Whether or not your voice it, it doesn't seem to matter. What is the “it” in this case? Insecurity. No matter how much someone tells you that you matter; that you're important, it doesn't matter when insecurity has taken hold of you.
Insecurity does its fair share to decimate many a relationship and sometimes it's hard to know when it's happening, to see it for what it is because it just pops up whenever it feels like it, when you're working, running or even in your sleep! Insecurity is a piece of shit and it's hard to deal with sometimes.
If you're someone who needs constant reassurance what do you do to get over the insecure hump? It's not easy and it's a constant work. That's one thing I can tell you.
I've said it more than a few times, I'm an asshole. These days I question that. You see, I'm seeing a gal now. It's not serious, but we've been at it for a few months now. While I'd like it to go somewhere, I'm not sure that it will. That part is simply that I don't know what this gal wants and she's terrified of relationships.
I told her how I felt, dropped the “L” word even. She doesn't feel the same way. Ouch. And you know what? That's okay. Not ideal, but it's okay. It's harder to not say the nasty “L” word than it is to say it when you don't mean it. So I appreciate and respect that actually. I'd be lying if I told you that it didn't make me feel insecure. In particular, I feel insecure about dating a gal that doesn't feel the way about me that I do about her and that she'll just “walk” out whenever she gets bored. Bam. There it is.
That leaves things in an odd spot doesn't it? Or does it?
So what do you do about the insecurity?
The simple fact is that relationships, no matter how casual, need room to breathe and to grow. With that in mind, there are a few common traps to identify and work through/avoid…
You have your own vision for what the relationship should be and panic when it's not just like that.
Yep, that sounds like me. I have an idea of what I want and what I want something to be. My instinct is to shape a relationship as I think it should be, sometimes. What I've learned over the years is that relationships need room to just be what they are; you relax and go with the flow and figure out where you stand.
You can't separate reality from your own imagination.
The worst part about insecurity is that it's often hard to separate reality from your own perceived reality aka your imagination. You play scenarios out in your mind; lots of scenarios and you start to think that there's some truth to these imagined scenarios. If that's you, knock it the fuck off!! Get ahold of yourself and realize what you're doing is destructive day-dreaming. Ask yourself: Are these things I'm thinking or imagining actually happening? Do the other person's actions line up with what I'm thinking? In my case today, no, they definitely don't.
Actions matter, imagination doesn't. Here, I would tell you that what a person does matters more than what they say and certainly matters much more than what you imagine. When you recognize what you're doing, take a breath, stop and ask yourself if what you're imagining is really what's playing out.
You can't focus on anything else but the relationship.
Get a fucking hobby! Oh, only if it were that simple. Am I right? When we get anxious about relationships we forget about the huge heap of other shit we have to do. In my case, yes, I spend way too much time thinking about a gal that I'm kinda crazy about… She may stay, she may go… You know what? It's small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. I have a small business to run and I hope that it doesn't fail!!! I have a 400 person fucking conference to plan that's a month away, I'm starting consulting work for the small business development center, I just reconnected with my estranged father, in addition to a bunch of other shit. If I have a bunch of shit to worry about, I'm sure you do, too. Focus on what matters most and get work done.
You can't stop controlling things.
A hallmark of insecurity. Take deep breaths and let go. Don't try to be in control or shape things just-so. Seriously, breathe deeply and let go.
If you feel uncertain about things, it helps to talk about it. You need to trust in the conversation you have though. If the person you're dating says things are fine and shows that in actions as well, then things ARE FUCKING FINE. Don't bottle up your emotions, communicate when you need to.
If the worst happens…
The worst thing that could happen is that your love interest skips out on you. Bummer. That sucks and, guess what? You'll be okay. You've been there before. Take some time, think things over and when you're ready get back to it, get back on the Tinder or OkCupid or whatever.
Sure, for some (myself especially) the goal is to find someone you mesh with and grow together. It's not easy and, certainly, I've grown tired of telling my story over and over again. Just because of that weariness, however, doesn't mean I should be so anxious. The same goes for you, too.
Relationships, especially the relationships that “are not” relationships are hard. Put the time in, be patient, don't run away and stay out of your own head and don't have beers with your insecurity.