4 Signs of Insecure Love

Feeling unseen and in limbo.

Posted Jul 23, 2018

Source: NotarYES/Shutterstock

Recognize that you may suffer from a pattern of insecure attachment if you are repeatedly playing out the same distressing relationship dynamic. This may occur when a person wasn’t loved properly in childhood, but can also occur from an accumulation of traumatizing relationships in adulthood. Here are four signs that you are insecure in love — and what to do if you are.

1. You can’t self-soothe. Do you find that when your partner is out of contact, or you aren’t aware of his/her whereabouts, you become anxious? Your mind races, wondering where your partner is, and you play out various negative stories in your mind. You worry they have lost interest in you or are with someone they find more desirable. You text, call, and attempt to make contact with too much urgency. Does this sound familiar? If it does, you need to be able to open a self-soothing toolkit when you become upset due to something real or imagined having to do with your partner. Consider taking 10 minutes out of your day to practice mindfulness so as to become more aware and reflective of what is going on for you in difficult moments. And, too, build strategies to take care of yourself and make yourself feel better (examples include journaling about your upset feelings, reading self-help books, and completing exercises on self-nurturing, physical exercise, and seeking social support).

2. You repeatedly break up and make up. Do you find you adore your partner one moment, and the next moment feels as if the bottom is falling out of the relationship? If you are only riding the highs, but not doing any substantive work on the relationship, then the lows will be exceedingly low. Breaking up and then making up doesn’t really solve the dysfunction in your union. It merely temporarily relieves your anxiety over the possibility of losing someone you love. However, communicating and being honest and open about the issues in the relationship — when you are both in a safe and calm state of mind — can make all of the difference.

3. You feel unseen. Does some part of you feel unknown and unseen by your partner? Perhaps you have fun together, and they seem interested in you, but it’s not in a connecting and curious way. They don’t like for you to be upset or withdrawn, but they don’t take the time to really understand you. Deep down, you’d like someone to ask questions and take a genuine interest, but this never seems to happen in your relationships. Consider putting more work into being yourself with your partner, good and bad. Talk about your needs, emotions, and the more difficult things you deal with. If they shut you down, ignore, or minimize you, then this might not be a healthy attachment for you.

4. You feel as if life is in constant limbo. Do you desire long-term plans, a commitment, or greater stability with your partner? When a person is insecure in love, they often pick partners who keep them feeling insecure. So instead of definite plans (“I’ll pick you up at 7:00 tomorrow night”), you get: “I am not sure of my plans; let’s see how things go.” This lack of assurance leaves you spinning. You wonder what’s going to happen in the relationship, if this person is definitely into you or not. Consider if you have picked someone who lacks the capacity to really commit in a way that makes you feel safe and secure. Remind yourself it is a perfectly natural human need to want to know where you are headed and what to expect going forward.  

In my book, Toxic Love, I offer specific strategies around breaking dysfunctional love patterns.