Do you often get jealous in your relationship? Are you constantly seeking the validation of your partner? Maybe you tend to put their needs above your own to please them.
Many people struggle with relationship insecurity to some extent. When left unchecked, this anxiety-inducing feeling takes a toll on your mental health, creating conflict and distance between you and your partner. Learning how to be less insecure in a relationship starts with identifying an underlying root cause of your self-doubt and low confidence. If you’re experiencing hardships with your partner, addressing your issues in relationship counselling might be a good idea. In this article, we discuss the causes, signs and effects of insecurity and share tools to boost your confidence, improve communication skills and strengthen your relationship.
What is Relationship Insecurity?
Relationship insecurity is a painful emotion that can distort your thoughts and beliefs. It might lead to issues like anxiety, jealousy, or self-doubt, which result in questioning your partner’s fidelity or your worth, intelligence or attractiveness. Fortunately, recognising this issue and learning how to be less insecure in a relationship can be beneficial, creating:
- deep mutual trust,
- increased self-confidence,
- improved communication skills,
- healthy boundaries.
Simultaneously, facing relationship insecurity is often challenging as it might create even more conflict and resentment between you and your loved one. To address this issue, consider seeking professional help. Relationship counselling can help you understand, communicate and treat each other with compassion and respect while moving towards a healthier relationship dynamic with increased trust and intimacy.
Understanding The Root Causes of Relationship Insecurity
If you’ve been feeling insecure in your current relationship for a while, many indirectly connected factors might be at play, such as difficult past experiences, i.e.:
- failed relationships,
- abusive ex-partners,
- being neglected or mistreated in childhood,
- traumatic events.
If you’ve been cheated on previously, trusting your current partner might be difficult. Maybe each time they don’t pick up the phone, message back or arrive on time, you become irrationally alarmed, suspicious and filled with negative thoughts.
Such painful experiences make it difficult to be emotionally vulnerable, authentic or assertive. Overcoming insecurity starts with acknowledging and addressing uncomfortable past or unhelpful beliefs, preferably with an experienced therapist to guide you through this process.
Signs of Insecurity in Relationships
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Relationship insecurity can manifest itself in several ways, i.e.:
- unwarranted jealousy, i.e., feeling threatened by your partner’s colleague from work
- low confidence in the future of your relationship, i.e., feeling as if they’re going to break up with you at any moment
- negative self-talk, i.e., thinking you’re “not enough” for your partner or you don’t deserve them,
- controlling behaviours, i.e., checking your partner’s messages without their consent,
- an excessive need for validation, i.e., ” Are you still attracted to me?”
- using your partner as a source of emotional support, i.e. fishing for compliments when you’re feeling low
- overreacting, i.e., when your partner asks for some space, you feel abandoned and rejected by them
- difficulty with intimacy, i.e. avoiding sexual contact or feeling extremely self-aware when having sex
A qualified relationship counsellor can help you pinpoint your signs and triggers and address these feelings of insecurity before they lead to further emotional distress.
The Impact of Insecurity on Relationships
Relationship insecurity is not an emotion that can be hidden or ignored. It affects the way you think, feel and interact with your partner, contributing to issues like:
- creating and reinforcing unhealthy beliefs,
- low self-confidence and self-respect,
- imbalance and distance between you and your partner,
- resentment, frustrations and trust issues,
- more conflict.
How To Overcome Insecurities in a Relationship
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Start by becoming aware of the thoughts, behaviours or physical sensations that arise whenever you feel insecure. Try identifying triggering situations or topics, like comparing yourself to the photos of your partner’s friends on social media. Being non-judgmental will help you pinpoint the specific issues to work on.
2. Be sceptical
Self-doubt usually creeps up on us, overwhelming us with negative thoughts, which we tend to treat as facts. But don’t get fooled – usually, they’re not accurate. Next time you assume your partner doesn’t care about you since they left your message on “read” without replying, distance yourself from that thinking error and consider its validity.
3. Focus on the present moment
When thinking about the future, our minds tend to fixate on the worst-case scenario. Likewise – focusing too much on the past traps us in the vicious cycle of dwelling on painful memories or mistakes we made. However, adapting a mindful posture in the present moment can prevent us from overthinking and helps us be more realistic.
Building Trust and Confidence in Relationships Through Communication
1. Stop bad habits
We all have bad habits that we could get rid of. In case of communication, it’s:
- being defensive, i.e., treating your partner’s disagreement as a personal attack, lashing out and criticizing them for something unrelated
- seeking reassurance, i.e., “Do you think I’m smart?”
While the former creates distance between you, the latter perpetuates low confidence and further dependency on your partner.
2. Open up:
Open communication is key to a successful relationship. While challenging, discussing your struggles can bring you and your partner closer. Try expressing your emotions calmly, using “I” statements. Communication is a two-way street, so listen to your partner without interrupting, blaming or judging them.
3. Express your needs
Your needs and wants are valid and need to be vocalised in your relationship. Being assertive and setting healthy boundaries shouldn’t be mistaken for causing trouble or being needy. These skills foster a better dynamic between you and your partner, but most importantly, they’re an act of self-respect and a beautiful way to be less insecure in a relationship.
Nurturing a Healthy and Secure Relationship
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1. Engage in self-care
Paradoxically, sometimes the best thing you can do to overcome your relationship issues is to prioritise spending time on your own. Reconnect with yourself and develop trust and confidence by engaging in self-care practices. It can be a restful ritual like yoga, journalling or finding a new hobby.
2. Treat yourself with compassion
Abusive self-talk creates a lot of negativity, so rather than scolding and shaming yourself, try becoming your biggest ally. Next time you’re thinking: “I don’t deserve to be with them. I’m pathetic”, imagine how you’d respond to your best friend if they said something like that.
3. Ask for professional help
Finally, remember: you don’t have to go through these struggles alone. Consider going to a relationship counsellor, either individually or as a couple. Working with a mental health professional is a fantastic opportunity to connect the dots and understand where your insecurity might come from and how to cope with it.
Overcome Your Relationship Insecurity Today
Relationship insecurity is a painful issue that takes different forms, from jealousy to resentment. It negatively impacts your mental health and the quality of your relationship, causing further problems. Overcoming it starts with finding the root cause, usually hidden in uncomfortable past experiences. Then, it includes practising assertiveness, boundary-setting and communication skills. Doing so with a trained professional can bring many benefits, such as deeper trust and intimacy between both partners and better communication.
If you’d like to learn how to be less insecure in a relationship, get in touch with our qualified relationship counselling therapists, who can assist you on this journey toward a stable and healthy relationship.