This is a pretty touchy subject, I’d be the first to admit it. We all have insecurities in our lives, as much as they range and might seem absurd or stupid to others. We’ve all learnt things from our life experiences that dented our perception of ourselves, our worth or our place in the world somewhat. The extent of how warped your perception is and how much you allow it to influence you and the people around you, however, is a pretty huge determining factor in how happy you’ll be in any relationship.
In my own experience with relationships, I came to realize how often insecurity influences how two people interact with each other. Here are a few of lessons any insecure person needs to learn about relationships:
1. Holding on tighter does not make your relationship stronger.
Often, an insecure person’s fear of losing their partner to someone or something else, makes them want to be around them all the time. Always in sight, in close range. You share everything and do everything together. In fact, the only time you’re not together is during work hours and even then, you are frequently checking in via SMS or Whatsapp to hear how they’re doing. Don’t get me wrong, checking in and saying you’re thinking about them in the day is a sweet thing, it’s heartwarming to know you are missed and thought of. There is a different side to this in the case of an insecure relationship though. If one, or both, partners has insecurity in himself/herself and resultantly the relationship, they’ll check in as an attempt to maintain control when they feel they have none, a means of keeping the world out and trying desperately to ensure the bond is there even when they’re not around each other. After all, you can have some power over what happens if you are right there next to them, but when they leave your sight, there’s no telling what they’re doing. This is where insecurity also flows into trust issues. If you are insecure about your worth as a person and a partner, you’ll worry that they’ll find someone better, which results in distrust forming when you don’t know what they’re doing all the time.
Just because you manage to comfortably spend every moment together, doesn’t mean you have a strong relationship. In fact, by trying so hard to keep the rest of the world out and not cause your partner any concern, you are harming yourself and your relationship. You’re not strengthening your bond, you’re actually just placing yourself in a distorted state of being where, at some point, someone is going to grow resentful and fed up. In essence, you are living and perpetuating a lie, because there is insincerity in your actions, there’s denial about what is happening. It very easily gets to the point where your very emotions towards your partner starts falling short of being completely sincere, because you’re trying so hard to just maintain a bond with them.
2. There’s compromise and being considerate, and then there’s being afraid to stand up for yourself.
We all know that any relationship – not just romantic ones – require fairness, objectivity and the willingness to give up on always getting your way, for the sake of maintaining a happy medium where both parties get what they want and need. As long as both get to voice their concerns and be honest about what they want and need, or what concerns them, great. The problem arises when insecurity causes you to keep your mouth shut to keep the peace, because you’re afraid of upsetting your partner and think it’s better to just ignore your needs to avoid conflict. Nobody likes argument but without the ability to discuss and reason with your partner, you’ll again find yourself resentful and the relationship suffering increasingly. An issue not raised is not an issue that vanishes, it’s a poison that grows within you.
3. Insecurities manifest in the form of deflecting, accusations and distrust.
There’s very little, if anything, that’s appealing about an insecurity that festers over time. While most of us have no problem with reassuring our partner if they have a moment of insecurity, if all our reassurances and love and attempts to put them in a comfortable place, mentally and emotionally, fails, you’ve got a problem on your hands. As insecurity grows (and often insecurities are brought along from previous relationships and manifest in current ones), partners can go from being restless to starting to be suspicious and accusing their partners, seemingly out of the blue, of things. It’s a very tricky situation to be in on the receiving end, and takes a great deal of patience to deal with on a frequent basis. Some people would say you shouldn’t be too tolerant of this type of behavior, that it’s not worth your time if your partner has issues. I believe people give up way too quickly in relationships these days, but then that’s just me.
4. Two insecure people don’t make for a strong relationship.
It’s been said before, but no person in this world can fix you or complete you if you feel you are broken. People complement each other, if they are well suited to each other they become a formidable team, where one picks up and carries the other in times when times are rough. They are just as strong and admirable independently as they are together. One won’t die without the other, they’ll just miss them and want them to be there, not because they rely on them as a crutch but rather because they understand the dynamics of being part of a powerful duo, they want to share their experiences with each other and both become enriched by it.
So then, what are the characteristics of a good, healthy, mature, strong relationship?
1. You have full certainty that your partner will back you and be there for you, even on your far worse days. You have no doubt that they believe in you and want the best for you, as you do for them.
2. You’ve both gone through enough struggles, bad relationships and generally understanding what the world and people are like, that you know you are lucky to have them and that nobody else can truly outdo them. Not even if they are younger, hotter, richer or more captivating to be around. Because of this you can be completely okay with them going out with friends or having to take a business trip to another city, because you are secure in knowing that they’ll come back to you, just as they know you’ll be there, patiently waiting for them – as long as the outings are within reason, of course.
3. You understand that life is messy, ugly, clumsy and that neither one of you will get it right all the time. You’re mature enough to have learnt respect and patience and implement this every day with your partner.
4. You have open lines of communication because you both know that you’re able to have a mature conversation about whatever concerns you.
I know there are plenty of other factors involved in this, these are just a few that come to mind right now. To be continued, probably at some stage…