Types of Insecurities in a Relationship

Goda Brzozauskaite
  • Apr 15, 2022
  • 5 min read
woman with projected words on her face and hands

Often when in a relationship, people try to be the best versions of themselves not only for their partners but for themselves too. However, at times, past experiences and insecurities tend to get in their way, causing anxiety, inability to find a deeper connection, or repeat arguments. 

While having insecurities does not imply that a relationship is doomed, a lack of trust and knowledge on which one can rely on their partner can increase tension in a relationship and make it more difficult to resolve other relationship difficulties. In this section, we will look at the many types of insecurity in relationships and how to overcome them.

Attachment Insecurities

Most insecurities in relationships steam from insecure attachment styles. Roughly speaking, insecure attachment can be understood as the opposite of secure attachment, which is marked by two components:

  • Low anxiety – A person with secure attachment is not afraid that their partner might leave them, become very angry or deeply hurt if they do something wrong, or choose to fulfill their personal needs, for example, asking for some space.
  • Low avoidance – Someone who has a secure attachment will be able to express their feelings openly and won’t fear depending on their partner.

Insecure attachment can be further separated into 3 types, depending on the same anxiety and avoidance parameters: 

  • Anxious-ambivalent attachment style – This style best describes people entering into a relationship with high levels of uncertainty and fear. Thus, people with this attachment style have great insecurities within a relationship; they may struggle with trust issues or showing their true self to the partner and expressing their needs out of fear that they might be rejected
  • Avoidant attachment style – As the title suggests, people with this style often have dismissive attitudes, struggle to reach out for help, and tend to shun intimacy or refuse to talk about problems. They may also feel negative about others relying on them and sometimes may even end the relationship to regain the sense of freedom. 
  • Disorganized attachment style – People who have faced a lot of childhood trauma often struggle with personal insecurities related to this. They can suffer from both anxiety and avoidance. These people might even feel unworthy of love and can suffer physical or emotional abuse in their romantic relationship by choosing abusive partners.

Did you know that our attachment patterns begin in early childhood? It forms from the first close relationship we have – that with our parents. However, if you figured out that you or your partner doesn’t have a secure attachment, don’t worry. 

You can change your attachment style if you put in constant effort to overcome your fears and share them with someone. 

If you feel that it’s too early to share your insecurities with your partner, or you suffer physical or emotional abuse, you can opt for counseling. However, some people with insecure attachment styles may find it harder to seek professional help out of the same fear of getting too close to someone. Online therapy can be an appealing option for you, as it can offer more privacy and anonymity.  

Trust Issues

While most trust issues arise from insecure attachment styles, they can also appear after negative past experiences. If you experienced infidelity in your past relationship, you might feel more suspicious about your current partner as well. 

Alternatively, trust issues can also arise from problems such as lying or not fulfilling your promises. It can cause insecurities in a relationship because one partner may not know whether they can trust their partner at all. It might take some time to regain trust after a lie, especially if it was a serious situation. 

Couples can deal with more serious trust issues if one of them has cheated – it might take a lot of time to recover the trust. Psychologists even talk about different stages of affair recovery

Trust issues can significantly affect the relationship, causing repetitive arguments, controlling behavior, doubts, or memories about the incident. In situations like this, it’s a good idea to consider infidelity counseling that will help make sense of the situation and decide how to overcome it. 

Body Insecurities

It is common to have physical insecurities, and many people battle with it, especially nowadays, due to an unhealthy “perfect” body image. However, not only can it lead to serious health conditions, such as eating disorders, but it can also have an impact on your relationship. Here we list how this type of insecurity can affect your bond with other people.

  • Lack of intimacy 
  • Lack of trust in your partner 
  • Constant paranoia 
  • Jealousy 
  • Controlling behaviors

The fastest way to overcome this insecurity is, of course, by loving and accepting yourself as you are. However, it is often easier said than done. Check this article about how to improve self-esteem; alternatively, you might want to consider discussing it with a professional. 

Financial Insecurities

Life is expensive; people need to have a steady income in order to live a seemingly decent life. However, when this is not possible, financial insecurities arise. This type of insecurity causes a huge strain on relationships, and at times, couples call it quits. 

For instance, one partner may have a stable, well-paying job, whereas the other may be on a contract that runs the risk of being canceled at any time. Alternatively, one partner may be good at saving, and the other may have nothing to save, or the two may earn two completely different wages, where the one earning less may begin to feel insecure. 

Whatever the case may be, financial insecurity is one of the leading causes of conflict within relationships and can lead to additional personal problems for those affected by it, such as anxiety, depression, and the likes. 

What Causes Insecurities?

  • Low self-esteem and a lack of confidence – If we are confident and have high self-esteem, we allow ourselves to be completely free within a relationship. However, when we have low self-worth coupled with a lack of confidence, this can send our relationship spiraling downhill – being one of the leading causes of insecurities in relationships. 
  • Emotional baggage – Further extending on the point regarding past experiences, our emotional baggage tends to affect our relationships and outlook on life. If you have been hurt before, you will probably feel insecure about being hurt again in relationships.
  • Lack of life fulfillment – When you have not achieved any of your set goals in life, you are likely to feel insecure, especially if you feel like your partner is in a better position than you. You may feel like a failure, and this can have a serious impact on your relationship.
  • Unequal past relationship issues – You may have dated someone with more dating experience than you, or someone who has a child with somebody else. Therefore, these factors can make you feel insecure in a relationship, especially if you lack confidence.

Other symptoms of insecurity in a relationship

There are some more signs of insecurities a person can exhibit:

  • Panics easily
  • Avoids confrontation 
  • Fears of losing their partner’s love
  • Controlling
  • Defensive 
  • Easily irritated 
  • Can’t accept when they are wrong 
  • Doesn’t like to be left alone
  • Expresses narcissistic tendencies

How to Overcome Insecurities?

If you are wondering how to get over insecurities in a relationship, these additional tips can give you some ideas:

  • Choose the right moment – Instead of trying to resolve or address issues straight after a fight, try and speak to your partner once the dust has settled. 
  • Say how you feel – Be completely honest and open about the way you feel, do not filter yourself based on what you think your partner might want to hear. 
  • Listen – When your partner speaks to you, listen to understand instead of listening to respond. 
  • Plan beforehand – You could practice what you would like to say to your partner before you even speak to them. 
  • Revisit the conversation – Often, problems cannot be solved within a single sitting; therefore, address the problem with your partner and continuously work on it. 
  • Talk in a less intimidating manner – This is a tip that can make a person with insecurities feel better. You can do this by simply altering the way you address issues and reducing the amount of interpretation. Instead of “we need to talk,” try “I would really like for us to speak x and y when you are ready.” 
  • Therapy or online counseling – When all else fails, speak to a professional therapist as this is a certain way to deal with trust issues, and online therapy is a comfortable and affordable alternative.

Bottom Line

Insecurities, especially in a relationship, evidently exist due to a variety of factors. Past experiences, childhood traumas, self-esteem, body image are just a few of these elements. However, these insecurities have the ability to negatively impact not only your life but your relationship too. 

Therefore, if you are struggling to overcome your insecurities on your own, please seek any kind of help available to you. And if you are interested in online therapy, we are here to help you. 

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