As humans, none of us will ever be truly sure and confident in every aspect of our lives (after all, we are not God), and these moments of insecurity can cause us to sometimes feel insecure about ourselves. It could be insecurities about our appearance, our life choices, or even something as insignificant as whether or not we got on the right bus to work today. The fact is, we all have some kind of experience when it comes to insecurity.
But why do some people tend to experience more uncertainty than others, with greater frequency and intensity? It becomes much more apparent during a relationship when emotions are involved, and sometimes we end up feeling exhausted as a result of our partner’s constant projections of insecurity wearing us down. It may even be the other way around, and you’ll encounter insecurities, but you don’t know what’s causing them in the first place.
In any case, if you feel that your current relationship has a potential future, but the main obstacle that puts everything at risk is insecurity, then you can identify the root cause of your or your partner’s insecurities and figure out how to overcome them. The causes of insecurity may well be of great importance to help you save your relationship.
Reasons for insecurity in a relationship
Here are the top 5 causes of insecurity in a relationship that shouldn’t be overlooked.
- 1. Low self-esteem/insecurity
We are always as secure in a relationship as we allow ourselves to be. But if we are already insecure in almost every aspect of our lives, how can we expect our relationships to be any different?
Low self-esteem and general insecurity are probably the root cause of insecurity in relationships and are usually related to a person’s upbringing.
Being teased and bullied at school, being constantly told you are not good enough, or maybe even lack of proper affection as a child… all of these experiences will definitely have long term consequences on the person and if not addressed, will continue into adulthood.
Regardless of where it came from, the end result will remain relatively unchanged, and they often grow up constantly feeling insecure about everything because of the conditioning they have received over the years.
If you constantly doubt your own emotions, thoughts and behaviors, you will not only project those doubts onto your relationship and partner, but you will also cause a series of irrational thoughts and anxieties that will only intensify. these feelings of insecurity.
- Negative past experiences (emotional baggage)
Many of us have abandoned certain relationships either because something bad happened (infidelity, dishonesty, etc.), or perhaps the nature of the relationship itself was too toxic (abusive, emotionally unavailable, etc.). As we walk away from such relationships, the healthy thing to do would also be to put those negative memories behind us and eventually move past them to start over.
However, some of us end up clinging to these negative emotions and even bringing them into our later relationships as unresolved emotional baggage. This creates insecurities and anxieties that we end up projecting onto our new partners because we subconsciously hold them back from any pain or hurt caused by our ex.
As a result, we have a certain insecurity about our partner, and we may even have difficulty when it comes to trusting them, even if they haven’t really given us any reason not to.
When we bring past emotional baggage into a new relationship, we automatically create an environment of insecurity and essentially sabotage the new relationship by thinking our new partner is guilty of something they didn’t even do.
- Attachment styles
Based on psychological research (attachment theory), it has been found that children develop different attachment styles (secure or insecure) depending on how their parents have interacted with them.
It has also been found that these attachment styles can continue into adulthood and will play an important role in shaping relationships between people. A neglected childhood may have caused the adult to feel insecure, and their emotional needs were not met while growing up.
This causes serious projections of insecurity, especially in relationships, because a person with an insecure attachment style has virtually no experience when it comes to meeting their emotional needs. The moment they finally understand what it feels like to have their emotional needs met, unhealthy insecurity ensues. This person has no other perceived way of getting that affection.
When something seems precious to someone, there is a general fear of losing it. And a person with an insecure attachment style is likely to end up projecting these fears in obvious ways. They can be easily jealous, extremely sensitive, constantly seeking approval from you, and may even become extremely clingy because they feel threatened by anything that could divert their partner’s attention from them.
- the realization of a personal life (or lack thereof)
As two different people before you find each other, you will both have unique aspects about you that will make you unique. Your career, your hobbies, your goals, your views, and even your favorite foods are all individual aspects of yourself that not only create your personality, but also give you a sense of fulfillment.
Many people tend to lose their individuality after entering a relationship and, therefore, also lose their sense of satisfaction in their personal lives. As a result, they turn instead to their partners and begin to rely on them to give them life fulfillment and meaning.
This factor alone, while considered unhealthy, may not necessarily create insecurity in a relationship. However, when we rely on someone else to give our lives meaning and fulfillment, there is usually a subconscious expectation that the other person will treat us the same way, which comes along with our confidence.
This can cause insecurity and even the formation of jealousy whenever our partner experiences an external form of happiness unrelated to us, or when positive changes occur in our partner’s life. Instead of feeling happy and supportive of our partner’s accomplishments, we end up feeling bitter and insecure, all because something else (besides us) was able to make our partners happy and give their lives meaning.
- Unequal past relationship experiences.
By a certain point in everyone’s adult life, we will eventually exhaust all of our “first time” relationships. We may have even referred to someone from a past relationship as our “soul mate” before or may have ever been close to settling down. We all progress at different rates, and even the amount of relationship experience will be different for each person.
If you are unsure of yourself from the beginning, meeting someone who has much more experience than you, or who has been in a serious relationship before, can easily cause them to be insecure.
If you constantly compare yourself to former partners or the emotional connection they once had (which probably would have been stronger than yours), feelings of inferiority can easily form when you begin to doubt yourself and wonder if you can ever fit in.
What can you do to overcome insecurity?
If you feel insecure in a relationship, here are things you can do to overcome your insecurities (or help your partner overcome them).
The first step in overcoming any problem is to recognize and acknowledge that it exists. If you don’t even know that your insecurities are negatively affecting your relationship or, even worse, don’t realize that you are acting insecure to begin with, then you will never get over it and those insecurities will just be a recurring problem.
However, it’s not enough to know that a problem exists if you don’t want to do something about it. You need to develop greater self-awareness over your emotions if you ever hope to improve how you feel and act on certain issues.
Ultimately, self-awareness and mindfulness are important for overcoming insecurity and preventing subconscious behaviors of neediness, jealousy, or even manipulation of your partner whenever you feel insecure about something.
Open and honest communication
Whether you face insecurity or your partner, one of you will inevitably bring it up at some point during the relationship. The big question here is when and where.
Will it come out as an excuse to hurt the other person in the middle of an argument? Or as an open discussion that both parties can talk about calmly without getting defensive or feeling hurt?
Without a healthy line of communication with your partner, feelings of frustration and negativity will only be contained and gradually worsen with each successive “episode” of insecurity, resulting in a gradually deteriorating relationship.
If you see the potential of your current partner, you will have to start working on establishing an honest, open and healthy line of communication with them. Don’t worry so much that you end up hurting the other person’s feelings that you avoid confrontation altogether, because the alternative of holding it back will only lead to much worse results.
Take the time to sit your partner down and let them know you had something on your mind (NOT when you are in the middle of an argument or there is some tension between both parties).
First, start with a disclaimer that whatever you are about to say is not meant to “poke”, hurt or humiliate them, but rather because you see a future with them and therefore would like to be honest and talk openly about your feelings so that you can both become stronger as a couple by working together to overcome them.
Be careful with your choice of words, especially if you are trying to tell an already insecure person that they are insecure. Avoid using confrontational words like “you” (i.e., you always act insecure!), and instead choose softer alternatives that are less likely to trigger them so that the discussion can continue in a positive manner (i.e., I noticed that there have been some insecurities in the relationship lately).
In the end, your goal is not just to make them realize and admit that they are indeed insecure, but more importantly, to let them know that you will still be on THEIR side no matter what (remember, their insecurities will not magically disappear just because you brought it up), and you will still have to make some compromises by offering ways to improve things.
See a professional therapist for deeper issues
Unfortunately, not all problems can be overcome with self-help, and there are some people whose insecurities are so deeply rooted that professional help may be needed before any improvement can be seen.
If the cause of your or your partner’s insecurity is due to more serious issues, such as poor parenting in childhood or experiencing a particular incident that may have led to serious trauma/anxiety, then the two of you simply cannot overcome these issues. alone, and a professional therapist or counselor should be brought in to help better alleviate.
How can we hope that others will love us if we are not even capable of loving ourselves first?
There is some truth to this cliché, and someone who is highly insecure about their partners usually has a low sense of self-love as well. When a person lacks confidence and low self-esteem, it also affects their self-esteem, which leads to the development of insecurity.
An insecure person is constantly doubting and questioning their partner’s decision to be with them simply because they are unable to see their worth. They are constantly unsure of why their partner chose them, if they don’t believe they are worth loving at all.
If you are constantly insecure in your relationship – your partner chose you for a reason, and it wasn’t by accident or chance. Your partner chose you because they saw certain qualities in you that they liked; qualities that you constantly fail to notice, and sometimes even persist in denial more.
You need to learn to recognize these qualities and develop more love for yourself, because the key to a secure and loving relationship starts with you.
After all, insecurity is essentially a projection of a person’s manifested doubts, fears and insecurities. There can never be one clear cause behind a person’s uncertainty, and it is usually a combination of several factors (both past and present) that can create this uncertainty.
Identifying the root cause of your or your partner’s insecurity and understanding how to overcome it are important processes to work on if we ever hope to establish lasting relationships with our partners.