Insecurity isn't a sensation specifically reserved for moody teenagers going through puberty. No matter our age, gender, or sexuality, all adults experience self-doubt at some point, even if everything in our life is going exactly according to plan. That's just the nature of being human — we second-guess ourselves. As German psychologist and philosopher Eric Fromm once said, "The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity."
But being in a relationship tends to heighten all of our deepest, darkest insecurities. Because we've reached a level of vulnerability with a person we really care about, whatever punch-drunk love we experience is generally coupled with the anxiety that they'll leave us the second they see how flawed we truly are. It's part of what keeps romance so exciting (or exhausting, depending on how you look at it). Of course, there are some times when nagging worries may point to something more serious in the relationship, but many times, the insecurities we face are just a reflection of how much we care about our partner, and how much we don't want to lose them. In these moments, go easy on yourself — and your SO.
Here are 12 things to say to yourself when you're feeling insecure in your relationship.
1. "It's Perfectly Normal To Feel Insecure Sometimes"
We all feel a little unsure of ourselves from time to time, no matter who we are. Yes, even Queen Bey herself deals with insecurities in her relationship, but it's how she handles them that makes the whole world fall in love with her. If you think you're the only person on the planet who wrestles with the worry that you and your partner have your imperfections, you'll find it nearly impossible to make it in the end.
2. "My Insecurity Can Make Me More Relatable To Others"
Think about the people you like most in the world — your best friend, your wacky cousin, your favorite celebrity. Chances are they're not the kind of people who put on a front like they're perfect human beings. Instead, they're open about the fact that they're flawed, and that only makes them more accessible to everyone else. You may not believe it now, but remind yourself anyway that your insecurities can be the very things that draw your SO closer to you, since they're what make you human.
3. "I Can Harness This Feeling To Bring Myself Closer To My Partner"
Rather than sitting around stewing in this horrible feeling of uncertainty about yourself, encourage yourself to open up to your SO and tell them exactly how you're feeling. A partner who truly loves you will welcome that kind of honesty. You might think being candid will make you appear weak, but it'll probably be the thing that allows the both of you to reach a level of intimacy you didn't have before.
4. "Just Because I'm Feeling Unsure About Myself Doesn't Mean My Partner Is Unsure About Us"
It's easy to equate insecurity about ourselves with insecurity about our relationship, but don't fall into that trap of thinking the two are always intertwined. Sit down and think calmly about how things are going with your SO. Your gut will tell you whether these feelings are coming from your own personal insecurities, or whether there are some things happening in your relationship that need addressing. If it's the latter, find a way to speak to your partner about the issues at hand.
5. "My Partner Feels Insecure Sometimes, Too"
They're just as human as you are, so they may feel just as uneasy if they saw you were also on friendly terms with your ex, for example. If you just remember that the both of you fall into these holes sometimes, you'll know that there's nothing to worry about in the long run.
6. "The Only Person Who Can Do Anything About My Insecurities Is Me"
The easy way out when we're battling inner demons is to take it out on someone close to us, pick a fight, and then blame them for how crappy we feel. But our insecurities are our own, and nobody else's. If we have any chance at overcoming these unsettling feelings, we have to take responsibility for what's going on internally and find a way to face them on our own. As much as our partners love us, they aren't the ones who can grant us security and self-confidence. We're the ones in charge of all that.
7. "My Partner Already Loves Me For Who I Really Am"
They wouldn't have stuck around for this long if they didn't appreciate your true self. If you've been together long enough, they've seen you on your bad days as well, so whatever you think would make them turn around and leave now probably isn't going to make much difference at all. Reassure yourself that you don't have to change any parts of your personality to make your partner stick around.
8. "There's Nothing Wrong With Expressing My Insecurities"
If there's something that's gnawing away at you and keeping you up at night, give yourself permission to express yourself honestly to your SO. So many of us make the mistake of thinking that speaking frankly about our insecurities will make us unattractive to the people we love, but there is a lot of strength in being truthful. You'll probably feel a lot better afterwards, and the two of you might end up working out a few things that haven't been going so well recently.
9. "Comparing Myself To Others Is A Waste Of Time"
Jealousy happens sometimes in every relationship, regardless of how solid the couple is in their love for each other. You might start to feel a little bit unsure about how much your partner loves you when you see them getting hit on by anyone who isn't you. You begin to pit yourself against this person in your mind, silently comparing personality quirks or physical traits. Stop yourself before you go down that route, though. No good can come of it. Stand your ground, own who you are, and don't waste time thinking about someone else. You can't be replaced.
10. "Things Are Probably Not Nearly As Bad As They Seem In My Head"
This isn't to say that you should diminish your own feelings, but there are times when we dramatize scenarios in our heads and convince ourselves that things are way worse than they actually are. Take a step back and assess the relationship with a clear mind, and you'll probably find that you're inflating a lot of your own insecurities. Remind yourself of all the good things you've got going on between the two of you and let that be the driving force of your relationship.
11. "I'm Amazing And Anyone In The World Would Be Lucky To Be With Me"
Yep, it's true. You don't need reassurance from anyone — not even your splendid SO — that you're pretty much the sweetest thing around since sliced bread. So go ahead, say it to yourself in the mirror as many times as you need to. You're amazing, and your partner would be seriously missing out if they didn't have you in their life anymore.
12. "My Relationship Doesn't Define Me"
When we're not feeling that confident about ourselves and our relationship, we get caught up in our heads, forgetting that there's so much more to our lives than being part of a couple. That's when we actually invest too much time and energy into the relationship, causing things to tense up even more. Turn your attention to the other fantastic things in your life, like your friends and family and your booming career. As important as your SO is to you, they're not your whole life. Realizing that will take the pressure off and allow you to just enjoy what the two of you have together.
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