Dating someone who is extremely insecure about themselves and your relationship is stifling.
I dated someone like this when I was 17; I felt like I was walking on eggshells. Nothing I did was ever right; in fact, at times, it just felt like I was using all of my energy to ensure my partner wasn’t upset by anything I did.
I remember the friends I gave up, the fun outings I turned down, the clothes I didn’t wear because he didn’t like them. I remember the way I had to always look down if I saw a man walking by, and if the barista at Starbucks asked me my name, it ultimately meant I was a cheater, and my ex would throw a fit about it.
An insecure partner can often become a controlling partner, and I can’t imagine anything worst than the feeling of losing your freedom.
Last weekend I went out on a double date with my best friend and her new boyfriend, and it was an uncomfortable situation. One I haven’t been able to get out of my head because of how obscene the whole situation felt. I noticed a few red flags instantly, which forced me to reminisce over the relationship I had with my ex.
With that being said, here are a few signs your partner is insecure and what you can do about it.
They go through your phone.
When my best friend picked my boyfriend and me up at our house so we could drive to the bar that Friday night, I immediately asked her for details. The guy she was seeing wasn’t new, I met him once briefly, but they had a huge fight and broke up.
That same morning, she told me they got into yet again another argument, and I wanted the juicy details.
“Okay, this was totally my fault. I was in the bathroom, and I left my phone in the bedroom. I don’t know how but I guess my phone was unlocked, and a message popped up, and he noticed it and then ended up reading the conversation.”
My initial thought was, how is this your fault? Are you not allowed to leave your phone in your room? And secondly, she has one of those black screens on her phone, so he can’t just “notice” it without intentionally trying to look.
I get it; everybody is curious when their significant other leaves their phone lying around. The two of you are new to dating, you haven’t yet established that solid foundation of trust, but the guy got upset because someone she was seeing before they started dating had messaged her, and he got angry.
Despite her best efforts to explain that it didn’t mean anything and she wasn’t even going to respond, he stormed off and avoided talking to her all day until that evening.
You can imagine the vibe was a little off at the bar because of this.
If you’re just now starting to date someone, who they were talking to before the two of you established something is sort of — irrelevant.
It’s not your business, they chose to be with you, and you have to respect that and believe them when they say there isn’t anything else going on unless they give you a logical reason to believe otherwise.
There’s no reason to stir up drama where it doesn’t belong.
They tell you they’re in love too soon.
You know, there are those instances where you fall in love at first sight, and everything is happy-go-lucky. However, those instances are very far and few.
If you’re in a fresh relationship and your partner is telling you they love you and expecting you to say it in return within days, weeks, or maybe even a few months — it’s a little odd.
Insecure people often need a lot of verbal love and affection. Maybe you think it’s sweet at first, their constant need for you to verbalize your affections for them, but it can get extremely exhausting.
The more doubt they feel about your relationship, the more they will keep pressuring you to say it back.
Looking back at my ex from when I was 17, he told me he loved me within days. As a young girl, I took it as a sign of “love at first sight” or something of that nature.
Now I realize it was not only an attempt to manipulate me into staying with him despite knowing he was the wrong person for me, but it was also because of how extremely insecure he was as an individual.
You’ll know it’s starting to become unhealthy if they make you feel uncomfortable, and you feel obligated to say things to them you don’t necessarily feel.
They isolate you.
“Nobody is ever going to love you the way I love you.”
A phrase my ex used to say all the time, and it crushed me. Of course, I worried about this. Of course, I wondered if what he was saying was true.
After a conflict or a raging argument, I would feel this raging guilt inside of me, it was confusing. I didn’t feel like I did anything wrong, and yet there’s a person hovering over me telling me everything I do is wrong, and to add to that, they’re saying nobody will love me like they do.
Insecure people will make you feel alone, and like there’s nobody else in the world that will make you feel the way they do on the good days.
They bring up previous relationships — a lot.
“Why are you acting like this? My ex knew I don’t tolerate this type of behavior.” — A text from my best friend’s new boyfriend.
I don’t know anybody who doesn’t ever talk about past relationships; it’s normal to bring it up once or twice when you start seeing someone; it’s one of those “let’s get it out of the way” subjects.
However, someone who is insecure won’t stop talking about their past relationships or even yours. They hold on tightly to whatever transpired between the two of them, and they’ll take an interest in what happened between you and your ex too.
Usually, it’s out of jealousy. Sometimes they want to know if the two of you are still in contact. Which, if you do, their insecurities will take over even more.
It’s important to establish boundaries; for example, my best friend does talk to some of her ex’s because they remained friends, and if her current partner can’t accept that, a conversation needs to be held.
However, you should never feel like you’re being interrogated about your past, and you should never feel like you have to give up the relationships in your life for someone you just started seeing.
They get frustrated with you for not responding right away.
You ever date someone who gets mad at you for not picking up or responding right away, and while you weren’t doing it on purpose, they do it to you to “teach you a lesson?”
Joseph Nowinski, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and professor psychiatry, writes for Psychology Today.
“Insecure people tend to be smothering, critical, and jealous. They demand constant communication with their companion. If they can’t be with you, they have to know what’s going on on your end in order for them to feel comfortable with the distance.”
When I was 17, I worked as a hostess at Olive Garden; I often worked double shifts, and obviously, couldn’t be on my phone. I remember one time I didn’t bother checking my phone during my ten-minute break because I was starving, so I used the time to eat instead. As a result, my ex ignored me for the next two days.
I’m embarrassed to say I stuck with him through that, even if it was just for a few more months. I wish I could tell myself to run, to stop accepting that form of love because it wasn’t real.
A lot of us accept rotten love because we think it’s what we deserve, or we simply haven’t experienced anything better.
You should never feel obligated to answer to anyone for what you’re doing, even if it is your partner. You’re your own person; they don’t own you. Them trying to monitor your whereabouts is a huge red flag.
These are just a few things you can start doing if you feel uncomfortable with the person you’re with. It’s not easy dating someone insecure, it might be cute at first when they send you double texts telling you they miss you and want you to come home soon but that can quickly turn into an unhealthy, toxic and exhausting relationship.
Identify the signs first, and see if there’s anything the two of you can do to fix it before diving in deeper into your relationship.
Relationships are not meant to feel stifling.
Previously Published on medium
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