People have insecurities about so many things in life, not just relationships. While many have it in their DNA, others feel insecure in their relationship and even marriage because their partner/significant other hasn’t given them enough reasons to feel secured.
You can’t feel secure with one who you know likes women and you are just one woman in his life, neither can you feel secure with one who likes plenty money when you are just a struggling young man that can barely pay his bills.
Before we delve into the lecture fully, I’m led by the spirit to tell you that the moment you become a monitor, you are in a wrong relationship! The moment you begin to feel the need to check up on individuals who you believe pose a threat to your relationship, you are in a wrong relationship.
What is insecurity?
Insecurity is an inner feeling of being threatened and inadequate in some way. Thanks to Oxford dictionary.
Being insecure means not feeling confident in yourself or a situation you are in. You doubt yourself and your abilities. You don’t believe you are capable of something. In short, being insecure means feeling uncertain, anxious and fearful about yourself or something in your life.
Insecurity in relationships
Simply put, when you are constantly worried about the jerk you feel due to inertia, you are insecure. 🙄 😂😂You get? As in you are constantly worried if your partner likes someone else, if they’ll eventually find you boring or if they’ll find someone better.
Relationship insecurity can make you tell your boyfriend/girlfriend/boo/spouse to give Jesus the phone if they tell you they are in church! It makes you look for faults where there’s none. It drains the peace and life out of your relationship.
Truth is, we’ve all felt it at one time or the other but while its quite normal to have feelings of self-doubt once in a while, CHRONIC INSECURITY can sabotage your success in life and can be particularly damaging to your INTIMATE relationships.
Why do people feel insecure in relationships?
There are a thousand and one reasons people feel that way but I’ll list/explain just a few of them. The kind of childhood one had, past traumas, recent experiences of failure or rejection, loneliness, social anxiety, negative beliefs about oneself, unaddressed relationship issues, perfectionism, having a critical partner or parent, etc can all cause insecurity in general life and in relationships.
Let me now explain the salient points:
A feeling that you ain’t good enough. It can even make you be paranoid that your partner might not want you again or that he/she is looking at other people.
Comparing your relationships to others
Unnecessary pressure and unrealistic expectations is a big cause of insecurity. Do you scroll through social media and wish your relationship looked liked those around you? Do you think all your friends are happy in their relationships and wonder why yours isn’t as perfect?
Your partner does things you’d like them to change. It could be your partner checks people out when you are with them or makes comments about how attractive other people are.
Negative relationship history
The hardest people to love are those with failed romantic relationships which may have been abusive. Consequently, they may expect all their relationships to turn out this way. Chai!
It’s a herculean task overcoming such limiting perceptions.
Ingrained beliefs can cause you to see your relationship as unnecessarily negative. Even the smallest things like your partner not returning your calls or not responding to your chats and not chatting with you even when you’ve seen that he/she is online can cause insecurity.
How to Know You are Insecure in a Relationship
- Here are a few signs (of relationship insecurity), if you have excess anxiety to manage:
- You find yourself asking about their ex regularly
- You are constantly accusing your partner of cheating
- You have this fear of losing your partner.
- Insecurity makes you feel like you aren’t worth someone’s time and so you find yourself obsessing over whether your partner likes you, is actually attracted to you, finds you annoying or wants to leave you for someone else. This fear seems all more warranted when you’ve been through a rough patch with your partner where they did lose your trust.
- Consuming jealousy. There’s a certain level of jealousy in a relationship that is considered healthy. After all, you are in a committed relationship and don’t want someone else breaking what you have built. BUT there’s a point where this healthy jealousy turns into a consuming insecurity. The moment you start spying on him/her, constantly questioning his/her whereabouts and intentions, being negative and controlling such as demanding friendships to be ended because they make you uncomfortable, etc., just know that you are excessively and extremely jealous and wickedly insecure. It can be tiring for you both and weaken your relationship.
- Even when you have access to their phones, your insecurities can’t be silenced. After googling their names, you may even check up on their exes via social media 🤣🤣🤣🤣 This can lead to unhealthy arguments and deeper insecurities. Social media is a notorious relationship killer so there’s no reason to be doubtful of the ease in which infidelity can happen over networking sites. That said, being consumed by every new like or comment on your partner’s photos is no way to live.
- The need for constant reassurance. You are always asking questions like “Am I attractive? Do you still love me? Do you really want to be with me? Why do you like me anyways?” Yen, yen, yen! Nobody says you shouldn’t ask but if it’s all the time, it’s spurred by insecurity. If you are constantly requesting assurance from your spouse for validation, you are insecure.
- You don’t like to be left alone; in fact being left alone is your worst nightmare. This fear can lead to you stay in an unhealthy relationship that doesn’t deserve your time.
- You avoid confrontation like plague even when it’s warranted because you fear/believe that your partner will leave you at the slightest sign of opposition. You just can’t talk or choose not to talk because you don’t want to offend bobo or sisi so that they won’t leave you. Haba! Your insecurity level is red mbok.
- You don’t want them to do anything without you, even having drinks with coworkers after work. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. Aunty/uncle, if you can’t trust that your partner can be anywhere alone without something happening, it’s time to either evaluate your own insecurities or the relationship as a whole.
- Abandoning your life – example family, friends and other important things just so you don’t do anything without him is a sign of insecurity. It’s common during the “honeymoon” phase of any relationship; you want to spend a ton of time with him. However if months go by and you still feel you can’t do anything without them, hehe! Your case is different oh. You are over insecure!
How to Overcome Insecurity in a Relationship
Here are a few tips to help you overcome insecurity in a relationship:
Forgive the past; if your insecurities have been shaped by a relative or authority figure criticising you or a hurtful experience or a bad relationship, let it go. Let go of emotional baggage.
Develop self-esteem. Take a self assessment, be confident in yourself, trust you, practice self approval and accept all of yourself by loving yourself.
Stop thinking it’s all about you and stop psyching yourself out. Your thoughts could be your relationship’s best friend or worst enemy. The quality of your thoughts has a direct effect on the quality of your relationship.
Don’t confuse imagination with reality.
Set ground rules at the beginning and don’t allow the relationship go too far without discussing major issues.
Avoid the temptation to analyse issues endlessly. If he wears the shirt his ex bought for him, it may be that’s the only clean white shirt he has that day. Don’t read meanings!
Remind yourself that you complement your partner. Don’t let yourself become dependent.
Give the relationship space to breathe, biko! Your partner should have the freedom to take care of his/her well-being and so should you. Be yourself and let him be himself. You were individuals before becoming a couple.
Stop comparing your relationship to others or past ones. Going down this rabbit hole can wreak havoc on a healthy happy relationship because the truth is, no two relationships can and will ever look alike. The grass isn’t always greener elsewhere and you don’t know what is going on behind closed doors.
Nobody is against snooping. No law is against it, so snoop, check everywhere oh but do so when you really have a good reason not to trust.
Finally, develop TRUST. Plant it. Water it.
Relationships should make both partners feel loved, respected and secure. This holy grail of healthy relationship characteristics is torn apart when there’s severe insecurity in the relationship.
From jealousy to controlling behaviour, insecurity can manifest itself in many destructive ways. It can be very hard to see the signs you are insecure in a relationship when you are deep into it. However, when relationships begin to crumble, many times it becomes very easy to see insecurities were at the root cause of its demise. Today, with the presence of social media and our constant attachment to our cell phones, insecurities run wild in relationships.
Now realise that there are sometimes and situations where this obsession is warranted. For instance, if your partner cheated before and you are feeling certain they’ll cheat again or if he likes makeup and you aren’t comfortable with making up. You’ll start having doubts and be like “perhaps this isn’t the relationship I should be in”.
Also, there are some relationship insecurities that are totally normal. Others can make you wonder if something is wrong with you. If you feel like you are with the right person and that you’ve done everything you can to build a healthy relationship, the insecurity can be compounded by something else: frustration. It’s hard to not know why when you don’t feel good so I’ll advise you give yourself some alone time.
In all of these, whether warranted or not, regardless of your reasoning, insecurity creates unhealthy behaviour so put aside your insecurities and start acting like the smart capable person you are.
I hope this causes a paradigm shift that will be of benefit to us all in our relationships.
Let me know what you think.