You know how they say that the things you hate most about other people are really the things you about yourself? Well, perhaps the same goes for feeling insecure about your relationship. Everyone has insecurities, but unfortunately sometimes those insecurities show in really, well, twisted ways. You may think that you’re having an insecurity about your relationship but in reality, it’s an insecurity about yourself.
For example, when my boyfriend and I first got together, I would get really, really suspicious and jealous when he hung out with other people without me. What if he met someone prettier than me? Girls always are attracted to him; what if he hooked up with one? How did I know he really was where he said he was?
I would drive myself crazy imagining all of these different scenarios of him cheating on me, and I’d drive him crazy by constantly suspecting him, even though he’d never done anything to indicate that he’d ever break my trust. I was only finally able to bust out of those destructive thought patterns when I truly owned the fact that they weren’t, in fact, about him — they were actually about me not trusting myself. You see, I’d been actively and happily non-monogamous for years before we got together and while I knew that could do monogamy — and wanted to do monogamy with him — deep down, I was really scared that I was going to mess it up. Instead of owning that fear, I projected it onto him, which was completely unfair.
And it almost destroyed our relationship. Fortunately, my boyfriend is a very patient, understanding man and he stuck with me through the serious self-healing I needed to do in order to get over those insecurities. Unfortunately, that’s not the only insecurity about myself that I’ve project onto him and our relationship. I think this is a really, really common problem; in fact, I’d say that a lot of the things we project onto our partners are probably, at their root, insecurities about ourselves. Here are six more examples.
1. When You’re Jealous Of Other People
When you find yourself steeped in jealousy about the other people they spend their time with, ask yourself “why?” Is it because you think in the same situation, you’d break your promises to them? Is it because you don’t have a lot of friends yourself and wish you did? Is it maybe because you know you talk badly about them when they’re not around and you don’t like the idea of them doing the same to you? Think long and hard about where, truly, those feelings come from if you want to get rid of them.
2. When You’re Suspicious
Thinking that your partner is going to cheat on you every time they step out of your sight is a sure sign that you think you would probably do the same. Stop projecting your fears about yourself onto your partner and start doing the hard work of self examination to get rid of that suspicion. Nothing kills love faster than being suspected of bad behavior all the time so if you care about your partner and your relationship, get working on this stat.
3. When You Feel Resentful About Their Use Of Free Time
In many partnerships, one partner has significantly more free time than the other. Feeling resentful that your partner has a flexible work schedule or less work than you do probably means you aren’t happy in your amount of free time. Instead of blaming them for your feelings, try working together to figure out how you can either make some career changes in order to get more free time yourself or how you can utilize the free time you do have to the best of your advantage.
4. When You Think They Aren’t Attracted To You
Usually it’s one of two things going on when you think your partner isn’t attracted to you anymore: Either you’re feeling bad about your body or your attraction to them has waned. If it’s the former, first go read everything Marie Southard Ospina has written and then if you’re still not feeling great, take steps to make the changes that will make you feel better. Maybe you’ve out grown your favorite outfits and it’s time for a shopping spree. Maybe you’ve been more sedentary than usual and that’s making you feel icky and you’re ready to put that gym membership to use. Or maybe you just need to tackle a new skin care routine. Point being: There are moves you can make in order to make yourself feel better in your skin and I’d put money on those moves changing how you feel toward your partner.
If, however, the issue is that you’re no longer attracted to them, then that’s a whole other fish to fry. If you want to hold onto the relationship, it’s worth talking it out with your partner and trying to find some solutions, but unfortunately this is one of those things that may end up being a relationship-ender. Either way, taking action is better than silently suffering.
5. When You Worry They Don’t Want Sex Enough
You could have a libido mismatch or you could be experiencing a low libido yourself and projecting that feeling onto your partner instead of addressing it head-on. Take some time to think about which one it is before you approach your partner about your perception of their recent approach to sex.
6. When You’re Convinced They’re Still Into Their Ex
Oh, this is a classic. Unless you’ve straight up seen that they’re still sexting, your suspicions that they’re still feeling their ex are classic projections. Do you have someone in your past who’s still lurking in your present? Be honest. That’s what I thought.
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