When we are single it is common to be provoked by loneliness as it whispers in your year, “You are unlovable”.
Of course the solution seems to be, “Just get in a relationship and it will all work out.” But, then there is the issue 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 our Self. We get bored of being “in something” too long. So, when single for lengthy periods of time—certain insecurities find a way into our psyches in the form of questions that are laced with a certain urgency.
When will I meet “my person”?
How do I lose weight?
How do a 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 the daunting question that grips us all from time to time is, “Who am I?” Insecurities would have you believe you are too much, not enough, not lovable, ugly, lame, stupid, small, insignificant, and basically 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 all 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 insecurities more noticeable than when in romantic partnership. When dating, a whole other set of questions arise from our insecurities.
Can I be with someone better?
Do the really like me?
Are they cheating on me?
Are they going to leave?
What can I do to make my partner stay?
How to I be more attractive to my partner (so they won’t leave me)?
Is my partner a narcissist or has 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 relationship it is easy to think that if your partner could change in some way that would make him or her closer to your ideal then life would just be peachy. This will screw you up because no partner is perfect. Therefore, those who seek for perfection can expect to be lonely. And most of us run after perfection to cope with our insecurities.
It has also been said that intelligent people have the most sophisticated coping mechanisms and therefore blind spots. We simply can’t see how our insecurities are screwing up our relationship. We want to be loved for all of who we are but we can’t love who we all are. We are selective and divisive and afraid. We’d like to that we know what we are dong—but we don’t. And insecurities seek for answers when 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 if insecurities are screwing up your relationships—single or dating or married or some fluid thing—is to ask yourself, “Am I at peace?” “Does this thought bring me peace?’ “If I look back on today from the vantage point of a year from now, will this action that seems so important to take bring me peace?”
It is so easy to be motivated by money, lust, greed, gluttony, pride, entitlement, and to forget that the greatest riches we can experience come to us through relationships. Insecurities have us focus on what is wrong, bad, or rotten in our lives. We become reactive.
So, the next time you feel urgent to stop being single, ask, “Will this bring me peace?” The next time you want to criticize your partner or you begin to judge them as wrong ask, “Does this bring me peace?” The peace that passes understanding allows insecurities the space to expand until they dissolve.
So, if you find that 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.Podcast