How to Deal with Insecurities in your Relationship

Date

Summer 2024

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Insecurity is a complex thing. It’s something we all feel from time to time, and while this is normal, if these feelings of insecurity persist, it can cause problems. Relationships whether romantic or platonic suffer when someone is unable to see past or grow from their feelings of insecurity. 

Signs of Insecurity

Some of the most common signs of insecurity in a relationship are: 

  1. Asking for a lot of reassurance. 
  2. Overthinking or overanalyzing situations and finding problems where none exist. 
  3. Comparing yourself to others including your partner’s exes, your friends’ relationships, or social media influencers’ relationships.
  4. You are holding back from being your true self, or are afraid of emotional intimacy and vulnerability, and are thus creating distance between you and your partner.
  5. You are missing a sense of individuality and find that you don’t have a strong opinion about anything. Your partner may also be leading the relationship with you acting as more of a follower.
  6. You might be acting a bit controlling around your S/O. 

Of course, there are many more signs of insecurity beyond these. So, if you’re still feeling insecure but not finding your insecurity on this list, your feelings are still valid, and it’s important to do further research or to speak to someone about how you’re feeling.

Personal Insecurity vs Red Flag

Oftentimes, feelings of distrust or uneasiness are justified and it’s important to be able to spot when this happens. This can be separated into two categories: red flags, and personal insecurities. The red flag in this context is being used to mean toxic behaviour that is being exhibited by others and is leading to you experiencing feelings of insecurity. Meanwhile, personal insecurities have everything to do with you, and nothing to do with your partner. This can be a tricky thing to spot, as when someone is feeling insecure, they often miss or overlook how they are being mistreated by others. 

The key here is to look for patterns and to speak with others. This doesn’t mean gossiping with your friends, but genuinely looking at your partner’s behaviour and running it by friends, family, or someone whose opinion you trust to give you honest feedback on these behaviours. Also, take a look at your relationship history to determine whether you have felt insecure in all of your relationships, or if these feelings are new. If they’re new, then you may not be the problem here. 

Cause

Typically, feelings of insecurity stem from a lack of self-confidence. This may have been caused by how you were treated by family and friends growing up, or in past relationships. If you were bullied, dismissed, gaslit, or treated badly, it makes sense that you don’t have a positive view of yourself.  

Learn from what caused these feelings, but don’t use them as an excuse to keep holding you back. Instead, learning the root cause can help you identify the best tactics to move forward.

Next Steps 

Insecurity is a feeling and not a personality trait. The first step to healing is understanding that your feelings of insecurity are separate from your identity as a person. When you do this, you open yourself up to self-love and can learn to be kind to yourself. You also need to start recognizing when you are projecting your insecurities onto your partner and challenge insecure thoughts as they come up. Try to look at things objectively and understand the facts of the situation rather than exclusively using your feelings to justify your reasoning. 

You also need to learn to communicate openly and effectively with your partner so they understand how you’re feeling, and you both can learn the kinds of things that trigger these feelings. Discuss how you can better support each other and ensure that everyone’s needs are being met. 

Finally, your partner is a member of your support team, but they shouldn’t be the only member. Seek out help from a therapist or someone you trust who exists outside of your relationship and can be a part of your support team along with your partner. 

 Lauren Schwartz | Staff Writer

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