When we are single it is common to be provoked by loneliness as it whispers in your ear, “You are unlovable.”
Of course, the solution seems to be: Get into a relationship and it will all work out. However, there is the issue then of finding, entering, and maintaining the “right” relationship for us.
To be clear, insecurities not only screw up romantic relationships, but also screw up the one relationship we are guaranteed to have our whole life—the one with Self.
We get bored of being “in something” too long. We start to question our status as a single person and tend to want to change it. So, when we find ourselves single for lengthy periods of time—certain insecurities find a way into our psyches in the form of questions that are laced with urgency.
Single life questions:
When will I meet “my person?”
How do I lose weight?
How do I gain muscle?
How do I make more money (so I will be more attractive)?
How can I be sexually desirable?
I wonder what my ex is up to?
What am I doing with my life?
And, a daunting question that grips us all from time to time: “Who am I?”
Insecurities would have you believe you are too much, not enough, not lovable, ugly, lame, stupid, small, insignificant, and worthless.
The insecurities that give rise to these questions mess up your relationship with your Self, because built into every insecurity, is a prompting to seek external validation. Insecurities are indicative of the areas we are cut off from feeling whole. We can’t access our Self. So, when we can’t stand to be with our Self we often choose events, objects, and relationships that perpetuate our disembodiment.
Nowhere is the impact of insecurity more noticeable than when in a romantic partnership. When dating, a whole new set of questions arises from our insecurities.
Dating life questions:
Could I be with someone better?
Does he/she really like me?
Is he/she cheating on me?
Is he/she going to leave me?
What can I do to make my partner stay?
How can I be more attractive to my partner (so they won’t leave me)?
Is my partner a narcissist or does he/she have some mental disorder (because they don’t get me)?
I’ve heard it said that perfection doesn’t have company. This means that when in a relationship it is tempting to think that if your partner could change in some way, it would make him or her closer to your ideal, and life would be peachy.
This thought process will screw you up because nobody is perfect. Those who seek perfection can expect to be lonely. And, many of us pursue perfection just to cope with our own insecurities.
It has also been said that intelligent people have the most sophisticated coping mechanisms and resultingly, blind spots.
We simply can’t see how our insecurities are screwing up our relationships. We want to be loved for all that we are but we can’t love who we are. We are selective and divisive and afraid. We’d like to think that we know what we are doing—but we don’t.
Insecurities seek answers. But, in reality, life is just one long question.
So, how do you know if insecurities are messing up your relationship?
The simple measure that can be used to answer this question—single, dating, or married—is to ask yourself:
“Am I at peace? Does this thought bring me peace? If I look back on today a year from now, will this action bring me peace?”
It is so easy to be motivated by money, lust, greed, pride, and entitlement, and to forget that the greatest riches we can experience come to us through relationships. Insecurities have us focus on what is wrong in our lives and we become reactive.
So, the next time you feel the urgency to not be single ask, “Will this bring me peace?”
The next time you begin to criticize your partner or judge them—ask, “Does this bring me peace?”
The peace that passes through understanding affords insecurity the opportunity to expand and dissolve.
If you find insecurities are screwing up your relationships, take a breath, take inventory, give yourself some space and time, and make a choice to be at peace.
Author: Rebekah McClaskey
Image: Andrea Portilla/Flickr
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Leah Sugerman