We all have a strong need to belong in stable and caring relationships. When you know that your partner values your needs and holds you in the highest regard, you feel secure in the relationship. Feeling insecure in a relationship can be painful and upsetting. It can involve constantly feeling anxious about your relationship.
Perhaps the first thing that a therapist will tell you is that insecurities in a relationship are fairly common. Even though these feelings may not always be healthy, they are something that you will have to deal with.
The first step toward dealing with insecurities in relationships is addressing the fact that they’re real. Once you know that insecurity is standing in your way, it’s easier to equip yourself with the tools to overcome it.
Signs of Insecurity in a Relationship
Relationship insecurities may manifest in the relationship in several harmful and sometimes destructive ways that negatively impact the relationship with your partner. Before knowing how to deal with insecurities in a relationship, it’s important to be aware and recognize when your insecurities start to increase in frequency and severity.
You don’t accept yourself
This can happen if you are too critical of yourself or hold yourself to unrealistically high standards. This can impact your relationship if you cannot give yourself time and resources to work on your insecurities. If you don’t accept yourself, then you are less likely to let the other person into your life.
You feel unseen by your partner
Do you feel like your partner doesn’t see you in the way you would like to be seen? Maybe they don’t take out time to know you fully or understand you more intimately. This may make you feel anxious or confused. However, your partner may not know this, and so it becomes important for you to communicate it to them.
You feel that nothing in your relationship works out
Are your plans with your partner always canceled at the last minute? Feeling like your partner is not reciprocating any of your desires or commitments? This may further lead to a lack of trust in the relationship.
You have trust issues
There might be times when you doubt your partner and their behavior. For example, when they leave their phone and go out of the room, you may feel the urge and, in fact, check their phone. Wanting to go through your partner’s things may come from a fear that they’re not faithful to you.
You struggle with emotional intimacy
Insecurity in a relationship may also make your walls go up during an intimate moment (physical or emotional). By voicing out your concern about the discomfort, your partner may be more able to understand where you’re coming from.
You compare yourself with their ex-partners
Constantly thinking about your partner’s exes may land you in a constant loop of comparison. It’s important to recognize that you and your partner have unique needs, and recognizing this can save your relationship in the long run. Therapy for insecurity in relationships can help you achieve this.
You constantly seek reassurance
Do you constantly feel the need to ask your partner if they really love you or find you attractive? Seeking reassurance from your partner is very natural, but a constant need to seek validation may get the better of you.
You avoid confrontations
One of the simplest ways of dealing with insecurities in a relationship is talking it out with your partner. Avoiding confrontation may stem from the fear that your partner may leave you or disagree with you if you oppose them.
What Causes Insecurity in a Relationship?
When we’re aware of what causes insecurity in a relationship or the reason it stems from, we can try out accompanying tactics to confront and overcome them. To make sense of this, here are a few common causes of insecurities in a relationship.
You are more likely to be insecure about your current relationship if you are hurt from a previous relationship or have experienced some kind of betrayal before this. However, projecting these insecurities on your current partner can further harm your relationship.
Difficulties dealing with and regulating your emotions lie at the core of insecurity in a relationship. Closeness and intimacy can mean different things for you and your partner, so it becomes crucial for you to communicate with them how you can work together on this.
There are multiple types of insecurities in a relationship that you may experience, such as insecurities about your physical appearance. Instead of having a balanced view of your characteristics, you may spend excessive time and energy worrying about how you look.
A recent breakup can significantly impact your self-esteem. However, breakups are not the only reason. It can be a rejection at your workplace, by your family, or by someone from your community, which leaves you with the feeling that you don’t deserve it. Even if it’s not a recent rejection, it can cloud your judgments of events, opportunities, and individuals.
Insecurity in the relationship can also stem from the desire to be a perfect partner. As a result of this, you may set exceptionally high standards for yourself and constantly worry about falling short of those expectations. For example, you may worry that your date outfit isn’t perfect or that you aren’t keeping your partner happy enough.
Can Therapy Help Me Overcome Insecurity in a Relationship?
Interpersonal difficulties are a common reason for clients to seek counseling. Therapy for insecurity in relationships can help you identify interpersonal beliefs and the consequences of these beliefs. Individual therapy helps you learn skills to reassure yourself not only of your personal insecurities but also interpersonal ones. The aim is for you to develop a secure sense of self and seek less reassurance from others by establishing a strong therapeutic alliance.
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Once the therapist works with you on your personal insecurities, they might invite your partner for couple counseling. Therapy can be metaphorically understood in terms of gardening. Just as a gardener doesn’t reach into a seed and pull out a plant, a therapist doesn’t reach into you and make a forceful change. Rather, a therapist will provide you with the necessary space and tools to grow on your own. For example, the therapist will listen to you, share their perspective about the situation, offer compassion, and provide guidance. This includes:
The therapist will guide you to practice self-acceptance by fully accepting your flaws, imperfections, and limitations. For example, instead of focusing on personal insecurity, you may choose to focus on your strengths that support your relationship.
Relationship insecurity is often fueled by anxiety. Therapy will help you associate thoughts about your relationship with calmness. For example, if you are feeling anxious about a particular text on your partner’s phone, you can engage in a quick breathing technique to calm your nerves.
Therapy will help you quiet your inner critic, who is a constant reminder of your fears and insecurities. One of the best ways to combat negativity is to realize you can control your own self-talk. Speak to yourself the same way you would speak to your closest friend.
Remember that you and your partner are not always going to be alike. What may seem like an absolute rejection from their side might just be a misunderstanding.
What About Online Therapy?
In online therapy, you can work to identify and address what causes insecurity in a relationship, minimize its unwanted impact, and find renewed security, stability, and a sense of worth that propels you towards happiness and improved well-being.
Insecurity in a relationship stems from low regard for the self. Online therapy can help you enhance your self-esteem and work on your relationships. Research has shown that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective treatments for low esteem. For example, throughout your life, you may have formed certain negative beliefs about yourself, such as “I should be a perfect partner.” The therapist will help such beliefs with more rational ones. Luckily, CBT is one of the therapeutic approaches that translate best to online therapy. Other strengths of online therapy include:
Online therapy can take less time away from your workday. There is no need to travel miles to meet your psychologist. Log in to a site, and the session can happen wherever you’re comfortable.
Ease of communication
More people are using text messaging to communicate, and it can seem more comfortable or easier than talking to someone in person, especially when revealing personal or private information.
In some remote areas, the nearest psychologist clinic may be an hour or two drive away. Some people with severe depression may not be able to drive or easily be able to leave their homes. In these situations, online therapy may be their only option for help.
Flexible plans and affordability
Online counseling services are available at affordable plans and prices. The other way in which they are cost-effective is because they help you save on the cost of travel and parking. The sessions are flexible and can be fit into your schedule.
It’s important to take time out for yourself and allow your authentic self to grow. Online therapy can help you understand that no relationship is “perfect,” and all relationships take time and effort to get back on track.
DoMental strives to work with you and your relationships to make them better and stronger. Therapy for insecurity in relationships will help you practice self-acceptance by teaching you the value of things you may be insecure about.
Insecurities are not the end of a relationship but rather small hurdles to overcome!