Everyone comes into relationships with insecurities. Maybe you're worried that your partner won't be faithful or that they won't have the same sense of humor as you. But there are some insecurities that you've hopefully overcome by your first year of being together as a result of your growing connection, and the trust you have built. Because as experts say, if you still have major
insecurities in your relationship after the first year, your relationship might not last.
As licensed marriage and family therapist,
Anna Osborn, MA, tells Bustle, one of the biggest insecurities you probably shouldn't still have is trust. "A healthy relationship is meant to grow and deepen in connection and trust as time passes," Osborn says. "If you’re finding yourself still insecure about trusting your partner or uncertain about opening up and being vulnerable, then you need to give your relationship pause."
After a year together, she says, you
shouldn’t have to be insecure about whether you can count on your partner to follow through on their word. This is something that should be well established by this point. "If insecurities regarding trust and intimacy are plaguing your relationship, they must be addressed in order for the relationship to be successful," she says. If not, it will "significantly stunt the relationship."
So how do overcome this major insecurity so your relationship can be happy and healthy moving forward? Communicate and practice patience. "Talking to your partner in an open and non-confrontational manner about your insecurities is a positive first step," Osborn says. "Your relationship should be one that reassures your insecurities, not increases them."
Insecurity due to trust issues is a major thing to overcome. But it isn't the only thing. So if these other things still make you feel insecure by your first year, experts say you may have some issues to discuss.
What Your Relationship Status Is
By the first year of being together, you shouldn't be insecure about where you stand with your partner. "You should know if the relationship is exclusive, if it is headed towards something more long-term, and if your partner is on the same page as you," couples therapist,
Alisha Powell, PhD, LCSW, tells Bustle. If you have no idea what your relationship status really is by your first anniversary, have that discussion. Without a doubt, it's about time to define the relationship. If not, it's just going to be more confusing going forward.
Discrepancies Over Social Media Habits
Social media is just a major part of life right now. Because of that, Powell says you should be comfortable with your partner’s social media presence and what they do. For instance, you may be the type who likes to post about your relationship online, but they might not be. Maybe they like to unfriend and unfollow their exes on social media, but you're still friendly with yours so you don't. If you're not on the same page with that by the first year, that may be a problem. "It’s always good to have a conversation about expectations around social media and exchanging passwords," Powell says. It doesn't have to be a dealbreaker, so be sure to communicate about it.
When You're Going To Meet The Important People In Their Life
While there isn't a set time for when you should be
introduced to each other's families, Powell says, it's preferable to do it before your first anniversary. "By this point you should know their family and the key people in their life," she says. "You shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not your partner is keeping you back from creating a relationship with them. Everyone should have met each other by now." If not, it could be a sign that your partner is holding you back from fully integrating you into their life. By your first year together, that probably shouldn't still be happening. If this is the case, a calm conversation about why you haven't met them and when you can expect to be introduced may be in order.
Discussing Sexual Desires
"I believe the number one thing you shouldn't still be insecure about in your relationship by your first anniversary is ... your sexual desires,"
Rebekah Buege, body confidence coach, tells Bustle. According to her, insecurities in this aspect of your life typically stem from fear or being rejected. But it's important to remember that there's nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to discussing what you are comfortable with in bed. It's also important to remember that there's really no such thing as a "wrong" sexual fantasy. At the end of the day, when you're not comfortable with your desires, it's hard to invite someone else in. So talk openly about what it is you want, and discuss what the both of you will most enjoy together.
The Impact And/Or Presence Of Exes
Ex partners can have a way of causing drama in your current relationship without even being around. If you're still arguing or feeling insecure about someone your partner dated in the past, then this might be an area you and your partner need to address further, licensed marriage and family therapist,
Heidi McBain, MA, tells Bustle. "Talk about your feelings openly and honestly with your partner," she says. "Figure out if you need to set better boundaries with your exes if they are still part of your life." If they're not part of your life and you're still feeling insecure, it's important to figure it out. Exes shouldn't still be an issue if you've been with your partner for over a year.
By the time you reach the one year mark, psychiatrist and relationship expert,
Laura F. Dabney, MD, tells Bustle, you shouldn't be insecure about having different opinions from your partner. "A lot of people either 'bury or blow,' that is, they bury how they feel so an argument doesn't erupt, or, as a consequence of burying everything, they end up blowing up over something small," Dabney says. But you shouldn't feel insecure about bringing up difficult topics, having different viewpoints, and sharing how you really feel about any situation. Fights, if done in a healthy and productive way, can actually help bring you closer together. "Your partner's different viewpoint should not cause you to bury your own," Dabney says. "Everyone needs to be invested and secure in themselves enough to understand exactly what they're feeling and thinking so they can come to the table with their partner ready to negotiate and compromise."
Letting Your Partner See The Real You
If you still can't be your genuine self around your partner after one year, that's not a great sign. "You’d be surprised how even after a year of being together, some people will still hold in their deepest, darkest secrets," relationship coach,
Jenna Ponaman, CPC, tells Bustle. There's that fear of being rejected or judged. But as Ponaman says, just look at what's in front of you. "Your partner is there to be with you, for the good and the bad. The key to a thriving relationship is having a partner that not only sees you for the good, but is there for you during the bad." So be willing to open up. If you’re at the point in your relationship where you want to open up, but can’t, maybe you need to check in with yourself to figure out why. "Self-care is sometimes more important than approaching the insecurities in the relationship," she says. You can start there and work your way outward.
Clearly, there are a few major things experts say might be issues if they're still insecurities after the first year in a relationship. Having a lack of trust and still being insecure over their exes can cause problems. But if you’re still insecure by the one year mark for whatever reason, know that it's OK. "You don’t have to have it all together if you’re not ready for that," Ponaman says. It's important to do things in your own time. If you have a partner who's willing to go at your pace with very minimum complaints, they're probably going to stick around a good while.