Written by Malyka Cardwell, MFT

Originally published on PhiladelphiaMFT.

Do you feel unappreciated, lonely, and jealous in your relationship even if your partner hasn’t given you reason to? Have you ever been referred to as clingy in your relationship? Do you constantly find yourself fearful that your partner will leave you? Feeling insecure in a relationship is not uncommon. How you react to this feeling determines how detrimental it can be. Your insecurities can be the undoing of your relationship if you do not learn how to bypass them. Here are a few tips to help you push through:

1. Stop incessant analyzing. Every word, moment, and action doesn’t need to be scrutinized. Don’t search for covert meanings behind your partner’s behavior. “She didn’t say good morning to me. Is she mad at me?” “He’s really quiet today. I wonder what he’s thinking. Is it about someone else?”Get out of your head and stop trying to break into your partner’s. Take in what is actually happening instead of assuming that there is a problem. When your insecurities lead you to assume, you usually only end up making an ass out of yourself.

2. Separation is healthy.
In order for your relationship to function, it has to be able to breathe. You both need some alone time to regroup. This space is healthy. Do not deny your partner separation out of fear of losing the relationship. Relationship suffocation is problematic and often leads to your partner withdrawing.

3. Learn to work on your own stuff.
The power to eliminate your insecurities falls solely on your shoulders, not your partners. If you’re not feeling good about yourself, it won’t matter how many nice things your partner feels about you because you won’t be able to fully receive them. Their compliments and reassurance will never be enough. This can cause your insecurity to further spike and also create emotional exhaustion within your partner.

4. Leave the past in the past.
Everyone has some form of baggage from previous  relationships. It’s unfair to dump these issues on your present partner. Learning from your former experiences is different than bringing them into your current relationship. You have to be able to take the valuable lessons from your past and let go of the negative emotions.

5. Create your own relationship rules.
Often times insecurities stem from your relationship looking different from your expectations. These expectations are normally fueled by relationships you see around you. You have to realize that relationships are not one size fits all. What works for others may not work for you. Every relationship is unique. Learn to create one that fits you and your partner’s actual needs. The relationship that works for you is probably not going to look exactly how you thought it would.

6. Embrace elements of uncertainty.
When you’re insecure, relationship omniscience is desired. You want to know everything because the certainty makes you feel comfortable. Unfortunately, that’s not how things work. You’re not going to be able to know or control every single aspect of your relationship. Trying to do so leads to your partner feeling micromanaged, which often leads to tension.

Insecurities within a relationship can be difficult to overcome. When it gets tough, try to replace your negative thoughts with the positive things that are going well between you and your partner.

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