Do you or your intimate partner frequently struggle with any of these challenges in your relationship:
If so, just know that there are ways to help you or your partner become more secure in your relationship.
Some insecurity in a relationship is normal, but a lot can be a problem
It’s not uncommon for people to feel insecure in a relationship from time to time. This is especially true for new relationships or in relationships where significant dishonesty or infidelity has occurred. Feelings and behaviors of insecurity may be a signal that the relationship needs some adjusting. But some people feel insecure despite having a trustworthy and a safe relationship.
Insecurity can create a lot of barriers to the well-being of a relationship. Insecurity can be tiresome and can increase dissatisfaction in a relationship. It can cause resentment and tension, and it can create emotional distance.
13 ways to become a more secure person
Luckily, you can improve. In this article, you’ll learn 13 things you can do to become a more secure person in your intimate relationships.
- Recognize your patterns of insecure responses. These responses may include panicking when not getting an immediate response from a phone call or text to your partner, or a constant worry that your partner will be unfaithful. An insecure person may have persistent anxiety about being abandoned. Being easily offended or hurt by their partner is common. The offended partner may withdraw or reject their partner’s attempts to connect with them after an argument. An insecure person may often become jealous when their partner talks about or compliments another person, and they may be constantly comparing themselves to other people. In some cases, a person may cope with their insecurity in unhealthy ways, such as with excessive alcohol, drug use, or overindulgence in an activity. Becoming aware of these behaviors takes practice, mindfulness, and humility. Understanding your specific Attachment Style or your partner’s style can also help. See this post for more details.
- Believe that you can improve and commit to making some changes. Believing is crucial step in becoming more secure. There are many studies that show people can become more secure. Recognize that you can be a more secure person in your relationship with practice, by getting professional help if needed, and giving it time.
- Discuss your insecurities with your partner. It’s easier to include your intimate partner in your efforts to make changes than it is to go it alone. Discuss with them your insecure behaviors and triggers.
- Establish clear boundaries to protect your relationship from infidelity, including emotional affairs. Agree with your partner on some ground rules for what kinds of friendships, people, and interactions you feel comfortable with you both having outside of your relationship. For example, do you feel comfortable with your partner going to lunch one-on-one with someone of the opposite sex? This will differ depending on the couple.
- Focus on progress rather than perfection. A person’s insecurity, like many aspects of their personality, has been shaped over many years by numerous events, behaviors, and experiences. Our insecure responses are a product of our history and it can take some time to reprogram our brain to be more secure. We can’t usually change overnight. Focus on the long game and recognize small improvements over time.
- Challenge your insecure thoughts and feelings. When tempted to conclude that your partner is rejecting, being unfaithful to, or abandoning you, think of evidence that contradicts these thoughts. Remind yourself of ways your partner has demonstrated their love and commitment to your relationship. Consider writing down your insecure thoughts as well as evidence contradicting those insecure thoughts. Although
- Forgive often. Forgive yourself and your partner. Mistakes and disagreements are an inevitable part of a relationship. If your partner is upset about something you have said or done, allow them to experience those unpleasant emotions. Challenge the notion that mistakes or hard feelings automatically mean that a separation or a divorce with ensue.
- Do not base the health of your relationship on how similar you are to your spouse or partner. Appreciate your differences. Although it’s important to be on the same page when it comes to the most important things in your relationship such as your boundaries, how you spend money, and how you raise children, you are allowed to be your own person with your own preferences, likes, and dislikes. You can have different preferences for movies, music, food, décor, and others. Also, you both can be in love and still be very different in your personality, strengths, weaknesses, and others characteristics.
- Spend quality time together and make time for your own interests and hobbies. Remember to do things that you like together but also find time to spend apart. It’s okay if you don’t both like running, singing in a choir, playing video games, or sewing. Make time for your own hobbies and encourage your partner to engage in their own.
- Encourage your partner to have meaningful friends and connections. Regularly encourage your partner to do things like go to lunch with a friend, game night, or a book club.
- Acknowledge you and your partner’s love languages. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, people have different ways of feeling and showing love. He describes the five languages as words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. One of the reasons that an insecure person may feel rejected or neglected is because they are not noticing their partner’s attempts at showing them love.
- Separate Feelings from Fiction. Often, feelings of anxiety and depression can be misinterpreted as a signal that there is a problem or concern with a person’s intimate relationship. Thoughts feelings can lead to thoughts of insecurity. Remember that, emotional distress can have many sources such as stress at work, with money, or with raising children. For those who suffer from general anxiety or depression, they may be more prone to worry or feelings of rejection by their partner. Learn to separate your uncomfortable feelings from reality. Applying strategies for managing anxiety and depression often improves ones sense of security in their intimidate relationships.
- Seek individual or couples therapy if needed. It might be wise to have a professional help you with your goal to be a more secure person. There may be underlying trauma or psychological challenges that are influencing your sense of insecurity. A professional therapist may give you the tools, perspective, strategies, and accountability that you need to be a more secure person.
Becker-Phelps, L. (2016). Insecure in love: How anxious attachment can make you feel jealous, needy, and worried and what you can do about it. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
Chapman, G. D. (2015). The 5 love languages. Chicago, IL: Northfield Publishing.
Chen, A. (2019). The attachment theory workbook: Powerful tools to promote understanding, increase stability & build lasting relationships. Emeryville, CA: Althea Press.