the strengths you have been denying yourself and write each on a piece of paper. Every morning, choose one paper to carry with you, taking the time throughout the day to reflect on how you have used that particular strength throughout your day.
Celebrate your strengths, and if you feel like you really don’t have any strengths, then you should find out for sure. Travel, take up hobbies, and go on a survival course to learn where your courage is hiding.
5. Go for Therapy
At times, we are so buried under our own insecurities and shame that we can’t see the light. No matter how hard you try, how much you journal, or just how flexible you get at yoga, you might still not see the way forward.
This is where having a therapist to guide you can really be helpful. A therapist can help you identify common themes in your life and show you where you make the same mistakes time and again. They are a sounding board, a confidant, and a wise advisor.
6. Face Your Inner Critic
I remember listening to one of Warwick Schiller’s first podcasts for the Journey on Podcast and hearing him admit that he had realized he tended to look at people with judgmental eyes. Do you also judge others as well as judge yourself?
It’s so easy to fall into that negative frame of mind where you are so unhappy with yourself that you judge others. Unfortunately, you often judge your partner first, and the results are destructive.
Whenever we look at someone with judgment in our eyes, we will find something that we think is a flaw.
Admit you judge others and that you secretly judge yourself too. Now consciously make the decision to look at others with open eyes.
Promise yourself that you won’t think something negative about someone without first thinking something positive. Apply this to your partner, and apply it to yourself too.
7. Gravitate to the Present
While you have to discover where your insecurities started in your past, you should focus on living in the present too. All too often, when we are insecure, we tend to live in the rearview mirror. Stop living in the past tense, and start living in the present tense.
All you have is the here and now. You are here, your partner is right here, and you have each other. So stop digging up the old horrors of past mistakes, and make every effort to live mindfully in the now and make the most of that time together.
Final Thoughts on Insecurities in a Relationship
Insecurities in a relationship can be the rock you build your fortress on if you work with your partner to overcome these, or it can be the hidden reef that shipwrecks your relationship if you deny it and pretend it’s not there.
Don’t be like Lisa, wrecking one relationship after the other, simply because she can’t admit that she’s the one to blame.
Her deep and buried shame and mistrust is what ruins her chances at real love and a supportive relationship (with her partner and with herself).
To learn more about dealing with insecurities, read our article on engaging in mindfulness activities designed to help.
And if you're looking for more articles on relationships, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- Why Do I Get Attached So Easily: 11 Reasons & Solutions
- 14 Confusing Signs That Someone is Breadcrumbing You
- 15 Warning Signs That Your Partner Has Commitment Issues