Talk to Me: Feeling Insecure in a Relationship

Q: What advice would you give to someone who had a hard time with insecurity in a relationship? What advice would you give their partner?

A: I’m not sure if you’re the one with these feelings, but I’m going to write it to you, dear reader. There are two ways to answer this and they depend on if the partner has given a reason to bring doubt into the relationship or if the insecurity is internal and based on past experiences.

Let’s start with the latter. Often time insecurity in relationships has little to do with the partner and all to do with feelings of inadequacy inside. If you don’t feel like a valuable and loveable person then you won’t believe that someone thinks you are. If you think that there are heaps of people in the world who are superior to you, then you’ll assume your partner feels the same way. If you’ve been told by someone in the past that all of these things are true, then you will have a hard time believing your current partner when they tell you it’s all false.

The struggle with these feelings is that there is nothing your current relationship or partner can do to change your mind. Everything you’re feeling is inside of you and the only person who can change the way you think is you.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s not like changing a belief is something done in a day. You probably won’t wake up tomorrow, look in the mirror and say, “Wow, I really am awesome and super desirable.”

Which you are, dear reader!

But you can start confronting the fact that your partner is not the reason for your insecurities and start to reflect on why you feel this way. You can realize that in relationships you are flawed, just like everyone in the world, and that’s fine. When you’re in a relationship, the person you’re with has chosen you because they like you and your flaws. No one walks into a relationship thinking their partner is going to be perfect.

But here is the absolutely, positively, most important part of this whole thing. If your fears are right and they end up disliking your flaws or you don’t mesh the way that you both thought you would, the worst thing they can do is leave you.

I promise you with my whole butt, that wouldn’t destroy you. You are strong, powerful, and whole all on your own. It’s not something worth living in fear of.

Now for the other situation. Your current partner has done something to cause your insecurity in your relationship. You only have two options here. You can forgive them or your can leave, either one is fine.

I’m not talking about forgiving them and a holding a little sliver of resentment for them in the back of your mind or thinking about whatever it is that they did when they’re not around. No, if you want to stay and not constantly be drowning in the deep end of insecurity and doubt, then you need to 100% forgive them. Say you’ve moved on and put it out of your mind.

If that’s not possible, and it might not be, then you need to leave. Get out of the relationship quickly and cleanly. Again, you are strong, powerful, and whole and don’t need to stick around someone who thinks you are anything else.

Finally, here’s my advice for someone who is in a relationship with an insecure partner. You are not to blame for the feelings they are having, but know that no matter how many times you tell them how wonderful they are, it’s not going to change their mind. Don’t let this anger you. Just continue to love them as hard as you can and be clear that you are giving them all the love you have to give. Be patient with them as they try to sort through their feelings and believe in themselves.

However, if their doubt in your abilities to be a good partner is starting to make you doubt yourself, that’s something you need to address. Let them know that’s how you’re feeling and try to determine a way that you can both build each other up. If their disbelief persists, then you might need to step away from the relationship. Believing that your care and dedication will never be enough for someone can be just as damaging as believing you are unlovable.

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